It’s almost difficult to even recognise this next picture, the scene has changed so much. Pictured in 1904, at Kirkton, High Blantyre Main Street, is a rare view of the east side of the Speirs Laun building. What’s nice about this photo is that it shows so many other buildings that were in School Lane, rarely photographed, but in some good detail here.
A four or 5 foot High stone wall runs the length of Main Street at this location, steps at the side leading to the upstairs homes above the Spiers Laun shops and pub.
The area prior to Speirs Laun being there was home to a Blacksmith and his workshop, which is known to have existed at that location in 1859. All of these buildings were demolished and it is rumoured that the stone was used for various repairs to the churchyard wall.
The pavements look wide, certainly wider than today, for of course back then there was only a need for a road to be the width of two passing carts. Now, heavy lorries need to be able to pass each other and the pavement is narrower.
So where is this exactly? To put it in a modern context, i’ve attached a more modern photo from 2011. Now , its the exact entrance to Lomond View flats (Matt Boyles old house). Carrigans/Cornerstone would just be out the picture to the left, the entrance to my own home out the picture to the right. Where Spiers Laun was, is now a small triangular grass park with 2 large fir trees, as well as the deciduous trees in this photo. How completely different the scene looks. It may be a lot greener now, but i know which photo has the most character.