Some more interesting information obtained from the Triennial Review 1961 – 1963 book. If only to record these facts in Blantyre’s history, the little county council book, states that:
In relation to Schools
a) In 1961, Phase 3 of St Joseph’s School was completed at a cost of £185,000. The book states this was a secondary school.
b) In Summer 1962, Auchentibber School was closed (this surprised me as according to the register, the last pupil actually left in 1959). Did the book get the date wrong, or did the school remain open for some reason following the departure of the final pupil?
In relation to Medical facilities
c) The Health centre opened officially at Victoria Street on 12th October 1928.
In relation to Housing, the 1964 book stated
a) It had recorded 588 homes were unfit for habitation in Blantyre that year. In addition, the council planned on replacing 272 prefabs in Blantyre. Factoring in other needs, they concluded 911 homes would need to be built in Blantyre between 1965 and 1969. (and set out planning for 150 each year from 1965 until 1968 when 230 would be built, then in 1969, a further 231)
b) It recorded that in the immediate post WW2 years, a programme to replace or build further homes commenced in earnest. At Merry’s Rows, 100 new homes were to be built, at Thornhill 192 homes, at Wheatlands, 256 homes, at Coatshill a whopping 758 homes (built in 1957 and 1958) and at Bellsfield, High Blantyre 286 homes. The book commented on this achievement and that all of these had been built and complete by 31st December 1963.
There was also a budget for beautifying Blantyre, hiding or covering the marks of former industries.
a) Substantial regrading of Blantyreferme brings and partial tree planting over 16.5 acres, costing £23,000.
b) Fencing, preparing and part planting seeding at Whistleberry Road Bing over 31.2 acres costing £2,500.
and finally in relation to Water
a) A new trunk main from Auchentibber to High Blantyre was planned for 1964.
Speaking of the old medical Centre in Victoria Street, on social media:
Andy Callaghan I remember this building so well. I’m sure I used to go up here with my Mum to collect (free?) tins of NHS dried baby milk for my wee sister. I also used to go here to get tested for my NHS specs. They’d put drops in your eyes that blurred your vision horribly for about 3 or 4 days.