Davy Thomson shared this lovely photo of his parents taken in the late 1940’s (recently colourised by ‘Scotland Colourised’). Davy asks, “Hi Paul,, can you get any info on when and where my mum and dad married? I was only 7 when they both passed, so I don’t have much info on them.”
I can help with this, so here we go:
This Thomson family originated in Larkhall, coming to Blantyre in the 1880s when John Thomson married Hannah Fraser (a Dumfriesshire woman). Their grandson was Davy’s father Edward.
Edward (Eddie) Liddell Thomson was absolutely a Blantyre man, born on 1st September 1923 at the former 2 storey Blantyre Works tenements at 1 Waterloo Row, The Village. The family home was of similar style to the smaller part of Shuttle Row and faced down to the Clyde. It was immediately beside the old Schoolhouse and was the first house in the terraced row, part of a large quadrangle of homes.
Tragedy hit this family when on Burns Night in 1928, their home burned down when fire ravaged the entire block. Eddie was only 5 years old. I’ve written in some detail elsewhere on Blantyre Project about that night here: https://blantyreproject.com/2013/11/end-of-waterloo-row/ Some 18-20 families (up to 108 people) were rendered homeless that night, many uninsured. The Thomson family is not amongst the list of names who were housed with neighbours.
The Thomson family however did bounce back fast when they were given one of the new council homes in Welsh Drive, and they are confirmed living there in 1930. A home with a garden, indoor toilets and a bathroom. It would have seemed a big step up from their former home, which by then was demolished during the clearance of Blantyre works homes.
In 1939, just after war started, Eddie’s father William Thomson (b1897) sadly died, aged only 42. His wife, Williamina Liddle (b1897) however remarried later in life to a Charles Bean.
Perhaps the Thomson move to Welsh Drive was fortunate, for Edward Thomson was now close to Auchinraith Road and it would appear he had his eye on a young woman who lived there!
Edward Thomson married Annie Lynn Paterson in Blantyre on 19th December 1947 in the Nazarene Church (hut) near where the hall is now, just 2 years after WW2 ended. Eddie was 24 years old when he married, Annie was 20. There’s a good chance this picture may be their wedding photo as the ages seem to fit well.
Following his marriage, Eddie was a plater, working with metal and rose to the position of foreman.
Annie was also a Blantyre resident, born in this town slightly later in 1927. When Annie was born on 19 August 1927 at 67 Auchinraith Road, her father, Alexander, was 27, and her mother, Elizabeth, was 25. In 1933, little Annie suffered a terrible tragedy when at the age of just 6, her father Alexander Paterson died at the age of 33 in the Lightburn Hospital, in Shettleston, Glasgow. However, by contrast her mother Elizabeth Forbes Conquer lived a long life until the age of 95 , passing in 1996.
Following her marriage, Annie and Eddie settled down near her family home at Springwells. It is thought the couple had 10 children during their lives.
Sadly, the couple both died very young in 1977 and are buried in High Blantyre Cemetery. Eddie died on 2nd February 1977 in Hairmyres Hospital, EK and was only 53 his cause of death being damage to his liver. Several things could have caused this including various medical reasons. Annie died later that year on 9th December 1977, only 50 from disease of the lungs.
It’s clear that there will be much else to write about this family given the number of children and I have not touched on this out of privacy for Davy given it is thought not all of these children are alive today. For Davy on a personal note, I hope this information provides an insight into the lives of his parents before his birth.
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Michael – The houses were numbered 1 – 20 and would have been numbered for top and lower floors. The Thomson family in this story would absolutely have been your mum’s neighbours at the time. I can imagine Helen standing outside that fire alongside her family AND this family. What a remarkable coincidence, I hadnt thought of before.
So would my mom be upstairs or downstairs from the Thomson family, or be next door to them?
My 14-year-old mom Helen Dolan lived at 2 Waterloo Row when the Burns Night fire broke out in 1928. I thought the houses were given even numbers since she lived in an end house at number 2. Were the houses numbered 1 thru 20-ish? Great story Paul.
Paul thanks for the quick reply. Does this mean there were about 10 houses in this row, ergo the end house had address # 1 or # 2 downstairs and # 1 or # 2 upstairs?
I knew Annie and Eddie very well, Annie was my sisters best friend, she had a brother Alex was worked in the co-op at the bottom of Priory they lived at 18 Priory street her mother was married three times. Both Annie and Eddie we’re always in or house 1,Priority st. When I left school it was Eddie who got me my first job in Clydebridge steel works