Wilson & Glenny's

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Wilson & Glenny's

Postby Hawick_1987 » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:43 pm

A photo of Wilson & Glenny's mill engulfed by flames in 1959.

The Ladylaw Mills at Langlands (Roughheugh), started production in 1876 on the site of the former Wilson & Armstrong's business. The partnership between George Wilson and James Glenny (his nephew), became one of the largest tweed manufacturers in the South of Scotland during the early part of the 20th century. In 1959 a large fire decimated the main building.

Does anyone remember the fire or have any stories about the aftermath? Comment below or email us - projecthawick@gmail.com

Photo - courtesy of Andrew Rae

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"Teribus ye teri Odin, sons of heroes slain at Flodden. Imitating Border bowmen, aye defend your rights and common."
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Re: Wilson & Glenny's

Postby Hawick_1987 » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:43 pm

The aftermath of the Wilson & Glenny's fire in 1959.

The mills went on to be rebuilt in 1961. Houses on Underdamside, the street named after its proximity to Wilton Dam, became uninhabitable and were demolished in the aftermath. The 'Black Palins', a popular name for the lane running from Bath Street to Albert Place, were removed on the mill side after the fire, with a wide access road left in its place. Iron studs still mark the width of the old public path. Rubble from the site was partially used to infill the Wilton Dam. The main stand at Albert Park was later constructed from some steel remnants of the factory, in 1963.

Although the town's fire station was located just a few hundred yards down Commercial Road at the time of the fire, the size of the blaze and the lack of facilities and manpower severely undermined the efforts to save the mills. This was a key factor in prompting the South Eastern Area Fire Brigade to provide the town with a full-time force in 1963. In 1971, the brigade moved to a purpose built facility at Howdenbank.

The business of Wilson & Glenny's closed in 1980, with the multi-purpose Ladylaw Centre opened on the site in 1983. The furnishers N.G. Thomson converted part of the premises into the largest home improvement and furniture centre in the Borders. At the time 34,000 square feet of shop area was available to rent with another 20,000 set aside for storage. The complex also included a warehouse, small businesses, offices and a bistro. It was never fully used and closed in 1993, being later demolished to make way for a supermarket.

In 2012, Hawick Archaeological Society and the Old Gala Club came together to unveil a plaque at the Old Baths, which had been rescued from the Wilson & Glenny's fire.

An excerpt from the Hawick News recalls:

The stone was originally made by Gordon Scott, who worked for Hawick builders Pennycook, and was placed on Wilson and Glenny’s factory, which burned down in 1959. The stone was rescued by the builders and restored, and then presented to Robert Goldie when the new mill opened in 1961. When the factory was demolished the stone disappeared again and turned up in Galashiels, where Ian Landles had been invited to give a talk on ‘Wilton’, and to his surprise and delight was presented with the stone and a plaque, pictured. The Old Baths was to be the nearest place to the site of Wilson and Glenny’s mill and that was where the stone and plaque were set. Nancy Dunne, daughter of Gordon Scott, unveiled the stone, and Murray Dickson, Old Gala Club, and Ian Landles, Hawick Archaeological Society, related the story of the stone.


Excerpt © Hawick News/Johnston Press Plc - all rights reserved

Photo - courtesy of Andrew Rae

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"Teribus ye teri Odin, sons of heroes slain at Flodden. Imitating Border bowmen, aye defend your rights and common."
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Re: Wilson & Glenny's

Postby Hawick_1987 » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:45 pm

Some replies to these photos on Facebook:

David Donald:

i was an apprentice in glennys in 1966. there was a book telling the story of the fire ,apparently it was a loss of £750,000.


David Grieve:

Watched the mill burn from the Millars Knowe- had green goddess fire engines come from as far away as Berwick Garrison. I actually knew the bloke who set fire to it (no names here, but he was a textile designer who had his styles rejected by the mill owners) Was pee'd off that the Baths had to be closed for 3 days!!


Kay Young:

I remember watching from Lyle and Scott offices in Lothian St my friend Jeans mother was working there. It was not started by children with matches and the bloke actually started 2other fires


Helen Marshall:

I remember a sense of "where next?"


Jonathan Anderson:

John Clarkson, who lived on Twirlees Terrace at the time has always maintained that he and his friends must have been the first to see the flames and went running to tell my Grandmother who told him not to be daft!.


Brian Turnbull:

a mind sitting on ma deds shouders at jist about that exact spot watching it burn. was only 4 and can still feel the heat and sense the shock n dispair o the huge crowd


Ruth Trotter:

i worked in W&O Marcus when the fire started. we were having our break and saw what looked like steam coming from the roof. Then it changed to a yellow and burst into flames. Something i won't forget. thats what we thought too Helen. If i remember there were only days between all the fires, a short time anyway.
"Teribus ye teri Odin, sons of heroes slain at Flodden. Imitating Border bowmen, aye defend your rights and common."
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Re: Wilson & Glenny's

Postby Addie » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:39 pm

I was at the High School and walking home when it went up!! Because of all the oil on the floors from the wool and the machines it soon was engulfed!! You could see and hear the machines falling through the floors as it burned. Terrible thing but no one was injured or killed. Fire appliances came from as far as Edinburgh, and Berwick and the Civil Defence brigade were there as well.
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Re: Wilson & Glenny's

Postby Hawick_1987 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:44 am

Ross Turnbull:

My mother had me out in the pram the day after and we were passing the smouldering ruins a shunder flew out and gave me a wee burn...one screaming bairn! Some thirty years later I was a bank manager here in NZ when a customer on hearing my accent was delighted to learn that I was from Hawick and asked if I knew of Wilson and Glennies? Of course I shared my wee story to be then told somewhat apologetically that her name was Diana Wilson and her late husband's family were the Wilson's in the mill's name.....small world indeed.
"Teribus ye teri Odin, sons of heroes slain at Flodden. Imitating Border bowmen, aye defend your rights and common."
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Re: Wilson & Glenny's

Postby BrettWilson » Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:27 am

Ahh, this Diana that you met in New Zealand Ross, would probably be Alice "Diana" Wilson nee Elworthy 1919-2008, or perhaps a daughter of hers, depending on the age of the lady at the time. Alice "Diana" Elworthy married James Glenny (AKA Hamish) Wilson and he was the grandson of Sir James Glenny Wilson 1849-1929 of Hawick, who emigrated to New Zealand. Sir James Glenny Wilson was the Son of George Wilson 1815-1898 the first Provost of Hawick. I am in the process of now contacting these long lost cousins in New Zealand.

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Re: Wilson & Glenny's

Postby Hawick_1987 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:57 pm

An employee operates one of the in-giving machines at Wilson and Glenny's Mill in 1949.

Image

Photo: George Konig

Helen Megahy:

Ma dad & aunty jessie wurked ther.


Billy Moffat:

Best mill in hawick loved working there
"Teribus ye teri Odin, sons of heroes slain at Flodden. Imitating Border bowmen, aye defend your rights and common."
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Re: Wilson & Glenny's

Postby Hawick_1987 » Sat Oct 11, 2014 12:37 am

Hawick_1987 wrote:A photo of Wilson & Glenny's mill engulfed by flames in 1959.

The Ladylaw Mills at Langlands (Roughheugh), started production in 1876 on the site of the former Wilson & Armstrong's business. The partnership between George Wilson and James Glenny (his nephew), became one of the largest tweed manufacturers in the South of Scotland during the early part of the 20th century. In 1959 a large fire decimated the main building.

Does anyone remember the fire or have any stories about the aftermath? Comment below or email us - projecthawick@gmail.com

Photo - courtesy of Andrew Rae

Image


Paul Brydon:

Now av heard a lot about this fire but never seen any photo`s till now


Brett Wilson:

Hi Paul, Do you have any Brydon family connections with the Ettrick Valley? The Wilson's in Wilson & Glenny are my family, in fact, many of the Glenny's were also family too. But my GG Grandfather married a Bryden/Brydon lass from Ettrick/Yarrow way..


Paul Brydon:

Hi Brett not that i know off and i was no relation to the Brydon Removals or milk in Gala we have always been Hawick i think Cheers


Brett Wilson:

Mmmmm Not sure I can hit the LIKE Button on this one.. I need a Sad Button


Irene Scott:

My mother was a weaver there when it happened.


Simon Walton:

Looks like something from the Blitz


Ian Bell:

I saw that fire and the looms crashing down through the building from the top floor - frightening at 9 years old.


Johnny Rudkin:

now that is what you call a fire donald


Kath White:

we lived up the road from where that fire was at langlands bank I can remember all the fire engines
"Teribus ye teri Odin, sons of heroes slain at Flodden. Imitating Border bowmen, aye defend your rights and common."
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Re: Wilson & Glenny's

Postby Hawick_1987 » Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:30 pm

Doug Scott:

Took this picture from my house when home last month, such a shame


Image

Kay Martin:

This is a lovely building - in other places, someone would have turned it into "luxury apartments" ... love the clock tower - I remember checking it on the way to school many moons ago!!
"Teribus ye teri Odin, sons of heroes slain at Flodden. Imitating Border bowmen, aye defend your rights and common."
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