Calder Street only half finished

calder streetBy 1935, Blantyre’s Calder Street was quickly becoming a well known and established thoroughfare. By that time it was home to the red sandstone secondary school and at the junction with Victoria Street, the police station was another prominent building. The street led from the Church (where the current Asda entrance is), past the library to the crossroads with Victoria street, then stopped very abruptly in a dead end about 100 yards past the crossroads. (Stopping roughly where the current gates to Calderside Academy is). The Council did want to extend the road, but the problem was the sprawling expanse of miner’s rows houses at Dixon Street, Well Street and Park Street. The houses were in poor condition, cramped and were heading towards the end of their use.

New houses at Fernslea Avenue were being built in the town, as well as in Victoria Street all in the same modern style, with a traditional diamond square inset into each 2 storey building. The style of these new houses was world’s apart from the miner’s rows. Shortly after the edict to demolish the rows was given, new houses in keeping with nearby Fernslea Avenue and Victoria Street were built and Calder Street was extended (as shown on this 1935 map with a pink dotted line).

calderI should point out that on earlier maps in 1898, Calder Street did exist as connected right though. The old rows extended to either side of Calder Street, but by the 1930s they were so old they were demolished around the time of Calder Street being widened. The modern completion of Calder Street not only offered new access to the houses, but meant a shorter route from one part of the town to the other , avoiding the need to go on to a busy, tram filled Glasgow Road.

With the destruction of the rows, several streets lost their names forever.


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  1. I wonder how many houses still have their original tenents it their children

  2. Mike – Thats fantastic and thank you very much for ordering the book. Please feel free to look me up on your Scotland Visit. I could show you the exact location . I’ll see what i can find. It must have been very difficult for your family and many others emigrating to the States in the 1920s or 30s during the depression. Work would have been difficult to find at that time. Many houses burnt down in Blantyre through carelessness of candles or unfortunate accidents. I’ll see if i can uncover anything of interest. Do you know your grandparents names?

  3. My mom’s father was a miner and the family lived on Waterloo Row in Blantyre. They all moved here in New York in 1929 & 1930. My late mom said they had to move since their house burned down. Could it be that the Council was tearing down their houses because they were nearing the end of their use? My mom was 16 when they emigrated, so maybe she didn’t know why the house burned down? Does the above map show where Waterloo Row was? I can’t find it on a map anywhere. Thank you for any info you may give me. I intent to visit Blantyre in 2014 and would love to know where her house might have been located. I live on Long Island, just outside New York City – and was born in Manhattan. PS – I ordered 2 books online and await their arrival.

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