Changes were afoot in 1873 in Blantyre. Just 2 years earlier the Free Church on Stonefield Road had burned down and had just been rebuilt. Changes were also taking place as to how Schools would be run in the Parish, with the creation of a School Board.
On the evening of Saturday 22nd February 1873, in the newly rebuilt Free Church, the householders of the Parish met to nominate candidates for election as members of the School Board. Dr Bryce, Glasgow High School, in the chair. Fifteen gentlemen were proposed, but as only 7 were required, the vote was taken with the result of finding the following with the highest number:
Dr J Moore of Greenhall, Mr Thomas Brown of Coatshill, Mr William Pettigrew Rosebank, Mr T Strathern of Blantyre Works, Colonel Reid Clark, Mr John Clark Forrest of Auchinraith, and Mr Joh McGregor of High Blantyre were chosen. The resident clergymen were included in the list nominated, but the majority of those present voted against them, believing their appointment would be a distraction to their religious duties and accordingly their names were thrown out. Mr D.O Marianski of Greencroft (the subject of a forthcoming Blantyre Project book), left the meeting while the vote was being taken, protesting against the legality of the entire proceedings. A committee was appointed to further the return of the gentlemen nominated and endeavour if possible to avoid the expense of a contested election. Mr Fullarton, Inspector of the Poor, was appointed returning officer.
The church and former manse is shown in this 1963 aerial photo.
Source: The Scotsman, Monday 24th February 1873, page 6.