The Buggy Building, Auchinraith

buggyThe name “Buggy Building” may be familiar to many Blantyre residents. It referred to a three storey stone tenement building, which was part of a larger row of tenements on Auchinraith Road. The “Buggy Building” stood directly opposite Elm Street but of course this wasn’t it’s real name nor should it be referred to as “buildings”.  The Buggy Building belonged to Melbourne Place, it’s official address despite most of the building being fronted on to Auchinraith Road, behind Springwells.  During the late 1880’s, as Blantyre entered rapid population growth and a housing shortage became apparent, there was a sudden requirement for substantial building materials. As tenements were constructed throughout the town in the 1890s and 1900’s, building contractors turned to dilapidated buildings to see what could be salvaged. This also made the buildings cheaper to construct. It was built in 1896 by Mr Guy Semple (its not on the 1895 valuation roll, but is on 1897 map). At the time of Melbourne Place being constructed around 1896, the Village works in Low Blantyre were in a sorry state. Many of the homes in the village works were unfit to live in. Some of the buildings had already fallen into disrepair and contractors were starting to salvage whatever they could buying old construction materials from the struggling mill owners.

It is said that the nickname “Buggy Building” was given to that particular tenement in Auchinraith Road as the timber rafters and flooring joists were obtained from the old Village buildings that were laying derelict at the Blantyre Mills. This meant that the timber rafters put into the building, already were over a century old or possibly more. People commented at the time of construction that the old timbers were infested with woodworm (bugs) and the building name stuck as “the Buggy Building”. This obviously had an impact on the life of the building itself, for although it lasted to well after the second world war, it is now no longer there.  Tenements of a same age still exist around the town in other hamlets and if the old materials hadn’t been used, perhaps the Buggy Building would still have been there today. . The buggy building is not to be confused with a lower two storey building which stood to it’s right named James’s Building.

On social media:

Emma Cargill My mum told me her gran lived here she went to visit her every sunday

Marion Anderson They were only ruins when I was a kid…we used to play in them, thinking on it now I realise how dangerous that was

The Blantyre Project Marion , thats interesting. I didn’t know they were uninhabited. Do you know when that was?

Alex Forrest It would have been around the 1960-3 as people were rehoused to the coatshill areas

Alex Forrest Sorry my mistake it would have been earlier nearer 1957-60

Elizabeth Dobson Grieve My dad lived there as a kid

Moira Macfarlane Remember it well

Ellenor Mcbride Ahhhh the old stories frm here frm our family the cop lands

Catherine McLachlan I remember my auntie Annie speaking about the buggy building. Do you Anne ODonnell Vanstone?

Anne ODonnell Vanstone oh my God… So it’s actually a real building/place!!

Moyra Lindsay I lived at 75 Auchinraith Road until I was 6, it was known as Radnor!

The Blantyre Project the house was called “Radnor?

Moyra Lindsay The building was called Radnor. The close we lived in if I remember was just opposite the road on the left, if that’s Beech Place? I think there were four houses in the close ours had one room…a single end!

Moyra Lindsay It was a long time Paul before I lived in a house!

Wullie Bell Remember very well Archie wypers shop was across the road

Jane Johnstone I remember tenements in Auchinraith Road…they looked horrible…I always remember thinking that as a child

The Blantyre Project they do look a little foreboding.

Moyra Lindsay They were!

The Blantyre Project the current site of the former Buggy Buildings.

The Blantyre Project's photo.

Wullie Bell This pic. is lovely unfortunately this area is a tip now needs a bit of tlc

Pamela Campbell You do a fantastic job doing this for us Blantyre folks who no longer live in Blantyre love the new and old nostalgia well done Paul Xx

Betty McLean The entrance to Beech Place is opposite the buggy building and as children we had great fun playing with the friends who lived in both places. Two wonderful old men sat on the wall looking across at the building and making sure the children from Beech Place didn’t wander down the road to the next street called Elm St. Sandy Frew and Alex Graham were the “baby sitters” and mothers could get on with their housework knowing the children were safe playing, “kick the can or rounders” Wonderful memories.

Margaret Farmer When were these buildings on auchinraith Rd demolished?


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  1. Paul,
    Born in ‘The Buggy’ and, appropriately, settling in Horsham, Victoria, Australia
    , Charlie/Chick Frame died there in March 2017, I have been told today.
    He is survived by his wife Margaret a Maori lass by birth who is active in their local civic associations.
    Charlie came back to Scotland and visited the old town a few years back. His mates will probably all be in their 80s by now, but perhaps they would like to know of his passing. In poor health for some years as a result of service in the Australian Armed Forces he was always interested in his home town and pleased that you had taken such trouble to bring its history to life.

    1. Thank you Eddie. I’m sorry to read that. I appreciate sincerely that Charlie liked reading my Blantyre research. That means a lot and my sympathies go to his family.

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