Taylor Veterinary Practice is one of the oldest established veterinary practices in the world and has been caring for animals in the community, as part of the Cathkin Estate, for almost two hundred years.
In 1826, Master Blacksmith, John Taylor (1801-1857) (1st generation) moved from Cowgate in Edinburgh to Cathkin and founded a blacksmith workshop ‘John Taylor Smithy’. This became the nineteenth century equivalent of a veterinary practice and remained so for five generations of Taylors.
In those days the blacksmiths worked in the forge, shod horses and attended farms and mines to visit sick animals. There was no Glasgow Veterinary school at this time but due to his experience with animals John Taylor often treated horses and pit ponies.
The second half of the nineteenth century saw great progress in veterinary care.
The first Professor of Veterinary Medicine to teach in the US was a Scottish man by the name of Dr James Law and in 1861 Glasgow Veterinary School was born.
John's son David Taylor (1827-1880) (2nd generation), one of ten children, followed in his father’s footsteps as a blacksmith and continued in a life of treating and working with animals at Smithy House.
John Taylor (1852-1942), who had two sisters, was the 3rd generation. He also followed the family tradition becoming a blacksmith but additionally enrolled in the fledgling Veterinary School. His qualification as a vet in 1870 firmly established Smithy House as a Veterinary Practice. John had five children, two becoming Veterinary Surgeons and one of them James Fyfe Taylor (1885 - 1931) (4th generation) continuing the practice at Cathkin.
James was also drafted as a Veterinary Officer in the First World War. He was responsible for the treatment of horses used for transporting guns and supplies, noting in his war diary 'Horses dying of exhaustion and exposure. Too many'
After the war he returned to Smithy House, expanding the Veterinary Practice and had a son James Morrison Taylor in 1920s the 5th and final generation who qualified as a vet in 1942.
Father and son worked side by side as vets for many years at Smithy House employing more vets and less blacksmiths as cars became widespread.
James Morrison Taylor was a man of vision and lay down the roots of the practice that we see today. In the 1940s and 50s few vets treated small animals, concentrating on horses and cows but James very quickly saw the satisfaction in giving pets the best treatment possible. He slowly developed small animal clinics under the radar of his father and established Smithy House as a Veterinary Practice for all animals. The Smithy was converted into a waiting room and consulting rooms and over 50 years James grew the practice steadily with commitment, hard work and a love of animals.
The surgery is now known as ‘Taylor Veterinary Practice’, a RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) accredited small animal practice. To this day, Taylor Veterinary Practice at Smithy House continues to work to Mr Taylor’s vision of giving each and every patient the best care possible, treating every pet as if their own.