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Extracts from from Quarrier’s Village, Homes and Epilepsy Centre Annual Report 1983 – 1984

Advertisement for “The Village” from Quarrier’s Village, Homes and Epilepsy Centre Annual Report 1983 – 1984.

A History of Quarrier’s Homes
By Anna Magnusson
Published by Quarrier’s Homes,
Bridge of Weir, Scotland

THIS IS THE STORY of a village, a very special village - a village that stands some 16 miles from the centre of Glasgow in the rolling fields of Renfrewshire at Bridge of Weir. It is the story of a village that has been growing up for more than a century now: first, its birth as an infant hamlet in 1878 dedicated to the task of rescuing hundreds and thousands of abandoned and orphaned children from the teeming squalor of Glasgow's back-streets; then its lusty youth as what the old North British Daily Mail once called a full-blooded "Children's City"; and now its evolution into maturity as a true Community of Caring - for all. If you want to read this story order your copy now.

Acknowledgements from “The Village”.

I HAVE thoroughly enjoyed writing this book; and this is due in no small part to the warmth and friendliness of the people who live and work in Quarrier's Village. Everybody, from cottage parents to office staff and in all the different parts of the village, has been kind and enthusiastic and given me every assistance in the writing of the book.

In particular, I should like to thank Dr. James Minto, the General Director; Mr. John Porteous who, as unofficial Information Officer, has helped me enormously; Judy Cochrane, Education Liaison Officer; Mr. William Dunbar, Assistant Director of Child Care; and Margaret Thomson, Social Worker at the Epilepsy Centre.

There are many others I wish to thank; Viscount Muirshiel; Mr. Joseph Mortimer, Deputy General Director; Dr. John Laidlaw, Chief Consultant at the Epilepsy Centre and Mrs. Mary Laidlaw, Rehabilitation Adviser; Mr. Alf Craigmile, Social Work Manager; Mrs. Jean Morris, Clinical Psychologist; Liz Edwards, Youth and Community Worker; Martie and George Bowie and Pearl and Jonathan Bridgeman Williams; the staff of the Mitchell Library Glasgow Room; Mary Brennan who gave me access to her own research on the Canadian end of Quarrier's; Alice Blair, Secretary of Quarrier's Former Boys' and Girls' Association; Mr. Michael Laxton of the Scottish Office; and Mr. Fred Edwards, Director of Social Work in Strathclyde.

Finally, I should like to thank most sincerely the many, many Old Girls and Boys all over Britain and Canada who have shared their memories of Quarrier's with me, happy and sad; their stories have made writing this book a marvellous experience.
Anna Magnusson – May 1984.

Reference to “The Village” fromQuarrier’s Village, Homes and Epilepsy Centre Annual Report 1983 –1984, page 23.

The Marquee
An impressive candy-striped marquee set on the lawn in front of the Sommerville Weir Hall provided a lively social focus for visitors to the Annual Meeting and Open Day to meet over light refreshments. Whereas in the past guests dispersed for tea to various cottages throughout the Village, the decrease in cottages now caring for children made the continuation of this tradition impracticable, and what the marquee lacked in intimacy it certainly made up for in creating a festive atmosphere and a central location in which to display a photographic exhibition and to publicise Anna Magnusson's forthcoming book detailing the history of Quarrier's entitled "The Village".

Extract from Quarrier’s Village, Homes and Epilepsy Centre Annual Report 1983 – 1984, page 68.

John Porteous is still the best Church Officer in Scotland and Albert Peterson brings an energy and enthusiasm to his playing of the organ and training of the choirs which puts men of half his age to shame. Mr. Cowe's floral decoration of the Church throughout the 365 days of the year continues to earn the praise of regulars and visitors alike.

During the year discussions have continued with a view to bringing about some closer association with the Church of Scotland. Complete agreement has been reached between the Kirk Session of St. Columba's Church, Kilmacolm, in whose parish we are situated, and ourselves on our proposals for admission as a congregation of the Church of Scotland which now go to the Presbytery of Greenock for consideration. The closer association has in fact already begun in so far as the Homes' Chaplain has served as Moderator of the Presbytery of Greenock from November last.

In addition we have begun to prepare ourselves as a congregation for the changes that are imminent. While Quarrier's Homes will still remain responsible for the payment of the Chaplain's salary and for the maintenance and upkeep of the church buildings, members of the congregation are being asked to shoulder a greater responsibility for financing, for example, the Church Officer's salary, the organist's salary, etc.

Mr. Gavin Roy has been appointed treasurer and session clerk and has already made a start to preparing a church membership roll and the setting up of a proper "free will offering" envelope system.

For some time the present Chaplain has felt that the village has a great deal to offer to students in training for the ministry. On 1st October 1984 one such student took up residence in the Chaplaincy Centre where he will live for the next ten months. The main purpose in his coming is to gain some insight into the various aspects of caring, but apart from this there is no doubt that the Village will benefit from his presence as he opens up and develops the Chaplaincy Centre as a meeting place for various groups and associations. At the time of writing it would seem likely that his main spheres of involvement will be in the Epilepsy Centre, in the Abbeyfield houses and with the Youth Fellowship.

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