On the evening of Thursday 23rd March 1933, fire broke out at Blantyre Mills.
Three-Storey Building was gutted about ten o’clock that night resulting in Cambuslang Fire Brigade being summoned to a fire in wood-dust mill on the bank of the River Clyde in Old Blantyre village. The mill was owned by Messrs Gideon Clark & Sons, who also owned Bell’s Mills, Edinburgh and another at Carnoustie. The mill sawdust was ground to powder to be used in the preparation of gunpowder and linoleum. The building where the fire originated was of three storeys and about 60 feet long. The firemen managed to confine the blaze to the machinery section, but the three flats were completely gutted. The storage rooms and offices were saved. The damage was estimated at between £2000 and £3000. The building was at one time part of the Old Blantyre spinning mill, and was built in the 1790’s. Pictured here by Alex Rochead in 2004, shortly before demolition.
This flour mill fire wasn’t the only one to happen at the building. A larger, more severe fire occurred in May 1950. I can’t help but think that this 1933 fire may have been deliberate. Fires at Blantyre Works and the Village area were peppered in newspaper reports around 1933, with George Stewarts yard just up the road being targeted only a month later.