John Orr & Sons

Painters

John Orr & Sons were house painters and decorators, of Wellington Street in central Glasgow, and Ashton Place in the affluent West End. 1 Originally trading as 'Orr Brothers' in the 1860s, 'John Orr & Co.' was formed in the early 1880s. 2 John Orr (born Ayrshire, c. 1840) and his sons James M. (born c. 1867), Alexander (born c. 1870) and Henry R. (born c. 1884) pursued decorating, carving, picture-framing and gilding. 3 The more representative '& Sons' was duly added around 1892.

The firm undertook the paintwork when Glasgow Central Station's Argyle Street bridge (‘the Hielanman’s Umbrella’) was widened in 1904, and redecorated Lansdowne Church Hall in 1906. 4 They worked on the nave of St John's Roman Catholic Church, Port Glasgow in the 1900s, and the more modest Kenmure United Free Church in Bishopbriggs (Alexander Petrie, 1905). 5 In 1905, the firm's apprentices were rewarded for excellence in signwriting by the Master Painters’ Association . 6

Henry R. Orr was still running the company in 1947. 7

Notes:

1: Glasgow Post Office directories, 1860–1920.

2: Glasgow Post Office directories, 1860–1920.

3: Census information, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 23 February 2013].

4: Scotsman, 20 June 1904, p. 9; 10 March 1905, p. 9; 'Lansdowne Church Project Plan', Four Acres Charitable Trust, 2009, p. 40 (online conservation statement), www.cottiers.com [accessed 23 February 2012].

5: Drawing CP118, Archives, R. C. Archdiocese of Glasgow, www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk; Sheila Livingstone, A Celebration of Kenmure Church of Scotland, 2006 (online document), p. 22, www.kenmure-church.co.uk [both accessed 23 February 2013].

6: Scotsman, 10 March 1905, p. 9.

7: Edinburgh Gazette, 15 February 1938, p. 147; 14 March 1947, p. 104.