Bridge of Weir Main Street.
Walk down yesterdays Main Street would reveal a slightly different way of life than todays.
On entering the village from the Kilmacolm Road you would have seen the coal yard belonging to Mr Miller, this is now Strathgryffe Crescent. Further on the right hand side was the Gryffe Hotel, its original name was Thistlebank, and todays new flats have been given this name. The lodge house opposite was the entrance to Gryffe Castle.
Further along the road was a smithy where the horses were shod. Mr Miller who had a contracting business kept his horses here. He then moved further along the road to the other corner of Houston Road, where he had a yard and an office at Barngillan. Opposite the Smithy was a pub called the Wheat Sheaf Inn this is now the car sales park at CH Bull & Sons.
The Gryffe Tannery was set well back and an electric sub-station belonging to the Clyde Valley Electric Company was on the corner nearest the road. Boyles was next door to that. On the left was Miss Gillies drapers shop and at the Briglinn Maggie Kidd had a shop that sold hot peas. At the back of the shop Willie Kidd kept an avairy where he bred canaries.
We now cross what was originally called the 'Old Tanyard Brig'. This has now been widened and reconstructed. Over looking an orchard you would see the Viaduct bridge where the railway crosses the River Gryffe, used by the trains travelling from Glasgow to Greenock.
As we travel on we pass the Post Office, then Gryffe View where Miss Caldwell had a sweet shop, and sold the very best mince pies in the district. Beside her shop was a residence and then a grocers, where Bob Stillie had barrels of salt herring outside his shop.
At Linnside Terrace we pass the doctors surgery, this is now demolished and the land forms part of Gryffe Grove, the Paisley Vaults, Andersen's home bakery and Barrs the newsagents. Leezy Langs public house and the Commercial buildings with a pend through to the back of Garners buses. Maggie Fultons was next at the Commercial Inn, now the Millwheel. Maggie Fulton was a kindly person and ran her pub with an attitude villagers respected.
On the southside of Torr Road was Gibb Stuarts the ironmongers and Stewart Cook's the butchers, businesses that have been in the village for generations. Set higher up was a joiners, unfortunately this was burned down, on the same sight at a later date was McKenzies garage. A little further along is the Hope Hall, this was a hut rather than a hall. Rockvale Cottages which are still in existance, then Campbells land and Cameron Place both of which were demolished in 1930. At the bottom of the Glen where the Powbum runs under the road is the Railway Tavern owned by the Wylie family, unfortunately since the mid 1980's it no longer belongs to them.
On the left hand side opposite the Hope Hall was the Co-operative shop and halls upstairs. This is now Robert Campbell the electricians. Further along at Newton Place was Hugh Holmes another butcher who had been in the village for years, he had his own slaughterhouse in ground at the back of the shop. At Neva Place a fish shop was next to this, then a tearoom run by Miss Cameron.
Attached to Neva Place was Dunlins a joiner and undertaker and they manufactured their own coffins. This is now the Bank of Scotland.At Riversdales Buildings now demolished was Charlie Begley the cobbler. The police station was next, this is now the post office.
We then come to Freeland Church, it was built in 1826 and given to the congregation by Mr Freeland. Following on we have the Lochnagar Vaults, later to become Woodrow's offices, and now reverting back to the Lochnagar.
Just past Lochnagar is the Mill Brae thought to be the oldest road in Bridge of Weir. Originally roads followed rivers, and this was no exception. The road ran from Ranfurly Castle down to an old cornmill on the GryfFe.
Kirkinner Place is the next building in front of us, a number of shops were in this building including Peter Wrights, he always kept a barrel of salted herring and a barrel of treacle at his door.
Continuing further on the road you come to Windsor Place. Between numbers four and five was a 'National Kitchen', mostly referred to as a 'soup kitchen'. Meals were supplied for people who were working away from home. The meals were cheap and plain, soup, mince and potatoes, sweet and a cup of tea for 1 shilling and sixpence.
There was a drapers and then Peter Mackie & Son, greengrocers, this business, which remained in the Mackie family until it's closure a few years ago.
The chemist was next. His mystery potions lined up in large green and brown bottles with large white labels. Sometimes people would go to the chemist rather than the doctor for a cure-all, a visit to the doctor would cost 25 pence as opposed to a few pence from the chemist. This shop is now Slater Hogg.
A shoe shop was next, then G. Cummings, plumber, followed by Sprill the baker, his bakehouse was situated under the level of the road.
The final shop was the Station Cafe in a building called Blackball. The sweets were laid out on a table and a common amount to be spent by children was half-pence for a bag.
Crossing Lintwhite Crescent you came to Gray's Road Services* and a roadmans depot. Today this area is the doctor's surgery and the ex-police houses. On the hill behind was Lintwhite Farm, home of Tarn Fulton. This area now houses the sorting office, telephone exchange and housing. Further down Station Road was the busy goods railway yard, and Station.
As you continue to travel the Main Street, you come to the corner at Prieston Road and there was a little white washed cottage belonging to the McCrae family. David McCrae of St Mirren fame, who scored their second goal in 1926 when St Mirren won the Scottish Cup was born here. The cottage has long since been demolished.
The building in front is the Ranfurly Hotel, people would come down on the train from Glasgow for a weekends golf and stay here.
On the left is the war memorial, and behind it, you would have found stables, used either by the hotel or for trace horses to assist in pulling heavy loads up the Kilbarchan Brae. If you decided to take Prieston Road you would pass Ranfurly Lodge and two hundred yards further you would come to Brannochlie Farm.
If you decided to take the low road to you would pass St Machar's Church on your right. We would go on our way to Johnstone with memories of a pleasant village, full of character and charm, one not easily forgotten.
Courtesy of Bridge of Weir Heritage Youth Project