Old Edenkiln was for many years associated with the Doctors of the parish. Dr Rankin, who was the Parish Doctor from 1876 to 1909, moved there and set up a surgery at the side of the house. He had previously lived in a house further down Dumbrock Road towards Glasgow Road. On his death the house was bought by Dr McMillan who was the Doctor from 1909 to 1950. This part of Dumbrock Road has been known in the past as "the Doctor's Brae" a term still applicable to this day.
Dr Rankin 1876-1909
The Parish Council Minutes record the death of Dr Rankin as dying suddenly on the 11th August 1909. He had been the Doctor in Strathblane for over 33 years. Apparently, he was on his way to a Bowling Meeting in the evening when, not feeling well, he returned home and died within a few minutes of heart failure. In this obituary, the Stirling Saturday Observer of the 21st August paid warm tribute to his service to the parish. As a medical man, it was reported that he stood for all that was best in his profession and his knowledge and skills were considerable ; to the extent that many wondered why he had remained a country doctor when he might have made his name elsewhere. A case of sickness won the same attention in the cottage as in the hall. He was always generous, open handed and helped many in secret ways.
Dr Rankin was very active in the parish in a variety of capacities. He was a very keen member of the Bowling Club, the Cottage, the Church and took part in all manner of activities. Dr Rankin had been an active member of the Parish Church and the Rev. Moyes paid a warm tribute to him as church member in his sermon at the funeral. There was a public subscription to erect a tablet in memory of Dr Rankin. This can still be seen in the Parish Church where it was placed on the 2nd April 1910.
Dr G. W. McMillan
Following the death of Dr Rankin, Dr McMillan was appointed as doctor. He was GP for 43 years from 1909 to 1952. His obituary in Stirling Observer of January 1962 gave the following history.
"Dr McMillan came from Loanhead in Midlothian and graduated MB ChB from Glasgow University in 1901. At the age of 22 he took his diploma of Public Health at the University of Cambridge but on account of his youth was unable to engage in General Practice. For some time he served as Medical Officer on board ship prior to taking a post as Medical Officer at Hartwood Mental Hospital. Despite the great opportunities that such work afforded him Dr McMillan decided to enter general practice and in 1909 came to Strathblane. For 43 years he laboured ungrudgingly in the parish he loved so much. His kindly, sympathetic approach, his keen insight into not so well known complaints, his love of children and his concern for the aged will long be remembered. At all times Dr McMillan proved himself to be a real family doctor, and the great humility that was his marked him as a real gentleman."
Dr McMillan was also remembered by his patients for his habit of sending out his bill with his Christmas card !
Towards the end of the Second World War Stirling County Council was already planning for more local authority housing in the village as well as planning for temporary housing. About 1950 the Prefabs, as they were universally known, were built and many villagers still have fond memories of them. The Prefabs were situated where Dumbrock Road, Dumbrock Drive and Dumbrock Crescent are now. In the 1960's the decision was taken to demolish them.
There is a story that one of the Prefabs was stolen. One Sunday a gang of men arrived to dismantle a Prefab. While some wondered why this was being done on a Sunday, the majority was content to watch the men at work and note the speed with which they worked. On Monday another squad came to dismantle the Prefabs. It was only when they had finished and had begun to count how many had been dismantled that they realised one was missing! What became of it is not known.
The Prefabs looking up Dumbrock Road - Picture courtesy of Helen Peters
Park Terrace which was named after Anthony Park Coubrough the owner of Blanefield Printworks. It was demolished in March 1967
Park Terrace was the name given to a terrace of houses, which stood where Park Place is now. They were named Park after Anthony Park Coubrough who was responsible for the development of the Printworks. It was a good substantial building of twelve houses in all, built for the foreman and clerical staff of the Printworks. The printworkers' houses tended to be graded, the poorer ones were down Station Road while the more upmarket ones were at Park Terrace. This building was demolished in 1967 to make way for the present buildings. The view has been expressed that, with a little foresight, Park Terrace could have been brought up to standard rather than being demolished.
The demolition of Park Terrace March 1967.
The Black Lown
The Black Lown was the name given to a block of four houses situated on the left side of Dumbrock Road where the last row of houses now stands before the path leading up the glen. It was demolished to make way for the council houses. It is likely that these were workers' houses for the Flock Mill in the Glen or workers in the nearby Dumbrock bleachfields.
The Black Lown is the building to the left of the picture with Park Terrace down from it. In the foreground is the author - Alison Dryden's grandfather Alexander Jack
Population Density and Employment Details
The 1881 British Census gives details of the number of people in a dwelling as well as occupations and place of birth. The dwellings in Edenkill reflect a range of household compositions. Dr Rankin, who was born in Govan, lived in Old Edenkill with his wife, two children and servant whereas the Benson family lived in Dumbrock - probably at Park Terrace - and consisted of Mr & Mrs Benson, seven children ranging in age from 13 to 2 and his brother and sister in law. Edward Benson was a calico machine printer. This was a similar situation for the Gardner family who also lived in Dumbrock. John Gardner, who was a calico engraver, lived with his wife and eight children ranging in ages from 20 to 3 years as well as his 77 year old mother-in-law. Even with a large family by today's standards, living in very cramped accommodation, many still felt able to take in a lodger.
The Census illustrates how many people in the parish were dependent on the printworks for employment and also how several of them had come from the north and south of Ireland as well as various parts of Scotland.
?Alison Dryden, Strathblane Heritage Society 2004