The earliest mention I can find of Hardie Street in Blantyre was in June 1928 referring to somebody having an accident. I believe the houses were constructed just a few years earlier around 1925. At the height of the art deco period, there are signs of that period infiltrating on to the exterior construction. The houses were meant to address the shortage of homes in Blantyre and were popular with miners families wishing to remove themselves from the poor standard of homes in the various Miners rows scattered throughout Blantyre. Hardie Street, Small Crescent and Morris Crescent were built around the same time and must have expanded Blantyre considerably at the time, as the land was previously only fields.
Hardie Street is pictured here in 1931, a quiet scene and one which has not changed too much today. This photo is taken from Craig Street and so soon after construction, there is a lack of gardens and trees. Incredibly the old electrical kiosk is still there on the pavement, although
now replaced by a more modern one. I can’t help but feel that the old sash windows looked better than the various types of double glazing we install today, but there’s no doubt, the houses now are warmer! Away in the background on Stonefield Road are the large gas storage tanks of the Gas works (which was on the site of the later Lethams Garage)
Hardie Street was likely named after James Keir Hardie, A Scottish Socialist and Labour leader. Indeed, he was one of the founding members of the Labour party and although he died in 1915, he was a well known character that had debated in the interests of miners and for the working people.
Although he was not a Blantyre man, he would have very much been aware of Blantyre’s miners, mines and the issues happening there.