1903 Shuttle Row, Low Blantyre

1903 Shuttle Row, Blantyre Works Village

1903 Shuttle Row, Blantyre Works Village

I recently bought this rarely seen photo. Everyday life captured in 1903 at Shuttle Row, the birthplace of David Livingstone 90 years earlier.

A child plays on the steps, women stand at the door, on what is clearly a breezy day. Leaves pile up against the circular washhouse doorway, the washing on the line blowing in the wind. Clothes lines held up by wooden stretchers. The motion of the girl and the clothes blurring the photo.

The circular washhouse made of brick had a slate roof, with a domed dove cot on top. Beyond the clothesline are separate washing areas, along the back wall. What a shame the dove cot is no longer there, but the Shuttle Row buildings themselves are still very recognisable.

On social media Len Northfield added, I love the washhouse. I remember there was a washhouse out the back of my auntie’s building on Jackson St. It wasn’t as picturesque as this one, and wasn’t used as a washhouse any more, but it had big sinks and runnels on the floor to drain water away.

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