This was going to be just a set of photos, presenting images of a handsome boy who became a distinguished-looking man. He was my father’s Uncle David, whose ninety years and more spanned the major events of recent history (14 Jul 1886 – 25 Feb 1978). Even though I was a teenager by 1978, I never met him, or his wife Marion Young Dick (27 Aug 1884 – 30 Jul 1978). I’m not even sure how her name was pronounced. I’ve heard her name pronounced as if it started “Mary” with the vowel from FACE, rather than starting like “marry”, as would be expected. This post is now more than photos. It’s a wee biography of the couple, and where they lived in Uddingston in Lanarkshire, leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for others.
For David’s toffee factory in Craigneuk, Wishaw, go here.
The couple married on 17th April 1913, and were registered in Uddingston, Bothwell (in western Lanarkshire near the Clyde). He was 26 and had been working as a brickwork salesman, living at the Scobbie family home “Beechworth” in Newarthill, a few km to the east. He was probably working for his father. Marion was 28 and had been working as a schoolmistress. Her family home was near Uddingston at the time, just to the west of Bellshill, in a detached house called “Rosepark” in Fallside, which is where they were married. It was a couple of months before David’s parents’ 35th wedding anniversary, and you can see the full photo (and a listing of his sibings’ BMD details) in the post on his family in 1913.
Marion Young Dick and her family
Lanarkshire had become increasingly industrial over the previous decades, but this couple’s daily experience would have been still evocative of the area’s rural past in 1913, compared to later residential and industrial transformations. Marion’s 1913 home has gone, and there is now a nursing home on the site (also called Rosepark), and what were fields around the house, as shown in the map, are now heavily built up. The villa opposite, Ashley Park, still exists, nestled between housing and wooded land (in the google image).
David and Marion’s witnesses were David Young Mackie (a cousin? … but of which?) and Isabella Dick (Marion’s sister, aged 23).
Below is Marion as a young woman with her younger sister Isa (Isabella), who was about two years younger and probably the youngest of four siblings. The 1901 and 1911 censuses list three siblings, all born in Strathaven. Alexander was the eldest. He was a 23-year old mechanical engineer in 1901, and living at home in 1901, but not in 1911, unlike his sisters. Their father William was a colliery cashier, from Cambuslang / Hamilton. Their mother was Janet Woodburn Dalgleish. William and Janet had been married on Nov 30th 1876 (registered in Hamilton). (She is indexed as “DALGLISH” in error).
The 1901 census provides some detail about the Dick family. They were living in Thirlwall in Uddingston. Marion was a pupil teacher, aged 16. By the 1911 census (when they were living at Rosepark) Marion was working as a school teacher; Isa was not working. Janet had died in 1910 at Rosepark. (Janet’s own parents had pre-deceased her. They were Robert Dalgleish, a farmer, and Marion Young.)
Marion and Isa had been born in Strathaven, and registered in Avondale. Fixing on Avondale in the birth index suggests 1877 as the year of birth for Alexander. The 1891 census and the sisters’ birth certificates from 1884 and 1886 name the family home as Sunnybank Cottage, (Little) Townhead, Strathaven, Avondale. The 1891 census names another brother, Robert (aged 10) who was born in 1881, going by the birth index. Alexander would have been 13 or 14 and was not in the family home. I don’t know if there were other siblings.
- William Dick, b. ~1846 (Cambuslang) – d. 3 Jun 1922, in Bothwell, aged 76
- Janet Woodburn Dalgleish (m.s. Dick), b. ~1850 (Hamilton) d. 28 Feb 1910 in Bothwell, aged 60
- Alexander Dick, b. 1877 (with a dozen deaths yet to search)
- Robert Dalgleish Dick, b. 1881 (no other information)
- Marion Young Dick, b. 27 Aug 1884, d. 30 July 1978
- Isabella Dick, b. 30 March 1886 (no other information)
We can see from census returns that William’s job is described as a mining clerk (1891), colliery clerk (1901) and colliery cashier (1911). Janet’s death certificate of 1910 also say he was a colliery cashier. I wonder which company or companies he worked for. Was it one owned by David’s family?
The Dick family was listed in the Post Office Directory for Uddingston, under “Dick, Wm” at “Thirlwall” from the 1898-99 edition up to the 1901-02 edition, matching the 1901 census. Immediately prior to that, from 1895-1898, the resident of Thirlwall had been someone else with the surname Dick. He was called James Dick. Coincidence? The directory also says that in Uddingston there was also a Wr./W. Dick living at Salem, Douglas Gardens, Uddingston, from 1878 to the most recent year available for search, 1912, which may well be another coincidence, of which more below.
Douglas Gardens is worth noting, because Isabella Dick was married on 1st March 1923, in Douglas Gardens, Uddingston, (registered in Bothwell). The house name is hard to read on the certificate (see below), but it is not Salem. Isa was 36 and had been working as a school nurse. Her husband was James Moore, aged 38, a master ironmonger. His address before the marriage was given as 13 Ardgowan Street, Greenock. (His parents were James Moore, bridge-keeper, and Mary Shaw.) More on the house, and its name, is revealed below. Her “usual” prior address was the same as the wedding venue.
David Laughland Scobbie
Really, this post was just meant to bring together some photos of David. The rest of the information was found in my records, or was palpably missing and possible to find online, so it made sense to collate it. So, now to the original purpose…
In the 1911 census, bachelor David was at Beechworth, aged 24, with Ebeth (Elizabeth Forrester), aged 26, and a servant Mary L Miller (aged 22). (David’s job was brick salesman, but this is misleading, since the family owned the “Auchinlea Quarry and Brickworks Ltd.”) Initially listed as son and daughter, the data has been altered to identify David as head of household, and Ebeth as sister. (Their place of birth is given as Bothwell, which is not helpful.) The Scobbie parents were in Edinburgh on census day (2nd April 1911), visiting their daughter Mabel, son-in-law John Logan, and the Logan grand-children. They had also been absent in 1901, in Rothesay. So the census information is a bit messy.
David’s adult life is still un-researched, but I can add a little to the research notes of Elizabeth Mitchell, which say that he served in the Royal Flying Corps in WW1, and the RAF in WW2. A quick search found that he was an Air Mechanic (1st Class), service number 43062 in the RFC (1917) and RAF (1918). His attestation date was 1916 (age 30) and his occupation already seems to have transitioned from brick salesman to confectioner. But this latter description is also a little misleading. It seems that David’s mechanical orientation had led to him being an engineer associated with confectionery in civilian life. But he owned the Triumph Toffee Works in Wishaw. Hardly a “confectioner”. This now has a post in its own right.
I knew that the couple had lived in Uddingston, ending up in Ayr after a period in Strathaven, apparently. They had no children. My only memory of them is that my father said the couple “had a sweetie shop” in Ayr… which may have been the way of describing things to a child (or a child’s memory) or perhaps David and Marion had a little retirement business. But I doubt it.
As would be common for a child from his background, David had inherited family wealth, and probably accumulated more. From the 1935 valuation rolls he is listed as “proprietor” (=owner?) of seven properties in Uddingston. Six of these were house numbers 44-52 Bellshill Road (and 44A Bellshill Road). This road had previously been known as Uddingston Coal Road. These houses have now all been demolished, but seem to have been a mixture of cottages and semi-detached villas built in what was previously a field. Number 54 still exists (pictured) which might or might not be a misleading visual clue. He had not been their proprietor in 1930.
In 1935 David was also the proprietor of Number 24 Douglas Gardens, in the rather grand crescent mentioned previously. Indeed, he had become the proprietor some time between 1905 and 1915, and it would not surprise me if the house had been a wedding present from his parents. Number 24 was called Walcot, or Walcot Cottage … which now rather obviously can been seen as the name of the house where Isa Dick was later married in 1923 to James Moore (see the image above). It is likely is that Isa lived with her sister and David, perhaps since their father had died (in 1922). The 1921 census will clarify this.
As noted, Walcot Cottage was identified as number 24 in the 1935 valuation roll. Here is is now, in a contemporary Google 3D image (and street-view). It’s the white house. It is perhaps rather less large than its neighbours and is certainly in a different style.
The property called Salem in Douglas Gardens (see above) was at number 27, and is also one of the smaller houses on the crescent. The index to the valuation rolls indicate that it had been owned by Mrs Margaret E. Dick in 1895, then by Walter Dick (1905-1930). Recall that the Post Office directory had Wr./W. Dick at Salem, Douglas Gardens, Uddingston, from 1878 to the most recent year available, 1912. There is a will available (16/12/1886) for a Walter Dick who died on 25th October 1885, of the same address. So I presume there was a family, Walter and Margaret (and presumably their son Walter) Dick, and that Walter (junior) was since around 1913 a neighbour of David, Marion and Isa, even if not some kind of relative.
Neighbours in 1915
This is not a normal chronological blog… I revise and alter my posts, in light of later findings. I’m trying to collect information together, not announcing incremental changes. (I do use twitter for that.) But I do like to report some of the method; mistakes and all. So, here is new content.
Just a week after posting, I was looking up the 1911 census for my grandfather and David’s brother, George Hill Scobbie… who I knew had lived in Uddingston in a house called Dunglass (and though I knew the location of another house given the same name when the family moved to it later, in Bearsden, I didn’t know whereabouts in Uddingston the original Dunglass was). I had viewed the relevant census pages for George in 1911, but had been too stingy to pay to view the actual census for the maybe-connected Dick family. So I had not seen what I was about to see. And my memory did not help, because George Hill’s home in 1911 was listed in Uddingston, it had no name. Neither was it named on its census page as being in… Douglas Gardens. There was just a sequence of house names.
But suddenly some names jumped out at me.
My grandparents George and Bertie were almost next door to ‘Walcot’. David and Marion would later be neighbours. George and Bertie’s un-named house was between ‘Salem’ and ‘Kingston’.
Salem in 1911 housed Walter H Dick, as noted above, aged 42, but also his sisters called, of all things, Marion and Isabella! (My heart skipped a few beats… but they were aged 56 and 54! Not my Marion and Isa Dick then. But.. cousins? Coincidence?) Walcot had people called Wallace in it, in 1911.
A quick check in the 1915 valuation rolls confirmed that the brothers and their families were indeed near neighhours, George at #29, now named as
Dunglass, and David in Walcot, #24, as noted above.
I was gob-smacked. Why were the brothers neighbours? My best guess… I suspect their parents gave them these lovely houses as wedding presents.
A letter from Isa’s daughter (2004)
Now, almost a month after starting this post, I thought I would add a little more, since I was making a necessary correction to a stupidly mis-identified photo anyway. It’s because today, to my embarrassment (because I’d forgotten about it, and probably never replied), I found a very nice letter from Isa’s daughter, in a box of mixed papers. It seems I’d sent her a copy of the photo of Isa and Marion above, and some others. She was happy, because it was the only photograph she’d seen of her mother Isa with her sister, taken together. Her letter confirms some of the details above, and she says she has happy memories of visiting James and Mina at Beechworth. She says she had photos of (her Uncle) David in the Royal Flying Corps and RAF uniform, and from her comments I now think that she may not have seen all the ones above. There is also a note that her grandmother, Janet Woodburn Dalgleish, had traced her own maternal family back to covenanting times. Oh dear, I’ve missed an opportunity to connect with them. But I will try again.
I’ll just quote her, to show how sloppy I’ve been. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind. She says “I wonder if ‘Uncle’ Dick could possibly be my grandfather.”
This refers to a person in a photo I must have described… and I had just come to the same conclusion today, before finding her letter. She continues: “I know your aunts [i.e. my aunts – JMS] saw quite a bit of him at ‘Walcot’ and from what they said at Uncle David’s funeral they were very fond of him. Could they have called him Uncle Dick? The photograph would be of an elderly gentleman with a white beard and gold rimmed glasses.“
Blow me down, she’s right. So here he is, it’s William Dick (Marion and Isa’s father) who was an honorary “Uncle Dick” to my father’s oldest sisters, who wrote his slightly misleading name below his photo.
NOTES and SOURCES
 Many readers will speak with an accent of English in which Mary, marry and merry are homophones. In Scottish English, all these three words sound different. In the first syllable, the stressed one, marry has the vowel from TRAP, merry has the vowel from DRESS, and Mary has the vowel from FACE. This also applies to the name Marion. Most people pronounce it so that it is like marry+n. I’ve heard great aunt Marion’s name pronounced with a FACE vowel, so that it is like Mary+n, but without the final stress that would make it homophonous with Mary-Ann. (FYI: Aaron and Erin and Arran are also usually different.)
Data is from downloaded NRS birth, death, marriage certificates, census data, family bible, Elizabeth Mitchell’s tree, and some free-to-search National Records of Scotland indices. The latter in particular can be assumed when there is a year only, and will be replaced by d/m/y format when I get the data along maybe with some other dates of death. I’ve not included all witness names either for peripheral characters here.
James and Isa had children, or at least one daughter as indicated above, and Alexander might have too, so there are probably relatives out there who will eventually find this post. Likewise with the mentions on the unknown James Dick(s) in Uddingston and Strathaven. Do get in touch.
In 1891, in Strathaven, there was also a James Dick, that time in a property nearby (Rose Cottage) as a visitor/lodger, so was on the same census page as the Dick family discussed here. I don’t know if there are any connections. I doubt it: the 1891 James was a bank teller from Renfewshire, aged 25.
Finally, with Scobbie being such an unusual surname, I was surprised to find there have been three Scobbie+Dick marriages. I don’t know of connections on either side to these other two, and don’t expect there are any, but just in case:
- Janet Scobbie + Alexander Dick (1882) in West Calder
- Joseph Flynn Scobbie + Catherine May Dick (1959) in Falkirk