Newton Mearns in East Renfrewshire, Scotland, traces its name back to its ancient roots. Roland De Merns governed this part of Scotland back in the 12th Century, with his seat of power somewhere near Mearns Castle.
But it was the 1950s onward which saw this quiet, rural village 7 miles south of Glasgow grow into a town of more than 20,000 residents.
“Then and Now”
Tom Marchant compiled and introduced this photo montage showing the area across many different decades.
“Farming in Mearns”
This is a section from Tom Marchant’s film, “Mearns at Work”. Bill Copeland talks about the history of what was a rural settlement, and interviews several elderly residents about their childhood and early adult lives.
“Winter in Newton Mearns c. 1946”
The late James Anderson, director of Anderson’s garage, used a 16mm cine film to film the heavy snowfall in the winter of 1946. The height of snow driven through at the end of the footage is just breathtaking – it’s higher than the car!
“”Portrait of a Village” (Newton Mearns in the 1950s)”
Bill McKendry made a 35 minute colour film about the town in the 1950s. A number of residential streets, open spaces, shops and the playpark, all populated with local residents, appear.
“Eaglesham Road Newton Mearns circa 1950?”
An 8 second clip of a 1950s style car driving along what appears to be a newly laid road.
“Mearns Cross – Newton Mearns – 1950-68 – Showing construction of shopping centre”
Two and a half minute footage showing the Laing Scotland sign at the shopping centre construction site. A number of pedestrians and a group of locals chatting next to the phone box also appear.
“Mearns Cross Newton Mearns 1968 ?”
Another 8 second clip from YouTUbe channel mannbarry2.
“Barrhead Road Newton Mearns 1968”
Another 8 second clip, this time driving along Barrhead Road in 1968.
“Newton Mearns 1988“
Driving around residential streets on 27th March 1988. Lots of cars and a few pedestrians seen.
“flash flood greenlaw newton mearns”
In the summer of 2011, the steps at the Greenlaw development couldn’t cope with the sudden downpour.
“Newton Mearns to Eastwood Toll Club run 20 Nov 2011”
This cycle ride was filmed on Sunday 20 November 2011.
December 2012 saw local school pupils singing in the shopping centre before Santa’s arrival. Then a choir of women sing a pop song before Ugly Sisters Gavin Mitchell and Gordon Cooper come on stage, to be joined by the Fairy Godmother Karen Dunbar.
“Eastwood High School”
2014 saw the opening of the new Eastwood High School, built through Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme.
“Mearns Castle Cluster Transition Primary to Secondary”
Filmed in 2017, many of the young people involved have already moved on to adulthood.
““The Hidden Garden” Newton Mearns Nursery – Created by Sowing Seeds”
Lots of young children helped create their new outdoor space at nursery.
On YouTube, Mearn History Group channel is a great resource of old films and footage about the local area. The group formed in October 1999 to record information about Mearns and to promote the history and heritage of the community. Find out more about the area’s local history on the Mearn History Group website.