I RECENTLY asked if anyone had a photograph of a former Dempster Street property.

The appeal was on behalf of Gerard Cambridge, who lives in Bolton. Located on the river side of the street close to the junction with Mount Pleasant Street, number 46 was the family home of his father, who was born in 1890.

Gerard’s father served as an engineer in the Merchant Navy and ended up working at Manchester dry docks.

Reader Thomas Smith got in touch to say he was born at number 48 in 1962.

After checking with his father, also Thomas, he told me the property, which comprised numbers 46, 48 and 50, developed a major structural fault.

The severity of the problem prompted the Corporation to secure a compulsory purchase order for demolition and the occupiers were compensated. Thomas had started at the nearby Highlanders’ Academy and then attended Larkfield Primary when the family moved to Westmorland Road in 1968.

Number 48 was the middle close in the accompanying photograph — I’ll explain where it came from later in the story — and the Smith family lived in the flat on the right hand side of the top floor.

The Cambridge family home was in the close on the right of the picture.

I was also contacted by Helen Shearer, whose maiden name was Rourke. She lived at 28 Dempster Street until 1963 and recalled her mother’s friend, a Mrs Nicolson, who stayed on the ground floor of number 50.

More information came from John Miller who kindly supplied me with a copy of Kemp’s Greenock and District Local Directory for 1966.

The names listed for number 46 are M McManus, Miss E Murphy, J Millar, H Creighton, A Campbell, R McConnell, J W Gibson and Miss M Coyle; number 48 — T Smith, J McKay, R Donachie, J McLaren, Mrs A McGlone, R W Forbes, M Grant, Mrs A Fielding and A G Fulton; number 50 — H G Barron, A McMaster, J Farmer, Mrs I Munro, E V Stewart, W Norman, W Heatherington, J Gilray and Mrs J M Nicolson.

Now to today’s photograph.

Normally I have readers to thank for supplying a picture someone is keen to see but it actually came from my own collection, although I previously did not know where it was taken but was aware the property looked near the end of its days.

Some time ago, a friend gave me a good number of old Greenock photographs, including today’s image. After the original story led to me learning the former Dempster Street property had three closes, I showed the photograph to Thomas Smith and Helen Shearer, who confirmed it was indeed 46-50 Dempster Street.

It is possible the last occupants of the ground floor at number 50 were yet to leave which is why the close mouth and windows were not bricked up.

However, it is almost certain the property was demolished in 1968.