In 1878, Mr. Topping an Iron Founder from Coatbridge, established the “Blantyre Engineering Company”, which was known locally as “the foundry“.
The company was later owned by Patrick and David Kelly who manufactured machinery mainly for the coal mining industry. This photo dates from between 1995 – 1997 and is the entrance to Blantyre Engineering Works at John Street. Photographed by Robert Stewart. The entrance to the Iron Foundry previously was from the bottom of Forrest Street, but seems to have changed to John Street after 1936. The company proposed due to its ideal proximity to the railway and many collieries. The business took orders from not just Britain but throughout Europe.
Pictured also is the punching and shearing machine at the Blantyre Engineering Co Ltd. works, Blantyre, Lanarkshire The Blantyre Engineering Co were general engineers, but did much work for the mining industry. This was one of the machine tools they used in making riveted steel structures. This view shows the shearing head of a typical punching and
shearing machine, made by G Harvey of Glasgow, one of the leading producers of plateworking machine tools. Note the safety guards installed after construction. This type of punching and shearing machine had shaft-driven eccentrics, a device for converting the rotary motion of the shaft to the up and down movement of the punch and of the shears, which acted like a pair of scissors.
When the coal mining industry declined, the company was forced to close for a time in the mid 1960’s, but was subsequently salvaged and resurrected by new owners.
Andrew Little added, “I served my time at Blantyre Engineering in the 70’s. Forrest Street was by then again, the main entrance until the company closed its doors in 1980 or thereabouts. The John street gate was merely a back access for the shop workers living in the station road and beyond area – easier for them than the walk up glasgow rd and down forrest st.”