During Springtime 2015, Robert Stewart dropped in a book to me, (which I sincerely thank him here for this gift). The book was a Country Council book dating to March 1964 and had been found when the old Janitors house on Hunthill Road was cleared out, amongst rubbish intended for the skip. Robert, with permission had the foresight to save the book which is now over 50 years old.
Now whilst a council book may not sound like the most riveting read (and I grant you this, it contains a lot of information about matters that have nothing to do with Blantyre), the book however DID contain many facts and important information not only about Blantyre’s council history, but also expenditure costs, dates of construction and opening of several Blantyre properties, and infrastructure projects. Those are the parts that are interesting for me because putting exact dates on things like this is very important in writing up Blantyre’s history and something I’m especially careful of.
The book gives an interesting insight into County life in the early 1960s. The Care of Children, Development of industry, labour, diseases of animals, drainage, roads and lighting, education, health, finance, law, welfare, housing, police and property all have detailed reports and recommendations. There are all sorts of stats and numbers.
For example, I can look at the Roads section for Blantyre and read the following:
a) Bardykes Road upgrade B758 – Widening and improvement at Greencroft, Blantyre at a cost of £4,740 in 1962
b) Expected to commence in 1963 – Hamilton to East Kilbride A776 improvements from General’s Bridge to East Kilbride at a cost of £395,000 (thats £7.5m in today’s money!)
c) Expected to commence in 1964 – Whistleberry B7012 widening after bridge and approaches as a cost of £45,000, which was long before the East Kilbride Expressway was formed.
Bridges are also commented on.
a) At Whistleberry B7012 in 1963 – infill of railway bridge no 30 at Craighead at cost of £5,500
Lighting was also being upgraded in Blantyre at this time.
a) Springwells was to receive 100 new lamps
The book is a historian’s dream! Documented dates, costs, projects, locations. I will treasure this book as a valued history resource and feel I can rely upon its content completely as fact.
On social media:
Jean McIntosh You might find a cost of repairs to the walls in Stoneymeadow Road to show the council are responsible for it as my old neighbour told me.