Johnstone History Museum
Johnstone History Society • Scotland

JHM Web Log
Public Park football team from 1954
The following photograph of the public park football team from 1954 was uploaded to the Johnstone history Facebook page and is surely worth reposting here.
The Crawford Family


The following article was published by Eddie McRorie on 19th August 2023 on the Johnstone History Facebook page and is reproduced here with his kind permission.

David Crawford was a farmers son from Sproulston Farm in Howwood and attended school in Lochwinnoch. He spent his early years working on the farm until the family started the well known dairy business in Johnstone, Crawford’s Dairies.

Crawford Dairies

While David was growing up on the farm , a girl called Edith Napier was also growing up on a farm in Perthshire where they met and fell in love at Gleneagles being there through their interest in golf.

They started off their married life on a farm at Lochwinnoch with Edith commenting that this was a time in their lives they greatly enjoyed.

Owning to pressure of work in the Crawford’s Dairy business the couple moved to Johnstone to a house named Dunmore in Thomson Avenue (named after a former Provost).
Later they moved to the mansion house known as Lynnhurst in Park Road, Johnstone. (The house was built for ex-provost John Lang Jnr. of Lang Lathes.) and it was there after being married for ten years that they were blessed with two daughters Fiona and Catriona.

Edith Crawford’s many interests included curling and the W.R.V.S. She was a founder member and ex chairman of Johnstone Evening Townswomen’s Guild.
David Crawford is also keen on curling and was a member of St Mirrin Curling Club in Paisley.
He is also well remembered in Johnstone for his 15 years of service in Johnstone Town Council. During this time he was convenor of the Housing Management Committee, and Treasurer, a Bailie and Police Judge.

One of David’s earliest memories is in the 1930’s Major Harold Glen-Coats decided to have milk from the Crawford Farm at Howwood delivered to his Ferguslie House. He was a very particular gentleman and his milk was put in locked containers with the only people having keys being the Crawford and the Major himself.

He also called at the farm once a month to inspect the cows. When the Glen-Coats family went to their shooting lodge at Ardrishaig they still had to have Crawford’s milk which was taken to Gilmour Street Station in Paisley and put on a train to Gourock. From there it went by the steamer St Columba to Ardrishaig.

In due course the family decided to sell out to Express Dairies which later merged with Scottish Farmers and David Crawford remained as a director of the group for a number of years.

Lynnhurst Hotel

During this time the active Edith Crawford decided to turn Lynnhurst mansion house into a small private hotel. However the business grew so quickly that David was forced to give up his other work and manage the hotel.

The Lynnhurst hotel was a success and when Woodlands the mansion next door became available the Crawfords took it over. The two houses were then joined by a large extension which coasted of a function suite holding 200 and a new cocktail bar.
The conjoined hotel now had 34 bedrooms, 14 en-suite and 4 with showers, and the Crawford’s thoroughly enjoyed their life of dispensing hospitality to visitors, many of whom come from far away parts of the world.

In spite of the work of running this busy hotel the couple were still involved with activities around the district and their services were constantly sought by various organisations.

David Crawford was a founder member and ex-chairman of Ayrshire Young Farmers Club and together they enjoyed keeping in touch with grass roots farming of their early lives.

The Lynnhurst Hotel has changed hands more than once since David and Edith Crawford owned it and is today a well known and liked venue in demand for weddings and every kind of function.

Edith and David Crawford have left a lasting contribution to the fabric of Johnstone.

On a personal note my late mother Betty McRorie a founder member of the ladies bowling section of the Municipal Bowling Greens and my late father a member of the gents used to retire to the The Bird In Hand at Quarellton for a refreshment after the wappenshaw found a The new Lynnhurst Hotel a welcome addition in Park road across from the bowling club. The Crawfords were well known to my parents and it was no surprise when my mother, never one to miss an opportunity, who was looking for new a new sponsor and trophy for the Ladies mixed pairs competition asked Edith about being the sponsor to which Edith readily agreed. My mother left it to Edith Crawford to pick a trophy and as you can see from the accompanying photo of the presentation of trophies Edith did not disappoint by buying the biggest trophy the club had dwarfing all the others. My mother is far left on back row.

Click the link below to view photographs related to the Crawford family.
Clicking on individual photographs will display them full size.


The Crawford Family

Johnstone Band - Black Cart Water
Johnstone Band had a piece of music specially commissioned to perform at the recent Kapitol Cory Online Brass Band Championships. The piece, Black Cart Water by Nicholas Olsen, celebrates Johnstone’s industrial past with the thread and cotton mills that were powered by the Black Cart Water. We hope you enjoy our performance.

Thanks to Mark Good for his work on the video, to Ryan Bradley for the audio, to Kukscinema Scotland for drone footage and to Iain Murray of Johnstone History Museum for his assistance.

Revised 6 February 2024.

Recommendation: Expand video to full screen.

Johnstone Machine Tool from Loundons reached Russia
Recently we have been amazed to find evidence of how Johnstone Machine Tools reached right round the world.

This first story starts when John McFarlane, a visitor to the Museum, told us about his father's uncle, Tom McFarlane, who had worked in Loudon Bros Machine Tool Company in Johnstone. He added that Tom had not only worked in Loudon's but had been in charge of a small team who travelled to Russia to install a huge planing machine in a Russian Machine shop. John subsequently brought us in a photograph of this event. The Machine was a Planing Machine and one of the largest machine tools made by Loudons.

Revised 6 February 2024.
We have added a new feature to our web site. You will find a Videos link on the banner. Have a try! (Please note: This feature is developing rapidly and may change from day today.)
WW1 Roll of Honour List Update
We have recently updated our World War 1 Roll of Honour list that you will find under the Categories section of our Web Log list. Should you so wish, we can now add your information to the names. If you wish to add information please use the contact form to submit information you wish to include.

Read the article

Captain Thomas Stevenson Craig M.C
By Angela Gillespie.
While searching the London Gazette I found the following entry in a Supplement dated 24 Feb. 1942, page 894 - The Military Cross awarded to Lieutenant (Temporary Captain) Thomas Stevenson Craig (85709), Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps (Johnstone, Renfrewshire).

This is another Angela Gillespie Story. Click the link below.

Capt Thomas Craig M.C.

The Story of the Glasgow to Ardrossan Canal that only reached Johnstone
Ardrossan Canal and Railway By the late E.S.Nicoll, edited and contributed to Johnstone History Museum by Stuart Rankin. On October 2, 1903, the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald contained a paper on the above subject, read at Ardrossan by Clement F. Stretton of the Society of Engineers. Follow the link to the full story

The Canal

Museum Reaches Major Milestone
Johnstone History Museum Celebrates its 50,000th Visitor

Johnstone History Museum, which is located within the Morrisons store in Johnstone achieved a huge milestone the other day when it welcomed its 50,000th visitor through the door.

Tassum Shafiq, from Bridge of Weir, was welcomed by two of the Museum volunteers, Helen Bowie and Marlene Rogan. At an event organised to celebrate the occasion, Tassum was presented with a traditional Scottish Quaich and a commemorative Certificate by the Chairman of the Johnstone History Society, Iain Murray.

Iain reported that he was delighted to see the Museum achieve such an important milestone and thanked the whole team of volunteers who keep the whole show running. The Community Museum opened its doors in April, 2008, the year after the Morrisons store itself opened. Visitors come in from all over the world but it is also great to welcome locals who discover a lot about their own town for the first time. The Museum also hosts school groups and local interest groups for organised visits by arrangement.

When asked how it all came about, Iain stated that, “when the Supermarket was being planned, discussions were held between the Council planning department, Morrisons’ Directors and members of Johnstone History Society, about the possibility of incorporating a purpose built Community Museum within the store. With financial help from the Heritage Lottery Fund the present facility came to pass.

“Johnstone History Society, owes a huge debt of thanks to the late Councillor John Kenny, the late Adam Lynch and his wife Janette who put in a huge amount of work to help create the Museum that we see in place today. The present team carry on the work they created”.

The Museum contains a huge amount of information, photographs, historic documents, maps, memorabilia and industrial artefacts that chart the history of the town from February, 1782, when George Houstoun, the Laird of Johnstone planned the Town, to the present day.
Johnstone Machine Tools reached Chile
Recently we received an enquiry from Chile about a Machine Tool made in Johnstone by Thomas Shanks & Sons. The enquiry to our web site was from a man in Chile who communicated in Spanish. Luckily our web sponsor, Rees Clark, is fluent in Spanish, so was able to communicate with our contact. More of the story to follow once Rees fills in this section of the story.

For more Thomas Shanks Machine Tools go to Thomas Shanks

Thomas Shanks

Johnstone Machine Tools used in Australia
Cockatoo Island Dockyard in Sydney. Large Thomas Shanks machines. Photographs courtesy of Mori Flapan of Sydney Australia.

For more Thomas Shanks Machine Tools at Cockatoo click on link Thomas Shanks

The Cockatoo Island Dockyard was a major dockyard in Sydney, Australia, based on Cockatoo Island. The Dockyard was established in 1857to maintain Royal Navy warships. It later built and repaired military and battle ships, and played a key role in sustaining the Royal Australian Navy. The Dockyard was closed in 1991, and its remnants are heritage listed as the Cockatoo Island Industrial Conservation Area. Credit Wikipedia.

Thomas Shanks

Great Drone video of Johnstone by Kukscinema Scotland
Kukscinema Scotland has produced a memorable flyover video of Johnstone. We recommend expanding the view to full screen.

View at Facebook.

Kali (MacLaurin) Lindner's hunt for her Roots
Kali has now supplied a great photograph of the McLaurin family at Cartside House. Thought I would share.

Kali (MacLaurin) Lindner's hunt for her Roots
Kali Lindner and her family from Montana in the USA, recently visited the Museum, seeking information about her ancestors, the McLaurin family, of Smith & McLaurin fame. They also wished to find anything they could about Cartside House, the McLaurin's family home.

We were able to find information about the McLaurins who lived in the Mansion over the years. Cartside House was sited on the land across the road from the present Smith & McLairin Company Premises.

Follow the link below to read the story of the history of Cartside House.

Cartside House

Johnstone - The “Cap of Liberty” and the “Radical Rising” by Angela Gillespie
The end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815 brought economic depression and social unrest. In 1816 some 40,000 people attending a meeting in Glasgow Green to demand more representative government and an end to the Corn Laws which kept food prices high. The Industrial Revolution had affected hand-loom weavers who saw their wages slashed. Artisan workers sought action to reform what they saw as an uncaring government leading to demonstrations and protest. As industrial distress deepened, the demand for reform grew more insistent but the government only replied by measures of suppression. The French Revolution had produced a profound effect on political thought throughout the country - “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” was an explosive slogan - with an appeal that carried across frontiers. It was hope to the underprivileged and oppressed but terror to those in power.

Read the whole story about how this "Radical Rising" affected Johnstone in Angela Gillespie's latest story.

The Story