Closure of the Experimental Station

ARMY AND NAVY GAZETTE SATURDAY 31 DECEMBER 1921

THE PORTS

The late Admiralty experimental station at Shandon Hydropathic, near Helensburgh, says the Times, is in the market. The estate, extending to 60 acres, and overlooking Gareloch, includes the mansion and a small power house. An ‘upset’ price of £15,000 has been fixed by the Disposal Board, and the auction will be held at Glasgow on January 18th. The experimental station was closed down on March 31st.

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WESTERN MORNING NEWS THURSDAY 31 MARCH 1932

A SERVICE CALENDAR: MARCH 31ST.

On the last day of March, 1921, the Admiralty Experimental Station at Shandon, Dumbartonshire, was closed down. It had been established during the war for various experiments, but principally those connected with anti-submarine work, and it had answered its purposes excellently. Since the Armistice it had been tackling it’s work with the added information obtained from surrendered German submarines, under Captain G L Massey, formerly Assistant Director of Paravanes.

Destruction of Summerhall

EDINBURGH EVENING NEWS MONDAY 4 AUGUST 1879

DESTRUCTIVE FIRE IN SHANDON

Yesterday afternoon, Summerhall House, the property of Mr John Bell, of Messrs Bell & Sons, Glasgow, was almost totally destroyed.

About four o’clock smoke was observed about the roof, and in less than an hour the main house was completely gutted. Mr and Mrs Bell and the servants were in the house at the time, but managed to escape in safety. The greater part of the furniture was got out, but the valuable silver plate presented to Mr Bell by the united fleshers of Glasgow in February 1876, was destroyed.

The property was bought by Mr Bell nearly two years ago at a cost of £5000, and is fully insured. It is not known how the fire originated.

Shandon Valuation Roll 1920

Dear blog reader

Welcome to the eighth part in a series, a list of the people, with house names where known, who were connected with Shandon in 1920.

In 1920 Shandon had 76 households listed, a very slight increase on 1915. In 1915 Shandon had 75 households listed, a slight decrease on 1905. In 1905 Shandon had 82 households listed which was a vast increase on the anomaly of the valuation roll of 1895 when  only 16 households were listed but also an increase on the number of households in the 1885 Shandon valuation roll.   In 1885 Shandon had 74 households, a huge increase from 1875 when Shandon had 32 households. The 1875 number was the exact same number as the 32 households in 1865 which had been a growth of 4 households from the 28 households in 1855.

Hopefully those of you with ancestors from Shandon will find this list useful.

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Agnes L Adams, Balernock

Doctor James A Adams, Balernock

Mrs Margaret Allan, Chapelburn cottage

David R Barr, Woodbank Place

Albert Beaumont, Blairvaddich

A A Stuart Black, Croy

Thomas Boyd, Woodburn cottage

Patrick Brady, Ardgare

Robert Braid, Shandon House

John Brown, Woodside cottage

Archibald Campbell, West Shandon

David Carswell, Shandon House

Edward Deighan, Woodbank Place

H Dickson, Summerhill

Thomas L Don, Greenhill

Robert M Donaldson, Blairvaddich

Doctor James Walker Downie, Cragmhor

William Eldrick, Broomfield

Henry Fincham, Shandon Bank

James Fraser, Letrualt

Catherine Gibson, Greenhill

Hugh Girvan, Shandon House

William Glen, Summerhill

John Goodlet, Linnburn

Mary Grabowsky, Linnburn

Carl Grabowsky, Linnburn

Mrs Sarah Grant, Hillhead House

William Grieve, West Shandon

Malcolm Hamilton, Ardchapel

Helen Hannah, Woodbank Place

John F Henderson, Glenfeulan

Robert Hill, Lagbuie

Thomas Houston, Hillhead House

Mrs Hughes, Shandon House

William Hughes, Glenfeulan

Alexander Hutcheson, 6 3/4 mile post, Shandon Station

Henry Johnson, Stuckenduff

Archibald H Kedey, Altnacoille

Miss Jane Kerr, shop, Woodbank Place

Hubert V Kirkpatrick, Lagbuie

Alexander P Lyon, Fiunary

A MacDiarmid, 6 1/2 mile post, Shandon Station

Peter Machray, Agnes Millar Wilson house

Duncan MacIntyre, Balernock

Mrs Grace MacKechnie, Hillhead House

Colin MacKenzie, Croy

Margaret C MacKinlay, Woodbank cottage

Margaret C MacKinlay, Woodburn cottage

Margaret MacLean, West Shandon

Lady Sophie MacLeod, Fiunary

William MacMorran, Shandon House

Mrs Margaret W B MacNicol, Ardchapel

Robert S MacNicol, Ardchapel

Donald MacPhail, Cragmhor

James Maltman, Blairvaddich

Reverend Hugh Miller, manse

Nelson Mitchell, Shandon House

Alexander Mitchell, Croy

Frederick R Moir, Letrualt

Malcolm Morrison, Ardgare

Charles Neaves, Oakbank

Dempster Rice, Woodbank Place

T P Rigby, West Shandon

David Ross, 6 1/2 mile post, Shandon Station

Ronald G Sillars, Stuckenduff

Ronald G Sillars, Ardgare

A Smith, West Shandon

Janet Somerville, Shandon House

John Stewart, Hillhead House

James Troup, Blairvaddich

John Turner, Lagbuie

Robert Whillans, West Shandon

John Wilkinson, Ardgare

William Williamson

Robert Wilson, Greenhill

Ethelreda Yarrow, Broomfield

Sale Of Shandon House In 1904

Dear blog reader

The below ‘for sale ‘ advert from 1904 for Shandon House gives an extremely detailed description of Shandon House and its grounds.

I do hope you find it interesting.

Jacqueline.

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THE SCOTSMAN. SATURDAY 30 JANUARY 1904.

DUMBARTONSHIRE – SHANDON HOUSE, GARELOCH.

For sale, by private bargain, this beautiful residential property, situated upon the Gareloch, about ten minutes’ walk from Shandon Railway Station, the same distance from Shandon Pier, and 25 miles from Glasgow.

The mansion occupies a fine position with southern exposure, and contains drawing room, dining room, library, business room, billiard room, 12 bedrooms (4 with dressing rooms attached), 5 bathrooms etc, besides ample servants’ and kitchen accommodation. It is heated by hot water pipes, has gas from Helensburgh, and an abundant private supply of excellent water.

The offices consist of 2 coach houses, stables, with 6 stalls and loose box, byre, washing house, coachman’s and gardener’s houses, gate lodge of 5 rooms, and cottage on hill of 5 rooms and kitchen.

The lands extend to 42 acres, and stretch fully a quarter of a mile along the shore of Gareloch. Feu duty £85 5s 1d. Entry taxed.

The policies contain some fine timber, and are beautifully laid out in walks, shrubberies and gardens. There are 2 vineries, peach house, melon house, tomato house, 2 fern houses and a large greenhouse; also, small orchard and large kitchen and fruit garden.

The house is handsomely furnished, and the greater portion of the furniture and fittings can, if desired, be got by the purchaser at a valuation.

For further information and orders to view the property, apply to Bannatyne, Kirkwood, France & Co, writers, 145 West George Street, Glasgow.

Fire At The Hydro

THE SCOTSMAN FRIDAY 2 NOVEMBER 1928

SHANDON HYDRO OUTBREAK

LARGE ANNEXE DESTROYED

Helensburgh fire brigade were called out yesterday morning to one of the most serious fires which has occurred in the Gareloch district for a long time. The scene of the outbreak was Shandon Hydro Hotel, which was used by the Admiralty during the war as an experimental station.

The part of the building involved was a large annexe, part of which was occupied by the manager and his family. This annexe contained some 16 bedrooms and was 100 feet long. When the fire brigade arrived, the fire had a firm hold. The flames were shooting up a great height, and were observed a long distance off, many people noticing the glare in the sky across the Clyde as far as Greenock. The brigade concentrated on saving the main building, and after several hours’ work succeeded in confining the flames to the seat of origin. The annexe, the lower part of which was used as a storeroom, was completely ruined, and a considerable amount of stock and furniture destroyed.

When the outbreak was discovered the servants and staff were aroused, and fire extinguishers were used until the arrival of the fire brigade. The damage is believed to be considerable, but the figure has not yet been estimated. The cause of the fire is unknown.

Considerable anxiety was experienced by the guests residing in the Hydro, and many of them left their rooms, and, wrapped in coats, watched the progress of the flames. One of the firemen was bowled over by a jet from one of the hoses, and in falling was cut about the head.

Ronald Gordon Sillars of Ardgare

Dear blog reader

Following on from my recent blog post on Ardgare, I found 3 articles on Ronald Gordon Sillars of Ardgare which tell us something of his life.

Jacqueline

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DUNDEE EVENING TELEGRAPH TUESDAY 8 JUNE 1915

LIEUTENANT R. G. SILLARS

Lieutenant R. G. Sillars, 9th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, is reported unofficially as having been wounded on Saturday, June 5.

Lieutenant Sillars is a son of Mr Duncan Sillars, Ardgare, Shandon, partner of the firm of Messrs Russell & Co, ship and store export merchants, 71 Robertson Street, Glasgow.

Lieutenant Sillars was educated at Kelvinside Academy, and was afterwards associated with his father in business. He joined the 9th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in August last, and went to the front over a month ago. Lieutenant Sillars has been acting as a signalling officer of the 154th Highland Infantry Brigade, 51st Highland Division.

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THE SCOTSMAN WEDNESDAY 5 APRIL 1916

MARRIAGES. SILLARS – JACKSON.

At Kilmarnock, and afterwards at the Parish Church, Sorn, on 3rd April, by the Reverend H C Begg, Ronald Gordon Sillars, Lieutenant, 9th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (TF) [that is, Territorial Force] and Army Signal Service RE [that is, Royal Engineers], only son of the late Duncan Sillars of Ardgare, Shandon, and of Mrs Sillars, Ardgare, to Alice Muriel, only daughter of John Jackson of Bardykes, Blantyre.

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THE SCOTSMAN MONDAY 8 AUGUST 1921

BIRTHS. SILLARS.

At Ardgare, Shandon, Dumbartonshire, on the 5th instant [that is, the current month], the wife of Ronald Gordon Sillars, a son.

Ardgare Officially Opened As Rest Home

THE SCOTSMAN SATURDAY 22 JULY 1950

ARDGARE HOUSE OPENED. BRITISH LEGION REST HOME.

Ardgare House, Shandon, near Garelochhead, was officially opened yesterday afternoon as a British Legion rest home by the Countess of Eglinton and Winston.

Ardgare is the second Legion rest home to be opened in Scotland within the last 18 months. The first was Bradbury House at North Berwick. This latest home, situated within beautiful grounds, commands a magnificent outlook over the Gareloch and was formerly the home of Lt-Col R G Sillars, who gave it to the British Legion.

The Legion in Scotland, through the Earl Haig fund, have adapted and furnished this mansion as a centre where ex-servicemen and women and their adult dependents can recuperate.

The Countess felt it was not only the beginning of a new holiday home, but the launching of a great adventure in Scotland. On of the advantages that volunteer organisations possessed in these days of the welfare state and planned economy was that they could extend sympathy to men and women and act on the spot without too much form filling, she said.

Sale of West Shandon

Dear blog reader

I would suggest that the below advert describing West Shandon, the residence of Robert Napier, before it was sold and converted into the Hydropathic Hotel tells us a lot about West Shandon.

I hope you also find it interesting.

Jacqueline

Robert Napier

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GREENOCK TELEGRAPH AND CLYDE SHIPPING GAZETTE SATURDAY 7 APRIL 1877

WEST SHANDON

The subscriber has been instructed by the Executors of the late Robert Napier, Esquire, in the end of April and beginning of May next, of which notice will be given, to dispose, by Public Sale, of:

1 The remaining furniture in West Shandon House, comprising the whole dining-room furniture in oak (including magnificent exhibition sideboard), and certain of the drawing-room furniture, and the parlour and bed-room furniture, carpets etc; Fine-toned organ in magnificent carved oak case, suitable for a small Church or Hall; fine crystal gasaliers [a gasalier being a chandelier arranged to burn gas https://www.thefreedictionary.com/Gasalier ], numerous museum glass cases etc etc.

2 The valuable collection of plants in the conservatory, and numerous bedding-out plants.

3 The carriages and certain of the horses; and

4 The stock and plenishings on the farm of Ballernick, including a large quantity of movable iron fences.

John Dewar, auctioneer, Dumbarton

Shandon Valuation Roll 1915


Dear blog reader

Welcome to the seventh part in a series, a list of the people, with house names where known, who were connected with Shandon in 1915.

In 1915 Shandon had 75 households listed, a slight decrease on 1905. In 1905 Shandon had 82 households listed which was a vast increase on the anomaly of the valuation roll of 1895 when  only 16 households were listed but also an increase on the number of households in the 1885 Shandon valuation roll.   In 1885 Shandon had 74 households, a huge increase from 1875 when Shandon had 32 households. The 1875 number was the exact same number as the 32 households in 1865 which had been a growth of 4 households from the 28 households in 1855.

Hopefully those of you with ancestors from Shandon will find this list useful.

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Agnes L Adams, Balernock

James A Adams, doctor, Balernock

Margaret Allan, widow, Chapelburn

Peter Anderson

Miss Bertha F Baines, Altnacoille

David R Barr, Woodbank Place

Albert Beaumont, Blairvaddich

A Stuart Black, Croy

Patrick Brady, Ardgare

John Brown, Hillhead

John Cameron, Hydropathic

James Craig, Letrualt

Thomas L Don, Greenhill

Robert M Donaldson, Blairvaddich

James Walker Downie, doctor, Cragmore

William Drummond, Broomfield

Hugh Eaglesome

John Foreman, West Shandon

Catherine Gibson, widow, Greenhill

Hugh Girvan, Blairvaddich

William Glen, Hillhead

Robert Glen, Blairvaddich

John Goodlet, Linnburn

Mary Grabowsky, Linnburn

Carl Grabowsky, Linnburn

William Grieve, West Shandon

Malcolm Hamilton, Ardchapel

Helen Hannah, Woodbank Place

John F Henderson, Glenfeulan

Robert Hill, Lagbuie

William Hughes, Glenfeulan

Alexander Hutcheson, 6 3/4 mile post, Shandon Station

Miss Jane Kerr, shop, Woodbank Place

Herbert V Kirkpatrick, Lagbuie

Alexander P Lyon, Fiunary

W MacArthur

[No first name] MacCormick. Woodbank Place

Joseph MacCrae, Ardchapel

A MacDiarmid, 6 1/2 mile post, Shandon Station

Hugh MacGinlay, Woodbank Place

Peter Machray, Agnes Millar Wilson [house]

Duncan MacIntyre, Balernock

Colin MacKenzie, Croy

John MacKinlay, Hillhead

John MacKinlay, shop, Woodbank Place

John MacKinlay, Woodbank cottage

Miss Charlotte MacKinlay, Woodburn cottage

Miss H D Mackintosh, Hillhead

Mrs Margaret MacLean, West Shandon

Lady Sophie MacLeod, widow, Fiunary

Lady MacLeod, Hillhead

James Maltman, Blairvaddich

James Maxwell, Greenhill

Reverend Hugh Miller, manse

George Mills, West Shandon

Alexander Mitchell, Croy

Malcolm Morrison, Ardgare

Charles Neaves, Oakbank

John R H Newitt

T B Newitt

Arthur M R Ramsay, Stuckenduff

David Ross, 6 1/2 mile post, Shandon Station

Duncan Sillars, Stuckenduff

Duncan Sillars, Ardgare

James Spiers

John Stewart, Hillhead

Archibald Tait, Cragmore

Thomas Taylor, Letrualt

John Turner, Lagbuie

E G F Wedderburn, widow, Shandon Bank

Robert Whillans, West Shandon

John Wilkinson, Ardgare

Ethelreda Yarrow, Broomfield

Thomas Young, Hydropathic

Death Of John Kerr Of Ardgare

GLASGOW HERALD FRIDAY 24 AUGUST 1900

DEATH OF MR JOHN JAMES KERR, OF ARDGARE

The death took place on Wednesday, at his residence, Ardgare, Shandon, of Mr John James Kerr, of Robertland.

Mr Kerr had been in failing health for sometime, and his decease was not unexpected. Mr Kerr was born at Roberton, near Stewarton, where he became the owner of a very nice estate. He resided along with his sister’s for a number of years in Glasgow, afterwards acquiring the beautiful estate of Ardgare, on the Gareloch.

Mr Kerr was a gentleman of a singularly quiet and unassuming disposition. He was a Justice of the Peace for the county, and an honorary vice-president of the Helensburgh and Gareloch Liberal Association. In religious and philanthropic work he took a very warm interest, and was one of the most generous givers in the West of Scotland.

To his own native district he had proved himself a benefactor, and quite recently he had erected at his own expense an hospital in the village of Stewarton.

The funeral takes place on Tuesday, to the Helensburgh cemetery.