The McHardy’s in Springburn…….
It is a little sketchy when exactly our family first moved to Springburn as an early picture in our gallery shows the authors son back in 1917 as a member of Springburn Fire Brigade. We know my grandfather stayed on setting up home in a room and kitchen in Springvale Terrace, while from my grans side the Nicol family also set up various homes in the area.My dad had ten aunties and uncles from the Nicol side as follows: Jenny and Willie Middlemass, James and Mary Nicol, Hugh and Flora Nicol, Andrew and Mary Nicol, Willie and Ellen Nicol, Annie and Jim Finlay, Tillie and Wullie Mollin, May Nicol (died aged 17 years), Mary and Billy Polson who remarried John Gallaher, and Alex and Betty Nicol. And although my dad never had any brothers or sisters he did have 10 cousins – just as close as brothers and sisters back then. Over time the family became displaced setting up home around Glasgow, Scotland and onto Canada and Australia. Cousins: Marion T, Marion R, Jeanette (Canada), Jim, Sandra, Roy, Marlene, Agnes, Freda (Canada), Hugh (Australia)…….. We are still in close contact with a lot of this side of the family. My mother’s family, originally from Oban came to live in Pollock on the south side of Glasgow. She came from a large family too, with 8 brothers and sisters (Betty, John, Jim, Neil, Robert, Hugh, William and David Kirkland), before moving to Govan. Mum and Dad set up home in the late 60’s in Springburn and then in the 70’s the opportunity arose to move to the new Sighthill housing estate, a 3 bedroom house with an ‘indoor’ bathroom and here they set up home with their children, Lynn, William and me. Over the years they worked hard like many families of that generation and we enjoyed a wonderful childhood in the north side of Glasgow. Like a lot of men my grandfather went to work in the ‘Caley’ or St Rollox Railway works on Springburn Road. My father worked nearby for a haulage firm called National Carriers. My mum for most of her life was a Home help, caring for many elderly and disabled people like the other members of the team with Glasgow Council back then. A true band of angels who still undertake this type of work even today. Tough times and like many families across Glasgow we have seen the city change from a generation of living in high rise estates to cope with housing demands, to the overspill towns that are now a part of our new communities. I still visit Springburn often as does my dad when he is well enough or perhaps on visits to Stobhill hospital, or to the dentist on Atlas Road or maybe a walk across the road to Shevlane’s Bar, for a mouthwash from their malt section…………..hic cup! You’re always guaranteed a warm welcome, and strangely enough when you grow up in an area this feels like home but for some reason I get this same feeling when I visit Montrose. Maybe one day we will move back?
Robert T McHardy jnr
Like my brother I started visiting the town in the 1990’s and it is some of my dodgy photographic skills that are responsible for a portion of the gallery on the website. So when I visited recently in 2014 I asked my goddaughter, Ellie Blackwood to help me with her fancy camera and at 13 years old she is much better than me. Her dad David does try to photo bomb a lot and add his creative touch, but his skills on the camera were as bad as mine.
During some of the first visits we stayed in the Carlton Hotel but the stairs were too much for my Dad so we switched to the Limes Guest House and met Fiona Taylor the proprietor and this became the place to stay, even today. The McHardy’s as she fondly called us were always welcome and she looked forward to our visits sometimes 3 times a year.
My dad has not been back since 2006 due to further ill health, but God willing he will make the journey for the official book launch on 6th December 2014. I had the pleasure of returning to The Limes, and I knew Fiona had moved on, but the place has evolved and is now owned and looked after by a wonderful and welcoming Marlene and Graeme Scott.
It’s the simple things I enjoy, like visiting Hogg’s newsagents, The Book Cellar, or having tea at Frost’s or a stopping for pint in The Black Horse Inn. There is always a spring in my step and a welcome smile on hand as you are made to feel welcome and warm in every place you stop.
We have explored every place my father mentioned and when I bought my dad some transport there was no stopping us as we took the holiday on the road visiting Gourdon, Inverbervie, Hillside, Brechin, Forfar and Arbroath. (The list goes on and on) Although I was holidaying with my dad I was allowed out at night to sample the nightlife and by the time you wandered about the numerous watering holes, which made for a good evening.
Some of the photo’s bring back fond memories of the many years we have visited and showcase your beautiful town for all to see and for others to share those memories of times past. I have kept up to date with everything that is happening in Montrose through subscribing to The Montrose Review newspaper delivered every week to our home in Glasgow. So wherever you are check out their website at www.montrosereview.co.uk and catch up, subscribe or write in and see what’s happening.
We are particularly big fans of Mr Forbes Inglis column, where he writes about Montrose and how it was then, with some wonderful pictures and involving everyone in helping tell their stories. My dad has featured in this section and I know he exchanges tales with Forbes on occasions and when I met him recently it was an absolute honour and delight.
Through this website and re-launch I hope to meet as many of the people and visit more of the places in the town as well as discover some family we have lost contact with. So please get in touch with your pictures and story’s that may be linked to my family.
One of the best treats of our visits are the Fish and Chips from the Grove Chippy on North Esk Road, it is by far one of the best in the town and surrounding areas, owned by the ‘Kulinski’ family for many years and whom I believe were neighbours of the our family in Montrose at North Esk Road. My father recalls a wonderful family who looked out for his Granny Agnes in the latter years.
My mother was always a fan of the Arbroath Smokie and I have clear instruction when in the area to pop into to pick these up, and recently discovered Stuart’s Fresh Fish on Ladybridge Street. Please check them out www.arbroathsmokiesdirect.co.uk , and even if the shop is shut, you can still get a smokie or 8. (Thanks Stuart, I did have my orders).
It goes without saying I will continue to come back although to the area, but I will make every effort to visit with my dad and enjoy as many days as we can for as long as we can……………Bob 2014
McHardy Memories of Montrose…….
My first memory of Montrose…….Believe it or not I have hundreds which have stayed with me now for many many years, even as a young child. Some of these memories come flooding back when Mr Forbes Inglis prints some fantastic pictures in his column in The Montrose Review. God willing I will share some memories through my son and this website on a regular basis, these may even spark some of your own fond and family thoughts of years gone by.
My grandfather, William sparked a bit of controversy when he fell in love with my Gran Agnes Scott Cordiner, who was at the time a ‘Mill’ girl in Paton’s. His dad did not want his son to marry and back then this was a big deal, hard for us to understand today but I recall my dad telling me about this in the 50’s as it was not a topic of conversation around the fire at North Esk Road.
Love prevailed and they did indeed marry regardless of family intervention and although they moved to Springburn at some point in the early 1910’s, they moved back to Montrose to live a happy and long life and gave me a lot of these wonderful memories of that time and place.
The house or the three houses were made into various flats which were rented out to various families at the time ( Andrew Petrie and family was one, as we played as kids back in the day), and at one point my Gran and Grandfather lived in one of the attic flats, refusing to take one of the family houses downstairs for their own use.
Back then we travelled from Springburn to Montrose by train coming into the mainline station at Bridge of Dun, which although now closed, it is now run by Caledondian Railway Brechin, a Railway Preservation Society. (www.caledonianrailway.com ) If you have never travelled by steam, you really must pencil this in and I recommend any of their special dates on their calendar.
You can see from some of the photo’s on the website we always stayed at various caravan parks at the time, over the 60’s and 70’s a very popular holiday experience and atmosphere. Some of these exist today although they may be privately owned and a favourite of ours was the Tayock Caravan Park down Brechin Road.
No matter where we stayed we enjoyed many a great visit and treats like a Mealie Pudding, Forfar Bridie, or Arbroath Smokie to a cup of tea in Frosts the Bakers tearoom, or a Fish Supper at The Grove Chippy washed down with a good dram at The Black Horse Pub or the Lochside Bar as it was known back in those days.
When I come back to Montrose on December 6th 2014 for the book launch this will be my first visit, since a health set back in 2006, but I will do everything I can to get there, with the help of my sons and family.
Looking forward to this immensely and maybe we will get the chance to meet and share a memory or two, but until then take care and thank you for all the memories…..
William F McHardy 1971…….
I first started to come to Montrose as a teenager (yes I don’t remember the baby days) in the 1990’s and immediately fell in love with the town. There was a strange feeling as if I belonged here and as if I knew the streets. My favorite place was just north in St Cyrus where I would stay often, long before I settled down with my family, and now I bring them as often as I can.
My name has always been special to me and knowing how far the history stretches back gave me a link that my father told me how important it was to continue the tradition, with my son now carrying it on. He professes he is the ‘Real Will McHardy’ but I am sure you will excuse him as he is only 7 years old, but I am positive one day he will be as proud as me.
When my brother first sprung this venture on me I really could not believe what he had been up to and I am extremely happy to support this as it is very close to my family. My dad is a wonder of medical science and he is very emotional about the town, the family history and his Gran and Grandad who he loved dearly.
I have shed a tear myself while sitting in Sleepy Hillock as I cannot describe the feeling of seeing the name on the gravestone, the silence and peacefulness is beautiful and refreshing. However I have countless happy memories to take me on and keep me coming back to the town time after time after time…………………………..
We came a couple of years back to Thomas Day and my kids loved this as did the adults. Once I get the video edited I will ask Bob to put this on the website if permitted.
There is so much to do in Montrose as it has a wonderful history, a beautiful past and sights that will take your breath away across The Basin, the cliffs of St Cyrus, Montrose Beach, St Cyrus Beach, Scurdyness and wherever you decide to visit.
Thank you to everyone in the town for making us feel welcome every single time we visit, I hope to see you soon and cannot wait to cross that bridge into Bonnie Montrose……