The Association for the
Relief of Incurables for Glasgow and the west of Scotland was formed in
1875 by Miss Beatrice Clugston, along with a number of gentlemen. In
that year a bazaar was held in the Kibble Crystal Palace Botanic
Gardens, which realised £14,000, a sum which, before the end of the
year, was increased by donations to .£24,000. At the outset, assistance
was given to incurably afflicted persons in their own homes, but with
£14,000 of the above sum the estate of Broomhill, Kirkintilloch, was
purchased, and the large mansion-house in the attractive grounds, which
extend to about eighty acres, was altered and adapted for the purposes
of a “home,” and opened in 1876, with accommodation for sixty-two beds.
A new wing was built at a
cost of £8,000, and opened in 1884, and, altogether, the home can now
accommodate 115 patients, besides matron, twelve nurses, nine servants,
and a male attendant. A large number of the inmates are sufferers from
paralysis, but include also persons affected with cardiac, brain and
spinal disease, chronic rheumatism, phthisis, scrofula, cancer,
epilepsy, general debility, and congenital deformities. The cost per
head is about 5s. a-week, and the ages vary from childhood to old age.
There are two visiting medical officers, and the annual expenditure is
The object of the
institution is the gratuitous relief of deserving persons, not paupers,
who have been rendered helpless by disease. Those who are friendless, or
who require nursing and medical treatment such as can only be obtained
in a public institution, are admitted to the establishment at Broomhill,
where, for the remainder of their lives, they have all the comforts of a
home. Their religious wants, and the education and training of the
young, receive careful attention. Applicants are admitted at the
discretion of the directors, if found suitable, after examination by the
medical examining officer.
On the recommendation of
the out-door relief committee, persons who appear to be incurably
afflicted, but who prefer to remain in their own homes, obtain pecuniary
assistance, and there are about 190 such out-door patients, who receive
monthly pensions ranging from 6s. to 20s. Those in Glasgow who require
medical attendance are visited by the senior students in connection with
Anderson’s College Dispensary, an arrangement which has been carried on
since 1879. The amount thus disbursed is about £1,000 per annum, and is
distributed by ladies.
The association is
supported by voluntary subscriptions and donations, and to some extent
by contributions towards the board of in-patients either by themselves
or their friends. A ladies’ auxiliary, started in 1884, also raises over
£1,000 a-year, chiefly in small sums. This is an institution which
Glasgow and the West of Scotland may be proud to possess, and which
commends itself to universal support.
There can hardly be one
still living in the parish of Kirkintilloch who remembers Broomhill
House being built in the early part of the century by John Lang, Esq.,
the circumstance being only now commemorated by the verses of William
Muir, written shortly after, some of which are appended. It was long
occupied by John Bartholomew, Esq., who built an extensive addition to
the home. His brother Robert inherited the estate at his death.
“Let ancient seats their
And rounded turrets boast,
Where ’mid the cry of clamrous rooks
The human voice is lost.
Their gothic groups of tow’r and tree
Are melancholy still,
’Tis sweeter far, I'm sure, to see
The villa of Broomhill.
“There Art and Nature hand
A thousand feats display,
Art points to Nature with her wand,
And Nature ne’er says nay.
Blest architects whose mutual pow’rs,
Man’s utmost wish fulfil,
Ye’ll soon, like Eden, plant with bow’rs
The villa of Broomhill.
“Upon a rising mound it
Within a hollow vale,
And sees in front the taper masts,
Bend with the swelling sail.
Behind, the Kelvin steals along,
Fed by the mountain rill,
On which stands, like a fortress strong,
The villa of Broomhill*
“Far as the eye from east
Can dart the visual ray,
Or north to Campsie’s rocky breast,
A thousand prospects play.
Below, the garden, wall’d and warm,
Bids early dews distil,
And Nature lingers there to charm
The villa of Broomhill.”