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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 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.
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

John Lang & Sons May 1960 -- > -- Wickman Lang March 1973
An Apprentice’s Personal Journey by John Steel

In this latest article on John Langs, John steel describes his journey from Apprentice to Journeyman. Read his story via the link below

John Steel's Article

Reminiscences of Wickman Lang by Eddie McRorie
Skilled trades workers were a major factor in the development of Johnstone's reputation as a center of innovation in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Eddie McRorie has described his experiences working in the machine tool industry in the 1970s; excerpts follow, click here for the full story or
here for the related gallery.

Johnstone History Society welcomes submissions of personal, professional and company histories. Use the Contact form to suggest a topic or submit an article for evaluation by the editors.


The Johnstone Fair (1875) courtesy of Iain Reynolds
Iain Reynolds of Johnstone has kindly provided us with an interesting insight into the importance of the Fair to all of the Town's citizens.

Read the Letter

John Lang & Sons a brief overview by Jessica Reid
The Lang organisation started as a private family partnership and progressed into a limited company around 1916. John Lang and Sons specialised in designing and producing lathes. Although they mainly and successfully produced lathes. The company also produced tools and machine parts such as gears.

Read the Article