A few people have messaged me on Facebook to ask if i would continue posting articles about properties in Blantyre, now no longer there. I have loads more material on this subject, so a welcome return today to that subject. Paul Reid has asked if i have any history on the properties at the foot of Sydes Brae, so i’ll start with Loanfoot.
Loanfoot was a thatched cottage in High Blantyre at the Southern end of Douglas Street, at it’s junction with the bottom of Sydes Brae. It had a garden in the front and was owned outright by Lord Blantyre, but let out to working tennants.
In 1859 Alexander Sommerville lived in the cottage. This old 1859 map shows Loanfoot at the junction of Hillhouse Road (Udston) and the road leading into Blantyre. There are no other properties around it at that time. The Road today is completely reprofiled, although Sydes Brae’s upper slopes can be used as a reference. Today, Loanfoot would have sat approximately where the metal “big H” roundabout is for Hamilton Technology Park. The wee thatched cottage disappeared for good in 1978 when the Crossbasket to Auchinraith stretch of the expressway was constructed.
Finally, i’ve found a little piece of more personal history about the inhabitants. On 28th December 1921 as miners returned to work after Christmas, a Blantyre miner named Robert Syme was killed in Dechmont colliery, Cambuslang, by a fall from the roof. He resided at Loanfoot, Sydesbrae, High Blantyre, and left a widow and two of a family. [Reference: Scotsman 29 December 1921]