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From the illustrated social history book…
“Blantyre – Glasgow Road South, The Real Story” by Paul Veverka (c) 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 / mobile shop 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.”
Although the houses at Rowan Place do not have Glasgow Road addresses, they require to be included in this book due to having frontage along a proportion of Glasgow Road. Situated across from the entrance to the ‘Dandy’, these 12 single storey houses were constructed especially with pensioners in mind.
Built in the late 1950’s as part of the ‘Orlits’ housing scheme (homes behind and to the south at Fernslea Avenue), they are set back off Glasgow Road, offering good parking, single storey, unlike the other houses in the estate behind.
During research of this book, it was learned that they were cruelly nicknamed originally as ‘Death Row’, a name that thankfully does not exist in discussion anymore. Rowan Place looks to be well maintained with good sizeable gardens to the rear and have served families well over the last 60 years. The name ‘Rowan’ continues the woodland theme of Fernslea.
Before the construction of Rowan Place, this plot had been the open fields of Wheatlandhead Farm, which in this particular plot, had stretched right down to Glasgow Road itself. The farm was also known as “Russell’s.”
Contrary to writing by others, Glasgow Road west of this point was not all farmfields in the 20th Century. Indeed it was very much built upon, primarily for residential purposes. The last 130 years west of this point has seen some impressive houses being built. Let’s have a quick look at some of them now…
Glasgow Road Villas
The homes westwards of Rowan Place are mostly large semi or detached houses, built in early 20th Century, although 4 of them were built much earlier in the 19th Century. Furthermore, every now and again, there are a couple of modern bungalows, built as plots have became available. For the best part, many of these old villas, that afforded such quality accommodation are still standing. Almost all of these prominent Glasgow Road houses have their own separate identities, or house names given to them by the original constructors.
Numbering and addresses along this stretch of Glasgow Road is a complex subject for whilst postal addresses (numbers) were allocated around 1910, the homes received entirely new numbers after the road was widened in the 1930’s, renumbering an unusual move, but not unique by any means.
Our table below summaries some basic information about these properties and unravels the complexities of the numbering system. Blocks of early tenements further West before the Westend are not included here but explored later in the book. Similarly Springfield Cottage which is accessed by a lane, a little distant from Glasgow Road is not explored in this particular book.
Glasgow Road South – Villas [c=approximation, >=after, <=before]
|House||Constructed||Original Address||Post 1930 Address|
|Brownlea Cottages (LHS) originally Jeanfield Cottages||c 1869||297||319|
|Brownlea Cottages (RHS)
Originally Jeanfield Cottages
|Korek (originally Brownlie)||c 1869||301||323|
|Blairhoyle (orig. Brownlie)||c 1869||303||325|
|Clifton / Hilden / Moraig||>1902<1904||305||327|
|House & Glasshouses||1903||315||343|
|Constructed: 1950’s||Other Names: Unknown|
|Constructor: Unknown||Original Address: 313 Glasgow Road|
|House Type: Bungalow||Current Address: 313 Glasgow Road|
Brief Summary: This plot of land was previously not built upon until the middle of the 20th Century. Originally farm-fields of Wheatlandhead Farm, the plot is adjacent to a council owned lane to the east, which accesses the ‘Wheatland Orlits’ housing estate behind.
The small, detached bungalow was constructed in the 1950’s with 2 bay windows at the front and the main door unusually to the side. A separate garage is located to the east and there is a modest sized front and back garden. Mr. French lived there in the third quarter of the 20th Century. He had a shop which specialized in Singer Sewing Machines. There are no complexities of addresses at this location due to the ‘modern’ construction date.
The cottage is today well maintained, whitewashed and desirable, being not far from the Parkville Restaurant and other amenities in Glasgow Road.
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