Balloch Road

“Steaming up Loch Lomond”

Like nearly all of the Corbett Estate streets, Balloch gets its name from north of the border. Archibald Corbett would have known the village of Balloch well – it’s about 20 miles north-west of his home city of Glasgow. It nestles near the bottom of Loch Lomond, and is still a popular place to take a cruise up the river Leven to explore the famous Loch.

A postcard advertising the delights of Balloch in Scotland

Building of the street commenced in 1906, and when it was finished there were 71 houses containing (in 1911) 276 people. That equates to 3.8 people per house – the joint lowest on the Estate with its neighbour Birkhall Road.

The Early Residents: details from the 1911 Census

Balloch was also the most female-orientated of the 27 streets on the Estate, with 59% of the residents being women and girls, and just 41% men or boys. The Estate average was 53% female and 47% male.

The top two adult female first names here were Mary and Edith, with the male equivalents being William and John. This is pretty unsurprising since Mary and William were by far the most popular male and female adult names in St Germans. For children in Balloch it was Alice and William.

As with almost every other street, the most popular kind of work for the citizens of Balloch Road was as a Clerk. Of the 105 people in employment, 29 said that they did some kind of office job. Amongst the non-office workers, there was William Gentry at No. 71, a wheelwright (who made wooden wheels for carts and carriages); John Comfort at No. 60, an assistant wigmaker; and Albert Suter at No. 50 who was a Shellac Gum merchant (Shellac is a resin secreted by insects that has been used for various purposes including as a food glaze, a wood finish, and – before the advent of vinyl – to make gramophone records).

The street record for the highest number of children in a single family went to Mary and Victor Woodcock (both 36) who lived at No. 37. They had six children – all girls – aged from 5 to 16. Bringing up Ethel, Mabel, Lilian, Elsie, Edith and Alice must have kept the Woodcocks busy. At least 16-year-old Alice went out to work: her job is listed as ‘Show Room’, which probably wasn’t anything to do with cars – more likely it was related to ladies’ fashion.

Just up the street from the Woodcocks lived Edward and Margaret Brand, at No. 57. Their two children Effie and Edward (aged 7 and 5) take the prize for ‘residents from furthest away’: both were born in Umballa (or Ambala), India. Overall however, the vast majority of the street’s residents (76%) had been born in London (a little higher than the Estate average of 72%).


A marriage ceremony in 1911, in north London

In 1911 Balloch had a huge number of married households. At a whopping 93% it was higher than the St Germans average of 89%. According to the national statistics at the time, for every 1,000 unmarried men and women, 50.8 men and 42.5 women got married. Fast forward to 2008 and those figures had dropped dramatically: 21.8 men and 19.6 women got married per 1,000.

The overall figure for those who were married or in a civil partnership in 2018 was 67% – well down on Balloch’s 1911 total of 93%.