Barclay Church & the Great Storm

The Barclay church was on the corner of Main Street and Barclay Street, with the manse behind. It was originally built in Gothic style and was initially called the Old Kilpatrick Free Church, but after the death of the minister Matthew Barclay in 1865, the church was renamed after him. It was replaced with a new church in 1936 which was then damaged by the gales of 1968 and demolished. A block of flats was built in its place.

The church

John Hood

The old Barclay Church was demolished in 1933 as it was in poor condition and replaced with a new building opened in December 1936. It was subsequently blitz damaged, closed and re-opened in 1944. It was that church that I attended although I was not there when it was damaged in the 1968 gale and never re-opened. At that time we also used the old Mission Hall for Sunday school purposes and social events. When the second church blew down this building was substantially improved to act as a temporary church.

The great storm

Rona Mirren

When we stayed in the glen there was a storm, it must have been maybe about between 1964 maybe about 1966 - 68 and the Barclay church got blown down. The Barclay church, the one where there are houses now. And we stayed in the glen at that point and the trees were falling around about us and thankfully we never got hit but they were close. But they were really close when the trees were falling because of the storm. [Can you remember it?] Well, actually I slept right through it, actually, that’s what my mother said ‘never seen anybody sleep through anything like that in my life.’ They were terrified, they were up and I slept through the whole lot of it and it was when I got up the next morning to go to school that I saw all the devastation and all the trees lying and I said ‘oh, what happened?’

The destruction was terrible

Myra Mackenzie

But see the next day [after the storm] when we got up, see the destruction! There was trees down, roofs blown off. See when I saw the church, I could not believe it, the whole church collapsed. I mean the destruction was terrible. But we had a few broken panes, you know. I think the wind was throwing things. So, we all just sat in the living room away back from the windows, played music and that because I didn’t want to frighten the kids and played at silly games to take their minds off it. I can remember that night as though it was yesterday. Horrendous night.


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