Blantyre has seen several Royal visits over the last Century, four in total that i can find. The first in 1929 when the Queen Mother opened David Livingstone Centre, the second in 1942, when , on a Nationwide Royal visit to boost wartime morale, she visited again this time to the Miners Welfare Bowling Club. The third visit was by the Queen herself and Prince Philip in 1962, then again in 1977 during the Jubillee Year.
The 1962 visit was fairly well documented and in fact it was East Kilbride being the focus of her visit. So many new homes and businesses opened in the New Town , one of Scotland’s largest towns at the time. The Royal Visit was by car and the Queen and the Prince left on 2nd July 1962 to head back to catch the train to Glasgow. This meant travelling by car through Blantyre, something that was published well in advance. The procession travelled down Hunthill Road and down Station Road to Low Blantyre Train Station.
Moira Pachecho remembers the day well telling us “I saw them going past me in Hunthill Rd. At the top of Park Crescent. I remember seeing them so well .I always remember they were caked in makeup. It’s so funny you have brought this up in your page as I often think back on it“. The route was confirmed as Hunthill Road, also by Moyra Lindsay who also remembers this.
Susan Brownlie added , “I can remember the Queen going past my house at the corner of Station Road and Farm Road on the way to the David Livingstone Centre. People sitting and standing on our wall waiting. I just can’t remember when. We lived in that house from 1953. Mum and Dad sold up during the 80s“
Mary Cushley said “My dad took us to a garage in Hamilton we saw a burgundy limo the queen was to use and there was a picture In the paper the day after they were at Blantyre station my cousin was clearly seen in the picture up a tree watching them go past“
The Royals then got on board a train at Blantyre Railway Station to head back to Glasgow, as pictured in this three rare photos.
As a sidenote to this story, the royal visit in East Kilbride is well documented in this interesting little film about how East Kilbride became Scotland’s fastest growing new town.