Place Names (N) Napierston - Notman's Park
Napierston Terrace, Jamestown
This was the last of the Jamestown Terraces to be built by Sir Archibald Orr Ewing, being completed in 1874. It comprised two separate buildings both of which were brick-built with three storeys, the upper storeys being accessed by a stairway enclosed in a circular stone tower. The smaller building, called by the residents, the Front Block, was located on Main Street, Jamestown immediately south of Auchincarroch Road. It had 24 houses.
The Side Block was located in Auchincarroch Road, and it had 84 houses. Typically all of these houses were one or two roomed, with a scullery. In all cases the toilets were outside. It was demolished in the 1960's and a row of private detached houses now occupies the complete site.
Narrows, The, Loch Lomond
This is the passage of water between Inchtavannach and Inconnachan, south of Luss. Not only does the distance between the two islands reduce to a few yards, but also, boats have to follow a dogleg course to pass through. And as if that is not bad enough, on the northern side of the passage there are two rocks lurking close to the surface, which have claimed a number of boats over the years.
Common sense would tell you that you can only sail through the Narrows at a very slow speed, but any sort of sense is a rare commodity with many speedboat owners on the Loch, and a speed limit has been introduced in the area.
New Bridge, the, Balloch
This is the southern of the two bridges over the Leven at Balloch. It was built 1935-6, and the term “New Bridge” was immediately applied and has stuck ever since. Although nearly everyone now calls the road which it carries over the Leven “ Lomond Road”, that took about 30 years to achieve. To begin with most locals called it the “New Road”, which could be confusing because that name was also applied to the Carrochan Road.
New Road(s), The, Balloch & Jamestown
This could be quite confusing at one time, because when they were first built, both Carrochan Road (about 1928) and Lomond Road (1935-6) were called “The New Road” by local residents. You had to have some further information before you knew to which one they were referring. And of course they crossed for about twenty years, at what became a very dangerous crossroads, which was eventually replaced by a roundabout in the late 1950's.
Nobleston Farm was one of the ancient estates, that later became farms, of the Vale. The first reference to Nobleston appears in the 14th century and from the context its possible that the “Noble” element applies to a family name or even the appearance of the place rather than the nobility. By 1654, when it appears in Pont's map, it has become Noblestoun. Nobleston Brae used to be a prominent feature of the “back road” from Dumbarton as it came down into Bonhill at Dillichip, but disappeared in the realignment of what has become Stirling Road.
The farm was bought over in the early 1960's and the farmhouse demolished - although the hay-shed survived as the covered stand at Millburn. Nobleston Estate was the second estate on the hillside after Ladyton, being built in the 1960's. Like all of the other Bonhill hillside estates, there are no road names, only numbers.
North Street, Alexandria
This street runs from Main Street down to the railway line, and when it was laid out in the late 1820's / early 1830's it actually was the northern limit of buildings in Alexandria. Initially it consisted of tenement buildings housing workers at the nearby Levenfield and Croftengea Works, but it went on to play a prominent role in the Vale's history.
The first Vale Gas Works was built in North Street on a very modest scale in 1835, and various rebuilds and expansions saw the gasworks through to the late 1950's when they were closed. In the 1960's the site was cleared to house a number of small business units such as builders and joiners yards, commercial garages etc. Over the years many have come and gone, but some survive.
North Street Ground was the name of the second ground to be occupied by Vale of Leven FC - from 1873 until 1888 when they moved to Millburn. It was the scene of the Old Vale team's greatest cup winning triumphs of 1877 - 8 - 9. North Street was also the home of the first Roman Catholic Church to be built in the Vale since the Reformation - Our Lady and Saint Marks - that opened in 1859. It eventually moved to its present location on the old Ferryfield Works site in 1926.
From the 1930's until the 1950's John Glen provided the St Andrews Ambulance service - in brown ambulances - from a base at the top of North Street. Most of its houses were demolished in the 1960's, some to be replaced by new council housing. The perfectly good building at the south corner with Main Street was cleared a few years ago, having been acquired by the local health authority on the pretext of building a new medical centre at the Fountain, but it remains a gap site. North Street still survives, ready to accommodate its next generation of occupants.
Northfield, and Northfield Road Bonhill
There was a Northfield Farm on the hill above Bonhill, to the northeast, for at least 100 years, and after that a Northfield Cottage. The area therefore took on the name Northfield, and this has been applied to the Golf Club as in ”playing up at Northfield”. Northfield Road, which runs from Hillbank Street more or less along the line of the old Slunger beside the west boundary of the golf course to Napierston Road, also took the name.
It's hard to say whether the planners of the late 1940's, when Northfield Road was built, thought the Slunger was not a grand enough name for their spanking new road, or that their spanking new road was not grand enough to be called after that venerable Vale institution.
Notman's Park / Field, Alexandria
The front part of the Christie Park, which was opened in 1902, is laid out in what until that time had been Notman's or Nottman's Park or Field. As Nottman's Field it was in community use for such events as the annual Alexandria Cattle Show.