In June 1938, The County Council Housing Committee subject to the approval of the Department of Health for Scotland, accepted an offer of £246,900 by Cowieson’s, Ltd., Glasgow, for the erection of 512 timber houses in various parts of the county. A tenth of them were destined for Blantyre to relieve a housing shortage.
The offer, while not the lowest, was the only one which stated that they were prepared to erect the houses by the end of the present year, and in the view of the committee expedition in the erection of the houses in those areas was essential. Lanark County Council therefore became the first local authority in Scotland to embark on the erection of timber houses on a big scale. I’ve updated this 1936 map overlaying the current layout of the housing estate on to the fields adjacent to the old Auchinraith pit.
Actually, the layout at the time looks slightly different from now. When the houses were completed, Birdsfield Drive connected Auchinraith Road directly out on to Main Street, as shown in this map. It is recorded that the contractors did not meet the end of 1938 completion date. In 1939, there were several recorded instances of squatters taking up residence in the construction site as the homes continued to be built.
Out of interest, the 512 houses were allocated to the following areas:—Chryston, 100; Ferniegair, 40; Harthill, 50; Shotts, 50; Harleeshill, Larkhall, 72; Blantyre, 50; Cambuslang, 50; Tannochside, 30; New mains, 50.-