Pictured is the old Millheugh Bridge, pre second world war and before the current replacement was built. The road beyond leads past Dechmont Hill at Cambuslang and into Blantyre. The scene is very similar as today, if you of course ignore the graffiti and rubbish fly tipping.
The original bridge is likely to have dated back to medieval times probably around the same time as the Blantyre Priory, around the 13th Century. Built of stone, it originally had one arch and a smaller tunnel, a feature still existing on the modern bridge. During the demolition of the bridge in 1952, it was discovered that the old arch was likely the same one as the original, but had been repaired extensively. The new 1952 bridge has two arches and the smaller tunnel and is sympathetic in design to the original.
There’s a sad tale connected to this area. During the 2nd world war, there was a very deep pool located adjacent to the bridge. It is said that a soldier in 1948 on return from the war went swimming with friends and got into difficulties in the deep pool, becoming entangled. Sadly, he lost his life and drowned despite effort of friends to save him. For 4 years until the demolition of the bridge, the pool was called “The Sodger’s Hole”, i.e The Soldier’s Hole. During the ’52 demolition, the existing stone demolition material was used to fill in the Sodger’s Hole, making it safe for children. To be absolutely safe, it was concreted over too, and used partially as foundations for the new bridge.
Since then, generations of children, including myself have played under the arches, not aware at all they were standing on “The Sodger’s Hole” or the tragic events that happened there in the middle of last century.