More of Blantyre Ontario

I wrote last year about a little 19th Century town in Ontario, Canada called “Blantyre”. It had only 50 people living there and in modern times had become a “ghost town”. You can read the article here.

I’ve now had a couple of Canadian ex-pats point out this little town to me, but nobody has gone to the trouble more, than Bill and Susan Beers, whom whilst on holiday in Blantyre in January 2015, dropped in to see me and provided these photos.

Two of them are captured in 1969 when the family from Scotland went out to visit their daughter and son in law in Canada. The more modern photo with the vehicle is when Bill and Susan went back in 1990. At that time, the 1960s store had closed down, but the little community centre was still there, almost unchanged.

I’m only too happy to be approached and learn about anything Blantyre related and whilst how the name of the Canadian town came to be, still eludes me, Bill and Susan left me the following information, along with several wonderful maps of the area. The family told me,

“These pictures were taken in August 1969 when Dick and Mary Wright came to Canada for their grandson Richard’s christening. Their daughter Susan and her husband Bill Beers took them on a surprise trip to Blantyre, Ontario and you can see the community centre and also the Blantyre sign (i think sponsored by the Women’s Rural Institute). Blantyre Community Centre was well known in the fifties and sixties as “the place to be” on a Saturday night for square dancing. A late friend who lived in the Meaford had very happy memories of attending.

Mary (Carson) Wright was born in Watson Street, Blantyre and was very well known in the community for her beautiful singing voice and helping to organise Priestfield Seniors Club. Mary died in 2005 at the age of 90. Richard (Dick) came from Chalmer’s Building (in front of Rosendale) and was for many years the Financial Minute Secretary of Blantyre Victoria Football Club. Dick passed on suddenly at the age of 65 in 1971.”

Thank you sincerely to Bill and Susan for this little personal insight into their lives.

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