Oh, where do I start with this fantastic picture!? There are SO many things I love about this. First, it is with many thanks to Robert Brownlie for sharing these photos. I’ve put together a few words in addition to his own.
During 1931 and 1932, contractors removed the old rusty iron bridges (erected in 1878) and replaced them with modern trusses. Starting at Low Blantyre, the contractor’s worked their way up the Auchenraith line towards High Blantyre.
The first bridge to be renovated was known as “Bridge 1”, a railway bridge crossing over Glasgow Road at the Whistelberry Road junction. Pictured here in 1931, contractors are building new stone abutments with the original older bridge about to be lifted out. The vantage point is from Gardens in front of homes at Springwells. To put this in context, you would nowadays be looking at a roundabout at Lidl, B&M and Farmfoods.
The railway bridge is no longer there having been fully removed around 1977. The picture has such clarity and offers a taste of what contracting was like at the time. The crane pulleys operating with such proximity to electrical “pylons” and tramlines. If you look closely at the carraigeway on the road itself, the tram lanes are still there, although were coming to the end of their lives. Children walk alongside the road edge, with some safety in place where contractors have placed hoarding to barricade off the road from the construction work. A makeshift wooden hut offers
welfare facilities with a little materials compound built in the foreground and jackets hanging up on the shed.
The stone wall these children were walking past IS still there today, as this modern photo by Robert shows.
There is one other little thing I lOVE about the 1931 photo. On the bridge itself is a sign. When zoomed in, it reads “Tram passengers are reminded to stay in their seats when passing under the bridge”. Sit down or lose your head?! Now THAT is safety culture!