These three photos are from the same location on Glasgow Road. Taken in 1972, the scene is the Northern pavement of Glasgow Road looking Westwards.
The pub in the foreground is The Livingstonian, which just 5 years later would be boarded up like many other buildings in this scene. The street leading off to the right would be Forrest Street. Remember that this building used to have an upper storey. Following the abandonment by the masonic lodge in 1904, the property pictured became a pub on the lower level, The Livingstonian (or Tap Shoap) run by McLaren Brewers. On the upper floor, the large open halls became the public entertainment service, “Blantyre Electric Theatre”. By 1915 the Electric Theatre company was taking about £14 per showing and regularly donated to charities, such as the Blantyre Ambulance fund. I was recently discussing this business and building with fellow history enthusiast, Robert Stewart in Autumn 2014 who wondered if the property had similar upper architecture as the corner of John Street, i.e a turret, like the Castle Vaults. The buildings on old photos would appear to be very similar in design.
Fate intervened at the corner of Forrest Street in the form of an upper storey fire (allegedly from the projectors). The upper storey was removed stone by stone and the lower part salvaged to continue being a pub. It is pictured here in 1972 along with the busy hustle and bustle of everyday life in Blantyre.
These photos really do put the changes of Blantyre into perspective. Not just the changing fashions of the vehicles, but the fact that NONE of these buildings remain today, for as far as the eye can see! Blantyre has changed beyond all recognition. Just over 40 years later, this is what this exact scene looks like today.
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Lorna Methven Prentice Coal Merchants was my grandfathers business