The Health Institute building on Blantyre’s Victoria Street was a vital building to the welfare of Blantyre people. Opened on 12th October 1928, it was initially a children’s clinic with a grand title of “The Public Health Institute and Children’s Welfare Centre”. Later however, with the formation of the National Health it became the medical centre for the town.
Built of brick and roughcast, it was modelled in the style of the adjacent new homes built at Small Crescent, Hardie Street and at Victoria Street itself. Small details like the inset diamond shaped bricks, compare to the nearby homes, also built that year. Pictured, children walk on the Victoria Street pavements in front of the Health centre in the 1930s.
It served the town’s medical needs for many decades. A nearby medical facility was built to extend the facility, opening in August 1983. Shortly after though, the building was damaged by fire (by apparent lightning strike) and a new centre was built , which is the one currently standing today (incorporating the Haven). The Social Works Department also held office at this location until their “recent” move to John Street in Summer 2000.
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Elizabeth Weaver I was taken here as a baby, and so was my brother, in the 1940/50s. We were weighed each time and came away with supplies of cod liver oil and concentrated orange juice.