Strathblane history book will be a tribute author Alison

Clive Mitchell from Northern Light putting one of the baubles on the Christmas tree in George Square , Glasgow.There is 8000 bulbs and 800  baubles on the tree.Pictures Martin Shields Herald and Times Group.
Clive Mitchell from Northern Light putting one of the baubles on the Christmas tree in George Square , Glasgow.There is 8000 bulbs and 800 baubles on the tree.Pictures Martin Shields Herald and Times Group.

STRATHBLANE HerITAGE Society has published a new book documenting a hundred years in the life of the village.

The book, called Strathblane 1870–1970: A Century of Change, will be going on sale at the start of December, price £8.50, and a launch will take place at 7pm on Friday, December 7 in the Village Club in Blanefield.

A Century of Change was researched and written by keen local historian and founder member of the Heritage Society Alison Dryden.

Sadly, Alison (Pictured) died in 2009 before she could bring her book to publication, but local residents Mary Brailey and Murray O’Donnell have since edited it and added photographs from the Heritage Society’s archives.

In the early years of the century covered by the book, the village was dominated by the printworks which employed 500 people.

In the book, Alison writes: “The parish must have been a hive of activity, with wagons and so on, going to and fro. No doubt the people were glad of the work, but it sometimes came at a price: an explosion killed seven workers, including a lad of 12.”

Alison’s descriptions of some of the social clubs and activities that started up in the early twentieth century will no doubt send longstanding residents down memory lane.

To relative newcomers, some things may come as a real surprise.

Who knew, for instance, that there was a swimming pool at Carbeth, where the Carbeth Amateur Swimming Club once boasted 300 members?

Or that until 1881 there was no water supply to the village and water was still obtained from sunk wells?

Murray O’Donnell, Chairman of the Heritage Society, said: “Reading through these chapters I started to appreciate all over again how much our living conditions have improved within the space of a generation, but also how well our community kept adapting during the economic and social ups and downs of those years.”

Mary Brailey moved to the village twelve years ago and says she learned a lot about its history in the course of editing the book: “I especially enjoyed raking through all the Heritage Society photos that were piled up in a huge picnic hamper.

“Every one of them set Murray off on a different tale about the village and its characters. It was also an enormous pleasure to work with Drymen historian Alison Brown, who produced the index for the book.’

At the launch, people will be able to buy copies of the book, hear the editors talk about it, enjoy drinks and nibbles, and maybe share a few ‘auld tales’.

The book will also be on sale at Strathblane Library and other places in the village.

It can be ordered online via the village website, www.strathblanefield.org.uk, or the online bookseller www.lulu.com

A Century of Change follows the publication last month of Strathblane and Blanefield: Now and Then, a photographic book from Anne Johnstone and Martin Shields.

Between them, the two books provide a fascinating picture of the village through the years.