Today’s advert is George Stewart the Blantyre based builder of the early and mid 20th Century.
Stewart, Mr. George – owned this building company in Blantyre in the 1920’s through to the 1950’s. Adverts stated that they specialised in mine ventilating fans, masonry work, high-speed turbines and generating plants, providing architects and engineering works. Their telephone was ‘Blantyre 54.’ They were based in Station Road, within Blantyre works.
George lived at Boweshill, a handsome property near Thornhill Avenue. He was a shrewd businessman and at the start of April 1929, he bought the Falkirk Grand Theatre from Scottish Provisional theatres Ltd of which George had been a principal director and leading shareholder. The purchase price was not divulged.
George was a passenger in a railway crash when 2 trains collided in Rutherglen on the evening of Monday 17th February 1930, in which 51 people were injured. He was somewhat of a hero that day. He told reporters, “Our train was going at good pace when suddenly I felt a violent impact, and was pitched right across the compartment. Several girls who were in the carriage screamed and some fainted. I got out of the carriage at once and ran along the line to see what had happened. I found that the rear coach of the first train had been smashed to matchwood, while the engine the train had been knockod off the line by the impact. As I ran along screams came from the wrecked carriage. I dashed forward and started to lift out the injured girls.”
George was involved heavily in the construction of Dundee’s City Square, which opened in November 1933. Around the same time, he built the Caird Hall, Dundee. He also became a director of a theatre in Stirling in 1932.
On 5th April 1933, a huge fire ignited petrol tanks at his Blantyre yard resulting in the destruction of several of his vehicles. It is unknown how the fire started.
On Lanark County Council, he retired in May 1934 focusing on his building businesses, which by then had expanded to Blantyre, Dundee, Fort William, Edinburgh and Oban.
By 1950 the business had expanded into becoming a precast concrete manufacturer and also provided Architects and engineers. They were the sole maker of Trigmill synthetic stone and specialised in all aspects of synthetic stone.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016