Origins of “The Dandy”

dandyIn the 1870s “The Dandy” (the path through the woods next to the Parkville) was a direct path leading not only to Boweshill and Thornhill residences, but also across open fields, across the railway, through the woods and down directly out at the North of Blantyre at the managers house at Blantyre Village works (exactly where the lion monument at David Livingstone centre is now). It was privileged managerial access and egress out of Blantyre Village works avoiding curfews at the village gates and any tolls on Glasgow / Station Road.

“The Dandy” was reference to the gentry of the big houses at Thornhill, Boweshill and Blantyre Village Works Managers house and the fine way they dressed. These were the privileged owners who had a property right of permission to access this private way. When tolls were relaxed on the Sabbath, according to a discussion i once had with Jimmy Cornfield, the mill workers were permitted to also access the path on their route to church and chapel. Dressed in their finest Sunday best, they must have also felt “fine and dandy”. Part of the Dandy is now renamed Thornhill Avenue.


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  1. Hi all
    Lived across from the Dandy mainly during the 60’s at 9 Livingstone cresc .
    Had many a bonfire on Nov 5th in the middle.
    When snowing used to slide down on a shovel by th railway bridge.
    played footie every sunday eithet on the grassy area at stanley place or up behind Billy Botterrills
    Shop in front if the convent wall. Mum Lizzie Cunningham worked in the shop for years.
    Great memories.
    Michael Cunningham

  2. Hi Paul,
    My name is James Cleary now living in Perth, Australia. When My parenta Pat and May Cleary were married they lived in a room and kitchen in a comunal building located in the dandy back from Glasgow Road. I lived there until I was 5 from 1961 to 1966 then moved to the west end (Cloudhowe Tce). Sadly the building was damaged by fire (some say it was Beggsey that done it) then demolished. I have fond memories of the people around that area and the Watsons who har the house accross from the convent who owned horses at the time.
    Blantyre then was a graet place but sadly in my opinion is not the same.

  3. Thats the same Dandy Eileen, but from Farm Road to Glasgow Road was only half of the Dandy. The other half continued crossing over Farm Road and through side of fields and out at the David Livingstone Centre. As modern homes got built North of Farm Road, the Dandy became known in modern times for the part that was left, i.e the lane through the woods from Glasgow Road to Farm Road. The “convent” is still there but is now an irregularly shaped home.

  4. I am trying to work out which Dandy you mean. The one that I used to play in was a continuation of Farm Road, which ran past Monteith Place. The “Poor Clares Convent” was on the left hand side as you went into the Dandy from Farm Road. There were apple trees which overhung the wall of the convent which we used to steal. The Dandy ran from Farm Road up to the main street at Glasgow Road, past St Josephs Chapel. correct me if I am wrong,

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