Renfrew’s History Bygone Day’s “part three″

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You could take a walk along Glebe Street and up Sandy Road and find fields the whole way to Cockles Loan with the exception of some private houses here and there, in fact every housing scheme in Renfrew was at one time farmland which changed the face of the town and in itself led to many other changes.

Our walk continued into Paisley Road via Cockles Loan, therefore the Loanhead, Victory Gardens, Arkleston, and Newmains, housing schemes as they are now, was farmland then, and if we were to continue down Paisley Road we again encountered fields on which the Porterfield scheme was built. Arriving at the south corner of Newmains Road and Paisley Road the tramway depot was situated, and on a similar corner at Broadloan, a derelict mill.

To finish this aspect of my story I should mention that, the Fulbar scheme as it is now was once barren ground, and when the “shows or the circus” came to town, this was the site that was chosen, also on occasion they occupied the ground now known as Simons Crescent. On the other side of the high railway was another small field on which you will now find Hamilton Crescent, and in those far off days I always regarded this part of the town as rather desolate, and the smell coming from the gas works certainly did not help.

To avoid confusion I should like to point out, that the Fulbar scheme is in Fulbar Lane and the new scheme in Fulbar Street was the railway siding I previously mentioned. The people of those days were more dependant on trams than on trains as a means of transport, and the motor car had still to make its impact. The Glasgow trains were regarded as luxurious in comparison to the Paisley trains, so, whilst the Glasgow trains were operated by the Glasgow corporation, and provided the most efficient public transport available at the time with their enclosed double deck, the Paisley trains had no roof to the upper deck and one had to sit exposed to the elements, but for mere coppers one could travel for miles, and I never did find out who actually were the owners of the Paisley tram..

Renfrew despite being a small town had two railways, the High and the Low, and it is surprising to learn that there were eight railway bridges, although this could be disputed as far as one or two were concerned. Therefore workers from Glasgow or Paisley could travel to Renfrew by train. Their was also a freight service to the two shipyards and down to Renfrew Wharf, and just across from Meadow Lane their was a tank for servicing the locomotives with water, and a roundabout, operated manually so that the engines could be made to face in the opposite direction.

Elderly people will remember the summers of their childhood as being long and warm!, be that as it may, Renfrew was still a good place for children to play. He or she was a fortunate child who knew a farmer well enough to allow them to play on his farm, or a Carter who allowed you to have a “hurl” on the back of his cart, or even perhaps to frequent his stables, and In some strange way become nearer to nature than the children of today.