A bizarre circumstance took place in Blantyre on Tuesday 29th August 1933. Whilst illegal, it also showed the compassion Blantyre people have for their own, when a family is at its lowest ebb.
The incident involved the ejection at a late hour of a Blantyre family from a sub-let room in a house tenanted by an Italian family. Shortly before midnight, a crowd of between 300 and 400 people sympathetic to the families plight, took possession of a newly-completed house in one of the county housing schemes near the bottom of Auchinraith and installed the ejected family in it.
The family affected was that of Mr John Baille, an unemployed miner, and his wife and child of 14 months. Baillie an exserviceman and a Territorial, had for some time occupied a room in house above the Italian’s shop, for which he paid and rented at 6s per week. However, for an unknown reason, some trouble developed, and Baillie was ordered to leave the rented property on Glasgow Road, but could not find alternative accommodation. When he returned from his search for a house about nine o’clock at night he found that his belongings had been forcibly removed from the house and left in the courtyard. His family beside them. Word spread quickly of a Blantyre family being homeless. An indignation meeting which was being held in the public park adjoining the Italian’s tenement was brought to a close with the decision being to put the ejected family into one of the new County Council houses. Whilst illegal, it could not be that a family should be left out in the street when perfectly good homes were already built and sitting empty nearby. There was a rush to the new housing scheme at Logan Street, where there was known to be a newly-completed house. A skeleton key was procured (stolen?), and the Baillie family installed in the house. A crowd of about 300 sympathisers had gathered, and among them were a superintendent and other officials of the Lanarkshire Constabulary, but no police action was taken and the family let be.
I couldn’t find a follow up to this story. Perhaps the Baillie family were allowed to continue to stay in Logan Street, but I suspect a harder stance would have been taken by the council at the time of arranging Logan Street tenants. Pictured is Logan Street in a more modern era.
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Anne Mackie everyone needs to look out for others xxxxx