Opinion of charitable mansions

Dear blog reader

I was fascinated when I discovered a local opinion on the giving of mansions to charity, given that I have published 3 blog posts on Broomfield and Berriedale being handed to charities.

I hope you also find this alternative opinion interesting.





Clarinish, Row, Helensburgh, April 15, 1895.

Sir – Acting upon the requisition, copy of which is annexed, signed by nearly all the householders between Faslane and Blairvaddick, and sent to me as their representative on the County Council, I brought the matter of the proposed Fresh Air Fortnight Home in Shandon before a meeting of the Western District Committee today, but found, as I anticipated, that they have no power to prevent the establishment of such a home. All they can do is secure that the sanitary arrangements, water supply, etc, be adequate and satisfactory.

But I think the public, on whose support these homes entirely depend, should know that a home is being opened in Shandon in direct antagonism to the expressed wishes of the residenters, who feel that their property is being depreciated, and the amenity of the place as a quiet residential district is being largely spoiled.

Besides, from my local knowledge, I can safely assert that the property acquired is quite unsuitable for the purpose. It is beside the sea, yet the children will never be permitted to play upon the shore; the grounds attached to the house extend to five acres, the mean slope of which is in 1 in 5, no part being level, or adapted for a playground. Notwithstanding the care which is exercised to prevent the bringing of infection into any district by the children sent, there can be no doubt that their presence is a distinct danger to public health.

We have, indeed, had experience of that in the home which is already in the district, and which had to be closed about a fortnight after its opening owing to an outbreak of fever. That this is not an unusual occurrence was shown by a statement made by a meeting today to the effect that there is a home at Balmaha, and every year since it was opened it has been closed for a period by the outbreak of infectious disease among the children.

Throughout the great number of letters I have received on the subject no one says a word against the charity or the spirit which prompts such handsome gifts. But while all are glad to think that the poor children should have a holiday by the sea or in the fresh country air, there is a strong and universal expression of opinion that there must be many places more suitable for such a purpose than Garemount, places where they would be free to play, romp, and enjoy themselves to their heart’s content without the possibility of inflicting injury and annoyance upon those residing permanently in the neighbourhood – I am, etc, Francis C Buchanan.

Copy of Requisition

To F C Buchanan, Clarinish, Row.

We, the undersigned, feuars and householders in the Gareloch, respectfully ask you as our representative on the County Council of Dumbartonshire to exercise your utmost influence in order to prevent a second Home for Fresh-Air Fortnight Children from Glasgow being set up in our midst, on the ground that it will completely spoil the amenity of the place as a residential district and be a standing menace to public health.

In the event your not being able to prevent the Home from being opened, we respectfully beg that you, as chairman of the Local Sanitary Committee, would insist on all the sanitary arrangements of the house being satisfactory and complete before the opening, especially that the burn and the shore be kept free from pollution – (Signed by)

Margaret McDonald, Belmore
Parlan MacFarlan, Faslane
Andrew J Kirkpatrick, Lagbuie
A C Henderson, Shandon House
D J Young, Cragmore
S MacLeod, Fuinary
William L Brown, Linnburn
Helen C MacKenzie, Altnacrille [Alt-na-Coille?]
Fanny C Hartley, Letrualt
John James Kerr, Ardgare
Duncan McKinlay, Woodburn
William Wallace, Croy
James Kirk, Broomfield

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: