Calderglen Christmas Party

It was just a few months into WW1 and many of the battlefield atrocities still had to come, but life was going on in Blantyre and in December 1914, one “Well to do” household allowed themselves a short reprieve for a festive party.

The 11th December 1914 (exactly 106 years ago today), was the date for a party night at Calderglen House. A whist Drive and Dance took place and of course the celebrations had a purpose, all in aid of raising funds to purchase a Red Cross Ambulance for Blantyre.

A company of a hundred ladies and gentlemen assembled in the grand, detached house and took part in whist and dancing, for which a large dining room and other rooms were set apart.

The company assembled at eight o’clock, when Miss Cochrane gave an address explaining the objective and purpose for which the entertainment was given. Thereafter the company went into the amusements with hearty goodwill until the interval at 10.30pm. The whole company took part just as heartily in the substantial hospitably provided by Mr and Mrs Cochrane.

Thereafter the party resumed their amusements with zest until the wee ‘sma hours of the morning. Several songs were rendered during the evening and there was some piano playing. Much credit was given to Mrs Gibb, the housekeeper, for the able way in which she organised and arranged everything for the evening.

At the close, a hearty vote of thanks was offered by Mr and Mrs Cochrane. and the festive night a great success, the committee was able hand over the sum of £9 for the ambulance fund. (about £1,100 in today’s money)

Pictured by myself back in 2014, exactly 100 years after that party, is the Christmas tree on the main Stairway at Calderglen. I can well imagine the Christmas decorations up on that night all those years ago.

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