Stirling Observer

Old folks home opens in West Stirlingsh­ire


A new old folks’ home with accommodat­ion for nine elderly men and women opened in Balfron in September 1959.

Built at a cost of £13,450 (more than £250,000 today), the facility was described by the Observer as the first purpose-built old folks’ home in Stirlingsh­ire.

About 140 people gathered for the official opening of the new home, to be called `Strathendr­ick’.

Set in its own grounds and with a bright, modern exterior it was, said the Observer, unlike the traditiona­l old people’s home. There were four double bedrooms and one single bedroom which was to be used as a `sick bay’.

Matron Miss Dey had an office and a bedroom and her assistant Mrs Robertson had accommodat­ion in a wing of the house.

Other features of the home were a smoking room, living room and dining area with well equipped kitchen.

Chairman of Sirlingshi­re County Council’s welfare services committee Alexander Cunningham said the authority already had old folk’s homes at Torwoodhal­l and Wheatlands but both had been created in properties bought on the open market.

Another two homes, each with space for 20 residents, were planned by the council in Kilsyth and Grangemout­h.

The Strathendr­ick home would serve a `very wide area’ and initially it was to receive only four residents. One was a 93-year-old lady from

Blanefield who moved there from Torwoodhal­l to be nearer her family.

Mr Cunningham said the home would provide accommodat­ion for `people who were needing some place to live’ and he called on the people of Balfron to take an interest in `Strathendr­ick’ and get to know its residents.

Lt Col John R Dunkeld, county council representa­tive for Balfron, officially declared the home open.

He hoped `Strathendr­ick’ would be a `family affair’ in which each member takes a part in the life of it and shares the happiness of the others’.

Thanks were expressed to Balfron residents Mrs GC Swanson, who gifted the home a piano, and Mrs R Stewart, who presented the facility with a `summer house’.

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