Kit's Memories

John Ryan: An Addiewell M.P.

By Billy Kane

My cousin, John Ryan, was born in Livingstone Street the same day as Pat Kane (Billy's brother). My aunty Mary belonged to Addiewell, but when she married she moved to Wilsontown in Lanarkshire. John was brought up there and visited Loganlea every Sunday faithfully to see his grandparents Mr and Mrs Tommy Foley, who lived at 119 Mooreland Gardens. John went to school in Forth and Lanark Grammar School and then the University of Glasgow, where he graduated with a First Class Honours Degree: he was extremely clever.

 John was politically minded even when he was a young man and would take part in all the discussions held each Sunday in my Grandparents house. He was a lifelong member of the Labour Party and what is known as a 'Left Winger'. He left Forth and moved to London where he had his own Market Research Company for a few years before entering the Political arena full time. He was elected to Parliament as the M.P for Uxbridge near London, which made him the youngest ever MP up until then. The Prime Minister then was Harold Wilson. When he left politics, he became a Professor of a College in Arundel in Sussex.

 He eventually returned to Scotland to be nearer his parents as his Dad suffered from pnuemoconiosis (the miner's disease) and could not get around easily. John was a man of many talents and a very generous person. He died in 2002 from a heart attack, just before he had finished all the work he had started for The Bulgarian Health Service, which he did free of charge. He never forgot his coal mining roots and would help anyone in need.

As a family we were all very proud of what John achieved, the only child of a Lanarkshire Coal Face worker and an Addiewell mother. Addiewell has produced many good men and women.

Catherine Cassidy Alleyne

This page was added by Billy Kane on 14/11/2012.
Comments about this page

Good job Cath. I remember how proud Auntie Mary was when John became an MP, with good reason.

By Anne Cassidy Hamilton
On 19.11.2012

Another famous and proud man from the kingdom of Addiewell. Is their no end to the talents and expertise of this proud community

By Tommy Woods
On 23.11.2012

Hi, my Papa was Willie Ryan, John's uncle. My Mum was John's cousin Alice. Auntie Mary used to bring me to Addiewell quite often to see Catherine and Margaret. I'm so pleased to see this record of John's achievements. I've still got my Papa's copy of the photo of John meeting Harold Wilson.

By Allison Brittain
On 20.05.2013

This site is great for hearing from people you used to know, Allison I remember your visits to Loganlea my Aunty Mary and Uncle Johnny brought you down, you had a head of golden curls then. Needless to say I remember your Mum Alice and your Aunt Kitty and of course your grandparents, we were all proud of John and his achievements, please let me know about your family, I will tell Margaret I have been in touch, she too remembers you well and our cousin Anne who now lives in the USA, I live in Barbados and Margaret in London.

By Catherine Alleyne
On 01.06.2013

Big Kit. I can't believe I've seen you the first time on this site. Have great memories of you (wee kit) and Alan and kilburn! Great to hear your enjoying life - as always. Here's to the dykes Stejoe

By Stephen Kelly
On 09.08.2013

Catherine, I'm sorry not to have been in touch before now. I seem to have lost my sign in details! I hope this gets to you. A guid new year to you and yours for 2014 - it was thinking about the New Years I spent in the Forth when my Aunty Mary and Uncle Johnny used to come down to my Aunty Kate's after The Bells that made me get in touch. My Uncle Johnny was a great singer - after a few coughs to get his tubes cleared!

By Allison Brittain
On 07.01.2014

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