April 1920. Another busy day in Blantyre’s Main Street. The rain falls hard to the pavements as people scurry about their business. Looking East towards Hamilton, with Broompark Road junction on the left, the term “busy” really only relates to the people and the pavements. Traffic is non existent , limited to a small van in the distance and a solitary horse and cart, setting a very different scene from today.
Behind the horse is the old tollbooth which was sited at the top of Broompark road junction at Causeystanes. This would tax the horse traffic a small fee for passing. The tollbooth is long since gone. Indeed, many of the building here are gone. The Garage on the left is now new flats, even taller than the tenements shown here. On the left is now a series of fast food outlets and hairdressers and Blakley’s Bar still exists on the left. To the right only the old 1898 Co-op building still stands, now flats with small shops below. The other large tenements on the right are now replaced by the bakers, chemists and bookies. When many of these buildings were demolished due to their age following the second world war, haphazard planning seemed to prevail with disjointed housing and shops, all with different looks and construction. Even today many of the shops have no relation to this era gone by and this is sad in itself. Even although this area is home for me, it’s lacking the character it once had and modern construction by my own admission and opinion, has done it no favours.