T he Penny Project

Kipps Works

Kipps Memorial

Kipps Memorial 2

Missing Plaque

Kipps Works

In 1838 the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway established a workshop at Kipps and became the first Scottish railway to build it's own locomotives. The works built a few locomotives in its first few years but eventually concentrated on repairs. When it was taken over by North British it became a wagon repair depot which survived until the mid 1960’s.

Beside the workshop was Kipps engine shed, which served the whole Monklands area. This could accommodate some 52 locomotives.    It is interesting to note that the last 0-4-0 tender engine in Britain –number 1011 was withdrawn from there in 1925. The number of railway workers employed at Kipps in 1865 was 137 but in 1890 this had increased to 537.

This picture is taken from the Cameron Street Level Crossing, which in 1971 became the end of the branch from Greenside Junction.  The cottage in the background was demolished sometime between 1948 and 1953. (Jim Watson Collection, taken by Jim's Father). 

The cottage in the background was Kipps Cottage and was the home of the Dicksons until 1945.   Sheila Brown - nee Dickson supplied the following info:  Across the level crossing was the wagon making shop , some of the workers in the wagon shop and rail men were housed in the Kipps Row (tied houses)  The Kipps Row families (c1945)  included Grant, Harrison, Davidson, Billingham, Kent, Irvine, Pender, Cullen & Price.  To the left of Kipps Row was McCall farm and further on the road to Coatdyke was Eccles farm.

The workshops on the South side of the line originally opened in 1831.   This photograph of the smaller of the two sheds on the South side of the line was taken by the late James F. McEwan in 1952. 

In 1848 the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway amalgamated with the Ballochney Railway Company and Slamannan Railways to form the Monkland Railway Company. This in its turn became part of the North British Railway in 1865.

Kipps Farm

Incline at Northburn -  the Chimneys at Northburn Steelworks can be seen in the distance

GARDEN SQUARE The village of Garden Square was built around the 1830’s to accommodate some fifty families of railway workers. The Leaend Railway Station was at its north east corner. The village was then quite a way out from the towns of Airdrie and Coatbridge and its very remoteness created a strong sense of community. It was then considered to be ahead of its time and consisted of a mix of 1 and 2 storey houses with communal wash houses and toilets. The village survived for over a hundred years until the early 1930’s. 

Garden Square c1930 by the late Andrew Muir - a former resident

Garden Square c1930 photograph by Andrew Muir 

The Lady in the Park
There is a story that, around 1850, a lady, the wife of a "well to do" businessman, left the train at Coatbridge and started walking home across "The Moss" to Airdrie. She received directions from a fellow traveller and rewarded him with a sixpence.Thinking that she had plenty of money, the man decided to relieve her of some of it. He picked up an iron bar and followed her. He stole up behind her and hit her on the head with the bar meaning to stun her. He was about to rifle her belonging when he heard a sound and ran off. The woman’s body was found the next day in the Fiddlenaked Park.
For many years after there was reports of ghostly apparitions and the legend began that her ghost haunts the Fiddlenaked Park. This continued for some time into this century when the Park became known as The Woodbine. The Park was avoided by all who had no desire to encounter the Lady in the Park. People today still talk of the ghost that haunts the area and is sometimes known as The Grey Lady.

Airdrie House (now Monklands General Hospital)
Most of The Moss and the area around Whinhall belonged to the Airdrie House Estate until the beginning of this century. The estate was owned and occupied by the Hamilton family for nearly 300 years and it was Robert Hamilton who is credited with being the founder of Airdrie in 1695. The Hamilton reign came to an end in 1749. In 1769 the Aitchison’s bought the estate that the Alexanders later inherited.
In 1987 Sir John Wilson bought the estate and it was to be the home of the Wilsons until it became the local maternity hospital in 1919. This closed in 1962 and was demolished in 1964 to make way for Monklands General Hospital that opened in 1977.

Airdrie House

Airdriehouse Brickworks
Bricks were needed for the furnaces and for general building. For a short period of time at the end of the 19th century the Airdriehouse Brickworks carried out quarrying operations just north west of Airdrie House, near the railway sidings. Little is known about the brickworks but that they quarried on the site of an old ironstone pit for a few years but this was later abandoned.
The Penny Spring flowed into the crater and it became the first pond.

The JIGGING In the early 1900s there wasn’t a lot of organised entertainment. However, most  Sundays the local people gathered on the "red bridge" over the Ballochney railway near Whinhall Farm and danced to the music of a mouthorgan. People came from far and near to join in the fun. The girls from the Airdrie Mill, the people from Garden Square and from Burnie Brae, the workers from Leaend, Mosside and Whinhall farms.  

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