The Brown Line

Agnes Killin Brown

Bill Sharp married Agnes Brown - known as Nancy - during World War 2 - on 14th June 1941 at West Parish Church Manse, Rutherglen.

Nancy was a keen and able tennis player, as was Bill. She had a strong, extrovert personality, and, as demonstrated by photographs throughout her life, she had a good appearance and a well-judged dress sense.

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She was born during World War 1, on 2nd July 1917, and was named after her maternal grandmother, Agnes Killin.

Her brother, Jack, was born five years later; her sister, Effie, was born when Jack was eight.

Nancy was a good baker. At tea time, when visitors came, the table would be laden with goodies - as can be seen here when her parents called.


Barely a month before her 80th birthday, Nancy died of a heart attack, having suffered with cancer for some time.

Her father - seen in the photograph above - was

Andrew Dunlop Brown

Andrew was born on 10th August 1890. He became a steel forger, a heavy, demanding job. He worked in Bairdmore's, a firm which, in the twenties, had adopted very progressive employment strategies.
Andrew was in a sense self employed, in that it was his responsibility, as foreman, to gather a group of workers who wanted to serve the firm for a given period. Lying time of a week meant that on the Monday the men would come to Andrew for a "sub", to keep them going until pay day.

This was not a problem - he was well paid, as long as the work lasted. During the depression years, however, life was not easy. Andrew, undaunted, used his car - a Durant - as a taxi, thus keeping himself profitably employed until more work came along.

On 23rd February 1917, he had married Martha Howieson, known as Matt.They married at 15 Dunard Road, Rutherglen, Matt's home. Witnesses were Andrew's young brother, Bob, and Kate, Matt's sister, who was named after their grandmother, Catherine Howieson. Catherine died in 1917, the year her first grandchild - Andrew and Matt's child Nancy - was born.
In 1971, Matt herself would die, two months before her first great grandchildren were born - our twin sons.

Andrew and Matt came to live here, at Carlyle Terrace, Rutherglen.


Andrew was very conscientious and hard-working, with "not an idle bone in his body", as his daughter, Nancy, would say.
Had computers been available in his day, he would have been keen to try them out. He was fascinated by the new. He had a car when there were few in Rutherglen, he had a TV set when they were rare. Here, waiting for the photographer to push the plunger, he clearly feels that speedy automatic focus is long overdue.


One month before his 82nd birthday, having outlived Matt by less than a year, he died of cancer of the throat - he had been a life-long smoker.

They were a kindly, well-loved couple.


Andrew's father was

John Forrest Brown

John was born in Bridge of Weir. By his early twenties, he was known there as "the bonniest lad in Brig o' Weir".


His good looks and resulting self confidence no doubt helped him to win the hand of Euphemia Campbell Allan. She was certainly a good catch. Whether he was, seems rather doubtful!
They married at 46 Canning Street, Glasgow, on 6th April, 1875. John lived then at 158 Bernard Street, Glasgow, Euphemia at 129 London Road.
John was 22, and worked as a journeyman grocer in Ferguson's of Buchanan Street, a very "superior" establishment. He was, however, restless, moving from job to job - and he liked "a good drink".

One evening he had invited some friends to the house. Euphemia was less than enthusiastic. On finding a stone jar full of whisky which John was about to consume with his visitors, she must have felt she'd had enough. She picked it up and hurled it from the window to smash to pieces below. There is no record of John's reaction, but clever Euphemia would have an answer ready!

In 1891 they moved to London with young daughter Margaret and baby Andrew, my wife's grandfather. The job didn't work out - for some reason! - so they decided to return to return to Scotland. They arranged to travel from London to Leith by sea.
Euphemia got to the boat in plenty of time with their two small children - and an enormous wardrobe. John - for some reason - missed the boat. Euphemia, competent as ever, managed to reach home in Glasgow with the children - and with the wardrobe!

By 1893, when their third child, Robert Allan Brown, was born, they were living at 52 Norman Street, Glasgow. John was working as a "cloth shrinker".


Two years later, in 1895, Euphemia inherited money on the death of her mother. (Her father had died in 1888.) The money was shared among four brothers and four sisters. It must have been a sizeable amount, as it allowed Euphemia to buy a house - at 5 Ruskin Terrace, Rutherglen.


John had wanted to use the money to set himself up in business, but Euphemia, wisely, would have none of it.

John became a steel worker.
On 19th June, 1917, he died, aged 64, of cerebral haemorrage. In his will he left all his possessions to his son, Andrew - his watch and 7/6 (37p).

Some years later, my mother-in-law, when she was young, asked Euphemia, her grandmother, if she would ever consider marrying again.
"Not if he were lined with gold!" came her reply.
One can understand why.

John's father was

Andrew Brown

Andrew was born on 10th January, 1820 at Linwood, Kilbarchan. He was a cotton spinner.
He married Agnes Forrest, who was five years older, born in Cadder, Lanarkshire in 1815, the daughter of farmer John Forrest and his wife Agnes. By 1861 they lived in a one-roomed house at Mill of Gryffe, Bridge of Weir, a quiet country spot.


Their neighbours were a cotton factory worker,a carter, a weaver, an agricultural labourer.

On 28th June, 1889, Andrew died, aged 69, of heart failure. His wife Agnes had died four days before Christmas, 1886, at 606, Dalmarnock Road, Glasgow, of senile debility.

His parents were Joseph Brown, a handloom weaver, and Agnes Dunlop, who married in Paisley on 30th January, 1808.