Character of a Shandon Minister


The Rev Neil Brodie, of Pollokshaws Free Church, who died the other day, was succeeded in Shandon Free Church by three or four ministers who all held the fort for very short periods.

Mr Brodie’s immediate successor was of an extremely irritable temperament, and immediately after his settlement he began to quarrel with his elders. One of these gentlemen owned a large estate in the latitude in which arrowroot is grown, and thinking that a small barrel of the season’s first fruits might mollify the minister and be accepted by him as a peace offering, an olive branch, or any other symbol of amity, he straightway put his deign into execution.

The minister, spying the elder approaching, answered the door himself. On being politely and modestly requested to accept the gift, he gruffly bade the elder to put his offerings in the church plate, and, turning on his heel, slammed the door in the good man’s face.

Fatal accident at Shandon


On the evening of New Year’s Day, Alexander Davidson, gardener with George Martin, Esq., Greenhill, was drowned by the upsetting of the ferry-boat.

Davidson, who was not only a total abstainer, but a thoroughly consistent Christian man, attended the prayer meeting in Shandon Free Church in New Year’s Day, and afterwards the meeting of the Sabbath and week-day school children, and at six o’clock went to the ferry to meet a sister-in-law, who was expected by the steamer. He went out in the boat along with the ferryman, when (whether through the fault of the ferryman, or those in the steamer Gem, or both, remains to be cleared up) the ferry-boat came into contact with the steamer’s paddles, and was upset.

MacKinlay, the ferryman, rose to the surface and was saved, but Davidson never appeared above water. On Sabbath the body was recovered. The death of Alexander Davidson is a loss not only to his widow and child, but to the whole Shandon district. An intelligent, active and energetic man, he was ready to every good word and work; he was a devoted Sabbath-school teacher, and took an active part in the Mutual Improvement Society. During the time he has been at Shandon he has earned the esteem of poor and rich.

William Priestley leaves Shandon Hydro



Mr William Priestley, who has just been appointed to the post of manager of the Waverley Hydropathic Establishment, was recently presented with a pair of gold eye-glasses and a purse of forty sovereigns, on the occasion of him leaving the Shandon Hydropathic Establishment.

The Rev. Hugh Miller, of Shandon Free Church, who presided at the presentation, testified to the readiness with which Mr Priestley had given his services in times of sickness, and also to his good work in connection with the Free Church, especially in the young men’s association, of which he had been an office-bearer from the beginning.

He had also been associated from its start with the penny savings bank, and it was largely due to his attention and enthusiasm that it has been such a marked success.

Shandon Hydro Amateur Games



On Saturday the usually quiet village of Shandon, on the Gareloch, was the scene of some excitement, resulting in from the occurrence of the amateur games and aquatic sports in connection with the Shandon Hydropathic Establishment. The land sports were conducted in a field within the grounds north of the establishment, and the aquatic sports in the Gareloch below. These events brought together a large number of ladies and gentlemen from the surrounding district, and what with the residents of the Hydropathic Establishment, numbering over 200 at present, and the resident population, the games were very largely attended. The directors of the establishment had kindly arranged that the extensive grounds would be thrown open to visitors, which was largely taken advantage of.

A grand stand was erected in the field, draped with crimson, and among the occupants were:- Mrs Dennistoun of Golfhill and party, Mrs C Jones Parry of Row and party, Mrs Morrison, Ashcraig and party; Mrs Wm Orr Ewing, Rhu Lodge, and party; Mrs Wm Clark, Golfhill, and party; Mrs Couper, Dalmore, and party.

The day’s amusement commenced with the land sports, and, as the weather was favourable, passed off without a hitch. On no previous occasion was the number of visitors at the establishment so large, and the management of Mr Stockdale was thoroughly satisfactory. The judges were:- Lawn tennis – James Muir, Glasgow, and F L Morrison, Glasgow. Field sports – F L Morrison and A Donaldson, Edinburgh, Croquet – Mr Child, London. Bowling – A Morrison, Glasgow. Aquatics – Mr Priestly, of the establishment, starter; and Mr A Donaldson, judge.

The prizes were awarded as follows:-

Croquet (open to the establishment) – Ladies’ prize, Miss Forrest, Dublin; girls’ prize, Miss Muir, Glasgow; boys’ prize, Master Boswell Donaldson, Edinburgh.

Bowling (open to the establishment) – 1st, Mr McLean, gardener, Shandon; 2nd, Mr Mollison, Glasgow.

Flat race, 100 yards, boys under 15 (open to Helensburgh and the Gareloch) – 1st, Donald Donaldson; 2nd, Stanley Priestley and P W Torrance, equal. Flat race, quarter mile (open to Helensburgh and the Gareloch) – 1st, Wm McKinlay, Helensburgh; 2nd, T Vallance, Shandon. Flat race – 100 yards – boys under 15 (open to the establishment) – 1st, Dugid Milne, Aberdeen; 2nd, Stanley Priestly. Sack race (open to the establishment) – 1st, J Blair, Shandon, 2nd, B Donaldson, Edinburgh. Flat race – half-mile (open to Helensburgh and the Gareloch) – 1st, W McKinlay, 2nd, J Johnston. Wheelbarrow race (open to the establishment) – 1st, J Sloan, 2nd, J Dempster. Hop, step and jump (open to Helensburgh and the Gareloch) – W McKinlay. Pitcher race (open to the establishment) – George McKenzie. Ladies’ race (open to Helensburgh and the Gareloch) – Miss Helen Allan. Trousers race (open to the establishment) – G McKenzie and A Porter. Tug-of -war (open to the establishment) – House v Gardeners – Gardeners won. Band race – quarter-mile – senior – 1st, Daniel McPherson, 2nd, Samuel Smith. Junior – 1st, Wm Cox, 2nd, Alfred George Carter. Girls’ race (confined to the establishment) – 1st Annie Eadie, 2nd, Grace Muir. Boys’ race (confined to the establishment) – 1st H Brand, 2nd G Muir.

Four-oared jollyboat race (open to the Gareloch) – 1st, Helensburgh crew – Wm McKinlay, Wm Ireland, David McCall, 2nd, Row – Peter Farquhar, Donald McLeod, Angus McLeod, Robert Rodger. Two-oared jollyboat race for ladies (open to the establishment) – The Misses Horsburgh, Edinburgh. Jollyboat race (open to the Cumberland boys) – Crew of No 4 gig. Punt race – 1st, J Ingram, 2nd, McKellar. Swimming – boys’ race (open to Helensburgh and the Gareloch) – 1st, Stanley Priestly, Shandon, 2nd, J Elborn, Shandon. Swimming handicap, 100 yards (open to Helensburgh and the Gareloch) – 1st, A McKinlay, Helensburgh, 2nd, W Dick. Duck hunt – After an exciting chase the duck was caught.

At the close Mrs Dennistoun presented the prizes to the successful competitors in front of the establishment, where a temporary platform was erected. The Chairman of the Board of Directors (Bailie Morrison, of Glasgow) proposed a vote of thanks to Mrs Dennistoun, which was heartily given. Three cheers were also called for Mr Gardiner, the chairman of the Sports Committee, which was warmly accorded, and the large party afterwards dispersed.

Farewell Reverend Brodie



On Sabbath, 9th current, the Rev N Brodie, Shandon, preached for the last time to his present congregation previous to his induction at Pollockshaws. On the evening of Wednesday last week a soiree was held in the Church, which was again filled, for the purpose of presenting Mr Brodie with a testimonial of esteem and affection from the members of the congregation residing in the parish during the winter months, and other in the neighbourhood.

After tea etc, Mr J Gillies, Shandon, one of the elders, rose and said – When we found Mr Brodie was thus to leave us it occurred to several of us that we could not let him go without, at least, presenting him with some substantial token of our esteem and affection. We soon found that this desire was general, and when the subscription list was produced members of other denominations subscribed as cheerfully as we did ourselves. One gentleman in the neighbourhood, not a member of the Free Church, whose name is associated with Shandon (W Buchanan, Esq, MP for Glasgow), handsomely headed the subscription list. They had judged it best to present the whole as a purse of sovereigns.

Addressing Mr Brodie Mr Gillies said – Rev and dear Sir, I present you with this purse, containing 75 sovereigns, in name of those of your congregation now present and other attached friends, with their united prayers for your future welfare and success. – Mr Brodie, in accepting the gift, replied with much feeling and power.

Regatta Preparation



The arrangements for the regatta are now almost completed. There are 15 events on the programme, and as this is the last regatta of the season, a good turn-out of crews is expected.

For the confined four-oared race, three crews are hard at practice, and as they are evenly matched a close race is expected. For the amateur four-oared race four crews have already entered.

The races will start from opposite the Hydropathic Establishment.



This event, which takes place here on Saturday first, is looked forward to with great interest.

The money prizes offered are most inviting, and already the entries are very numerous, the Secretary, up to Monday, having received no fewer than 31 for swimming alone, and he is certain of a great many more. The sailing and rowing matches will also be well contested, and this being the last regatta for the season in the district, it will decide the championship of the Gareloch.

The committee are desirous that the day should be observed as a general holiday, and we see no reason why arrangements could not be made for carrying out the views of those who devoted so much time in getting up a most pleasant day’s pastime.

In addition to the events published for sometime, it has been agreed, as will be seen from our advertising columns, that good prizes be offered for an extra lugsail race for boats not exceeding 20 feet keel. Altogether, the arrangements are most complete, and should the elements prove favourable, there is sure to be a large turnout of spectators.

The course has been fixed from opposite the Hydropathic (a better could not be found in any loch in Scotland), and spectators can have a fine view from the high battery.

Sale of the Shandon collection part 5

Dear blog reader

Here is the fifth part of the series on the sale of the contents of West Shandon House, also known as the Shandon collection. Enjoy.





This sale, which has now reached its eleventh day, was better attended this afternoon, a considerable number of people being present, especially when the ivories were sold. The watches and snuff-boxes again sold well, and a fine ivory tankard reached, as will be seen, the somewhat sensational price of 870 gs. The following were the principal lots.

The sale began with a miniature Venus at the Bath, which went for £2 12s 6d. A portrait of Mary Queen of Scots went to Mr Lawrie for £1 18s, and one of James, Duke of Hamilton, on vellum, to Mr Bohn, for £4 10s; the same gentleman buying James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, for £6. Four serpents, in a case, went to Mr Lawrie for £12 10s, and ‘Hope’, after Sir J Reynolds, at £5 15s. A miniature ivory, by Antissier, fetched £5 2s 6d. A portrait of Sir Christopher Wren, oval miniature, by Bernard Lens, with his initials, was bought by Mr Bohn at £12. A small case, containing four water-colour miniatures, went at £2 5s. A miniature on ivory of Sir Walter Scott, by Landseer, ran to £15. An oval miniature of a French lady, from the Bernal Collection, in ormolu frame, went to Mr Bohn for £9, and a portrait of a gentleman followed at 4gs.

Gems, etc, came next – the first, a nymph on onyx, going for 4 1/2gs, and the second, a cameo of a nymph by Girometti, mounted as a ring, for 6 1/2gs. Perseus and a lion, on onyx intaglio, as a ring, fetched £2 4s, and the next lot, onyx cameo, as a brooch, £8 10s. Four gold rings together (1862) brought £3 5s, and the following four the same price. A head of Christ, cameo in bloodstone, being cleverly cut, showing the drops of blood, fetched 5gs, and a female head, a topaz cameo, £4, both being bought by Mr Pike. A silver ring, and an octagonal plaque of rock crystal, two lots together, realised 4 1/2gs, and a head of Ariadne, cameo on onyx, by Santarelli, 5 1/2gs. A very small pendant, with an enamelled gold Madonna in rock crystal, fetched £2 15s. Venus and Cupid, a large intaglio, in onyx, went at £2 5s, and a similar one, surrounded by moss agates, at £3 12s 6d. A head of Silenus, a large cameo in rosso antico, fetched £3 15s; and an intaglio in brown sand, with the combat of the Centaurs and Lapithae, £3 10s, going to Mr Denman. A round plaque of rock crystal went for 5gs, and a cameo onyx with head of Cleopatra, set in gold, was run up to £15 10s. A red sardonyx ring sold for £2 12s 6d, the next for £2 15s, and one in brown sand, from the Poniatowski collection, for £3. Another sard with an onyx cameo (1884), fetched £2 10s.

Some more watches were then offered, the first lot, a gold watch, by Scott, being absent, and the second, a small old French carriage watch, going for £4 2s 6d. A small silver watch formed as a cross, by G Cocque, date 1604, ran up to ten gs, and a large antique silver-gilt clock watch with bell, to £11. An antique watch, presented by Charles II to Evelyn, fetched £17 going to Mr Lawrie. An antique watch in rock crystal case sold for 10 1/2gs, and an old French watch, in chased gold case, enamelled dial, was run up to £40, going to Mr Wertheimer. A repeating watch, in gold case, enamelled, silver hands, set with sparks, made by Justin-Vullaimy, a beautiful watch, went to Mr Joseph for 70gs. An English gold watch, by Hodges, fetched £7 10s, and an antique watch, in octagon gilt metal case, 5gs. A small antique watch, in spherical case of rock crystal, went for 10gs, and one formed like an acorn for 5gs. A watch by Harman, London (1906), brought £6; and a gold watch by H Bish, London, in chased and pierced case, was bought by Mr Denman for 10gs. A small watch by Allen, in onyx case, fetched 12gs, and a repeater by Cabrier, London, £12 5s. A watch in gold case, by Windmill, with enamels realised 15gs. The last watch to-day, a gold repeater in case chased with Venue and Adonis, and gold chatelaine scent-bottle and seal, was soon knocked down for £76.

More snuff-boxes came next. The first, of Battersea enamel, for the head of a cane, said to have belonged to Garrick, fetching 5gs, and the second, an oval Dresden one, 7gs. A circular bonbonniere, of white porcelain, inlaid with flowers and gold pique work, fetched £12 10s, and an oval tortoiseshell box, with silver chasing, 9gs. An oblong box of yellow horn, inlaid with figures, ran up to 13 1/2gs. An oblong silver gilt bird box, with a Swiss view, sold for £14, and one of tortoise-shell, inlaid with pique, silver mounted for £2 10s. A box made from the yew tree planted by Mary Queen of Scots at Crookston Castle, went for £5 10s; and the next lots, a round horn box and ivory patch box, were sold together for £4 10s. A round gold box, formed of a watch case, enamelled, realised 5 1/2gs, and one with Christ and the Virgin on the back, 26gs. A Dresden porcelain box, mounted in gold, sold for £11, and then an old French gold box, enamelled and set with pearls, with a small watch in the centre, ran up to £52. An Italian enamelled box fetched £3 7s 6d, and a small-shaped gold box, a lion on the top, went to £10. An old French circular box, with a miniature of Madame Elizabeth, was bought for 10 guneas, and then an oval gold box, the lid formed of a Sevres plaque, ran up to 9gs. An oval crystal, gold mounted, realised 36gs, going to Mr Loewenstein. An oblong mother-of-pearl box fetched £6 15s. A circular box, mounted with various stones, was sold for 18gs to Mr Boore. A fine Louis XV round agate box, gold-mounted, went up to £25. A circular box of matrix of amethyst, with a cameo, pearls and gold for flowers on the lid, fetched £31 10s.

More carvings in ivory then followed, the first two lots going together for £1 15s. A statuette of a boy holding a palette realised 20gs. A small flask, of Persian work, sold for £1 18s, and another for £1 2s, while a German one realised £6 10s. A blotting-book of carved open work, with foliage, nymphs and Cupids, went to Mr Lawrie for 32gs. An oval casket, with wreaths of oak leaves, from the International Exhibition of 1862, fetched £12. An oblong casket from the same, with roses in high relief, went for 11gs; a bust of Louis Philippe for 2gs; and one of Lord Brougham for £3 10s. The Rape of the Sabines, a Flemish carving in relief, 9 1/2 inches long by 5 inches high, was knocked down for 110 gs to Mr Marks. An allegorical group of four figures, showing Death carrying off an infant from its mother, ran to 52 gs. A tankard in frieze of amorini, mounted in respousse silver, was sold for 24gs. Abraham dismissing Hagar and Ishmael, a carving in high relief, 4 1/4 by 3 1/2 inches, signed by Ruremonde, ran to 29gs; Samson and the Lion, in high relief, 4 inches by 3 inches, fetched 15 1/2 gs. The infant Saviour and St John, carved in high relief, 17th century, 5 1/2 inches by 4 inches, realised 23 gs, and was bought by Mr Lawrie. A tankard carved with tritons and sea nymphs, mounted in silver gilt, went to Mr Lowenstein at £30, and another, not catalogued, ran up to £70, and was bought by Mr White. A large tankard, carved with marine and other deities, in high relief, soon mounted to 72 guineas, going to Mr Marks. The next, a cup carved with Baccahanalian figures, realised 70 guineas. A group of two wrestling amorini, seventeenth century work, about four inches high, fetched 31gs. A tankard, carved with a frieze of Bacchanais, mounted in silver gilt, 18th century, realised 45s, and the companion, with a frieze of children, dogs, stags and boars, 30gs. In the last lot to-day, a fine tankard with ivory cover, handle and mountings of silver gilt, richly carved body and cover, from the Duchess of Cleveland’s collection, exhibited at the Loan Exhibition Collection, South Kensington, was knocked down for 870gs to Mr Wertheimer.

The total to-day was £2690, bringing the whole sum at present received up to £40,469.

Sale of Shandon Hydro

Dear blog reader

As my regular readers will know, most of my blog posts about the Hydro are about the sale of the contents of West Shandon prior to conversion into the Hydro or about events held at the Hydro during its life as a hotel.

Below is something different, an article from 1936 when the Hydro was sold.

I hope you find it interesting






Shandon Hotel, the well-known hydropathic, is coming on to the market, and has been placed in the hands of Walker, Fraser & Steele, the Glasgow and Edinburgh estate agents.

The property occupies a fine situation on the shores of the Gareloch. The mansion-house, an Elizabethan edifice, was commenced in 1851 as the seat of Mr Robert Napier the noted marine engineer. After his death, its collection of art treasures was sold in London, and the mansion itself converted into a hydropathic establishment, being enlarged by the addition of Turkish and swimming baths etc.

There is a magnificent suite of reception rooms, about 130 bedrooms (of which approximately 100 are fitted with running water), salt water swimming pools, Russian and Turkish baths, and covered tennis courts. The local railway station on the London and North Eastern Railway system is nearby. The grounds extend to over 60 acres, providing all kinds of outdoor sports.

Messrs Walker, Fraser & Steele, who have been instructed to market the property by Messrs West, Anderson & Murdoch, solicitors, Glasgow, intimate that they do not intend to place Shandon to auction. They will invite private offers for the place more or less as it stands, including all the furnishings and fittings etc.

Wet Weather Entertainment




The disagreeable wet weather has had the effect of making the numerous guests in this establishment seek out entertainment for themselves, with the aid of the resident staff.

On Friday evening a grand ‘ball poudre’ was devised and carried out with great effect – flowers, plants, flags, and little bits of beauty decorating the large hall of the house.

Mr Evans, the hairdresser from Helensburgh, with assistants from Glasgow, were busy from an early hour in the afternoon, in two rooms set apart for the purpose, with wigs, powder, paint and patches, preparing the guests ‘in ye style of ye days of the seventeenth century’.

The large company presented a most interesting and attractive appearance, moving with graceful manner among the gay trappings of the hall, and all looked happy in their gorgeous costumes – the ladies, of course, demanding the first consideration.

The dance opened at nine o’clock, and, after a pleasant evening’s enjoyment, the guests retired about 2.30am.

Ordination of Reverend Hugh Miller




The ordination of the Rev Hugh Miller, MA, to the pastoral charge of this Church took place on Tuesday.

There was a large congregation, and the Rev John Elder, Arrochar, preached and presided. At the close of service the young minister received a hearty welcome from the members of the Church.

In the afternoon the Presbytery and office-bearers dined in the Shandon Hydropathic. A soiree was held in the Church in the evening. Rev Mr Ireland, Garelochhead, presided, and suitable addresses were given by Ref Professor Lindsay, DD, and others. Mr McLellan, Blairvaddich, in the name of the ladies, presented the new minister with a pulpit Bible and a handsome gown. Mr Miller made a suitable reply.

On Sabbath the newly-ordained pastor will be introduced by the Rev Dr Elder, Rothesay.