McCanns Back after 40 Years

1950 Flour mill fire shared by G Cook

1950 Flour Mill fire. Shared by G Cook

Looking at some people stories today. In Summer 1967, Mr Gerry McCann, formerly of Blantyre came back home from New York for the first time in 40 years to visit family and friends.

A Blantyre boy he was educated at St Josephs. He left school to work as a woodflour miller at Walker’s Mill at the Village, beside Walker’s Mill. As many young men did in the 1920’s, in 1927 he left Scotland and headed to the USA seeking a better way of life and better employment prospects. As the Great Depression hit, he worked there on several jobs before settling down to work for I.B.M (International Business Machines in 1942 who would later become better known for their computing accomplishments.

His wife Lizzie McCaffety was a Burnbank girl. He had 3 of a family and as of 1967, two of them were married. When he returned to Scotland that year, Gerry and Lizzie stayed with her sister in Burnbank at 4 Stanley Street.  During their July holiday, they took in some of the beautiful Scottish countryside, visited Ireland and England before returning to America in August.

Gerry had at the time, four sisters living in Blantyre who were delighted to show off the Stonefield Public Park, something which greatly impressed Gerry. He also had a brother in Glasgow. He was also “mighty impressed” by the new Blantyre Schools, the modern buildings of David Livingstone and St Blanes Primaries, built in the late 1950s.

As a sidenote, the County Council that 1967 Summer had newly secured the sites for Blantyre High and High Blantyre Primary, though it was to be some 7 years later before they would open. Much of the delay was due to disagreements and issued in securing the land for the school playing fields, the council wishing as large an area as possible to create adjacent pitches.

Does anybody know of this McCann family and what happened to them. I’m assuming there was a strong Blantyre-Burnbank-International connection for some time after.

Pictured in 1950, is the Walker’s Flour Mill after fire devastated it.

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  1. Gerry’s sisters all continued to live in Blantyre
    Mary married Neily McCue (My parents) lived at Croftpark Crescent
    Lizzie married Jack Morton lived in the Village
    Jean married Tommy Flynn lived in Auchinraith Terrace
    Alice married John Carroll lived in Coatshill and then Fegan St

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