In the early 1950s a girl and her Mother from Parkhead regularly walked past 104 Tynecastle Street Springboig.
The girl and her mother were on their way to visit a former neighbour who now lived in the new Cranhill housing scheme. Sometimes she saw a boy in 104 Tynecastle Street’s front garden.
She occasionally saw the boy playing with his dog, or playing alone, pretending that he was a cowboy.
The young Springboig cowboy never noticed the girl and her mother walking past his garden on the way to walk up the metal brae of Springboig Road.
104 Tynecastle Street Springboig
I return to Springboig on a weekly basis to visit a relative. Driving down Springboig Road and turning right into Tynecastle Street just past the old Glasgow Corporation number 10 bus terminus – a service retired in 1986. terminus lay-by is almost fully intact. Its bus stop long gone.
My eyes are of course, on the road ahead. I drive past 104 Tynecastle Street Springboig. This old council house was the home of my Grandparents. And a meeting point for most of my relatives over the 40 year Sherry tenancy.
My Grandparents Thomas Sherry (1901-1955) and Jane O’Donnell (1904-1991) were one of the first post war tenants on Tynecastle Street. Thomas, Jane and their young family of five daughters and a son decanted from a small flat at 237 Appin Road, Haghill, to the then modern BISF home in Springboig.
My Father recalled 104 Tynecastle Street was the showhome. One of the subtle differences was that the ground floor had wooden floors. The other houses in the new scheme made do with concrete flooring.
Outside, Tynecastle Street was essentially a dirt track with some wooden boards to resemble a street. There is a family story that my Grandad Sherry planted the hedges along their patch of street.
I have no concrete proof that this was so.
If Thomas Sherry displayed green-fingered tendencies, I did not inherit those genes..
Tynecastle Street Names
Looking at the Glasgow Electoral Register of 1949 I scanned the street names and recognised names of people I knew of over the years of living in Springboig, The McGuigans at 102 Tynecastle Street, The Beatties, Scullions from Greenend Place and The McCaddens at Inchkeith Place. 1
When Springboig was a work in progress, William McGuigan from 102 was watchman for the building site. Stationed at a wooden hut at the bottom of Greenend Place. I remember him in his later years. I wish I was old enough and interested in family history to ask him about my Grandfather.
William’s daughter later married Hugh Gorman. And still living at 102 Tynecastle Street in the late 1990s.
No Swearing in 104 Tynecastle Street Springboig
One of the rewards during my research was to learn more about my Grandfather Thomas Sherry. Older relatives recall 104’s living room as Grandad’s room. Gran, other family and visitors congregated in the kitchen. One of my Dad’s duties in the house was to start the coal fire before Grandad came home.
After work, the quiet man from Longriggend came home and sat in the living room relaxing, occasionally singing in harmony with Gran and their children or playing his old organ.
Grandad Sherry by all accounts, was no social butterfly. People had to start a conversation with Thomas Sherry. But, during his quiet moments, Grandad sat and listened to the other conversations in 104 Tynecastle Street.
If he heard a swear word come from the mouths of visitors, he politely ejected them from his home. He did not put up with people using bad words in front of his wife and children.
In the 1950s, 104 Tynecastle Street Springboig was the place when Grandad came down the stairs complaining of a pain in his lower stomach that felt like being kicked hard. He passed away in April 1955.
My Grandfather never met his Grandchildren. But 104 did.
Call The Midwife At 104 Tynecastle Street Springboig
My Grandmother was the unofficial emergency midwife in Springboig. If an expectant mother fell into labour and couldn’t make the hospital, Gran would be called for to help deliver the baby. Sometimes a bedroom at 104 Tynecastle Street turned into a makeshift maternity ward.
Some of my relatives first entered the world at 104. With Gran Sherry being the Doctor and Midwife.
Such was the Midwife skill of Jane Sherry, one of my Aunts joked a few years ago that there should have been a ‘ Midwife On Call’ sign placed on the front door of 104.
All stories involving 104 Tynecastle Street Springboig are linked with the collective memory of it being an open house. During the years of my family’s tenancy, 104 was an open house. Never quiet, always busy. Family, friends, neighbours congregated in that prefab house.
When my Dad and his sisters (bar one) moved out, they never really did leave. 104 was a magnet to them. In Dad’s case he repaired his cars in its long driveway. If there was a pot of soup bubbling away in the kitchen, Dad would be there.
On a sunny day, my Aunts would go sunbathing in the back garden. Margarine, the choice of tanning lotion. Some of them continued the Springboig sun worshipping until the 1980s.
104 Tynecastle Street: Later Years
I have no recollection of my Grandmother living at 104 Tynecastle Street Springboig. She moved to a pensioner flat in 1980. 104 housed my Aunt and her family until 1987/88 when they moved to a bungalow as my Uncle’s health was in decline.
I missed all of the hustle and bustle, the gossip, the family get togethers and arguments at 104 Tynecastle Street due to my age. I think I visited 104 less than five times. The last visit probably around 1983/1984.
And the only room I saw was the living room that my Grandfather sat in decades previously.
I met my Aunt Alice a few years ago we spoke about 104 Tynecastle Street. She shared a lot of interesting stories with me. Such as my Grandfather did not really like living in Springboig.
What also brought home what I have missed due to the passage of time, was my Aunt speaking about how she regrets giving up 104 Tynecastle Street. Her current home cant replicate the atmosphere or life of the old place.
Nothing beats a family home with atmosphere and history. I understood my Aunt’s feelings about 104.
Tynecastle Street 2018
A lot of people I remember are gone. Some relatives live in the area. But I am not in contact with them. Springboig brings back ghosts and memories every time I visit the area.
104 Tynecastle Street is still there, watching descendants of the family who entered its front door for the first time seven decades ago pass by.
Its our family home only in memory.
I do not know who lives there today.
In the late 1950s the girl from Parkhead started seeing a young man with dirty fair hair. He worked as a van boy in Shettleston Co-Operative.
The van boy’s name was Thomas, he lived in Springboig since he was a child. Thomas liked Western Movies, particularly ones featuring John Wayne and Randolph Scott.
During the course of their three-year courtship, Thomas told his girlfriend Jeanette his favourite game as a boy was playing Cowboys and Indians in the front garden of 104 Tynecastle Street.
Jeanette and Thomas were together for 38 years.