Second in a series about Strathbungo’s motor garages.
This is the story of the buildings at 39, 43 and 47 Nithsdale Street, of which the former survive, though not in their original form. No 47 was demolished in 2017.
Regent Park Dairy
David Imrie ran a dairy and stables from the buildings, using 47 as his house. He was the fourth son, and fifth child, of Alexander Imrie and Janet Millar of Norriestown Farm, Thornhill, but grew up on Birkenshaw Farm (now buried beneath Eastwood Health Centre, near Williamwood Station). He married Barbara Mackie in Crossmyloof in 1865, and then lived in Strathbungo, at Lorne Cottage. However his dairy was in the Gorbals at that time, so we don’t know if that was a name for the house and dairy. The date and architect of the buildings are unknown, but they appear on Bartholomew’s map of 1876, and he was advertising for a dairymaid there in 1883.
In the 1891 census he is listed at 47 Nithsdale Street with his wife, eight children, and five staff members (a dairymaid, servant, shop keeper and two van drivers). That’s a lot of people for a small house.
David died in 1909. His son Alexander became a dairyman in the Gorbals, but not at Strathbungo, and a David remains listed in the valuation roll until at least 1915, so it isn’t clear who ran the dairy after his death. It might be his second son David, who was a veterinary surgeon and hose shoer in Dennistoun in 1901.
Nithsdale Motor Company
In 1920 Nithsdale Motors Ltd was founded by John Osborne of 2 Moray Place, and his son Herbert, and they took over the premises at 37 and 43 .
Meanwhile just up the street John Blair was working as a funeral director and cab and carriage (& later motor car) hirer at 69 Nithsdale Street, from around 1895 to 1923. He also had premises at 111 Eglinton Street, 20 Albert Road, Crosshill, and Pollokshaws East Railway Station, and a garage and stables in Nursery Street, Strathbungo. He lived at 92 Albert Drive, Crosshill.
Miller and Morrison
Around 1923 Miller & Morrison took over the business of John Blair at 69 Nithsdale Street and 20 Albert Road, and two years later that of Nithsdale Motors. They also acquired garage storage space at 41 Nursery Lane by 1930 – probably the livery stables that originally belonged to John Blair. They gave up No 69 in 1931, when they redeveloped the site at 37 & 43. Plans with Glasgow City Archives from October 1930 show the original layout of the old dairy prior to alteration.
Miller & Morrison demolished the left-hand pavilion, and extended the central workspace to replace it, and to fully cover the rear courtyard.
In 1936 a further application was made to to raise the roof of the right-hand pavilion and provide a proper upper storey with bedrooms, and to include a large oriel window looking out onto the street, but this was never executed. There were up to three residents in the house at this time, including William McFadyen, a motor driver, and Thomas Hunter, an engineer, possibly staff of the business.
The director of the firm was Thomas Miller of 40 Nithsdale Drive, and from 1948 his sons T & G G Miller of 1036 Pollokshaws Road and 47 Nithsdale Street respectively . The business was still operating in 1950, and G G Miller was living in the house, but I don’t know for how long after.
The garage building was used in the late 20th century by Ride On Motorcycles, run by Carole and Alastair Hutchison. When the Hutchisons retired the business closed and World Foods took over part of the building. The central section is now being redeveloped as a Roma Cultural Centre. The right hand pavilion was allowed to fall into disrepair and was demolished in 2017. There’s more on the building in an older post from the time of demolition.
Additions and corrections are welcome.