The Village of Chryston - North Lanarkshire - Scotland
The  Development of Chryston   Building During   the   inter-war   period   six   smallholdings   were   built   by   the   Scottish   Agricultural   Department,   four   at   the   west   end   of   Chryston,   on   Main Street   and   Lenzie   Road,   and   two   on   Gartferry   Road.   Two   blocks   of   council   houses   were   also   built   on   vacant   spaces   in   Main   Street.   Further houses   were   built   in   1982   and   senior   citizens'   houses   in   Solway   Place   in   1984,   on   the   site   previously   occupied   by   Chapman's   Building (Auchengeich Terrace). On   the   original   site   of   Chryston   Public   School,   the   Chilterns   home   for   senior   citizens   was   opened   in   April   1978   and   soon   proved   a worthwhile asset to the area. Water Prior   to   the   house   building   mentioned   above   there   were   other   important   developments   by   way   of   provision   of   services.   In   the   period   1885- 88   water   mains   bearing   Loch   Katrine   water   were   led   into   the   area,   and   where   houses   could   not   immediately   take   advantage   of   the   facility stand-wells   were   provided   on   the   pavement   at   intervals.   It   was   about   25   years   later   that   larger   mains   were   installed   and   most   houses received   at   least   cold-water   running   taps.   Among   properties   able   immediately   to   take   advantage   of   the   facility   were   Chryston   Public School,   where   in   1898   outside   toilets   flushed   with   water   were   built;   the   Parish   Church   manse   in   1896,   the   Schoolmaster's   house   in   1901 and the Free Church manse. Gas Another   development   which   took   place   at   the   turn   of   the   century   was   the   introduction   of   gas   mains   laid   by   the   Glasgow   Corporation   Gas Company,   following   considerable   agitation   by   members   of   the   local   Parish   Council.   In   due   course   houses   and   other   buildings   were   able   to dispense with oil lamps and other means of lighting and enjoy this new facility. Among these was the Parish Church in 1910. Additionally,   as   the   years   progressed,   the   local   Parish   Council   was   able   to   erect   lamp   posts   along   the   roads,   so   providing   a   measure   of comfort   for   travellers.   During   the   summer   months   the   lamp   tops   and   burners   were   taken   down   for   maintenance.   Many   a   young   lad   enjoyed assisting the lamp lighter by carrying the long pole with the carbide light at the top as he went round the roads. In   1924,   when   a   house   was   being   demolished   in   Main   Street,   there   was   evidence   that   an   earlier   attempt   had   been   made   to   provide   gas   in the   area. This   was   the   discovery   of   a   gas   meter,   dated   1872   and   inscribed   "Chryston   Gas   Company". This   gas   works   stood   alongside   North Loan   (Gartferry   Road)   and   used   natural   gas   extracted   from   the   ground   on   site. This   experiment   only   lasted   a   short   time. The   use   of   natural gas   goes   on   locally   even   today.   Since   the   early   1920s   glass   houses   at   Millbrae   Nurseries   have   been   heated   by   this   means,   the   source tapped   in   Bedlay   Glen.   There   were   also   some   parts   of   the   Garnkirk   Burn   at   Berryknowe   and   Knockmilly   where   gas   bubbled   up   at   the   burn side   and   could   be   ignited.   Next   to   the   Jubilee   Gates   (demolished   when   the   Lenzie   Road   was   realigned)   stood   a   ventilator.   Similar standards were provided in Berryknowe estate following an explosion in more recent times, due to an accumulation of gas in the sewers. Electricity In   1928   the   Clyde   Valley   Electrical   Power   Company   introduced   electric   power   to   the   district.   In   due   course   this   new   facility   was   being   used in shops and houses, and eventually for street lighting. It   provided   the   opportunity   to   have   a   valve   wireless   set   powered   by   electricity   instead   of   by   use   of   an   accumulator,   in   addition   to   other home improvements. In 1931 Rankin Bros. were advertising a three-valve wireless set at a cost of £5 17s. 6d. (£5.75). Electric lighting was introduced into the Public Hall in July 1928, and to the Parish Church in 1930. This   all   occurred   in   an   era   which   was   struggling   to   move   away   from   the   gloom   of   World   War   1,   the   General   Strike   of   1926   and   its   aftermath, the slump in world trade and the unemployment queues. Still, in the midst of this atmosphere there were some highlights. Cinema David   Kilpatrick   opened   a   cinema   hall   behind   the   shops   on   the   north   side   of   the   Main   Road   at   the   west   end   of   Muirhead.   His   son   operated the   equipment   and   the   power   was   obtained   from   an   engine-house   set   back   to   the   rear   of   the   hall   (now   a   smiddy). The   films   were   silent   and the   tempo   of   these   was   portrayed   by   piano   accompaniment,   the   choice   of   music   being   that   of   the   pianist.   Saturday matinees   cost   2d.   (1p)   and   evening   charges   were:   Front   Seats   1s.   (5p);   Rear   Seats   1s.   6d.   (7½p).   This   entertainment   was in   vogue   for   around   10   years,   but   when   the   "talkies"   commenced   the   opposition   from   city   cinemas   proved   too   much   and the   hall   closed.   Its   front   door   faces   on   to   Fleming   Avenue.   It   was   used   for   some   time   as   a   plumber's   store   and   now houses a plant-hire business. Stage Shows There   were   stage   shows   in   the   Public   Hall   by   the   Young   Unionists   and   Junior   Imperialists,   such   as   "Bluebell   in   Fairyland", a   very   ambitious   venture,   and   "The   Masque   of   Empire".   Other   stage   plays   were   presented   by   the   Literary   Society,   such   as "Dear   Brutus".   Another   popular   event   was   the   competition   held   annually   by   the   local   Burns   Society,   the   participants   being pupils from local schools. In   addition   to   the   more   popular   sports   a   putting   green   was   opened   in   1922   on   a   site   now   used   for   bungalows   (next   to   the dental   surgery).   This   was   owned   first   by   Malcolm   Blue   and   latterly   by   James   McKenzie.   Special   competitions   were   held   each   week   and many   residents   took   part.   Various   organisations   held   dances   in   the   Public   Hall.   For   some   years   the   Annual   Fancy   Dress   Ball   run   by   the   Earl Haig Fund Committee was a highlight. Prizes were awarded for the best on show. 1937 Coronation Celebrations Then   there   was   the   celebration   on   12th   May   1937   to   mark   the   Coronation   of   Their   Majesties   King   George   VI   and   Queen   Elizabeth.   The   day commenced   at   9.30   a.m.   with   religious   services   held   in   the   Higher   Grade   School   and   St   Joseph's   R.C.   School   (now   St   Barbara's). Thereafter the   pupils   of   both   schools   marched   to   the   Public   Park,   led   by   the   Chryston   and   District   Pipe   Band.   There   the   Union   Jack   was   unfurled   by Councillor   Robert   Fleming   and   a   Commemorative   oak   tree   was   planted   by   Miss   Christie   of   Bedlay.   It   stands   next   to   the   east   path   to   the Senior   Citizens'   Hut   in   the   park.   A   detailed   sports   programme   covering   all   ages,   from   the   youngest   to   the   oldest,   then   took   place   in   the Public   Park   and   Knowe   Park.   Fruit   and   sweets   were   distributed   to   the   children   at   the   conclusion   of   their   part   in   the   proceedings.   At   5   p.m. decorated    cars    assembled    in    the    school    playground    and    before    touring    the    district    were    used    to    convey    senior    citizens    to    their entertainment   and   meal   in   the   Public   Hall,   at   the   close   of   which   a   dance   followed,   open   to   all   ages.   At   10   p.m.   a   bonfire   and   fireworks display took place in a field west of Lees' Walk. The   following   year   was   marked   by   the   Empire   Exhibition   at   Bellahouston   Park,   which   during   its   run   was   a   mecca   for   many   locals.   Tait's Tower,   the   Clachan,   the   Fun-Fair,   the   Palace   of   Engineering,   the   Pavilions   of   the   Commonwealth   countries,   the   Music   Hall,   the   brightly   lit fountains   and   the   majestic   staircase   all   contributed   to   its   success.   And   who   could   forget   the   rain   at   the   weekends!   A   season   ticket   cost   £1 5s. (£1.25) - costly in these days but good value. The War Years The   memories   of   the   Exhibition   had   hardly   time   to   settle,   for   within   a   year   the   country   was   at   war. The   Public   Hall   became   the   nerve   centre of   the   local   Air   Raid   Precaution   organisation. The   small   committee   room   had   strengthening   added   to   its   walls   and   ceiling   to   support   the   air raid   siren   on   the   roof.   Citizens   were   issued   with   gas   masks   to   be   carried   at   all   times.   Householders   were   instructed   to   black   out   all windows   and   protect   the   glass   against   bomb   blast.   The   local   Air   Raid   Warden   in   each   road   became   responsible   for   seeing   this   order   was carried   out.   Many   men   and   women   were   already   in   uniform   through   service   in   the   Territorial   Army   or   conscription.   Others   were   designated to   be   in   reserved   occupations   by   the   nature   of   their   employment.   It   was   a   time   of   increasing   activity.   In   1941,   during   the   Clydebank   and Glasgow   air   raids,   two   bombs   fell   in   the   district,   but   fortunately   outwith   the   built-up   area.   One   was   near   the   Blacklands   Farm   and   the   other near   Gartloch   Distillery.   In   the   same   period,   for   a   time,   children   were   brought   out   from   Glasgow   for   education   in   local   schools.   Following the   conclusion   of   hostilities   in   1945   life   in   the   district   slowly   returned   to   normal.   Rationing   by   coupons   of   food,   sweets,   clothing   and   other items was gradually suspended. 1953 Coronation On   2nd   June   1953   the   Coronation   of   Her   Majesty   Queen   Elizabeth   was   celebrated   with   a   programme   of   events   similar   in   many   respects   to that   held   in   1937.   At   9.30   a.m.   religious   services   were   held   for   children   and   adults   in   their   normal   place   of   worship   after   which   they gathered   at   Bowling   Green   Road   to   witness   Miss   Christie   of   Bedlay   unfurl   the   Union   Jack   from   the   Bowling   Green   staff.   Children's   sports followed   by   seniors'   took   place.   The   senior   citizens   were   entertained   in   the   Public   Hall   between   5.30   pm   and   8   pm.   and   a   dance   followed from   9   pm.   until   1   am.   Fireworks   and   a   bonfire   took   place   in   the   Public   Park.   All   schoolchildren,   and   also   senior   citizens,   received   a souvenir of the occasion. Community Council On   27th   May   1975   the   first   meeting   of   the   Steering   Committee   of   the   Community   Council   was   held   in   the   Public   Hall   and   this   body   was officially   constituted   on   10th   October   1977.   In   following   years,   as   well   as   dealing   with   local   matters   pertinent   to   the   electorate,   the   Council arranged   Gala   Days.   These   were   generally   held   in   June,   and   all   local   organisations   and   the   churches   were   invited   to   participate.   The   Gala Queen   with   her   attendants,   selected   from   the   local   schools,   were   led   in   procession   by   the   Boys'   Brigade   Pipe   Band   to   the   Public   Park, where   stalls   were   set   up   by   the   participants.   A   Fancy   Dress   competition   for   the   younger   children,   races   for   all   age   groups   and   usually   a five-a-side   football   competition   completed   the   programme.   Speciality   acts   were   also   included   as   available.   These   special   days   continued until   1989,   when   interest   waned.   In   April   1986   the   Council   purchased   a   minibus,   naming   it   the   "Beacon   Bus".   This   has   served   the   area   well and   is   used   by   the   local   churches   and   organisations.   It   is   also   used   to   transport   elderly   and   disabled   persons   on   outings,   and   persons   with special needs on holidays to a caravan situated at Anstruther. Senior Citizens Interests   of   senior   citizens   in   the   district   are   catered   for   by   the   Pensioners'   Association   and   the   Elderly   Forum.   Regular   meetings   and   social events   are   held.   A   "meals-on-wheels"   service   is   provided   by   the   W.R.V.S.,   using   a   dedicated   band   of   voluntary   workers   in   conjunction   with the Strathclyde Region Social Work Department. On   5th   May   1992   the   lain   Nicolson   Recreation   Centre,   in   Chryston   Road,   was   officially   opened   by   Provost   Robert   Coyle   of   Strathkelvin District   Council,   to   serve   the   whole   of   South   Strathkelvin.   It   has   facilities   for   all   indoor   games,   exercise   apparatus,   a   small   sauna   and   an area for exercise and meetings. A   Community   Council   was   also   constituted   in   Moodiesburn,   along   the   lines   of   the   one   in   Chryston,   to   serve   the   electorate   there.   There   too, an annual Gala Day took place on lines similar to that held by its Chryston counterpart.
The Story of Chryston
by Neil Kidd
Ian Nicolson Sports Centre