People and Places
Councillor John Lavell.
Councillor, Director of the local Wine and Spirit Association, Coatbridge.
Councillor John Lavell. 1889.
Coatbridge today is very different from what it used to be over one hundred years ago. Its hard to imagine that Coatbridge was full of towering chimney's vomiting volumes of dense smoke, the atmosphere was always hazy and thick. The loud clattering noise of heavy machinery could be heard from miles away. At times a reddish glow hovered above Coatbridge by the fierce glare of belching furnaces. Coatbridge was once known as the largest village in the world.
Coatbridge has always had it's good share of public houses. John Lavell's wine and spirit vaults stood at the top of Main Street opposite the principal public works and next door to the Theatre Royal. Mr Lavell was also proprietor of other premises in the town but spent most of his time in the pub.
He also devoted much of his time to the service of the community. In 1881 when he was only twenty one years of age, he was returned unopposed to represent the educational interests of the denizens of the landward part of the district in the School Board of the parish of Clarkston. He fulfilled the duties of this position with honour and credit for two terms of three years each and was for a considerable time chairman of one of the Board's principal committee. The attention, however, necessary to an ever increasing business compelled him to resign this position in 1887.
When Coatbridge was elevated to the status of a Burgh, Mr Lavell was selected as a candidate to represent the interests of the electors of the Fifth Ward at the Council Board. Mr Lavell was recognised as one of the most earnest and efficient members of the Coatbridge Town Council in his day.
Many years ago, Mr Weir of Kildonan, presented the burgh with a public park, and the occasion of its opening was inaugurated by a public procession. Councillor Lavell was chairman of the Demonstration Committee, and the result of his efforts was manifested in one of the finest demonstrations that was seen in the locality. He was delegated with the honour of cutting the first sod for the erection of a band-stand in the new public park, and was presented with a souvenir of the event in the shape of a miniature shade.
In his spare time he loved literature and wrote two short works of fiction "The Fisherman's Craze," and "A stranger resemblance," both were printed in a column of a Glasgow journal. Councillor Lavell was also a Director of the local Wine and Spirit Association.