The end of 1922, saw a census take place within Blantyre to record the population numbers, which had swollen so greatly in the previous decades. On 27th December 1922, local press reported as shared here by Wilma Bolton,
“POLICE CENSUS. The police census of the population has just been completed, and we are indebted to Sergeant George Logie, for the following particulars.
The Blantyre population is returned at 18,595, made up of 9,630 males and 8,965 females, which is an increase on last year’s return of 100. The houses inhabited number 3,566; 12 are empty, and 173 are in the course of erection. The aliens resident in our midst number 537, comprising 465 Lithuanians, 52 Italians, 18 Germans, and 3 Belgians.
In the parish there are 21 public houses, 17 licensed grocers, 1 porter and ale bar, and 4 social clubs. The police enquiries also brought out the fact that there were 492 dogs in the parish, which is a decrease on last year’s total of 40. This is rather surprising, considering that Blantyre is now a prominent centre for dogs of the whippet breed.”
I was surprised at just how many Lithuanians were in Blantyre in that year, which would certainly account for some more exotic names throughout Blantyre in these modern times. It’s interesting to note that in the last 100 years, the population has levelled off around 18,000, even now the population being close to that number. This may be a little alarming that no growth is reported, considering the significant amount of homes and housing estates built since then. It may also suggest the homes of a hundred years ago were cramped and families packing into them. For there were just as many people living in Blantyre, despite a significantly less amount of homes.
Pictured just 2 years earlier around 1920, is a very busy Glasgow Road.
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Janet Hamilton Amazing the courage and strength of our ancestors some in abject poverty God love them the strive and struggle to feed the wanes today wee are also the survivors I love Blantyre I was born and bread and like my parents before me thank you