I had to double take when this pictured arrived with me. Pictured is Aggie Bains cottage on Bardykes Road, complete with the little lane and the Barnhill Tavern. However, it’s not the 1933 picture that you may have seen before. It was photographed on a misty Boxing day in December 2014, by Robert Stewart.
I had forgotten how atmospheric black and white photos can be, even modern photos. Robert’s picture offered a great chance for a visual comparison to the cottage during the 1930s.
With SSHA houses now built in the background, the 1930s
picture only offered open fields beyond in the background. Whilst the profile of the Tavern looked similar, the most noticeable difference was Aggie Bains Cottage, even although both pictures were after the gable being cut in 1929.
For example the chimneys appear to be closed off at either gable, but in use in the 1930s. The large window facing directly on to the street, has been filled in and roughcast over, perhaps for privacy or maybe so furniture could be accommodated on the inside gable? A little upper window, not present in the 1930s, is by 2014, although this may be simply the angle of the 1930s photo, hidden by the vertical line on the gable. Changes at the front too, with one entrance sealed over and just the far entrance used. As one of the oldest houses in Blantyre (if not the oldest), this little cottage must have seen many changes over the centuries.