Station Cafe was a prominent and very impressive end block building to a row of Tenements on Main Street, at the junction of School Lane. It formed part of the area of Kirkton and was formerly called Spiers Restaurant. In the 1800’s, the block itself was called Spiers Laun, and it was the veritable shopping mall of it’s day!
Likely designed by Local Architect Robert Thompson, the entrance face directly across to the kirkyard and was flanked by 2 impressive stone columns.
The name Station Cafe was most likely linked to the nearby High Blantyre Train Station, a welcome stop once you had arrived at your destination , for a bit to eat.
The Spiers Laun building also contained other successful businesses. Malcolm’s Fruit Shop, a butchers, a barbers (as indicated by the pole in the picture) and William Wilson’s the tailors shop. You could get fed, clothed and your hair groomed all in the same building! Situated on the far side of the picture, were 3 houses, with more located on the upper floors of the building facing out down Douglas Street.
It formed a corner feature of School Lane, which was in those times an important part of the town housing the school. The Lane had buildings either side and is almost unrecognisable today as a lane, now replaced by modern houses in a manner that is not sympathetic to the original street layout.
We’ve overlaid the old building on a modern Google Earth picture below to show the building it’s it modern context. (Yes, I know, the horse is not to scale!). Interestingly, from this comparison, we see the pub on the left hand side, which we know today as Carrigans, but was then called Logans. The pub building is still remarkably similar even 110 years on, even down to the boarded up window on the upper floor, which is still the case today! One thing different, though is the entrance was on the front of the building and we can see from the modern photo, it was altered to form a window at some point in the 1900s. In the old picture above, we see the old horse trough at the kirk, to the right of the photo. This trough was donated to the town from wealthy landowners in Greenhall and sadly is no longer there today.