1903 Bottom of Stonefield Road

Stonefield RoadAlex Rochead gave me a copy of this amazing Stonefield photo. It is dateless, which tonight i tried to do some detective work on it. The tenements are there at the corner of Glasgow Road, so it was easy to identify that the picture MUST at least from 1903, the date the Old Original Bar being built, which is shown. The school chapel the most prominent building at the end of the road, is well documented, built in 1878, shown in another black and white photo taken in Winter 1905 and is even still showing on 1938 maps. Other buildings shown on 1897 maps and 1910 maps, so not much help there. So next i noticed there are no hats and big coats, so probably a summery picture. The whole picture doesn’t feel anywhere near 1930s. The traffic is horses and carts, no automated vehicles of any sort.

I got momentarily excited when i saw the road leading off to the left and rushed to find the formation of Calder Street date, which was 1935. Again, this doesn’t feel like a 30s picture and the likelihood is that the kerb leading off to the right is probably the little lane to Carfin Street. (now gone) when Calder Street was completed. Gas lamps however helped. Pictured ARE the gas lamps, although this location upgraded to Electricity lamps in 1922 (although they looked similar).

JB Struthers Hall is there on the left, the signage proving it still to be there, although Struthers shut up shop there in 1920. The picture is therefore dated between 1903-1920. Finally, trams first ran through Glasgow Road in 1903, yet i don’t see any tramlines on Glasgow road, when zoomed in, or indeed any overhead equipment or poles. The clothing doesn’t look very 20s either. I’m forced to conclude this photo was taken between 1903 – 1914 (pre WW1), and the Victorian clothing dates in turn of century. I’m putting a bet it was likely in 1903-1906, in line with a few other published photos of Blantyre from that era. If this has a postmark on the opposite side earlier than 1903, i’ll eat my words.

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