Blantyre Review of 1945


1945 December. High Blantyre Industrial Estate starts

1945 December. High Blantyre Industrial Estate starts

Local press decided in January 1946, to publish a Blantyre review of 1945. The account shared here by W. Bolton makes interesting reading.

“Looking back through the old year and reviewing the events which stand out, we observe we started out a sober and perhaps slightly pessimistic—examination of the industrial prospects of the district. The report, upon the Scottish Coalfields had just been issued and a little earlier the District Council had published their important memorandum upon post-war industrial needs for Blantyre. Within the year the efforts of the Council were rewarded by the establishment of a clothing factory and the Board of Trade announcement that a 44 acre site has been reserved on the south side of High Blantyre Road as an industrial estate. (High Blantyre Industrial Estate)

On the north side of the road 173 aluminium houses are to be built in an effort to relieve the acute local housing shortage. (High Blantyre Prefabs)

The year 1945 will stand out, of course and the year in which we celebrated VE and VJ Days. In these celebrations Blantyre took its appropriate part. We recorded with great satisfaction the return of all local prisoners of war from German and Japanese prison camps. Deaths on battlefields throughout the world, unhappily, had also to be recorded, and Blantyre homes gave quite a number of sons.

During the year we were happy to note the promotion of Major Hugh Richmond to the rank of lieutenant-colonel on the occasion of his appointment as commander of the 4th Battalion A.C.F. The retiral from the local constabulary of Inspectors Milne and Buist and Sergeants Welsh and Dalrymple took place last year after a total service of over 130 years to Lanarkshire police.

We had also to report the deaths of the Rev. Thomas Hugh, M.A. and the Very Rev. Cannon Paterson, each after more than a generation’s devoted service to their congregations. At the beginning of the year Rev. Duncan Finlayson, M.A. was inducted to the charge of Stonefield Parish Church, and from time to time, we have observed the gradual return of that church to its rightful place in the spiritual life of the community.

The outstanding achievements of the local committees of the Red Cross, W.V.S. and Nursing Association were noticed, as were many of the activities of the churches, Co-operative and Community Centre Women’s Guilds.

Amongst youth club activities, the remarkable success of St. Joseph’s attracted a great deal of attention. It was with pleasure we reported on the recognition by the Scottish Grocers of Mr. J.S. McCallum, who was installed last year as president of that very important business federation.

The loss to the business world of the late Mr George S. Stewart had also to be recorded, however. Amongst other features of importance might be mentioned the changes in the local District Council as a result of the recent elections. One of the unpleasant features of reports of the latter meetings of the old council was the frequent failure to carry out their duties through absence of a quorum at meetings. The new council has started well. We Hope we shall have the pleasure of recording a good finish. “

Pictured at this exact time in December 1945, is a Blantyre aerial photo of High Blantyre Industrial Estate groundworks beginning. First Row and Central Road already carved out of the fields. Across High Blantyre Road, where houses are today are the small roads, beginning to be laid out for the prefabs.

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