Dennistoun Conservation Society

Raising awareness of the importance and fascinating history of Dennistoun as a designated Conservation Area and to inform residents of their rights and responsibilities when maintaining and improving their homes and gardens.

Dennistoun Conservation Society

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William Findlay


Under the pen name of George Umber the writings of Dr Findlay were well known in Glasgow. The best known of his works are ‘In My City Garden’ ‘Ayrshire Idylls of Other Days’ and ‘Robert Burns and the Medical Profession’ as well as many songs. He seems to have taken his writing ability from a maternal uncle Archibald MacKay who wrote popular songs of the time such as ‘Be Kind to Auld Grannie’ and My First Bawbee’ as well as the ‘History of Kilmarnock’ which Dr Findlay edited the fifth edition. Dr Findlay himself was born in Kilmarnock in 1846 and was educated at Kilmarnock Academy and Glasgow University being one of the last graduates to be capped in 1870 at the old college in High Street before it moved to the West End of Glasgow. From that year til 1907 his medical practice was in Dennistoun and his house was Fern Villa, 25 Westercraigs, so he was established in Dennistoun almost from the start of this emerging suburb. He was president of many Medical Associations in the West of Scotland and on the Business Committee of the Glasgow University General Council. He was a great admirer of Robert Burns and spoke the Immortal Memory at many Burns Suppers on 25th January. A number of his songs appeared in one of the volumes of the Glasgow Ballad Club. Dr Findlay’s family consisted of six sons and two daughters and two of his sons followed their father’s profession while another became a wellknown artist. .