Memories of Viewpark
by

Nancy Smith Holmes   

I was born in Bellshill  in 1952, and lived in Bothwellpark Miner's Rows for about seven months.  We moved to Maple Place, Viewpark, Uddingston, where I grew up. 

I now live in Virginia, U.S.A.  I haven't seen Viewpark since 1987, (and of course, it started raining as soon as I set foot on Viewpark soil), but hope to return for a holiday some time in the near future.  I used to play down the Viewpark Glen as much as possible, as did many of the kids who lived in that area.  There are so many wonderful memories.  We would go down to bluebell valley, (which was actually one large area that formed a hill filled with bluebells).  There were Rhododendrons that were so big, (or at least that's how I remember them), all sorts of berries to be picked, (red, black and yellow).  When you were at the last house on Laburnum Road going down on the right, just before Banyan Crescent, (there used to be a small swing park with the old man's hut across the street), you could walk down the glen. 

After climbing down the hill and crossing the burn, (North Calder I believe), you crossed the bridge, (we called it the Roman Bridge), going to the left.  There was a lot of history on that side of the bridge.  The tea plantation, the "Doll's House", the "Tombs", which sadly were demolished later.  I am sorry now that I didn't own a camera, and that I didn't find out who owned the houses and land and some of the history of that particular section of the glen.  If you went to the left, it was a shortcut to Coatbridge, and if you walked the road to the right, you ended in Bellshill.  I believe there was a mansion at one time, on the road to Bellshill.  I purchased a map of part of Lanarkshire dated 1864, but didn't realize that it was only a small area of Woodhall Colliery. 

 It would have cost over two hundred dollars to get just part of the area from Nackerty, (Tannochside), to Viewpark.  It's very sad that there are no pictures or books of Viewpark Glen.  I have been on about twenty or more websites and a couple of libraries trying to get documentation and perhaps some drawings of the old Viewpark Glen.  If you know of anyone I can contact or a website that I might try, I would be very appreciative.  There was also a mansion between Juniper Road, Cedar Drive and Laburnum Road in the late 1800's/early 1900's.  

Lady Hozier High School was built on the property after the house was demolished.  I believe Sir Henry Montague Hozier owned the house and land.  He also owned one of the local coal mines, at least that's what I was told many years ago.  I tried finding out some information on that subject also, but the only things that come up is about Winston Churchill, Clementine Hozier and her Mother.  Any data you can give me on that, would also be appreciated.  I would like to document any information on Viewpark, the Glen and surrounding areas that I can, before the whole area has completely changed.  I attended Burnhead Primary School, then went on to Hozier. 

If my information is correct, Burnhead was demolished and Hozier was turned into a nursery.  The Ashley Grange at the top of Laburnum Road used to own the fish and chip shop there, it is now gone.  They had the best fish and chips, next to Riley, (he owned the green school bus that came around the scheme).  He usually came around on the weekends.  He would ring his school bell, then everyone knew who it was. 

It was a treat to have fish and chips for dinner, especially on a Saturday night.  My mother would spread the plain bread, or on occasions we would have pan bread, with butter to go with the supper.  We would usually have a bottle of Irn bru and some HP sauce to go with it.  If we were lucky, we would also have a few pickled onions.  There you have it.  If you would point me in the right direction, I would be indebted to you.

Sincerely,
Nancy Smith Holmes      Send an email to Nancy Smith Holmes
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