Today’s advert is taken from a 1950 magazine and features McLeans Newsagents in High Blantyre.
For pre WW2 history of this family owned business, search for Scott, Mr. William and Scott, Miss Jean on the Blantyre Project website.
The family business opened up at Loch Ryan Cottage at 274 Main Street in the mid 1940’s. In 1950, the phone number was Blantyre 163. The shop was noted as being a newsagent, tobacconist, confectioner and stationer. It also acted as the bus ticket agency for C.S.M.T and Chieftain Bus Services where tickets could be bought directly in advance of a journey.
Jane McLean’s son ran the shop until 1963. Jane’s daughter in law ran the shop until 1972.
Following this, Alistair McLean took over. I’m sure many people will remember Alistair well. Indeed, working for Alistair was the first paper-round I had long before putting pen to paper for this book. I got £5 per week in 1984. This was for an hours work every day 7 days a week delivering newspapers when I was 13 years old, rain, snow, and all before school. I do recall getting just as much though in tips. I remember Alistair being a tough boss, but fair.
In the early 1980s Alistair expanded the premises by adding to the property building modest brick built retail units adjoining Loch Ryan Cottage, which were taken up by a grocers and a business to sell alcohol. A shortlived sandwich bar called “Jimmy Mays” also opened in the block of shops in 2014 before being rebranded “the Broons”.
These businesses compliment the current newsagents, still named “W.S McLeans”, not only a reference to Alistair’s father William Scott McLean, but also a nod to many generations of newsagents back, when Alistair’s great grandfather of the same name, started the business back in 1879. Although Alistair recently passed away, the shop is still open at time of writing directly across from the council owned, Priestfield Hall. It has address 274 Main Street and sells confectionary, newspapers, milk, hot pies, cards of all sorts and small gifts.
As of February 2017, the new owner of McLeans and indeed all shops in this block is Andrew Smellie of Greenhall, High Blantyre.
Whats your memories of McLeans?
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016
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