The Fairweather Family

The Fairweather Family

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Sir Wallace Fairweather D.L. 1853 - 1939

Wallace Fairweather was born in St Vigeans, Angus in 1853, the son of Wallace Ritchie Fairweather, a grocer and Margaret Gibson. He married Margaret Eureka McIntyre in 1877 and was knighted in 1933.

He worked for a time in the office of Sharp and Smith, a Motherwell firm of sugar brokers, where he was apprenticed as an engineer. He later worked for Mr Hunt, a patent agent, thereafter setting up in business as a Consulting Engineer and Patent Agent with a Mr Thomson on whose death he entered into the partnership of Cruikshank and Fairweather. This firm is still in existence today.

About 1909 Wallace Fairweather purchased the Shaw- Stewart estate in Mearns and commissioned the architectural firm of Burnet and Boston to build Fa’side House, adjacent to the original building. The Shaw- Stewart estate included several farms including Maidenhill and Burnside and it also included Mearns Castle.

Sir Wallace took a keen interest in Newton Mearns and in 1933 he gave £1000 for the the building of the Fairweather Hall which opened on 25th November 1933 as a social and recreational centre for the village.  

He also was very interested in the welfare of young people and in particular the Boy Scout Movement. At the time of his death, he was vice-president of the County of Renfrew Scout Council and Honorary President of the Eastwood Local Association.

ff2Local affairs occupied a great deal of his time and in 1910  was elected Councillor to represent Mearns in Renfrewshire County Council.  From 1913 until 1929 he served as Chairman of the District Committee of Upper Renfrewshire. He became Deputy Lieutenant of Renfrewshire in 1923 and in 1933 was appointed Chairman of Renfrewshire First District Council and Vice Convenor of the County Council. He was at one time President of the East Renfrewshire Unionist Association.  

He had a particular interest in road construction and served as convenor of Renfrewshire County Council for many years. In this capacity he attended meetings of the International Roads Convention, travelling to Madrid, Rome and New York. He was an able linguist, fluent in five languages.

Perhaps what he was best know for locally was his interest in aeroplanes. He had his own plane which he kept in a hanger at King Harry’s Knowe near to Waterfoot Road. He died on 26th January 1939 and was buried in Mearns Cemetery.

 

ff3Lady Margaret Fairweather 1855-1935

Margaret Eureka McIntyre was born at *Ballarat, Granville County, Victoria, Australia in 1855. Her father, Andrew McIntyre, was a gold prospector who had who sailed to Australia  in 1852  with his wife, Margaret (née Kerr) and their son Archibald as unassisted passengers on the Lord Warriston.  

In 1877 she married Wallace Fairweather in Tradeston Glasgow.They had seven children only four of whom, three sons and a daughter, survived to adulthood.

She was a practical woman, well known in Glasgow and the West of Scotland for playing a prominent part in public affairs, education, political and benevolent activities. She was elected to the Education Authority in 1922 and took a particular interest in the welfare of school children.

She represented Renfrewshire County Council on the Directorate of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, was President of the East Renfrewshire Women’s Unionist Association and was appointed a Justice of the Peace for Renfrewshire.  She became Lady Margaret when her husband Wallace was knighted in 1933.

She died in August 1935 and is buried in Mearns Cemetery.  According to newspaper report of the time, her grave is said to have been lined with white heather. Wreaths were received from the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton and from the Marquis of Douglas and Clydesdale, MP for East Renfrewshire.

*The Eureka Rebellion, sometimes referred to as the Eureka Stockade, occurred at Ballarat in 1854 just before Margaret’s birth and is considered to represent the birth of Australian democracy. 150 gold ‘diggers’ who had formed a group to protest against what they considered to be corrupt officialdom and injustice, particularly in regard to the imposition of mining licences, were attacked by the government forces and 30 miners were killed.  License fees were payable whether or not the license holder was successful in finding gold.

 

ff4Douglas Fairweather 1890 - 1944

Douglas (second left) was the youngest son of Wallace Fairweather and his wife Margaret Eureka McIntyre. He was born in 1890 and married Margaret, daughter of Lord Runciman. A patent engineer like his father, his passion was flying.

He joined the Air Transport Auxiliary* in 1940 as did his wife, Margaret.  Douglas was asked to bring a seriously wounded Canadian soldier from the Northern airfield to the South for an operation. The weather was very bad but he went nonetheless with a nursing sister. They never arrived. Later Douglas's body washed up on the shore near Dunure where he is buried.

* The Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) was a civilian organisation which flew aircraft between UK factories and assembly plants in World War II. It also flew service personnel on urgent duty from one place to another and undertook air ambulance flights.

 

Margaret Fairweather  1902 - 1944

Margaret was the daughter of the politician Lord Runciman and  the first woman to fly a spitfire. Like her husband Douglas her passion was flying: prior to the outbreak of war in 1939 she had marked up 1.000 flying hours. Like Douglas, she joined the Air Transport Auxiliary:  she was killed in 1944 when attempting an emergency landing in a Proctor.  

ff5Douglas and Margaret Fairweather

Captain Douglas Keith Fairweather and his wife Flight Captain The Hon. Margaret Fairweather, both members of the Air Transport Auxilliary Unit were killed in action during the second world war. They are buried in Dunure Cemetery.

Captain Douglas Keith Fairweather
Date of Death: 3 April 1944
Air Transport Auxiliary
Age: 53
Son of Sir Wallace Fairweather and Dame Margaret Eureka Fairweather, of Glasgow.

Flight Captain The Hon. Margaret Fairweather
Date of Death: 4 August 1944
Air Transport Auxiliary
Age: 42
Daughter of the Rt. Hon. Walter Runciman, P.C., D.C.L., LL.D., J.P., 1st Viscount Runciman of Doxford, and of the Viscountess Runciman of Doxford, J.P. (nee Stevenson), of Doxford, Northumberland.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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