From the illustrated social history book…
“Blantyre – Glasgow Road, The Real Story” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016 – 2018.
We next arrive at 295 Glasgow Road at a property used to this day for both residential and commercial purpose, named ‘Roselea’, the original constructor and owner being Mr. John Richardson.
John Richardson was born in Rutherglen in 1871, one of 13 children. As a young man, he worked at the Greenfield Colliery on the outskirts of Blantyre. Initially a coal miner, he changed profession and became a general dealer living midway along Glasgow Road at 41 Greenside Street.
Following World War One, he had moved home and was renting ‘Glenpark’ a house at 33 Station Road. He was also renting a nearby stable yard at that address in connection with a barrel business.
Things were to change, when after some success, he acquired and bought a long, narrow rectangular plot of land at Glasgow Road adjacent to Stonefield House, directly across the road from the David Livingstone Memorial Church. Like many people, he may have been invigorated and excited by the arrival of mechanized vehicles to towns and seeing opportunity, he built Roselea Cottage, a one storey bungalow and a small garage directly facing on to Glasgow Road. His construction and move happened between 1921 and 1924 and he made further use of the land by building sheds within the yard at the rear. He is noted in the 1925 valuation roll living at Roselea.
During his life, John married twice. In the 1940’s, he became a councilor and is pictured here at a Police dance, perhaps supporting his police officer son-in-law at that event. His daughter Christina is on the far right.
John Richardson passed away in July 1956, leaving the old Roselea garage and adjacent house to his daughter Christina (Chrissie) Dyer and her husband Jimmy. At that time, the garage and yard was being rented out in the mid to late 1950’s to McSeveney’s Coachworks, a panel beater from High Blantyre before they moved eastwards along Glasgow Road.
However, after 1956, the garage would change hands again back to the Richardsons, when John’s son, John Junior, (known as ‘Jock’) bought Roselea Cottage and the old garage and yard, back from his sibling, Chrissie.
Jock was born at 41 Greenside Street in Blantyre in 1906. He ‘got his start’ working in the Co-Op butchers and his father’s garage and initially repaired butter barrels from the premises. As a teenager, he moved to Glen Park with his family although by the time he married in 1937 he was at Bruce Terrace. After the death of his father John in 1956, Jock moved up to Roselea Cottage on Glasgow Road. The old garage acquired from Chrissie was subsequently knocked down and he built the modern, current garage that year, set back off Glasgow Road, with enough room for a forecourt. (The previous garage & petrol pumps had been situated where the forecourt is today.)
Richardson’s Garage & Business
John (Jock) and Jean opened their new garage in the late 1950’s, ( branded Fina fuel) and subsequently removed some of the old sheds and building and renting out lockups at the rear of the garage. Jock was a popular, well known man who owned a butcher’s shop on the north side of Glasgow Road opposite Elm Street, another butchers at Stonefield Road and one in Hamilton. Indeed, Jock may have been more well known as a butcher in the 1960’s and 1970’s, than as a mechanic or garage owner.
Richardson’s had 2 delivery vans which went around Blantyre, one operated by Jock’s son James, the other by another son, Robert. Jock had 4 sons. In the early to mid 1960’s, the Richardson’s kept a large Great Dane in the forecourt. The dog, named Roy was huge and remembered by many.
In the early 1970’s, Mr. Innes rented a shed from the Richardson’s at the rear of the garage, where he ran a small blacksmiths business. He also made and erected the large, current front canopy to protect customers from the weather which is still there today. According to Jean Richardson, her grandfather Jock died in July 1978 and his wife Jean in August 1983 and it is clear from the family how much they are missed.
Jock’s four sons were not partners in the business but continued working the shared, various parts until the death of Jock’s wife in 1983. The sons continued then working in separate shops and the garage and the family home was sold to “Jimmy Maxwell the Janny” from the High School around 1986. Men who worked in the garage over the years included Mr. Tremble and Willie McNulty although dozens of people over the years have been there.
Finally, ‘Roselea Garage’ was acquired by Jock’s other son, George Richardson, a likeable, friendly man, whose hard working son Kenny, still works there today. Kenny is the fourth generation of this family to work at that same location, something rarely seen these days elsewhere in Blantyre!
Blantyre Project Social Media:
Fraser Cosh: “I remember as a boy regularly being sent up to Richardson’s for 2 gallons of paraffin. Loaded them on to my ‘Boagie’ and towed it back home. We would have been 7 or 8 at the time. Don’t imagine parents would get away with that these days.”
Drew Fisher: “I seem to recall Richardson’s sold ‘Fina fuel’ and were the cheapest filling station in Blantyre. Fifty pence would half fill the tank of a Mini in 1972 – changed days now!”
Ann Hartman: “A big Great Dane would stand outside the old Community Centre nearby to the garage. On a Saturday morning, when I came out of Mrs. Brown’s dance school, it frightened the life out of me. It was a the size of a horse, this was early to middle 1960’s.”
Patrick Donnelly: “I remember that Great Dane dog. A local myth in the Old Original was that Jock went to buy a dog coat for it in winter but pet shop couldn’t supply one large enough to fit, so he bought one for a pony instead!”
Julie Bruce (nee Richardson): “Robert Richardson is my dad. All the grandkids used to play out the back of the garage in times when health and safety didn’t really matter! During the mid 1980’s, I worked in the garage on a Sunday. George paid me 15 pounds and a few Wispa chocolate bars. I loved working there and was probably around 14 years old at the time.”
Patrick Donnelly: “Sadly, a motorist took a heart attack on Wednesday 15th November 2017, crashing his car into the lamppost at Roselea. The elderly man died later after some valiant attempts by 2 local women to perform CPR.”
Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said,