When investigating the Frazer family’s 85-year occupation of 4 Moray Place, I forgot a minor detail — their early 1870s lodger, one BH Remmers.
Who was he? Turns out he was the most interesting character of the lot!
Bernhard Heinrich Remmers was born in June 1843 at Hohenkirchen, in the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg (now northern Germany).
He first appeared in Glasgow in 1870, in his late twenties. He was living at Struan Terrace on Victoria Road, and working for Neuffert & Carr, corn factors, an Edinburgh firm with offices on Hope Street. He appears to have travelled back and forth between the UK and Europe, appearing in print in 1872 when co-signing a letter to the papers complaining about the terrible state of the Belgian cross-channel paddle steamers, and in particular his crossing to England on the Comtesse de Flandre .
He returned to Prussia soon after, and married Bertha Berneaud in July 1872 in Stettin (now Szczecin, Poland). A year later they were back in Glasgow, and living with the Frazers in Moray Place, when Bertha gave birth to the first of their four children. Their second was born in Strathbungo the following year.
As a member of Scottish Riley Enthusiasts (the national club for those who admire or own these famous British sporting cars), I’m looking for a photograph of the delivery van built by Southern Cylinder Grinding on the chassis and mechanical assets of a Riley (probably originally a 1930s Monaco saloon). The firm claimed that their Riley van provided the fastest deliveries in the country!
Meanwhile, I’m delighted to see Mr Niven’s motor premises restored. I vividly recall visiting this remarkable man and his respected business in the 1960s, when the father of my close pal submitted his Alvis Firefly for its MoT.
Finally, as a child, I often spent time in No 10, Regent Park Square, the Cochrane family home of my maternal Grandmother, Mother and her 2 sisters.
All that’s a wee while ago!
Four Moray Place was in the hands of the Frazer family for the first 85 years. This is their story.
James Frazer was born in Glasgow in 1815, the son of James Frazer and Isabella Bannatyne.
He was married on 23 January 1849 in the Presbyterian Church of Ballymacarrett, Belfast, to Rosanna Agnew, eldest daughter of the late Joseph Agnew, Esq, of Redhill, near Moira, County Down . At the time, he was working for the newspaper The Banner of Ulster. Rosanna’s maternal grandfather was the Rev William Moffat, himself a Scot, of the Secession Church in Moira .
The couple moved back to Glasgow, and in 1851 were at 9 Bellgrove Street in the east end, with a mysterious 9-year-old Richard McNeil, born in Java, “a gentleman’s son”. Bellgrove Street was adjacent to the Cattle Market. James was working as a General Commission Agent.
By 1861 he had become a publisher, printer and newsagent. The family were living at 121 North Montrose St, Townhead. Their fourth child had just arrived, and they moved to the newly built 4 Moray Place shortly thereafter.