“Rosebank has a lot of significance for my family- some happy memories, some not so. We joke that it was haunted - my grandmother spoke often of seeing a 'tall man'!
My grandfather, Duncan Lockhart, who corresponded with A J Cronin
A distant view of my grandparents together in the garden at Rosebank
Rosebank about 1960 - maybe the first colour photo of the house!
“This photo shows me outside the house with my grandmother's labrador, Rannoch. He was a good pal and adored the bagpipes, usually howling along in sympathy. I'm wearing the uniform of the Helensburgh Clan Colquhoun Pipe Band (long gone). The photo was taken around 1961 or 1962, when I was 12 or 13 years old.
Just to the right of the bench you may be able to see a vertical line in the wall - this marks a room that was added to the house by my grandfather. At first it was roofed in corrugated iron, and you can still see the join. It was the posh room, so posh in fact that it was never really used after my grandfather's death. It was known as the 'End Room', and was reputedly the most haunted. I suspect I was told that story to discourage my expeditions there.
The large ornamental flower pots were important to me. I was interested in astronomy very young, and set up my first observatory by driving a post into the leftmost pot in the picture and fixing a set of binoculars on top of it. The binoculars were German Deinstglas instruments, in desert khaki finish as they had been scavenged from the corpse of an officer.
Other war relics: at the east end of the garden is an air raid shelter. My father built this by obtaining a gigantic water tank from the local farmer (Rennie at Geilston), rolling it into a hole in the garden and partially burying it. This was some years before the war started, and the villagers considered him mad. He was assured there would be no war, and even if there were, who would bomb Cardross? He was right of course, and Cardross got bombed more than once (they were aiming for the shipyards on the other side of the river). A large landmine came through the cottage roof and split my granny's big mahogany sideboard in half. Fortunately the landmine was a dud, and the damage to fabric and furniture was repaired, but always afterwards if you mentioned Germans or
The house was divided in two; we lived in end nearest the village and rented the other. The house was sold shortly after my father's death in 1967 and we moved into the village - to
Below: a copy of a letter written by A J Cronin to
A newspaper obituary of A J Cronin from the Lennox Herald (click to enlarge)
I extend great thanks to Douglas Lockhart for all his help and time given to providing me with so much valuable information for this blog. I am sure there will be many people who would like to know more about him and his own life. His websites are therefore given below:
and Part Two here)