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Milngavie (pronounced Mulguy) is a town in East
Dunbartonshire, Scotland. It is on the Allander Water, at the
north-western edge of Greater Glasgow, and about 6 miles (10 km) from
Glasgow city centre. One of the large estates in the area was
Douglas Mains, and several features in the town take Douglas as their
The Douglas Arms
Two names may be seen above the
doorway, namely, M. Weir and C. Bissland. Mr. Bissland was actually
superseded by Mr. Weir. There was an old tradition that the famous
outlaw, Rob Roy MacGregor, made periodical visits to this hostelry where
he engaged in bouts of wrestling with the local wrestling champion.
Although handicapped, as he was, by a short stature, it might be
surmised his length of arm would more than cornpensate for his lack of
height in such contests. As far back as the 1850's, a line of
stage-coaches, plied hourly to and from Glasgow, which helped to add to
the residential character of Milngavie. The businessmen could live in
sylvan surroundings, and yet have comparative easy access to the city
for their business commitments.
Just like the majority of towns in Britain,
Milngavie had a war memorial erected to honour her dead of the First
World War, 1914-1918. This photograph shows the dedication of the War
Memorial, situated at the former Douglas Park Gardens, Douglas Street.
The corner of the building to the right became the site of the City
Bakeries. The building on the left, was that of the Douglas Arms Hotel.
What a dismal place it now seemed to be when you compare it to the
lively, vital photograph which we have just seen! It is hard to believe
that there is now a large supermarket on the site now. Charles Bissland of the Douglas
Arms was the first honorary treasurer of the burgh. One of the reasons
for the Douglas Arms to be looking so run down, would be due to the fact
that Milngavie by the second decade of the twentieth century, was weU
into the railway age, and it was only prior to the advent of the
railway, that the Douglas Arms was so important as a staging post for
the stage-coach. The name, Douglas Arms, was of course taken from the
weU-known local family, Douglas of Mains.
The War Memorial
Gardens were situated on the site of the Milngavie Gas Works. The
precariously perched gentlemen on what appears to be a washhouse roof,
at least wou1d be able to obtain a good view of the proceedings. The one
incongruous feature in the whole photograph, appears to me to be the
raised umbrella at the rear of the monument! Of the two visible
ministers, standing with bowed heads facing the memorial, the gentleman
nearest to the monument, was the Reverend David H. Hislop, the minister
of Cairns Church, formerly minister in Stranraer. Mr. Hislop was
inducted to Cairns on 1st May 1919, and remained there until 1923 when
he was called to North Morningside Church, Edinburgh.
The Douglas Picture House opened around 1927. The
proprietor was Mrs Breckenridge, on behalf of her family, which had
previously shown films in the old Town Hall. The Douglas Picture House
closed on 24th February 1962, with “Greyfriars Bobby” starring Donald
The building, renamed Douglas House, was converted into
shops and offices.
Douglas Academy, which
opened for the first time in 1967, is a six year non-denominational,
co-educational, comprehensive school serving the Milngavie, Craigton and
The coat of arms on Douglas Academy school
badge combines references to its geographical position and to the
history of the grounds in which it is situated. The upper half, with its
cross and roses, is part of the arms of the Burgh of Milngavie, while
the lower half shows symbols associated with the Douglas family, owners
for many generations of the Mains Estate on which the school stands. By
tradition, the heart represents the heart of Bruce, taken by a member of
the Douglas family on crusade against the Moors. The Gaelic motto "Neart-Tre-Eolas"
means "Strength Through Knowledge".
• Douglas Arms Hotel
• Douglas of