Place Names (I) India Street - Irish Lawn
India Street, Alexandria
This street, at the Croft Gate at the foot of North Street takes its name from one of the main destinations for much of the output from the Croft for most of its existence - India. Originally the area in which India Street stands was called Red Row and Charleston, and there was a blacksmith's and small metal works on the site, as well as single story houses and a 2-story tenement. These were knocked down about 1880 to be replaced by the red sandstone tenements, which became India Street.
This is a corruption of “inlet”, which describes the system of water sluices, and channels, which carried the water from the Carrochan Burn into the old Jamestown Dam and Mill of Balloch. The water inlet system ran down parallel to the Balloch - Stirling railway line, about 50 yards to the north of it, from the a sluice at the weir, where Woodburn Avenue crosses the Carrochan Burn. The whole area behind Jamestown School, right up to the Burn, became known as the Inler, which is what most locals still call it.
“Inver” has the same meaning in Gaelic as “Aber” - where two rivers meet or where a river flows into the sea or a Loch. Inverbeg should therefore mean “where the river Beg flows into the Loch”. Except there is no river Beg, it's the Douglas water, which flows into the Loch at Inverbeg, Inverbeg being at the eastern end of Glen Douglas. There is an entry for Inverbeg in the Lochside Villages pages.
“Mouth of the needle stream” - the Snaid Burn being called after “snathad”, a needle in Gaelic. An appropriate description of the Burn, as it comes through the gorge, onto the waterfall and into the Loch. There is an entry for Inversnaid in the Lochside Villages pages.
“Mouth of the dark stream” from “dubh”, dark and “glais”, water in Gaelic - the dark stream is Inveruglas Water, which enters the Loch there. The area of Inveruglas, just four miles north of Tarbet, can hardly be missed. Indeed after Ben Lomond itself, Inveruglas hosts the Loch's most easily identified feature - the four pipes coming down the hillside to Loch Sloy Power Station and Hydro Electric scheme. There is an entry for Inveruglas in the Lochside Villages pages.
Irish Lawn, Alexandria
This was an open space, approximately where the Police Houses and Garage are now in Hill Street. It was close to the old Castle Dangerous tenement on the corner of Hill Street, which had many Irish tenants, and the Irish Lawn was where Irish people met. In the 1920's and 30's it had an unsavoury reputation as being where they met to fight of a Saturday night. Both it and its reputation are long gone.