New Lanark World Heritage Site Blog

Double Row Restoration Project

31/10/16 Double Row Restoration Project # , , ,

1 Year of the New Lanark House History Project

1 Year of the New Lanark House History Project

Guest blog by Ruth Beattie, Head Researcher and Learning Officer…

In November 2015 I began a research project linked to the Townscape Heritage Project for the restoration of Double Row; the last derelict tenement at New Lanark to be restored.

Research would focus on the social history of the tenement, the families and past residents who lived there and of the history of people in the village. We chose the time period from 1900 to the 1970s for three reasons: it was the most recent time period in the building’s history, many past residents with memories of relatives and living their themselves had been identified and it was a time of great change in Scotland in terms of the world wars, the decline of industry, the modernisation of housing and of people’s lifestyles.

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Children on Rosedale Street c.1950s (Double Row)

When I began the project, I looked at the existing known New Lanark families living in Double Row from the early 1900s. Researching the village in the First World War had given me a good understanding of the family names, connections and their backgrounds. At this time in particular, many Irish weaving families had settled in New Lanark and were employed in the mills weaving nets and canvas for the Gourock Ropework Company.

Names such as Jess (of which there are around 5 separate families!), Harkness, Bones, Savage, Hawthorne, Leggatte, Lynas and Ashe among many others, came up time and again along with Scottish or long standing New Lanark names such as Mackin, MacPherson, Arnott, Kirkhope, Hay, Goddard, Dunlop, Romer, and Graham.

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11 Rosedale Street c.1968 (Double Row) where Irish lady Susan Rocks lived.

Hugh Mackin with sister-in-law Susan Rocks at her flat 11 Rosedale Street (Double Row) in 1966

Hugh Mackin with his Aunt Susan Rocks at her flat 11 Rosedale Street (Double Row) in 1966

Then it was time to open the research to those people who had lived here, were born here, grew up here or simply remembered their relatives living here and held fond, happy memories of the village. The initial response was fantastic. We advertised in local Lanarkshire papers, on our website and social media and around our site. Many people got in touch with me from all over Britain and even as far as Canada! Through emails, phone calls and visits to our search-room we have pieced together the stories of the families recording memories and with documents and family photos. We now have 24 separate New Lanark family stories. Each family has a file containing a biography in progress, photos, documents and any interesting finds such as newspaper articles of the time or oral history interviews recorded in the 1980s.

The last resident to leave Double Row in the 1970s – Elizabeth Jess. Pictured with her grandson David Dunlop who was born there and lives in Lanark today. David has contributed immensely to the social history of the village.

The last resident to leave Double Row in the 1970s – Elizabeth Jess. Pictured with her grandson David Dunlop who was born there and lives in Lanark today. David has contributed immensely to the social history of the village.

 

Elizabeth with husband Joseph Henry Jess and son Thomas in September 1935.

Elizabeth with husband Joseph Henry Jess and son Thomas in September 1935.

 

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Harry Jess as a child at New Lanark (front with spade). Harry is the grandson of Elizabeth Jess and a cousin of David Dunlop. He also lives in Lanark today.

One of the most interesting stories to come out of the research was of the lost letter to Double Row resident Mary Savage, written in 1916 by a friend in County Antrim, Ireland after the family had moved to New Lanark. You can read more about this story on our blog post from June 2016 by our marketing intern Ronan Moore.

Sisters Margaret and Mary Savage who lived at 3 Double Row – the letter was written by Mary’s friend Annie Lynn from County Antrim, Ireland in 1916.

Sisters Margaret and Mary Savage who lived at 3 Double Row – the letter was written by Mary’s friend Annie Lynn from County Antrim, Ireland in 1916.

I would like to thank all the families who have been in touch for their amazing contribution and the volunteers helping with the research. As we move into the second phase* of the research project, we really couldn’t be in a better position with a wealth of interesting stories to build upon.

The Harkness family who lived at 9 Double Row.

The Harkness family who lived at 9 Double Row.

New Lanark is a special place and it means so very much to people whose families lived and worked here in the time of the mills. This has been perhaps the most moving aspect of the research and it is truly rewarding to be able to bring those family stories together. I hope that we can produce a legacy from the project to last and that would not have been possible without people’s memories of a past life, their enthusiasm and their sense of pride at having a connection to this historic village.

*Information about phase two of the project coming in early 2017.

Ruth Beattie, Head Researcher and Learning Officer, New Lanark Trust.

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16/08/16 Double Row Restoration Project # , , ,

Windows Workshop!

On Thursday, the 17th of July, a group of 10 went on a windows workshop. This workshop allowed us to grasp an understanding of what the sash and case windows are like, since they are used all around New Lanark! We were shown by two experts of historic buildings/windows each aspect of the windows and learned about the history. The sash and case windows were very popular across Scotland and were installed in the 1680’s and 1690’s. Throughout the following centuries the windows began to develop and additions were added to them in order for them to be more efficient for people’s homes. For example, pulleys and weights were introduced in the late seventeenth century in order to make the windows more efficient. We were told, originally, that all the windows would have been made with local resources, such as: wood from the surrounding forests of New Lanark. There was a time when the wood was extremely cheap to buy and the glass itself was so expensive. When people sold their houses they would sell the house but take the glass from the windows with you.

The separate parts of the windows

The separate parts of the windows

The workshop tour began with a display of many parts to a sash and case window. All parts were laid out on a table for us to see and we were also able to interact with them, by picking them up to feel the weight and texture of the parts to the window! Each aspect was then described to us and we were shown what each part would be used for. After the initial workshop we took a well-earned tea break…

After a short break we started the tour again. Full of tea and biscuits, the 10 of us headed to the first window of the Millworkers’ Houses. This was used as an example for the sash and case windows as we were able to take an up close look at the window itself. If you looked closely you were able to see the red lead used when fitting the windows during the time of the restoration. Red lead was used for all windows and those who earned more money paid for the window fitters to use a different colour of lead so they could differentiate themselves. The sash and case windows were described as “Henry Ford production lines” which means that the windows were just a standard style and were produced in bulk without any specialised styling.

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Mill Workers House window

Mill Workers House window

 

Demonstrating the red lead on the windows.

Demonstrating the red lead on the windows.

 

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Do  you see the red lead?

Once we viewed the windows at the Mill Worker houses, we then moved down to counting house where we had a look at all the windows from a distance. Viewing the windows from a distance allowed us to see how the brick work around each of the windows were rarely the same. This suggests that during restoration they did not care about all the brickwork around the windows looking the exact same.

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Heading to the Counting House!

The tour provided us with a better understanding of how the windows in New Lanark were made and why they were so popular.

Ronan Moore – New Lanark Marketing Intern

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20/07/16 Double Row Restoration Project , Events at New Lanark # , ,

The 1820’s Back In Time Day!

The 1820’s Back In Time Day!

The 1820’s Back In Time Day

On Sunday the 17th of July we hosted a back in time day here at New Lanark World Heritage Site. We managed to capture what life would have been like for a millworker in the 1820s and gave the public an opportunity to ‘step back in time’ to experience it for themselves. This consisted of dancing and music from that period of time, food and craft demonstrations, storytelling and living history. Games, toys and crafts were also available for children on the site! There was also a Clyde 1 Photo Booth for the children to dress up and get their photo taken with a historic background. Stalls were set up along the lade, demonstrating different kinds of activities that millworkers may partake in such as: Spinning, Weaving, Wood Turning and more! There was also a stall which offered free food to the visitors. The food was the type millworkers would have eaten in the 1820’s, for example, Oatcakes, Ham Broth, Porridge Swats and Apple Bake. With Potato Pie, Apple Dumpling and Herring in Oatmeal on display.

This event is part of a Townscape Heritage / Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme. Phase 1 of this large-scale regeneration project is the restoration of Double Row, a Category A listed former millworkers’ tenement block, built in the 1790s. A range of heritage-based community activities will be delivered in parallel to the construction works.

The day started off with a welcome from Robert Owen himself giving a shortened version of his original speech, known as, Address to the inhabitants of New Lanark. Robert Owen and Miss Winning were accompanied by two of their millworkers who shared their experience with the visitors!

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Robert Owen and Miss Winning!

wearing their badges with pride

Once Robert Own had given his speech to the people of New lanark, it was time for the fun activities to start. There were dancing classes, storytelling and games throughout the day, approximately every 30 minutes. These activities proved to be a success as they were extremely popular!

Dancing Classes 

Dancers from The Glasgow and Edinburgh Assembly came down to teach dance routines from the 1820s in the Musicians’ Room of the Institute for the Formation of Character.

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Storytelling

Children gathered round the storyteller who told early 19th century myths and fairy tales. These stories were the stories that children used to tell each other in the past!

 

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Crafts and Games

Inside we had a range of different games and activities for children to take part in. Activities such as writing with a quill and wool weaving . Hopscotch was also available along with other games child used to play in the 1820s.

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Games in the garden

Several children’s games were held in the garden such as: Tug Of War, Sack races and Potato and Spoon race. The games were organised and manned by our local Lanark Rugby Team.

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Falconry Flying Display

Once all the activities were over, it was time to watch the birds of prey display. The Falconry Flying Display took place in Robert Owen’s garden. This gave everyone a chance to see how certain birds of prey hunt. There was a mix of birds of prey on offer including an African Spotted Eagle Owl and a Peregrine Falcon. Each bird demonstrated its hunting skills and put on a very impressive display for the viewers!

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Ponies

Visitors were able to meet these very cute ponies and learn about the role of horses in the village in the early 19th century!

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Traditional Food Samples

Ham Broth, Oatcakes, Porridge Swats, Apple Bake and Nettle Tea were the 1820’s traditional fair on offer!

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The Back In Time Day turned out to be a great success, enjoyed by all ages. Due to the variety of activities on offer, children were able to enjoy the games and crafts as well as the adults being able to enjoy the woodwork and the spinning wheels! The Back In Time Day will be running over the next three years as parts of the Double Row Restoration project, each year highlighting a different period of time in New Lanark’s history. So look out for our next choice of decade!

Ronan Moore – Marketing Intern

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22/06/16 Double Row Restoration Project # , , , ,

A tour of building restoration work at New Lanark

A tour of building restoration work at New Lanark

Here in New Lanark we are surrounded by tenement buildings which are rich in history and each have their own story. For example, Caithness Row was named after the highlanders who came to settle and work in New Lanark when their ship, intended for America, was brought into Greenock due to weather damage. David Dale had heard of this and sent a representative to Greenock to offer jobs and a place to live. Housing has always been a key feature here in New Lanark as David Dale offered free housing with good living conditions for their time, which was uncommon in this era. David Dale’s generosity was simply due to the fact that he believed those who worked in New Lanark should live in New Lanark because of the remote distance in which it is located. It was not practical to travel to New Lanark. All of the buildings in New Lanark have been restored today in their own unique way, for example, Robert Owens house has been renovated to look like what it once was when Mr Owen and his family lived there in 1799.

Double Row beside the River Clyde

Double Row’s beautiful riverside location

Double Row is the only building on the site which is yet to be restored. The riverside building has been empty and redundant for the past 42 years, however, is currently undergoing a restoration process and is set to be finished by December, 2016. The first 7 tenements will be town houses which are available to purchase and design inside. However, the 8th tenement, also known as the Museum Stair, which is now a Scheduled Monument will be interpreted in a CAVE (Computer Aided Virtual Environment) in a part of the New Lanark Visitor Centre so visitors can virtually experience being in a ‘room within a room’ throughout the decades of Double Row’s inhabitation.

Today we went on a ‘Hard Hat’ tour of Double Row and had an opportunity to view the restoration work so far. We were able to walk up the scaffolding which is currently surrounding the building and were lucky enough to view inside to see the layout of the tenements. We were also treated to some beautiful views of the Clyde! When inside Double Row you are able to view the 5 stories of each tenement and can visually imagine what it used to look like as the outline of the fireplaces are still visible. With the help of modern day technology, the Museum Stair will have a 3D tour which will allow visitors to view a digital version of what life was like in the past and you will even receive a guided tour from David Dale himself… well, with a little help from technology of course.

We were able to speak to the Land Engineering contractors who are in charge of the restoration work who explained what they had to do in order to restore the building.

Double Row was renovated partly in the past, around the mid-80’s, however, that was only to keep the building standing. Building conservation methods have advanced since then so the workmen have to change the tiles on the roof to match the modern day style. This is a long and strenuous process and has taken time to change the roofing slates and also to clear the debris left inside.

We look forward to seeing the restored Double Row later in the year. Here are some more photos from our Hard Hat Tour of Double Row…

Ronan Moore – New Lanark Marketing Intern

Hard Hat Tour - New Lanark - Double Row

Hard Hat Tour - New Lanark - Double Row

Hard Hat Tour - New Lanark - Double Row

Hard Hat Tour - New Lanark - Double Row

Hard Hat Tour - New Lanark - Double Row

Hard Hat Tour - New Lanark - Double Row

Hard Hat Tour - New Lanark - Double Row Hard Hat Tour - New Lanark - Double Row

Hard Hat Tour - New Lanark - Double Row

Hard Hat Tour - New Lanark - Double Row

Hard Hat Tour - New Lanark - Double Row

You can find out more about the Double Row Restoration Project on the New Lanark website. 

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14/06/16 Double Row Restoration Project # , ,

Historic letter marks 100 years of history at Double Row

Historic letter marks 100 years of history at Double Row

Double Row is currently being restored as a block of modern tenements which will be sold as a shell and the new tenants will be able to customise this new living space in their own way. Over the many years that Double Row has stood, people from multiple different generations have been able to call the tall standing building, with the scenic riverside view, their home. Along with all the history that surrounds us at New Lanark lies a beautiful story involving the Double Row building and a family who lived there.

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The Double Row tenement block at New Lanark

In 1906 James and Sarah Savage moved to Double Row and started a new life, raising their children in the town of New Lanark. One of their children, Henry Savage, was born in 1927. Henry Savage had a daughter called Maria Mannion – maiden name Savage. Maria kindly reached out to us at the New Lanark Trust to discuss the Savage family who lived at Double Row and to provide an insight on the life of her historic family.

Henry Savage and family pic. Double Row residents.

Henry and Margaret Savage. Mary Savage aged 7/8 years old is standing next to her mother.

Shortly before Maria Mannion reached out, a woman called Allison MacDonald contacted us to tell us about a letter which her father, Arthur Kelly, found whilst working for a construction company who took part in the first wave of restoring Double Row in the 1980’s. The letter was found in an attic room of the building, tucked into a notebook used for stamp collecting. Allison went on to further explain how the letter was addressed to Miss Mary Savage who is the great aunt of Maria Mannion. The letter was sent to Mary Savage from a friend from Country Antrim, Northern Ireland in 1916.

Allison MacDonald and her family came to New Lanark to meet with Maria Mannion, her husband Dermot and her cousin Sally who is also a Savage descendant. This was an emotional time for both the families as Allison passed over the letter which Mary Savage was meant to open in 1916 to Maria Mannion (Savage) who eventually opened it in 2016.

This historic letter had been reserved in an attic in Double Row and in the safe hands of Arthur Kelly for 100 years and has finally been delivered to a descendant of the Savage family. Originally, Allison MacDonald had asked if we wanted to keep the letter here in our archives, however, due to the emotional connection to the letter Maria Mannion decided to keep it and return home with it to where the letter was once sent from 100 years ago, Northern Ireland. A fitting end to a truly moving story, a letter written 100 years ago finally with a descendent of the family and returned back to where the letter was written and to where the family originated from.

 

Savage family at New Lanark.

Savage family at New Lanark.

 

Arthur Kelly, Sally, Allison Macdonald and Maria Mannion.

When Arthur Kelly, Sally, Allison MacDonald and Maria Mannion came to meet us at New Lanark!

You can find out more about New Lanark’s Double Row Restoration and the House History Project on the New Lanark website.

Ruth Beattie, Lead Researcher says “The ‘House History’ project is a fantastic opportunity for us to learn more about New Lanark’s people in the early 20th century and bring to light family stories and memories. We look forward to hearing from past residents or their relatives, and would encourage anyone with a story to share to contact us using the details below.”

Anyone with information, photographs or artefacts they would like to share should contact Ruth Beattie at New Lanark Trust on:

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Call: 01555 661345
  • Post: ‘House History Project’, New Lanark trust, New Lanark Mills, Lanark, ML11 9DB.

 

Ronan – New Lanark Marketing Intern

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23/05/16 Double Row Restoration Project # , , , ,

Traditional Building Skills Workshops

Traditional Building Skills Workshops

On Wednesday 18 May we had two excellent Traditional Building Skills Workshops delivered by Frew Conservation as part of the programme of activities linked to our Double Row Restoration Project.

The groups learned about the background to the project and then had some hands-on demonstrations about Stonemasonry and Slating – two very important building techniques that will be used to in the restoration of the Double Row tenement block this year.

A range of heritage-based community activities will be delivered in parallel to the construction works. There will be a strong emphasis on Traditional Building Skills training through a series of talks, demonstrations and special exhibition. Other events include ‘house history’ workshops, project discovery days, including hard-hat tours of the restoration process and ‘back in time experiences’, where visitors will explore life in the 18th century cotton mill village.

You can find out more about the project and sign up to the waiting list of other activities on our website.

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You can find out more about the Double Row Restoration Project on our website. 

Melissa – New Lanark Marketing and PR Officer

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13/05/16 Behind the scenes at New Lanark , Double Row Restoration Project # , , ,

Hard Hat Tour of Double Row Restoration Project

Hard Hat Tour of Double Row Restoration Project

Yesterday we donned our hard hats and took part in a guided tour of the Double Row Restoration works in the village. With blue skies and plenty of sunshine we couldn’t have asked for a better day to be climbing the scaffolding!

New Lanark Trust has pioneered heritage-led regeneration and since its formation in 1974 has transformed a derelict site into one of World Heritage status. The last block of former millworkers’ housing to be restored is Double Row, a vacant and dilapidated terrace of eight four and five storey properties on Scotland’s Buildings At Risk Register. This important project will ensure the survival of this A-listed building of international architectural and historical significance by restoring it as residential accommodation.

A range of heritage-based community activities will be delivered in parallel to the construction works. There will be a strong emphasis on Traditional Building Skills training through a series of talks, demonstrations and special exhibition. Other events include ‘house history’ workshops, project discovery days, including hard-hat tours of the restoration process and ‘back in time day’, where visitors will explore life in the 18th century cotton mill village.

Here’s a look at some of the photos we took on yesterday’s Hard Hat Tour…

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A beautiful day in New Lanark Village

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Arriving at the Double Row Restoration building site

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Our first views at the top of the scaffolding – New Lanark Mill Hotel!

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An up close look at the slate work and chimney stacks

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Beautiful views of the River Clyde

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Panorama shot!

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Long Row at New Lanark

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Learning about Stonemasonry

You can find out more about the Double Row Restoration Project on our website or by signing up to our monthly e-newsletter.

Melissa – New Lanark Marketing and PR Officer

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New Lanark World Heritage Site Aerial View

New Lanark is a beautifully restored 18th century cotton mill village in Scotland, and is one of Scotland's six UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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