Glasgow Rd (s) – Burnbank to Auchinraith

glasgow road

Every Building, every Century. From the book “Blantyre – Glasgow Road, The Real Story” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016 – 2018.

Menu: Events | Streets | Glasgow Rd | Medieval Times | Deep History | Modern | Redevelopment | Road AccidentsWorks Village | Livingstone Memorial Centre | Shuttle Row | Childhood | Environment |

South Submenu: Exploring Burnbank BoundaryBirth to Redevelopment | Burnbank to Auchinraith Rd | Auchinraith Rd to Herbertson St | Herberston St to Church St | Church St to Logan St |  Logan St to Victoria St | Victoria St to Stonefield Rd |  Stonefield Rd to Westend | Westend to Priory Bridge

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From the illustrated social history book…

Blantyre – Glasgow Road South, The Real Story” by Paul Veverka (c) 2018.

Greenfield Foundry

No documented history has previously been compiled about the story of Greenfield Foundry, so following many days worth of work, I hope you enjoy my efforts. The Greenfield Foundry, later known as ‘Greenfield Foundry & Engineering Work’s was a former large iron foundry business located to the east of Springwell, Low Blantyre, at the boundary with Burnbank during the late 19th Century and into much of the 20th Century. The foundry was fairly unique as it represented one of the only buildings that spanned two Parishes, parts of the business latterly on either side of the boundary. However, it didn’t start off like that, its beginnings focused on the Burnbank side of the Park Burn boundary. It was the arrival of this business in the 1870’s, the nearby Robertson’s Aerated Mineral Water Factory, and sthe 1880’s inking of nearby Greenfield Collieries, that would help grow the detached Blantyre hamlet of Springwell, which prior to that was simply a farm and a couple of small houses.

Greenfield foundry

Greenfield Foundry in 1898

In 1877, the year of the Blantyre disaster, Taylor & Henderson, ironfounders of Hamilton were the engineers and smiths who ran the business, “Taylor & Henderson Foundry”. Buying a plot of unused land, a field around 1 acre in size adjacent to the Parkburn, the partners construted a moderate sized foundry, where they intended to manufacture items, including rainwater goods, kitchen ranges, stoves, furnace pans, stable fittings, railing bars, balcony panels & general castings. The land was suitable as the railway spur to the south and Parkburn to west and north formed enclosures, protecting somewhat against intruders and theft.

The business first appears up and running in 1878, according to Naismith’s Directory. At that time, the manager of the foundry was Mr. James Dunlop of Springwell. The foundry was a private endeavour and it opened with the official name, “The Greenfield Foundry Company” and does not seem to be tied to the collieries, the name taken from the nearby Greenfield Farm, whose former land it had been built on.

It is said that the owners tried to do well by their employees and in 1880 they built the Greenfield Foundry Square, a row of 24 small, terraced homes for their workers to the north end of their site, immediately beside the ParkBurn. The homes were well built, but small, double storey (12 up, 12 down) with only one room and a kitchen in each. Small outdoor washhouses and toilets were located on the west side of the square and formed an enclosed perimeter separating the foundry to the south and west. Steps on the south elevation of the foundry house accessed upper storeys. To the south of the square were the managers and office staff homes with private outdoors toilets at the back. Mr. Lachlan Taylor, one of the business owners who also owned nearby shops and another brass foundry, was fairly “hands on” and lived at 23 Foundry Square, in one of the manager’s homes.

Workers entered the foundry from Glasgow Road, the gated entrance to the foundry being straight ahead and the open entrance to foundry square homes leading off to the north. The premises consisted of the offices near the entrance, the main foundry located in the middle of the plot and workshops and pattern rooms at the far west.

However, incoming cash was not managed well. Owing to bad debts, on 21st April 1882, Taylor & Henderson’s partnership was dissolved via liquidation. Despite the foundry building on the successes of astonishing construction efforts in nearby Blantyre and Hamilton, Taylor and Henderson went their separate ways. An offer was made from Andrew Kesson and Duncan Campbell, successful founders in Glasgow already established at Carntyne. Their partnership ‘Kesson & Campbell” then bought over the assets of the dissolved company and in 1882, they renamed it simply, “The Greenfield Foundry”. Subscriber businessman, Samuel Potts, also funded the venture. The company put out an advert in the newspaper wishing all to know the foundry would be run under “Kesson & Campbell”. On 5th July 1882, job adverts appeared in the paper, including asking for office clerks, perhaps to deal with the untangling of orders. The liquidators of Taylor & Henderson pursued debt collection for some time, including £116 owed to them by Messers Merry & Cunningham at Auchinraith Colliery.

1882 dissolution Greenfield

1882 Dissolution Notice of “Taylor & Henderson”

To give an idea how much the adjacent area of Greenfield changed in the 10 years previous to this, in 1875, the valuation roll has 12 entries for the area. By 1885, just a decade later, it had 948 entries!

On 28th May 1887, unmarried brothers James Cook (17) and Thomas Cook (20) died in the Udston Colliery Disaster along with their father Richard (50). The men were all miners living at the Foundry Row in Greenfield Foundry and one can only image how Richard’s widow must have suffered following that day.

On Sunday 20th May 1888, the manager discovered that thieves have entered the foundry overnight and had attempted to steal money. However, they clearly underestimated that the foundry money was kept in a safe and bolted down by foundry castings. Attempts were made to open it with an iron bar. However, the safe was untouched and the thieves took items of little value instead.

In July 1891, Mr Kesson was fined for breaching the Factory Act for employing 3 boys before the regulated starting hour in the morning.

Seeking a quieter life, Mr Kesson was approaching retirement and wanted his share of the business before doing so. On Wednesday 30th March 1892 at 2pm the whole Greenfield Foundry and Foundry Square homes were put up for sale by public auction in Glasgow. The entire property and grounds were for sale and advertised as being in the heart of Lanarkshire’s coalfields. The advert stated, “There is ample room for extending the works and a railway siding into them. The foundry having a large trade.” The rental of the foundry was £133 per year. The foundry square homes were also up for sale, noted as being in good condition and all presenty let out for moderate rents, which could be increased. The rental of the square was £128 12 shillings. The reserve price put on the whole lot was £2,500. The auction came and went, the foundry unsold, perhaps to the relief of the workers in the tied homes.

However, Mr Kesson clearly wanted his share of the business and the foundry remained for sale for a year until a further public auction on 12th April 1893 for the reduced upset price of £1,700. The grounds were noted as being 1 acre, 3 roods.

On Thursday 24th October 1894, Mr Andrew Speed who was employed at the foundry was walking home that evening to his home in Uddingston, after leaving work. He was taking the short cut using the railway line when he died suddenly, after being struck by a locomotive.

Late on the evening of Monday 6th May 1895, a sinister and indecent outrage was committed on the Blantyre on the wife of James Rankin, of Baird’s Rows, Stonefieid, while she returned homewards from Hamilton. The woman stated that while she was nearing Greenfield Foundry, some men who would not let her pass blocked her path. She was then verbally and physically attacked by a number of men near the gates, and in an endeavour to escape she crossed into the field opposite, running at a pace near the Parkburn where she was caught up on, and in the darkness overtaken, thrown on the ground, her mouth stuffed, her body kicked and beaten, and finally assaulted in the most brutal and shocking manner for any woman. Her assailants then left her where she lay. The woman was found some time afterwards completely exhausted, and was taken in a state of shock to her home. Dr Sinclair declared her injuries to be of most brutal description and confined her to bed. The police lost no time in getting clues together interrogating men in the foundry, and leaving her bed the next morning escorted by police in the most brave action, the woman pointed out the men face to face in their own workplace. Five young men, all-living in Hamilton were apprehended in connection with the outrage and taken to the jail.

1890s sketch foundry

Drawing showing interior of foundry in 1890’s

Greenfield Foundry was not without further crimes and accidents. John Mullen of 4 Low Blantyre Road, Greenfield had the contract with the foundry to go out and cut the surrounding grass parks, keeping the railway verges clear of hay and weeds. On Saturday 25th August 1895, whilst working next to the line, a momentary lapse of concentration was fatal as a locomotive buffer struck his head; the wheels severing his arm clean off. The train did not stop for some time, despite efforts from the driver. Unmarried, the Irish immigrant was taken back to Ireland for burial.

By 1895, the valuation roll shows the 24 foundry square homes still mostly all occupied, but not always by foundry workers. By then, miners and labourers of the nearby Greenfield Colliery were mostly renting them. That year the occupants were 1 George Webster, 2 William Henry, 3 John Buchanan, 4 Empty, 5 William Murray, 6 Robert McNeil, 7 George Hutchison, 8 David Morrison, 9 John Smith, 10 George Lauder, 11 James Hamilton, 12 Thomas Stevens, 13 James Hutchison, 14 James Rodger, 15 Archibald Frew, 16 John Lamont, 17 Neil McNeil, 18 Alexander McDonald, 19 Andrew Haddell, 20 Robert Hunter, 21 John Milligan, 22 Henry Sneddon, 23 Alexander Matthews and 24 Charles Smith.

On 20th May 1896, Andrew Kesson, one of the owners retired. The partnership was dissolved that day, but the Greenfield Foundry carried on with partner Duncan Campbell forming an emreging new partnership with Robert Bayne Jardine Binnie, along with subscriber Samuel Potts. For a short time, they continued however as “Kesson & Campbell”, the name well known.

By 1898, no less than five large cranes adorned the yards outside. A loading platform and siding had also been constructed near the North British Railway spur to the south of the site.

One can only presume at the difficult and hot working conditions inside the foundry. It would have been a dangerous place, especially in those times before proper health and safety. Scaulding hot steam, fumes, and chemicals, sharp metal and faulty equipment would have contributed towards many minor accidents. A notable fatality occurred in 1898 when on Wedensday 21st September; 28-year-old James Farrell lost his life. He had been on duty to attend to the furnace and around 11am, a box of molten metal was sent up to him. Everybody left for lunch and noticed James wasn’t there. Upon searching he was found overcome by fumes, his body slumped over and into the carriage, his lifeless head completely submerged in the liquefied metal. Doctors Forbes and Lees arrived but their efforts to revive were not needed.

Later in 1900, in an effort to rebrand the foundry, the venture partners removed the name Kesson with permission from “Kesson & Campbell” and made their partnership more permanent renaming the business, “Campbell, Binnie & Co.” The owners added to the former name of Greenfield Foundry and it became “Greenfield Foundry & Engineering Works.”

Campbell, Binnie & Co were makers of the Globe Patent Double-Acting SteamPump, allegedly the best pump in the market for Distilleries, Brewers, Chemical Works, Contractors, &c. Makers of Lockwoods Patent Oscillating Furnace Bars, and General Ironfounders, Engineers, Millwrights, Machine-Makers and Smiths.

On Thursday 9th March 1900, an explosion at the foundry severely injured five workers. A barrel containing 8 gallons of naphtha burst and exploded covering the men in the flammable liquid. The injured were John Pollock (41) of 2 Foundry Square, Malcolm Jack (27) of Foundry Square, James Neil (57) watchman of Semple’s Buildings, Springwell, William Crowr (23) clerk of Brandon Street, Hamilton and John Stalker (21) clerk of Greenfield Old Rows.

On Monday 2nd September 1901, a cycling accident happened at Greenfield Foundry, whereby a young man named James Robertson (16), residing with parents M’Alpine’s Buildings, Stonefield, Blantyre, received injuries of a serious nature. Robertson was proceeding towards Hamilton when he ran into another cyclist coming riding in the opposite direction. Both men were thrown heavily to the ground. When picked up Robertson was found to be unconscious, and was carried into the office of the foundry where a doctor attended him. He was then taken home. Dr Wilson, Blantyre, then attended him and ordered his removal to the Royal Infirmary. The other young man was able to proceed home.

On Saturday 10th September 1904, a sad accident is reported to have occurred about half-past one o’clock on the railway bridge near Greenfield Foundry. It seems that three boys, two of them brothers named Dunn, aged ten and seven years respectively, residing in Johnstone Street, Hamilton, and another boy called Brownlie, had gone Cambuslang with a vanman bringing milk from that place to Hamilton. On the way back the vanman stopped at his father’s house at Springwell, and placing feeding bag on his horse’s head went inside, leaving the boys in the van. It supposed that the horse must have tramped on tho feeding bag and drew off its blinders and bolted. It ran along the footpath until opposite the foundry, where the van capsized down the embankment. Brownlie had jumped off, but the Dunns were both thrown underneath. A passing motorcar to Blantyre conveyed the younger boy to his home, where, on examination by Dr Walker, it was found life was extinct. The elder brother was unhurt.

1910 Greenfield foundry map

Greenfield Foundry Map 1910

The business thrived in the first part of the new Century. Planned expansions came to fruition when between 1900 – 1910 part of the Park Burn was culverted and landscaped over to the west, offering a materials laydown area for the foundry and further space to operate cranes. Beyond to the west and north were still all fields at the time, but it meant Greenfield Foundry was now operating in both Hamilton and Blantyre Parishes. Around that same time a weighing machine was added beside the railway. However, the greatest change was the demolition of the office managers house in the foundry square and of the offices themselves, creating space for a large foundry workshop right along Glasgow Road, accommodating new offices within. It meant the previous foundry entrance was redundant and another was created opening up Glasgow Road directly into Foundry Square immediately beside Greenfield Bridge, gated off at the southwest to separate the business from residential.

The arrival of trams in 1903 brought easier commutes for those workers who lived outwith the foundry. The nearest tram stop was just outside the nearby Birdsfield Street to the south. In 1900, Mr Muir Robertson, jun., partner of ‘Messrs William Robertson & Son, civil and mining engineers, Glasgow, said his firm were engineers for many of the collieries in this district, and for the Greenfield and Udston estates. The Greenfield estate was one of the largest growing mining estates in the district, and was in process of development. He considered that the proposed tramway would be a very great service to the Greenfield, Springwell and Burnbank districts, and among other things, would quicken the development of the Greenfield estate. Fields surrounding the foundry still kept their rural charm as this postcard from 1908 shows. You can see the square ground cleared behind the foundry in readiness to build Blantyre Lodging House, later that year.


1908 children play in the hay, Greenfield Foundry at the left, Burnbank in the background

On 21st April 1911, the North British Railway submitted plans for a railway siding alteration and some tracks were laid within the foundry itself, meaning little disruption for any loading operations to their line.

In 1912, Campbell, Binnie and Co had to pay a worker £275 in damages after a court case proved that the worker had been crushed due to their machinery and negligence of maintenance of the equipment. The worker was left lame for much of his life.

Fire broke out in the foundry joinery shop on 20th January 1914 and the fire services were called. Arriving promptly, water was fetched from the Park Burn nearby and the fire quickly put out before it spread to the pattern shop adjacent. Damage was negligible.

During WW1 in 1915, the Foundry continued operating and worker R.H.Reid patented a device for washing coal that could separate materials of different sizes. War affected the foundry just as much as it did other businesses. Men left their employment to head off to fight and employee numbers reduced during that time. On Saturday 2nd March 1916, workers stopped at lunchtime to hold a little service, where guest of honour was William Webster of the 6th Scottish Rifles. William was presented with a beautiful gold watch with a suitable inscription of his bravery on the battlefield. William who was a sergeant had won the DCM medal and was home on leave and had been an engineer at the foundry, before the war. It was his third visit home from the trenches after being injured 3 times by bullets. The Rechabites raised the money for the watch. He left to go back to the front the following Saturday. His co-workers John Crookson, Ernest Rogerson and Gilbert Stodart, all privates were not so lucky and did not return from war. During the war years the employees and owners of the foundry subscribed heavily to donation to Blantyre Ambulance, Blantyre Hospital and Blantyre Jubilee Nurses as well as major hospitals in Glasgow. In April 1918, co-workers awarded John Black a gold watch after his return from France and service in the Scottish Rifles.

On 12th August 1924, the partnership of Campbell, Binnie & Co was dissolved due to the retirement of Mr Binnie. Mr William Reid was to take his place, the business re-emerging that day as “Campbell, Binnie, Reid & Co”.

In 1924 and 1925, the new business partners decided to expand the business further. They demolished the remaining old homes in foundry square, which had become damp (presumably from consistent flooding at the nearby ParkBurn) and culverted the Park Burn to the north. They then bridged over Blantyre’s boundary into a field opposite on the Blantyre side and created another workshop and stores, almost doubling the size of the original foundry. Again, this meant the entrance moving, south this time. By the mid 1920’s Greenfield Foundry & Engineering Works was once of the largest buildings in the area and employer of a couple of hundred people, stretching right up to homes in Springwell.

1936 Greenfield foundry map

1936 Map Showing the foundry expanded in both directions into Blantyre

Fire destroyed most of the old foundry records in 1927. About midnight on 31st August, fire broke out in the office premises of Messrs Campbell, Binnie, Reid. & Co. The office adjoined the main works, and consisted of a two-storey building with a loft above, where plans and records were stored. It seems that the fire originated in the loft, which was completely destroyed. Damage by water and smoke was also done to the drawing office and the counting house on the ground floor. The damage was estimated at several thousands of pounds. The fire though did not interfere with the work in the foundry.

In 1933, following the removal of the old tram lines on Glasgow Road outside the foundry, the road was widened making it more substantial, just as had been done in Blantyre a few years earlier.

    Towards the end of WW2 in May 1945, Campbell, Binnie, Reid & Co was fined £20 for not maintaining safe temperatures for their workers. Their business was wound up in the mid 1950’s and bought over by Charles Ireland, who primarily ran a scrap merchants business from the site. It was then heavily fenced off and guarded, with a report that a 2nd World War ammunition was found out in the yard. Charles Ireland’s business did evolve and was successful, becoming a limited company in the form of Ireland Alloys on 2nd September 1964. They remained at that site until the mid 1970’s before moving to custom built premises on Whistleberry Road.

    On Wednesday 21st November 1973, a Mr Hannaway attempted to open the safe with an oxy acetylene torch after losing the key. Not realizing there safe contained dynamite, he succeeded only in blowing both his legs off! The explosion was heard throughout Low Blantyre.

    With Ireland Alloys having cleared many of the old buildings, the open space was ideal for vehicle storage. First Buses Depot now is situated on the site of the former Greenfield Foundry. The large depot at Springwells houses many buses with familiar white and purple livery.

2017 First Buses today

2017 First Buses Depot, on site of former Greenfield Foundry

The Birth of Springwell

The Springwell area of Blantyre took its name from a moderately sized but prominent, former farmhouse that once stood detached and isolated on the Glasgow to Hamilton Road. The farm was situated at its junction with the track that would later become Auchinraith Road. Springwell Farm was built in the late 1700’s but was demolished in the third quarter of the 19th Century before anybody could photograph it. There are no known sketches of it either.

1859 Springwells

1859 Map of Springwell showing Springwell Farm

The name was ‘Springwell’ and not ‘Springwells’ which only appears in more modern times with an ‘s’ at the end, named after the 3 wells at the junction. This farmhouse at the fork in the road, (a building explored later in the book) was the birth of Springwell as a small hamlet and very much the early beating heart of this area’s history.

The 1859 map in the above illustration shows the expansive fields of Springwell Farm, fields that would later be acquired for building upon, especially around either side of the Glasgow to Hamilton Road. To the west was Blantyre, still largely undeveloped, to the south east, the rural charms of Greenfield farm. This chapter deals with the land to the south of the main road and the hamlet of Springwell, which was about to expand hugely.

Evolution of Springwell

1898 Springwells map

1898 Map of Springwell showing how much it grew in 40 years

The above illustration on this page shows by comparison to the previous image, just how much Springwell changed and grew in only 4 decades. The 1898 map primarily shows expansion of the railways with the Auchinraith railway junction and Craighead junction noticeably crossing over the former Springwell Farm fields. The Auchinraith rail junction forced a realignment of Whistleberry Road junction at the Glasgow to Hamilton Road. The farm is gone at the top left but in its place is a plethora of new businesses and homes, the start of massive development of this main road into Blantyre.

However, meantime our journey continues with the exploration of the south side of the new hamlet of Springwell which had grown in population by many hundreds of people in that short space of time.

Now you may think that Springwell as a hamlet “sprung” up initially around Robertson’s of Springwell, the large aerated water business but this was not the case. Robertson’s Aerated Water Business Partnership was founded in 1890 but Springwell formed properly with the first few homes appearing much earlier around 1877/1878.

It was almost certainly the nearby Greenfield Foundry being constructed in 1877 that brought mass employment to the area, as well of course as the Greenfield Colliery, sunk in the 1860’s. The 1875 valuation roll still has the fields of Springwell empty with exception of the aforementioned farmhouse.

The first settlers to build modest homes in what would become Springwell hamlet were mostly miners, craftsmen, carters and foundrymen. It was those men with the foresight to buy inexpensive land from the farm of Springwell in the late 1870’s and 1880’s that did well. The way to prosper was to build your own homes with whatever you could afford, then sell them on, or even better rent them out. Quite often those entrepreneurial miners and foundrymen left their employment a little later due to their successes, to become employers of others. It was a good life plan to follow and that’s exactly what people did.

McLelland’s Land

Using the 1898 map below for reference, our very first building on Glasgow Road within Blantyre Parish is the former “McLelland’s Land.”

Mclellands zoned

McLellan or McLelland’s Land, Springwell

McLellan or McLelland’s Land (depending on various census information) was a small, former plot of land about a third of an acre on the south east of Springwell, near the old fork in the road. The name Land or Laun, as in old Scots dialect really refers to the buildings themselves, which at this location were stone or brick built and single storey.

McLelland’s property opened out directly on to the Glasgow to Hamilton Road and comprised of 3 small houses, each with 2 rooms and at least 1 window in each room and a nearby workshop to the south. The property was terraced, the nearest to the Parkburn being the workshop. This left another 2 homes in the block, attached on the north side, the middle one being the largest and the farthest divided into 2 homes.  

Throughout this book, reference will be made to properties that are no longer here and given the age of some of them, sometimes there are no photos. To provide an idea of how such buildings looked, this publication contains the exclusively unique idea of providing ‘location line drawings’ overlaying the former buildings shape and profile in a ghost image, into a modern context. It is hoped this gives the reader an interesting idea of size, locations, shape and context.

Mclellands Land

You’ll notice the property boundary in the above image looks to be sitting out in the road. The overlaid location is correct, but remember when first built, the modern 1930 road widening hadn’t happened yet. A washhouse and outdoor toilet was located to the rear of the property, which was fenced off separating the land from neighbours. Behind to the left, were empty fields. This was one of the earliest properties in Springwell and the edge of Blantyre.

McLelland’s Land was built between 1881 and 1885 but surprisingly not by a McLelland. The property was constructed by Mr. John Welsh, a miner who arrived in Blantyre within that timeframe. However, he was the owner for only a short time before selling the entire property, perhaps as early as 1886. It was new owner William McLelland, a miner known well to John that bought the houses, for the purposes of renting them out. We’ll be coming back to John Welsh a little later in this chapter.

In the 1885 valuation roll, John Welsh was living at the first house nearest the boundary, which had a rateable value of £3 per annum. In the other 2 houses John MacSwan, a moulder was renting for £6 and in the last house Mr. William McLelland, a miner renting for the reduced rent of £3. Perhaps William and John were friends, for shortly after, William bought the entire 3 houses from John and became the new owner for at least the next 20 years. The suggestion of this is strong, for in the 1891 census, a Welsh family member was visiting William that day.

It seems that the workshop was formed in 1891, something denoted on a later valuation roll, part of the homes converted to suit. This was done to suit William McLelland’s own purposes for the workshop was initially used by William for his own new business as a carter. (a person who conveys goods by cart). William had given up the mining profession and was self employed. He may have been letting part of the workshop out to a joiner also by this time. William had family nearby across the road at Burnside near the Parkburn, and therefore was living close to his brother.

His property would have benefited from water being run into the district in 1891, the valuation roll of 1895 noting that improvement to the area. McLelland’s land sat in an elevated position high above the Parkburn and was distant and high enough to not be affected by its frequent flooding. In 1895, the occupants were William Mclelland, Robert Ewen who was an engine dealer and John Kenney, a miner renting for £5 per year.

By 1901, William was conducting his business from the workshop but had outgrown living in these small homes, deciding to rent his own house out as well. In 1905, John Penman was living in the largest house paying £8, 8 shillings rent, David Spence a miner paying £6 and Samuel Marshall, a labourer also paying £6.

By 1915, William was no longer the owner, the property being in the possession of William Alston Dykes solicitors held in trust via Alexander Peter or Rosebank Avenue, Blantyre. It may that William had died between 1905 and 1915 and one has to wonder if it was War that claimed him. In 1915, during those trying times, Alexander Forrest, a joiner was renting the workshop for £2 per annum where he would do so for some time until the mid 1920’s without any rent increases. Catherine Donnelly a widow was renting the first house her rent going up from £8, 12 shillings to £9, 12 shillings between 1915 and 1920. In a period of stability for tenants, John Cowan a miner was renting the second house, his rent increasing from £6 to £7, 13 shillings in those same 5 years. In the last house was Malcolm Penman a bricklayer who saw the largest rent increase in that period from £5,17 shillings to £7, 13 shillings.

By 1915, properties along the Glasgow to Hamilton Road had been given postal addresses with proper numbering, rather than known by building names. McLelland’s Land was officially 1, 3 and 5 Glasgow Road, the southern side properties all being odd numbers. Some tenants had changed again by 1925. Still held in trust, the homes were rented by Richard Lyle, a miner for £12, and William Williamson an Engineer for £8, 10 shillings. Only aforementioned John Cowan occupied his house for more than 10 years. He was to die between 1925 and 1930 and his widow, Janet Cowan is noted in the 1930 valuation roll living there as head of the house. Her neighbours that year were Alexander Bowes a General Dealer with a rent of £12 and William Emslie, a fitter, perhaps working nearby at Greenfield Foundry.

By the time McLelland’s Land was demolished sometime following an “unfit for purpose” demolition order in 1933, they had existed for half a Century had seen around 15 families living at that location. Given that the tram lanes outside the property were lifted in 1930 and the road widened shortly after, it seems likely that McLelland’s land was purposely demolished to accommodate modernization. Today, there is a large billboard where the property once was, situated in a small grassy triangular plot and no trace of any building at all.

Continued on Page 2

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