Extensive damage was caused to farm buildings by an outbreak of fire at Craighead Farm, once situated just off Whistleberry Road on Wednesday 24th August 1955. The farm, formed part of the estate of Craighead Retreat House was then owned by tenant Mr James Barrett.
The fire was discovered at 8.45am by James’s 11 year old son who saw smoke coming from the ground floor which formed part of the farm’s steadings. The boy in turn informed his father, who then immediately called for the fire brigade. When they arrived they found the building well alight. The fire was fought for well over an hour before coming into control. The building was completely gutted, and several farm vehicles including a tractor, plough, a raking machine and a mower were completely destroyed. An oil tank also exploded, containing a large quantity of oil. No indication of how the fire started was apparent and the damage numbered a high financial toll.
Thanks to James Meechan for supplying a copy of the Blantyre Gazette, from where this story was taken from. Photo taken in 2004 by Alex Rochead, before the buildings were demolished.