Torrance is a village in East Dunbartonshire, Scotland, located 15 minutes of Glasgow city centre and is home to 2,500 persons. Torrance used to mainly consist of farmland, but now is a growing town. The town was once famous as a resting place for workers on their way to the Campsie Fells North.
Torrance is well known to be situated in East Dunbartonshire but may be incorporated into the city of Glasgow within the next 10 to 15 years, as well as Bearsden and Bishopbriggs. Glasgow City Coucil will probably draw up plans for the boundaries in 2010.
Torrance is on ward 5 and is known as Bishopbriggs North and Torrance. There are three local councillors. They are as follows Anne McNair from the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), Billy Hendry from the Scottish Conservatives and Unionists and Una Walker fromm the Scottish Labour Party. The MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden is David Whitton.
Torrance is a relatively safe area although there are two gangs in the area and several crimes sometimes occur. There are plans to place a CCTV development around the village including the park and the main street although a date has still not been set for when this may take place. The Police presence is relatively high but this again this is just a deterrent. There are several Neighbourhood Watch schemes in the area.
Torrance Initiative is a group aiming at developing the town although there recent plans have proved to cause concern about whether or not they are helping the community after the council houses that were planned. The houses were planned like a development in the city like Maryhill or Castlemilk.
The village of Torrance is situated in a local area known for centuries as 'The Eleven Ploughs of Balgrochan'. The Eleven Ploughs were part of the estate of the Grahams of Mugdock (Milngavie). They received their name in 1630 when Montrose, the great military leader of the Covenanting period, sought to raise money for his campaigns by feuing off part of the Mugdock lands. The 'Eleven Ploughlands' were feued off to local occupiers willing to pay a grassum (lump sum) on the understanding that their annual rate of duty would be held at a moderate level. Three of the Ploughlands were at Carlston, four at Easter Balgrochan and four at Wester Balgrochan.
"The eleven ploughs o' Balgrochan were acquired at that time
By eleven sturdy carles, as they ca'ed them lang syne"
The feuars originally held their land in run-rigs, running down in long strips southwards to the River Kelvin. In 1735, however, each feuar received an enclosed piece of land, in line with the widespread drive towards land enclosure at that period. Coal and lime continued to be worked in common, but ironstone rights were allocated to individual ploughland proprietors.
Some time after the enclosures of 1735, the village of Torrance began to develop. Some of the earliest inhabitants were 'country weavers', weaving linens or woolens in association with local farming activity. Around this time, also, the extraction of limestone, coal and ironstone began to emerge as a local industry of some significance. During the late eighteenth century the improvement of local roads and the opening of the Forth & Clyde Canal, with a wharf at Hungryside, provided routes to market for local agricultural and mineral production.
When the Eleven Ploughs were feued off by Montrose in 1630, the large meal mill at Balgrochan was at the same time feued to a Robert Ferrie. Three hundred years later the mill was still grinding corn and celebrating three centuries of Ferrie family ownership. In 1933, however, it was closed and sold to a Glasgow firm for the manufacture of talcum powder. The mill wheel at Balgrochan was said to be the second largest in Scotland. It was cut up for scrap in 1949.
The canal wharf at Hungryside remained for many years as Torrance's principal link with the outside world. In 1879, however, a station was opened at Torrance by the Kelvin Valley Railway Company and the village, somewhat belatedly, was linked to the national rail network. It might have been thought that Torrance would then have developed as a commuter dormitory for Glasgow, but the influx of new residents was slow in arriving. Indeed it was not until after the railway was closed to passengers in 1951 that commuting began in earnest. During the mid-1970s, for example, Henry Boot Homes built a considerable number of houses at Meadowbank and West Balgrochan.
Torrance has it's own famous golfer Hugh Ross that everyone is proud of because he got to the alternative ryder cup 2008. Also a man has made dvd's icluding roadstories which was a music video and the waverley returns which is a dvd.
There are plans to build several flats in Torrance. For instance in Campsie Road next to the Ornamental Gardens there are plans for two 5 storey tower flats and two 6 storey tower flats. In the Green Belt there are also plans to build several rows of joined up flats of 3 or 4 storeys. Buildings such as the old school and the Caldwell halls ae also to be converted into flats. However, these plans were put in place by the Torrance Community Initiatie without a proper consultation of the resitdents of Torrance in an effort to finance a new community centre. These plans were rejected in May 2008 due to the amount of complaints lodged (over 250) to the local government and several other reasons. The TCI spent a lot of the community's money developing the plans and lost it due to the plans being rejected by East Dunbartonshire council. For the time being Torrance will stay green-belt land and property developers are unable to build upon it.
The 1991 census registered a population of 2387 and the 2001 census registered a population of around 2,500. Torrance contains a local school - Torrance Primary School which around 250 pupils attend. The school is vastly growing and not just in the amount of attendees, but in size as well. Building work is under-way create a new school sports hall. The Sport Hall is expected to be finished by September, with an opening cemerony for the local area and Primary Seven pupils, who have moved on to High School part of Torrance Primary, Boclair Academy.
The name comes from the Gaelic An Toran which means 'under the hills'.
Torrance offers local amenities to its residents including two hairdressers, tennis courts, health centre, mechanics, garden centre (http://www.westcarlston.com/), bakery, a post office and newsagents not to mention the large and new Torrance Church of Scotland (www.torranceparishchurch.co.uk) at the foot of School Road and St. Dominic's Catholic Church at the top http://www.saintpatrickskilsyth.org.uk/saintdominics/index.htm . The local SPAR
won Milk Retailer of the Year in 2005.
Torrance has three pubs; the Wheatsheaf Inn, the Torrance Inn and the Village Inn with another bar in the bowling club.
The surrounding East Dunbartonshire area is also an affluent area with many new leisure facilities. East Dunbartonshire was voted the 2nd best district in Scotland to reside in during 2007. Torrance does have a regular once an hour bus service into Glasgow however could benefit further from better transport links for the surrounding area. A good idea would be to organise a petition so if any Torrance resident reads this you should create a survey.
Acre Valley, and Wardend road are amongst Torrance's most desirable areas to live. Houses here were valued in summer 2007, many worth over one million pounds. These houses being Acre Valley house, six acres and farm-hill house.
There are also many normal family style houses as well as single occupancy dwellings. Torrance has over the past thirty years expanded to almost meet the neighboring village of Balmore. Many residents feel that the village has met its capacity in terms of development. Particularly since none of the developments built over the last 3 decades have actually helped to enhance the village in any way.