The Village of Chryston - North Lanarkshire - Scotland
Chryston
Organisations Organisations and Recreations The   steady   growth   of   the   village   and   its   near   neighbours   led   towards   the   end   of   the   18th   century,   and   thereafter,   to   the   establishment   of organisations and the commencement of recreational pursuits. MASONIC   LODGE.    The   oldest   of   the   organisations   still   in   existence   is   the   Masonic   Lodge   "Cadder   Argyle"   No.   147,   formed   in   December 1771   without   a   Grand   Lodge   Charter   (later   granted,   on   2nd   February   1778).   The   foundation   stone   of   the   present   Temple   was   laid   on   8th February   1913   and   the   building   consecrated   on   5th   July   of   the   same   year   by   Col.   Henry   Brock.   It   cost   a   little   over   £859.   In   its   early   years   it is   presumed   that   meetings   were   held   in   members'   homes   for   it   is   not   until   1877   that   there   is   a   mention   of   a   meeting   place.   This   is contained   in   a   letter   from   Mrs   Baxter,   proprietrix   of   the   Chryston   Inn,   which   was   situated   on   the   Main   Street,   opposite   Gartferry   Road.   In   it reference   is   made   to   a   charge   of   5s.   (25p)   for   every   meeting   held-presumably   for   the   use   of   Baxters'   Hall,   which   was   above   the   Inn.   In   the present   century   this   hall   was   used   for   a   considerable   time   by   the   Salvation   Army,   and   also   by   other   organisations. Two   memorial   windows to those killed in the 1914-18 War were unveiled in the Temple on 11th December 1921 by Col. Sir Alexander Sprot of Garnkirk House. During   the   1939-45   conflict   the   building   was   used   by   the   military   from   October   1941   to   May   1945,   coming   into   Lodge   service   again   in October that year. Meetings during this occupation were held in the West Church Hall. In   the   early   days   Lodge   members   were   prominent   in   parades   at   local   events   such   as   Mayfair   (Chryston   Fair,   12th   May),   and   on   St   Andrew's Day   (30th   November)   and   St   John's   Day   (27th   December).   They   also   took   part   in   laying   the   foundation   stones   of   Chryston   Manse,   1803; Nelson's   Monument   in   Glasgow   Green,   1st   August   1806;   the   first   house   in   London   Street,   Glasgow,   1824;   enlargement   of   Chryston   School, 25th   August   1826;   Hutcheson's   Bridge,   Glasgow,   1829;   St   David's   Church,   Kirkintilloch,   1836;   Chryston   Female   School,   1839;   Bridge   over the   Bothlin   Burn   at   Bedlay,   15th   June   1832.   At   the   last-named   event   the   various   coins   of   the   realm   and   newspapers   of   the   day   were   lodged in   a   cavity   of   stone.   At   the   same   time   Mark   Sprot,   laird   of   Garnkirk,   presented   the   Lodge   with   a   beautiful   Gilt   Bible,   Silver   Square   and   Silver Compasses.    Wherever    they    paraded    they    were    accompanied    by    a    band,    and    on    occasions    they    held    a    torchlight    procession    to Moodiesburn Inn, which must have been quite an eyecatching sight for the villagers. The   Lodge   provided   mort   cloths   to   place   over   coffins   during   burial   processions.   There   were   four   qualities   available,   according   to   ability   to pay   the   fee.   They   also   showed   liberality   to   the   poor   and   needy   in   the   district.   This   kindness   and   concern   has   continued   to   the   present   day, with monies disbursed to the bereaved and the needy. The Royal Arch Chapter was instituted in 1919. In   the   early   1860s   the   Orange   Grand   Lodge   was   able   to   issue   its   own   warrants   for   new   Lodges.   At   that   time   Airdrie   District   under   which this   area   fell   issued   warrants   for   No.1   Moodiesburn   and   No.2   Chryston.   Later   these   Lodges   would   appear   to   have   joined   together, becoming known as "Star of Chryston" Orange Lodge No.1. CHRYSTON   AND   DISTRICT   HORTICULTURAL   SOCIETY.    The   society   is   one   of   the   oldest   in   the   west   of   Scotland.   It   dates   back   to   13th December   1853,   when   its   formation   was   agreed   at   a   meeting   held   in   Chryston   Inn.   Early   shows   were   held   in   the   old   Parish   School, adjoining   the   Church,   in   late   July   or   early   August   and   in   mid-September.   The   first   year's   activities   produced   a   profit   of   £3   6s.2½d.   (£3.31). In   1860   there   was   a   change   of   venue   to   the   Free   Church   Hall.   The   next   18   years   were   "lean   years",   with   loss   of   interest.   After   that   time   the show   was   held   in   the   new   Public   and   Drill   Hall   in   Muirhead.   The   traditional   day   became   the   last   Saturday   of   August,   an   occasion   to   meet old   friends   and   to   enjoy   music   provided   by   a   band.   In   the   years   prior   to   World   War   II   there   was   great   rivalry   between   local   enthusiasts   to obtain   the   premier   awards   in   the   various   classes.   The   Public   Hall   was   a   mass   of   blooms   of   all   kinds,   also   vegetables,   bakings   and   jams. Since   1945,   sadly,   there   has   been   a   declining   interest   in   competitive   gardening,   which   has   reduced   the   number   of   classes   and   entries,   and the   show   is   now   a   shadow   of   its   former   glory.   This   is   no   reflection   on   the   endeavours   and   the   spirit   of   the   office-bearers   to   maintain   its place on the calendar. YOUNG   MEN   AND   WOMEN'S   GUILD .   In   1892   this   Guild   held   its   first   meeting   in   the   Parish   Church.   Ten   years   later   its   membership   was   65, rising   to   161   by   1910.   In   the   1914-18   war   65   members   served   in   the   armed   forces,   23   of   whom   were   killed   -   their   names   are   listed   on   a memorial   in   the   church   vestibule   which   was   unveiled   on   27th   February   1921.   By   1929   membership   had   risen   to   286,   and   the   yearly syllabus   contained   addresses   from   members   in   addition   to   speakers   from   further   afield.   Following   the   union   of   the   two   churches   in   1930, the   organisation   was   renamed   Chryston   East   Church   Guilds   (in   connection   with   the   Church   of   Scotland   Young   Men's   Guild)   and   it continued to meet until 1939 and the outbreak of hostilities. An   offshoot   of   the   Guild   was   the   Chryston   Mutual   Improvement   Association,   formed   in   1900,   its   object   being   the   "study   and   discussion   of Political,    Social    and    Other    Questions    of    Importance".    It    met    in    the    Parish    Church    Session    House    on    Thursday    evenings.    Another development   was   that   of   a   Tennis   Section,   formed   in   1929,   which   integrated   with   the   already-formed   Chryston   Tennis   Club   (commenced in   1920-21   by   a   group   of   young   men   and   women   who   had   two   courts   laid   adjacent   to   the   Bowling   Club).   To   meet   the   requirements   of   the Tennis   Association   and   to   allow   participation   in   league   matches   two   more   courts   were   laid.   This   club   had   a   membership   of   over   100 players   at   its   peak,   but   by   1938   declining   numbers   made   its   future   uncertain,   and   at   the   end   of   the   war   years   the   whole   site   was   taken   over by the Bowling Club and the Tennis Club disbanded. BOWLING   CLUB .   The   Chryston   and   District   Bowling   Club   is   the   oldest   sports   organisation   in   the   area,   having   being   constituted   in   1900, though   there   is   a   possibility   that   the   facility   for   playing   the   game   existed   prior   to   that   date.   In   the   Kirkintilloch   Herald   of   22nd   October   1902 is   recorded   a   dispute   concerning   the   relaying   of   the   green,   but   this   was   later   resolved   and   it   was   relaid   the   following   year   and   eventually opened   for   play   in   June   1903.   In   February   1904   plans   were   approved   for   the   building   of   a   clubhouse   and   this   was   completed   by   May. Improvements   have   been   made   to   the   structure   over   the   years   to   keep   in   step   with   the   membership   of   the   club   and   the   times,   and   it   is now   a   very   modern   building.   Ladies   were   not   permitted   to   participate   in   the   game   until   mid-1914.   In   1947,   following   acquisition   of   the   site of   the   tennis   club,   a   second   green   was   laid-so   providing   additional   rinks   for   the   growing   membership,   which   was   augmented   when   the Miners'   Welfare   Green   at   Bridgend   closed   about   1952.   The   Club   has   over   the   years   maintained   a   very   good   record   in   local   and   national competition and has had members selected for international honours. LITERARY   SOCIETY.    This   body   was   constituted   in   1897,   its   object   to   discuss   subjects   of   general   interest   -   political,   social   and   otherwise. The   subjects   were   wide   in   their   selection   and   often   delivered   by   local   school   teachers   or   well-known   personalities   of   the   day.   Included   too were   "Lantern   Lectures",   often   of   travel   trips   at   home   or   abroad.   On   one   occasion   one   of   these   had   to   be   concluded   abruptly   when   the oxygen   for   the   limelight   gave   out!   It   may   be   of   interest   to   know   that   the   lantern   used   in   the   1920s   is   still   in   use   today   and   is   the   property   of the   Parish   Church.   The   Society   continued   to   meet   on   a   regular   basis   until   1937-38.   Attendances   over   the   years   varied   according   to   the subject   of   the   evening   (and   apparently   the   weather).   Another   side   of   this   group   was   musical   and   dramatic   productions,   and   in   1930-31   a Dramatic   Section   was   presenting   one-act   and   three-act   plays   in   the   Public   Hall   on   evenings   other   than   the   regular   meeting   nights.   These are recorded as being well received. DISCUSSION   GROUP .   After   the   War   years   the   Literary   Society   was   replaced   by   the   formation   of   the   Chryston   and   District   Discussion Group,   in   1947.   A   lively   interest   was   taken   in   this   new   organisation   and   the   programme   for   each   session   produced   talks   on   a   variety   of subjects,   including   one   by   a   member   of   the   Soviet   Russian   Embassy   in   London.   Membership   over   the   years   has   been   erratic,   from   a   peak of   almost   100   down   to   the   present   number   of   about   30,   but   the   Group   continue   to   meet   on   a   regular   basis   and   maintain   a   fitting   syllabus of high standard. THE   THESPIAN   CLUB .   On   4th   September   1950   this   Club   was   constituted   "to   provide   facilities   for   those   interested   in   drama,   music   and stage   productions".   Its   principal   producer   was   Frank   Farquhar   of   Stepps,   a   man   dedicated   to   the   amateur   stage.   By   1971,   31   one-act plays,   16   three-act   plays,   six   pantomimes,   one   music   show   and   one   choir   concert   had   been   performed   in   over   100   separate   evenings   and involving   over   200   persons,   either   taking   part   in   those   performances,   behind   the   scenes   or   in   the   orchestras.   From   the   proceeds   of   the shows   £270   was   donated   to   local   and   national   charities   and   the   Club   purchased   its   own   stage   lighting   which   was   given   to   the   local Council for use in the Public Hall, following the Club's "final curtain" in 1973. BANDS.    On   the   musical   side,   Chryston   Brass   Band   was   formed   around   1824.   It   had   an   erratic   history.   McIsaac   relates   that   it   only   lasted for   some   20   years,   but   there   is   photographic   evidence   that   a   band   was   in   existence   in   the   1890s   and   in   the   period   down   to   1911,   as   one accompanied   Sunday   School   and   choir   trips   at   that   time.   It   is   probable   that   this   band   faded   out   with   the   onset   of   World   War   I.   There   is mention, too, of a band at Garnkirk village. Probably   better   known   was   the   Chryston   and   District   Pipe   Band.   Formed   in   1920   it   was   prominent   in   attendance   at   various   local   events and   in   the   area   around.   Among   its   members   it   had   many   local   personalities   who   were   devoted   to   its   progress,   and   under   its   Pipe   Major Harry   Proud   and   his   deputy   Dick   Ford   it   achieved   a   high   standard.   In   1938   the   band   offered   and   was   accepted   as   the   band   of   the   57th Searchlight   Regiment   of   the   Territorial   Army   and   were   fitted   out   with   new   kilts   in   the   Ancient   Douglas   tartan.   In   September   1939,   at   the outbreak   of   the   Second   World   War,   the   band   was   attending   a   camp   at   Gosforth   near   Newcastle-on-Tyne.   All   were   immediately   transferred to   their   war   station   and   later   into   action.   After   the   war   the   band   reformed   and   continued   into   the   1950s   but   interest   waned   and   it   ceased. The band practices were held in the old Girl Guide Hall which stood on the site of the present hall. Also   known   in   the   district   was   the   Pipe   Band   of   the   1st   Chryston   Boys'   Brigade.   Formed   shortly   after   the   Company   was   enrolled   in   1897   it had   its   peaks   and   troughs,   being   dependent   on   the   turnover   of   boys   joining   the   company   and   those   having   the   inclination   and   enthusiasm to   learn   piping   or   drumming.   Fortunately   over   the   years   the   company   has   been   served   by   persons   willing   to   provide   the   necessary   tuition, and it is still providing enjoyment to players and listeners. For a few years there was also a Bugle Band, but this has been disbanded. BOYS'   BRIGADE .   The   1st   Chryston   Company   was   enrolled   at   B.B.   Headquarters   on   22nd   October   1897.   It   is   the   oldest   youth   organisation in   the   area.   The   first   officers   of   the   Company   were   Captain   James   Faulds   and   Lieutenants   James   Fyfe,   John   Hutchison   and   Duncan Macmillan.   Within   a   short   time   of   its   formation   50   boys   had   joined   and   were   meeting   in   the   Drill   Hall   on   a   Monday   evening.   The   numbers rose   gradually   to   over   100,   a   figure   coasistently   maintained   for   many   years.   The   Company   was   attached   to   both   the   Parish   and   Free Churches   and   continued   so   until   1955,   when   following   the   union   of   the   East   and   West   Churches   it   became   attached   to   the   Parish   Church. In   1974,   in   order   to   provide   more   facilities   for   the   growing   number   of   boys,   the   Company   erected   a   hall   adjoining   the   Church   Hall   at   a   cost of   £25,000.   This   was   officially   opened   and   dedicated   on   7th   December   1975.   Besides   the   Company   Section   there   are   now   Anchor   Boys and a Junior Section, and at present around 180 boys enjoy the facilities available. GIRL   GUIDES   AND   BROWNIES . The   1st   Chryston,   17th   Lanarkshire,   Girl   Guide   Company   was   formed   in   1920   and   about   the   same   time   the first   Pack   of   Brownies   also   took   shape.   The   first   Captain   was   Miss   Jean   McAuley,   with   Miss   Jean   Murray   as   Lieutenant,   and   the   Brownie Tawny   Owl   was   Miss   Margaret   Fyfe,   with   Miss   Agnes   Hunter   as   Brown   Owl.   Both   organisations   flourished   and   the   first   Guide   Hut   was built   to   accommodate   the   numbers   attending   and   provide   good   facilities   for   their   work.   Towards   the   start   of   World   War   II   use   of   the   hut was   shared   with   the   Pipe   Band,   who   helped   to   keep   the   fabric   in   a   reasonable   condition,   and   this   arrangement   continued   after   the hostilities   ceased.   In   the   mid-1960s,   however,   deterioration   of   the   roof   and   woodwork   became   acute   and   the   local   Parents'   Association started   a   Building   Fund,   the   culmination   of   which   was   the   present   main   building,   which   was   opened   and   dedicated   on   9th   June   1969. Later   further   extensions   were   necessary,   as   new   companies   and   packs   were   formed,   and   at   present   meetings   are   held   in   schools   and church halls, in addition to the hut. CUBS .   For   a   short   time   from   1926   there   was   a   local   Pack   in   being,   led   by   Mr   Tommy   Duthie   and   Mr   Hamish   McEwan,   which   met   in   the Guide   Hut.   From   this   Pack   several   boys   followed   on   to   join   the   40th   Glasgow   (Stepps)   Scout   Troop,   which   was   one   of   the   premier   troops in the area. There has never been a separate scout troop in Chryston. FOOTBALL.    Probably   the   most   successful   and   continuing   recreation   has   been   football.   Its   origins,   so   far   as   organised   league   games   is concerned,   can   be   traced   back   to   the   1890s.   At   that   time   Chryston   Athletic   Football   Club   played   in   the   District   Junior   League,   and   by   all accounts   acquitted   themselves   well.   Later   there   came   the   Chryston   Waverley   and   Chryston   Primrose   Clubs.   Football   in   those   days   was played   on   the   field   situated   where   the   houses   now   stand   at   the   end   of   Elmira   Road.   Later   the   present   field   was   laid   out,   behind   the   Guide Hut.   In   the   1920s   and   1930s   the   prominent   team   was   the   Muirhead   Amateurs   which   in   1930-31   season   won   the   Scottish   Amateur   Cup. This   Club   continued   until   the   outbreak   of   the   war.   Also   in   being   at   that   time   were   Muirhead   Bluebell,   Muirhead   Benburb,   and   two   elevens   of Chryston   H.G.   School   Former   Pupils,   plus   other   local   teams   in   Moodiesburn   and   Heathfield.   Several   talented   members   of   these   Clubs moved   to   Junior   and   Senior   ranks.   At   the   present   time   there   has   been   a   great   revival   in   the   game,   with   several   local   teams   covering   a   wide range of age groups, and all engaged in competitive league games. GOLF .   The   area   is   fortunate   to   have   two   easily   accessible   golf   courses,   namely   Crow   Wood   Golf   and   Country   Club   and   Mount   Ellen   Golf Club.   The   first   named   was   originally   designed   by   James   Braid   and   was   carved   out   of   the   policies   of   Garnkirk   estate.   It   covered   160   acres and   totalled   5,610   yards   in   length.   It   was   opened   for   play   on   30th   April   1925.   The   initial   fees   were:   Men-Entrance   £6   6s.   (£6.30);   Annual Subscription   £3   3s.   (£3.15);   and   Ladies-£3   3s.   and   £2   2s.   respectively.   The   mansion   of   Garnkirk   House   was   the   "19th   hole"   and   at   that time   was   unrivalled   in   its   appointment   and   beautiful   surroundings.   It   continued   to   be   used   until   1932   when   the   house   was   taken   over   by   A. R.   Stenhouse.   A   new   clubhouse   was   erected   at   that   time   bordering   the   Cumbernauld   Road   (now   Crowwood   House   Hotel).   It   was   in   use until   1955   when   the   mansion   house   was   bought   after   negotiations   with   the   Stenhouse   family   and   became   the   clubhouse   once   again.   It   is still   in   use   today   and   can   still   be   said   to   be   "unrivalled   in   its   appointment   and   surroundings".   The   course   is   now   extended   to   6,249   yards and current fees are: Entry £405; Annual Subscription £270 - both plus VAT! Mount   Ellen   Golf   Club   was   instituted   in   1901   as   Chryston   and   Muirhead   Golf   Club,   but   it   was   not   until   1905   that   it   began   to   function,   when Mr   Walter   C.   B.   Christie   of   Bedlay   House   formally   opened   a   nine-hole   course. The   ground   area   was   provided   by   Smith   and   MacLean   Ltd.   of Gartcosh.   In   June   1921   Mount   Ellen   House,   which   stood   near   to   the   site   known   earlier   as   Oldyards,   was   obtained   and   modernised   to provide   the   clubhouse,   and   also   a   new   name   for   the   Club.   At   that   time   too   the   course   was   altered   and   extended   to   the   standard   18   holes. Sixty   years   on,   Johnston   House   was   purchased   to   provide   a   more   spacious   clubhouse. The   former   house   was   demolished   and   the   course adjusted   to   suit   the   new   "19th   hole".   It   is   interesting   to   note   that   the   annual   fee   90   years   ago   was   £1   15s.   (£1.75).   It   is   now   £260   for   men and £130 ladies. The membership, including all classes, is at present 636. LIBRARIES .   The   earliest   record   of   a   library   in   Chryston   is   in   the   1830s.   It   contained   a   set   of   Sir   Walter   Scott's   Waverley   novels   and   was said to be well managed. It is not known how long it was in use. From   1927   library   facilities   were   provided   in   Chryston   Higher   Grade   School   each   Friday   evening.   The   books   were   set   out   by   the   janitor   on trays   on   top   ctif   the   desks   in   the   Art   Room,   which   was   the   most   spacious   in   the   building. This   arrangement   continued   until   lst   March   1939 when   the   wooden   building   in   Lindsaybeg   Road   was   opened   to   provide   more   adequate   accommodation,   at   larger   selection   of   books   and more   days   for   the   readers   to   choose.   In   course   of   time   a   children's   section   was   added   and   also   reference   titles.   In   recent   years   warious exhibitions    on    local    subjects    have    been    mounted,    and    there    have    also    been    special    events    for    young    persons.   This    building    was demolished   in   1990   and   replaced   by   a   new   brick   building   on   the   site   of   the   former   Higher   Grade   School.   During   the   transition   period   the Senior Citizens' Hut at the Moor was utilised. The new library was officially opened on 10th April 1991. Moodiesburn   library   was   opened   in   April   1976   by   Councillor   John   Brady.   It   stands   adjacent   to   the   Pivot   Centre.   The   new   library   provided   a choice   of   12,000   books   and   1,000   paperbacks   and   in   recent   times   records   and   tapes   have   also   been   available.   Several   exhibitions   and special   events   have   been   held   in   the   building   and   the   community   is   well   served   by   its   facilities.   Prior   to   its   erection   a   mobile   library   was   in use, with 3,000 books on regular issue to the residents. OTHER   ORGANISATIONS.    In   addition   to   organisations   already   listed,   there   were   constituted   in   the   last   century   the   Y.M.C.A.   (1874),   Good Templars    (1890),    Rechabites    (1898),    British    Women's    Temperance    Society    (1890),    and    the    Nursing    Association    (1890s).    With    the exception   of   the   last   named   these   all   faded   out   in   the   early   decades   of   the   present   century.   Sports   which   enjoyed   a   brief   existence   were   a Cricket   Club   (1904)   and   a   Rugby   Club   (1920s).   A   Choral   Union   was   formed   in   1912.   After   World   War   II   a   Junior   Choir   was   formed   under the   direction   of   Mr   James   Allan   and   competed   in   several   Festivals,   gaining   distinction.   Around   the   same   time   there   was   a   similar   choir   in connection   with   the   Parish   Church   Sunday   School.   An   Ex-Servicemen's   Club   was   formed   in   the   1920s   and   premises   were   built   in   Moss Road   behind   the   Toll   House.   The   Club   had   only   a   limited   success   and   was   disbanded   in   the   1930s,   its   building   being   used   for   other purposes. CINEMA .   An   application   to   start   a   cinema   was   turned   down   in   1921   but   granted   at   a   later   date.   Its   premises   were   behind   "Oakbank",   the entrance   door   facing   what   is   now   Fleming   Avenue.   The   powerhouse   was   in   the   building   now   known   as   the   Smiddy.   The   proprietor   was   Mr D.   Kilpatrick.   It   went   along   successfully   until   the   arrival   of   the   "talkies",   when   with   the   easier   travel   to   Glasgow   patronage   decreased   and   it closed   down.   Many   can   remember   the   2d.   matinees,   1s.   6d.   and   1s.   seats   for   the   evening   performance,   and   the   pianist   keeping   up   with figures on the screen. Great days indeed, especially the serials!
The Story of Chryston
by Neil Kidd