John O Neil’s Lamp Post

Roy O Neil contacted me recently with a snippet of interesting info. Roy is the son of John O Neil, who owned the former 1970’s garage on Glasgow Road.

This relates to a lamppost next to the Africa Pavilions at David Livingstone Centre, which I recently said belonged to the LMS Railway and was once at Blantyre Station. Thanks to Roy, we can fill in the details on how it came to be there.

Roy told me, “It was nice to see the photo of the old railway lamp post on the Blantyre Project website recently.  There is a wee bit of history around it which I would like to tell you. “

“My father John O’Neil, who as you know was the proprietor of the Esso garage, was well placed to ‘acquire’ various things which passed through, and he bought this lamp post from a scrap merchant (not sure when exactly) and thus saved it for posterity.  It was he who painted it green and gold and if you look carefully under the glass you can see a little plaque with his name on it. “

“He installed it in his garden and wired it to the domestic electricity supply, so that it had a second life as a working lamp.  When I had to empty the house and garden, I didn’t want it to leave Blantyre so I thought to donate it to the David Livingstone Centre of which my Dad was a great supporter.  The Esso garage was close to the site of Baird’s Rows and he also ‘acquired’ a load of the stone from the demolished houses, which he used in his garden in a variety of ways.  The final form of it was a garden bench which I still have.  I am holding on to it for now but it might return to Blantyre eventually if there was a suitable site, you never know.”  

Thanks to Roy for sharing.

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:

Moyra Lindsay Paul did Roy’s father live in Clowdhowe Terrace. If so my dad had the other lamppost and then it lay in our garden until my son took it and had it wired and erected in his. He lives in Lord Watsons walled garden in Earnock.
Valerie Krawczyk I remember Roy’s mum and dad with fondness, they were lovely people.
Estelle Mcgowan Valerie Krawczyk hi Val how are you and your family happy memories from knowing you all in Teddies
Ann Millar Think John O,Neill,s garage was near ROSENDALE, the far end of Blantyre.
Andrew Mclinden Reminds me of the gas lampposts we had in Bairds Raws
Jiae Jiae Lovely story, Paul.
Eleanor Connor Brilliant!
Irene Van Schelt thanks for sharing
Winnie Rough Lovely story

Leave a Reply