Recollections of Mansewood

Many thanks to my correspondents who have shared historical information, and brought the area to life for us. Below are some extracts from their emails. These are real gems of oral history. You can read more in the guestbook by clicking here. The best way to contribute is via the guestbook, because it doesn't need me to do anything for your contribution to appear.

I lived at 33 Hillside Road from 1950-1966, or the first 16 years of my life, and spent a pretty idyllic childhood there. I am now a family historian and have just finished writing four volumes about each of my son's grandparents, so thought I had better add a volume about myself before I forget who I am!

I was most interested to see the aerial shot on your website. The school has totally taken over our common, a large open space where we would play hide and seek and kick the can. There was a very small 'dame school' there in my day, which my brother attended for a year or so before going to Belmont House in Newton Mearns, but otherwise it was completely open down to the tennis club at Hillpark.

I was in Glasgow recently for a funeral and had an hour or so to spare, so when I saw a 57 going to Arden nostalgia took over and I hopped on it to the bottom of Bemersyde Avenue, walked up past the old house (which looked much the same, though I bet it has central heating now!!) and down the hill again. I went to Hutchie in Kingarth Street, so I was recreating my trip to school, except that I remember doing it on a number 14 tram!!

The attached picture taken during the white Christmas of 1959 shows an almost total lack of cars. [See images page] We got our first car in 1958 and there were about three in the street. We had no central heating and no fridge - just a very large pantry between the sitting room and the kitchen. Our neighbours did an exchange with an American family in 1959-60 and they couldn't survive without a fridge, so they bought one and gave it to us when they left!!

My brother had to walk down the hill to Merrylee every day to catch a bus along Kilmarnock Road to school in Newton Mearns, and he did this totally on his own from the age of five. Likewise I travelled to school on the tram, though there were at least a couple of other girls making the same journey.
Can you imagine kids being willing (or allowed!!) to do that today?

Sue, Cardiff

Hi Bob, What a nice Christmas present. I laughed at Martin’s comment about a football player living in Mansewood. It speaks volumes about how things have changed.In prewar Mansewood the servants wore uniforms and tradesmen would never er even think of going to the front door. As a matter of fact when we moved into our house a delegation of the ladies called on my mother. After a few pleasantries, she was informed that it would be appreciated if she could ensure that the maid took in the washing from the lines by lunch time as the ladies entertained guests to afternoon tea and they did not want them looking into the gar dens an seeing washing. Also Curries bakery van called several times per week and ladies could select form a magnificent selection of French cakes and Meringues which were boxed on the spot absolutely fresh. Outside the houses there were individual lamp posts with gas mantles and the lamplighter usually a shell shocked returned man lit them individually at dusk and came round and extinguished them in the morning. There was also an ice-cream vendor who delivered his products in individual thermos bottles which you returned on his next visit and received a full one. My memaries,as a child was playing in the back garden and watching,Johnnie,the MacKay’s hired man plowing the field with an old hand plow pulled by two Clydesdales followed by a flock of seagulls picking up the worms. I also spent my time looking for pewits and corncrakes eggs in the field. In the afternoons while the ladies were entertaining, the nannies and maids paraded the prams up and down the road always of course dressed in their uniforms. Another thing you have to understand is that the young families like ours were largely in the “new: modern bungalows and villas. The old money was in your triangle and those houses while beautiful sandstone mansions were not very desirable because they were based on a staff of at least a cook and maid not to mention a gardener. You see there was no central heating and the poor old maid had to light all the fires each morning and the range in the big old fashioned kitchen. Also if my memory serves me correct, Many of the big houses were lived in by single moment. Widow, spinsters and daughters left over. You see all the men had been killed in the first war and although they were of course well bred, they were sometimes church mice. If you are still interested I will sent you more rubbish on request. In the meantime if you care to send me a picture or two particularly of old 61 I will be eternally grateful.

Yours Aye Ian.

As you have no doubt grasped, in my day in the bank I had 6 assistant managers and an excellent secretary. Consequently I cant type or spell and am technologically challenged. So you will just have to be patient. I noticed in my last E-mail I typed moment when I obviously meant women. Anyway. Thank you very much for your kindness, the pictures were marvelous an warmed the cockles of an old man,s heart. Now to your points. What I told you was correct. When we moved in and for the first few years 61 was the last house. 63 was built by a man named Heath, sold to a Robertson and during rhe war it was owned by the Stangels. Mr. Stangel was a Czech and in partnership with a Dr. of electrical engineering and owned a factory that made electrical instruments I suppose technically they were refugees. They were good friends of My family and my sister babysat for the Stangel,s daughter. They were very comfortable and being Europeans, they liked opera and Glasgow’s one night club, hence the babysitting. Mr. Stangel drove a convertible Daimler which was equipped with an Preselector gear box which was the precursor to the automatic transmission. So he would come flying along Auldhouse Road And turn up Mansewood Rd past the Kirk and having preselected a lower gear he did not have to change so the car roared up Mansewood hill much to the delight of yours truly sitting beside Srangel oohiing and aahing. In retrospect, I think they were probably Jewish and one step ahead of the Gestapo In any event they were well received and were very grateful for their new home in Scotland. I remember when Robertson had 63 It had a French window which looked out on the back garden. One Sunday morning, he saw a wee bunny eating his lettuce He promptly produced a scatter gun and disposed of the bunny He came over to the fence like A Bwana returned from safari, But the old Man and I were on the side of the rabbit, Something else I should explain, In everyone’s mind Mansewood road went to the corner of Lawers Road. There was a fork and the hill down to Burnside was known to all and sundry as The Farm Road I was looking in an old book and there are some snaps of Mum & Dad and some of me and my sister in the garden of 61.I will consult my daughters and see if we can get something for you. Unfortunately, in those days we only took pictures of people and only with my box Brownie. Anyway I will see what I can do. When you look up Mansewood Rd.from the Kirk, the Hill goes straight up until it jogs to the right almost like an elbow. Right in that elbow looking straight down the hill was an old cottage cum lodge. It was The Mansewood Tennis Club. God knows what it was before, maybe a Gate house of some sort. Anyway when everybody went off to war, it fell into disuse. It was of course superceded by The Hillpark Tennis club which was on the corner Of Cairngorm and I think Ledi Rd Anyway, the old lodge on Mansewood Rd became Mansewood House School and functioned as a preschool or kindergarten Right, opposite the Kirk, the house on the point has one side on Hillside Rd and the other on Mansewood Rd.It seems to me that in the old days there was awee rd that I don’t think was big enough to have a name It cut off the point and allowed one to cut down from Mansewood Rd to both Hillside and Thornliebank Rd. In other words you could cut down to the tram stop without going right to the point. In any event , the house was owned by the King family, two boys about my age. Mr. King was a seafaring man and was lost at sea during the war. We also lost Captain Laird. who went down with his ship. The Lairds, had five children two boys and three girls and lived on the corner of Mansewood Road & Bemersyde Ave. the corner nearest to old 61. The great big house on the other corner was owned by Tommy Stevenson, a real toff of the old school. I think he came from the aristocracy probably a younger son, his brother having the title. In any event he went into the city every day with highland cloak and walking stick, I think he was a stockbroker. No not the clowns we have now. These guys did it with style.Enough rubbish for now, Thanks again for your kindness you have turned into a splendid friend. Thank You. Yours Aye Ian

Mansewood House School (its official name) was always referred to as Miss MacKay's. When I was there there were children as young as three and as old as 15. The one teacher was Miss MacKay and we sat at two large tables, one for the little ones and one for the older ones, who sat on benches. I could tell you quite a bit more about this school, as can my sisters and brother who all attended for a couple of years each, if you would like any further information.

Regarding the Manse: we always referred to the ruined house 'across the fields' as the Manse, but it was quite a distance from the church and now, looking back I wonder if we children had got hold of the wrong name. It must have been a large house as there was definitely an avenue of trees leading up to it. One of my sisters, in fact, has just told me that she always thought that the school house had originally been a lodge/gatehouse to the big house. We sisters ought to discuss it between us and let you know if we can come up with a more accurate picture. In any case this large house was 'in the fields' (as they were when we were children) behind Cairngorm Road.

Ah yes, I remember no. 32 well, it being next door to us. When we lived there, there was a family called Crawford living at no. 32. They also had four children - two boys (Jimmy and Peter) and two girls (Carol and Marjorie [sp.?]). They lived there all the time we were there and were still there when we left in 1968. They were similar in age to us - all born in the 1940s.

Zoe

I have been researching my family tree and have found that one of my Granny's step uncles was the minister at East wood. His name was William Sutherland, he died on 21st July 1929 aged 38years.
Wendy
I have not delved into the Neilsons too deeply as yet only collecting birth death and marriage info, so burials are yet to be explored. Catherine Neilson nee Nibet for example was living with her son James's family at 66 King St Eastwood in the 1861 census and died a year later. James is recorded as a Church Officer on his death record and having died at Eastwood Church, Pollockshaws on 19 Nov 1885 at 2 am. His wife Agnes nee Govan died 25 Dec 1884 at Church Cottage, Eastwood at 10.30 am. James mother, Catherine Neilson nee Nisbet, widow, died also at King Street, Eastwood on 19 Nov 1862. I am yet to find a death for her husband Robert Neilson as he may have died pre 1855 so no record exists with GROS as far as I know. In 1851 Robert & Catherine were living in Cathcart.
Mick
Dear Sir, I found your website Quite interesting. I am a 72 year old retired bank manager who has not been in Scotland for 50 years. For the first 21 years of my life I lived at 61 Mansewood Road. The house was built for my parents in 1932 the year of my birth. As a wee boy, I remember the farm. It was known as Henrys croft and was at the corner Of Mansewood and Burnside Rd.Our house was the last one on that side of the road and it was all fields from there to the farm. The family Was called McKay and twice a day the girl walked the milk cows up Mansewood road to the fields which bordered Hillheadhouse the only building past Cairngorm Road. At that time the minister still lived in the manse, his name was Dr. Harper. The old manse was full of dry rot and the Harper family moved to a new house on the slope going down to Merrilee. The Harpers were the last clerical family to live in the old manse and it was subsequently sold to a private owner. During the war, the McKay’s got an Italian POW to help on the farm. I think his name was Tony and people invited him home for Sunday dinner. He made lasting friends and continued to correspond with them from Italy after the war. I am sure I am boring you. I enjoyed your website. Yours Aye Ian

If you are interested in who lived in Mansewood in the 1950s and 60s, my family lived there then (at no. 30 ('Broomknowe') and we are still in touch with many people who lived in the area at that time. This was before the school was built and that side of Mansewood Road was all fields, though no longer farmed. The old Manse was no longer inhabited and eventually fell into ruins but its garden and orchard were still in evidence as was the avenue of trees which led up to it. There had been tennis courts on the left hand side (going up) where the road bends round to the right just past no. 17 ('Whinbrae') but these were no longer in use in 1950 and the tennis clubhouse was used as a school - 'Mansewood House School' - to which many of the local children went in their first school years.

Zoe
I lived in No 24 Hillside rd as a child from 1953 through to 1970.

Our family immigrated to Australia in 1970.

My grandfather also lived next door at No 26.

When he sold his home it was purchased by a Rangers football player at the time.

My father sold No 24 to an order of Nuns from Malta.

I have many fond memories of playing as a child in the fields where the high school is now located. We called it the Kirky or Kurky.

Martin

The Rangers player was Kai or Jai Johannsen he would have lived there from about 1967. He lived at No 26.

The house burnt down I believe in the 70’s The house at 24 Hillside Rd was called Maryland.

I do not the values of houses in Glasgow today, but I believe that my father sold No 24 in 1970 for 8000 pounds.

Martin

'Eastwood manse' became 101 Thornliebank Road, to later be converted into 4 separate dwellings 5 - 9 Hillside Quadrant.

I am very interested in the History of the building & the surrounding area. It is my intention to do some research myself that i will in turn share with you. I am interested in finding out when the building was built and who owned it originally. Also the houses referred to as 'Auld House' & 'Auld house Stables'. Where are they, I am finding it hard to picture which houses they are today. I was always led to believe that the Auldhouse Stables where at Fersit St where there used to be a stables & welding centre off Netherauldhouse road leading to Holeburn Road. Look forward to hearing from you.

Michael

 

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