Shops Targeted in 1928


1904 Gilmours shopfront wmBlantyre shopkeepers were alarmed when it became known that attempts had been made during the week-end of 22nd and 23rd September 1928, to enter four shops all situated within fifty yards of one another in Stonofield Road.

The premises belong to Dugald Norris, licensed grocer; David Gibson & Sons, licensed grocers; Peter Craig, butcher; and Miss Benham, stationer, newsagent, and fancy goods merchant. An iron stanchion had been tom out of the back windows of Norris’s and Craig’s while the front and back doors of Gibson’s and Benham’s had been tried with a heavy bar. The doors however, remained secure. There was evidence that the thieves had gained entrance into Norris’s shop, but only some packets of cigarettes had been taken.

A more alarming incident happened the same weekend in a shop on Glasgow Road. A theft occurred at a sweet shop belonging to Messrs Maxwell. However, this was no theft of penny caramels. The young lady in charge, working on that weekend was locking up in the early evening. She had locked the glass door and was pulling down the iron grilles over the door, when from behind some youths attacked her in Glasgow Road, snatching her handbag from her.

Police later determined that the thieves likely expected the shop’s takings to be in the bag but would have been bitterly disappointed to find only the lady’s 1 shilling bus far to get her back home to Glasgow where she lived.

Elsewhere in Blantyre, again that weekend the Boot Department of Blantyre Independent Co-op was broken into. Entrance was gained by breaking a pane of glass and pushing back the snib on the back window, which was heavily protected by iron stanchions. The burglar raised the bottom half with a crowbar. 20 pairs of boots which had been hanging in the shop window were removed and stolen.

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul D Veverka (c) 2016

Pictured in earlier decades is a Confectionary shopfront window in Glasgow Road, belonging to Gilmours.

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