In early October 2015, Brian Frankham messaged me saying, “I was was told that access to the Greenhall Brickworks was from the top of Sydes Brae. I was born in Hamilton Drive which is off Sydes Brae and was always being told that I was born “up the Brickie”
Certainly the people who told Brian he was born up the brickie, would have been right! However, Brian’s comment was interesting, as it reminded me that Hamilton Drive on Sydes Brae, wasn’t always accessed from the start of Sydes Brae as it is now.
The small street with few houses looks down upon the A725 Expressway and in an elevated position has good views of much of Blantyre. At one time in the early part of the 20th Century, Hamilton Drive was a cul de sac, dead end, but accessed only from Craigmuir Road, directly across from the brickie itself.
Hamilton Drive never used to be connected to Sydes Brae and had to be entered from Craigmuir Road, off Main Street in High Blantyre. In 1898, it had only 2 homes accessed from Craigmuir. By 1910, it had 7 homes, as was still the case in 1936.
With the proposed development of the A725 in 1978, Hamilton Drive, through necessity, became connected to Sydes Brae, and with the previous closure of the brickie and Craigmuir Road and nearby railway abandonment, eventually gave Hamilton Drive the opposite configuration to its original. Access to Hamilton Drive is now only from Sydes Brae. The 1910 map shows the original configuration by comparison to the current aerial photo.