The sign reads....show houses admission Free! this is number 13!
A before and after shot of the flats!

Clune Park Street Re- Development

Gone was the old coal fire and with it the need to lift buckets up and down stairs. Each house now had a mantle peice and electric fire.

Crowds gather at 13 Clune Park Street to see for themself the improvents that have been made!

The Clune Park modernization scheme which was to cost £330,00 was a very ambitious project. It was not the first or the biggest re-housing project to be done by Lithgows.
The Lithgow family had been involved with the towns housing since 1902 when W.T Lithgow set about transforming the Bay Area of Port Glasgow. At the time it was in a deplorable state with both slum housing and old warehouse style buildings. He lent the Town Council enough money to demolish the old properties and clear the ground. When this was accomplished he started to rebuild at his own expenses.
Unfortunately he did not survive to see the project completed but Sir James Lithgow and Henry Lithgow took over after his death and the people of Port Glasgow saw 370 new houses. These houses belonged to the Town under a deed of trust.

The depression and the second world war put a stop to any large scale modernization of homes.
The 1957 Housing Act was the signal for action. With a few options before them Lithgows had to decide if they would let the area run down, sell it as a whole or re-build it. They decided to reconstruct and the Lithgow Housing Company was formed.

The original houses were mostly of room and kitchen style, with the bed recess, the idea was to make the alterations as simple, quick and providing a small house at a low rent was the objective.
The council stock consisted mainly of family size accommodation, what was needed was small homes for the newly wed couples and the retired old people with no family at all, also taking in the single person.

430 houses were to be modernized at the cost of £800 each. With the plan being to complete one a day.
Another cost saving addition included was the pair of fans on the roof of each building which was to supply constant ventilation to every bathroom in the block as their was no windows in many.

The open fires of course were to go and a decorative mantel piece in each livingroom with an electric fire. hot water immersion heaters were installed and the whole of Clune Park Street was to be wired for electricity. Add to this the 'piped' TV and raidio aerial system and the houses were truly modern.

The show houses attracted wide attention. more than 1,600 people passed through them on the first Sunday they were open to the public.

When Mr Galbraith, under secretary for Scotland visited the houses at Clune Park Street he said he hoped it would encourage other individuals and authorities to take advantage of the improvement grants.

He said " One might think that this whole project was planned like a military operation, if one did not know that it had been carried out by shipbuilders whose skill and forethought have made the name of Lithgow renowned wherever ships sail the seas"

Today if you wished to purchase a flat in either Clune Park Street or any of the surrounding streets you can do so for as little as £5000. But the feeling of belonging and the community spirit is still their among many of the tenants.

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This page last modified on Tuesday, April 06, 2010