More Final Years of Greenhall

 

The Hamilton Advertiser on Friday 12th May 1967 ran the article (which did contain a couple of minor errors), “Greenhall House to be demolished – GREENHALL House, which has stood in 300 acres of ground at High Blantyre for over 200 years, is to be demolished. The owners, the Eighth District Council have no immediate plans for the site, which will be left as a public open space. The property and land was bought by the former Fifth District Council five years ago from English Electric. It was then being used for technicians who were working at Colvilles. The last time the house was a family home was in 1960, when Mr P. L. Duff, of the meat market, Glasgow, sold it to a private owner after living in it for eight years. Said Mrs Duff: “When we left the house eight years ago it was in good condition. We had to put electricity in the house and central heating.” But an official of the Eighth District Council said that the house was now in a terrible state and that was why it was coming down. Mr James Anderson, who was chairman of the Fifth District Council when they bought Greenhall, said: “The reason we bought the place was that we were trying to make the valley of the Calder a public right-of-way. The ground of Greenhall has a pitch and putt, children’s playground, and the natural beauty of the spot has been preserved.” Greenhall was the home of the Moore family from 1760 until only a generation ago.”

The news was not well received in Blantyre and the following week on 19th May 1967, the Hamilton Advertiser ran the follow up story:

“Protest over demolition of Greenhall House. GREENHALL HOUSE, the 200-year old mansion, which is to be demolished, could be saved and used a children’s home. This is the view of Mrs J. M. Findlay, 73 Stonefield Road, Blantyre, who has protested to the County Council and the Eighth District Council. Mrs Findlay was annoyed last Friday when she read in the Advertiser of the Eighth District Council’s decision to demolish the house because they considered it beyond repair. Mrs Findlay, a former manageress and cook when English Electric owned the house from 1961 to May 1963, said: “English Electric spent thousands of pounds in the house putting hot and cold water in most of the rooms, as engineers working at Ravenscraig were staying there. “It was in good condition four years ago when the council bought it. When I went up five weeks ago it looked terrible, but it was not beyond repair. It would be an ideal spot for a children’s home or a holiday home for the Glasgow children who never see the country.”

Mrs Findlay was a matron at a children’s home at Clynder Roseneath near Helensburgh, for eight years and said that she would give her services voluntarily if Greenhall was made a home. Mr Walter Cameron, county councillor for High Blantyre said this week: “I have replied to Mrs Findlay’s letter and told her there is a children’s home in Farm Road, Blantyre, which was opened by the County Council last year. An architect was up to see Greenhall house and said that it would cost several thousands to restore because of the dry rot. And of course there has been vandalism. The house was examined by the County Council to accommodate homeless families but too much money was needed to fix it up.” The Eighth District Council originally bought the house for the land around it to make a public open space. Demolition work is to start immediately and will be carried out by a local contractor, Mr W. Smith, at a cost of £200.”

Throughout the mid 1960’s – 2010, people will remember the park as having a playground and in the earlier of those decades, a popular pitch and putt and shop. Today, Greenhall is a favourite haunt for dog-walking companies, often with more dogs than people! In 2013 and 2014, the Council extended their budget to incorporate repairs and paint to walls and gates, fixing fences, painting white kerbstones, new signage and clearing the dangerous, storm damaged trees.

Thank you to Matt Nicholson, son of the former Greenhall owner for sending through the title deeds extract below and to Gordon Cook for transcribing the Advertiser reports. I have added all this to the complete set of notes and records of Greenhall.

1963 Greenhall Deeds

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