The Village of Chryston - North Lanarkshire - Scotland
Moodiesburn The   large   area   of   land   now   housing   a   population   of   over   6,000   is   a   far   cry   from   the   humble   hamlet   of   the   17th-18th   centuries   known   as "Mudiesburn".   Its   origins   are   unknown.   It   stood   as   it   does   now   on   one   of   the   main   roads   linking   the   west   with   the   east   and   no   doubt   was a useful place for travellers to rest '! on their journeying. In   1841   the   population   was   220   persons   from   35   occupied houses,   which   were   sited   to   the   east   of   the   present   cross- roads.   Over   the   next   30   years   there   was   little   change,   but towards    the    end    of    the    century    the    inhabited    houses    fell below   30   and   the   population   to   under   150.   At   that   time   many of   the   male   workers   were   fireclay   miners   or   sand   quarry   men. Recorded   then   too   was   the   establishment   of   a   lodging-house (inn).   This   house   still   stands   and   is   part   of   the   modern   hotel and   leisure   centre   on   the   site.   After   the   turn   of   the   century further   building   took   place   west   of   the   junction,   followed   in 1928   by   three   council   houses   facing   the   main   road   and   later two   in   Avenuehead   Road.   In   1921   Mr   Walter   C.   B.   Christie   of Bedlay   gifted   space   for   the   recreation   ground.   In   the   thirties the    village    had    two    shops    and    two    petrol    filling    stations. Gradually   the   houses   on   the   north   side   were   vacated   and demolished,   and   now   only   those   on   the   south   side   remain   of the original village. The   growth   of   the   present   Moodiesburn   commenced   in   the thirties   with   the   erection   of   the   timber   houses   of   Gartferry,   so   named   as   they   occupied   what   was   part   of   the   estate   of   Gartferry   House. Built   in   the   early   part   of   the   17th   century   this   was   used   as   a   Jointure   House   by   the   Robertons   of   Bedlay. The   estate   charter   dates   back   to 1588,   when   it   was   part   of   the   extensive   possessions   of   the   church.   It   changed   hands   several   times   over   the   years.   The   house   was vacated   in   the   late   1920s   and   demolished.   Its   site   is   now   occupied   by   the   Library   and   the   Pivot   Community   Education   Centre,   which   were opened   in   April   and   August   1976,   respectively.   Glenmanor   Avenue   marks   the   course   of   the   original   avenue.   On   its   gates   were   inscribed the   Latin   words   Subiunti   Pax,   to   greet   the   incomer,   and   Exiunti   Salus   the   departing   guest.   Opposite   the   timber   houses   a   number   of   pre- fab   houses   were   erected   after   the   war;   these   were   in   later   years   demolished   to   allow   further   housing   development.   Prior   to   then   housing alongside   Glenmanor   Avenue   was   completed   and   a   shopping   area   established.   In   the   years   following   the   area   towards   old   Moodiesburn was   taken   up   for   housing   and   also   that   on   the   east   side   of   Stoneyetts   Road,   a   total   of   about   1,400   houses.   Licensed   premises   and further   shops   were   also   built.   Education   needs   were   met   by   the   establishment   of   Glenmanor   Primary   School   in   1965   and   in   the   same year   St   Michael's   Primary   -   which   occupied   the   old   village   school   at   Bridgend   until   the   opening   of   the   present   St   Michael's   building   in 1969.   Private   housing   development   commenced   in   the   seventies   alongside   Gartferry   Road   and   has   continued   at   intervals   since   then.   At present 350 houses are in course of erection on the south side of the road (1993). To   meet   spiritual   needs   Chryston   Parish   Church   erected   a   hall   in   Blackwood   Crescent,   Moodiesburn.   It   was   opened and   dedicated   on   5th   May   1969,   and   is   used   extensively   for   services,   and   by   organisations   for   young   and   old   of   the community. The   Pivot   Community   Education   Centre,   opened   on   30th   August   1976,   is   the   main   community   education   facility   in   this part   of   Strathkelvin.   The   weekly   programme   of   activities   ranges   through   all   the   age   groups   from   toddlers   and   pre- school   to   senior   citizens.   There   is   no   lack   of   variety.   Sports   listed   include   football,   hockey,   badminton,   boxing   and karate.   In   addition   there   are   keep-fit   and   slimming   clubs.   Adult   training   is   also   undertaken   and   advice   given   on   legal matters. The centre is used for varied meetings and is a focal point for the community. Bridgend Bridgend   was   originally   a   hamlet.   Its   inhabitants   were   mainly   the   employees   of   a   mill   on   the   banks   of   the   Bothlin   Burn (from   which   it   received   water   power).   In   the   1830s   it   was   a   lint   mill   but   over   the   period   1855-1904   it   was   converted   to   a corn   mill.   It   was   owned   or   tenanted   over   that   time   by   the   partnership   of   White   and   Cruikshanks.   This   gave   rise   to   the   cluster   of   houses being   commonly   referred   to   as   "Cruikies   Town".   Until   1885   the   mill   was   a   valuable   property   and   profitable   concern   but   thereafter   it gradually declined and was abandoned around 1904 and eventually demolished. The   development   of   the   area   came   with   the   sinking   of   coal   pits   by   James   Nimmo   &   Co.   in   the   early   1900s. The   company   built   houses   for their   workers,   104   in   number,   mainly   of   one   room   and   kitchen   type,   each   having   an   inside   toilet   and   a   scullery.   They   were   brick-built   with damp-proof   courses,   wooden   floors   and   good   ventilation;   water   supply   was   also   laid   on.   The   Kirkintilloch   Herald   in   its   issue   of   21st   July 1920 described Bridgend as an "up-to-date modern colliery village". In   1923   the   Auchengeich   Miners'   Welfare   Hall   was   opened,   providing   a   centre   for   all   social   activities.   Five   years   later   an   outdoor   bowling green   with   adjoining   tennis   courts   was   laid.   In   addition   quoits,   whippet   racing,   cards,   football,   cycle   racing,   choirs,   ambulance   and sewing   classes   occupied   the   young   and   old   of   the   village   in   their   leisure   hours.   The   colliery   ambulance   team   excelled   at   their   work   and won many competitions. Ironically   the   industry   which   gave   the   village   its   existence   also   brought   its   demise.   On   18th   September   1959   a   disaster at   the   colliery,   when   47   miners   lost   their   lives,   brought   an   end   to   mining   at   Auchengeich.   Within   six   years   the   families had   moved   out   of   their   houses   in   the   rows,   some   to   local   new   housing   and   others   further   afield.   The   houses   fell   into disrepair   and   were   demolished.   In   the   lounge   of   the   surviving   Welfare   Social   Club   is   hung   a   painting   of   the   colliery, commissioned   in   1976   as   a   constant   reminder   of   the   disaster.   In   addition,   there   is   a   striking   memorial   by   the   roadside, just   east   of   the   hall.   where   each   year   a   service   is   conducted   in   honour   of   the   dead. These   reminders   also   serve   to   recall this close-knit community of Bridgend and its tragic end.
The Story of Chryston
by Neil Kidd
Old Moodiesburn looking west towards traffic lights
The Pivot Community Education Centre and Library
Auchengeich Disaster Memorial