Advert: McLeans Newsagents


Today’s advert is taken from a 1950 magazine and features McLeans Newsagents in High Blantyre.

1950 McLeans advert wm

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

On social media:

Margaret Elma Griffin Often went into McLean’s with my mother l remember Wullie McLean everybody knew Wullie Alistair was in the same class as me at High Blantyre School the old School sorry to hear he had passed away
Janet Cochrane You could get almost anything in McLeans it was like an Aladdins cave Margaret Elma Griffen you must have been in my class as I was also in Alistair McLeans class
Anne Cochrane Worked in shop at weekend in mid 80’s whilst still at school. I remember we still issued bus tickets then.
Jean Mcclean I also delivered papers for my dad and got 10shillings . My delivery was up sydes brae but if i timed it right i got a lift from Peter Wilkie who was delivering milk.
Margaret Elma Griffin My maiden Janet was Miller Elma Miller l was the one always getting the strap !! You might have known my friends the Talis twins Jean and Anne also the O dare Twins Margaret and Isabel
Margaret Nimmo Lehmann I was in touch with Isabel O’Dare about 14 years ago and her sister Margaret had passed away before then.
Margaret Elma Griffin Yes l heard Margaret had sadly passed away l was in touch with her as well she was living near Birmingham at that time not to far from me in Derby
Janet Cochrane I was Janet Marshall I still see Anne Tallis occasionly I was dux girl in 1957 Drew Sweenie was dux boy I was also in the choir. Jim Cochrane is my son I am in some of the school photos on the Blantyre Project
Moyra Lindsay Hi Janet, I’m Moyra Stewart.
Janet Cochrane HI Moyra it’s funny the old friends you find on facebook
Janet Cochrane Margaret Elma Griffen I will now be able to tell Jim what age you are that you are not a hundred Jean Tallis is in the choir photo for 1957 in the Blantyre Project
Helen Lawson Taylor Remember every Friday after work in Laird Porches.Going into the shop for my weekly bus ticket and my sister Bettys ticket .
Margaret Elma Griffin Ha ha no Janet I’m not 100 yet just feel like it some days lol  😆 l remember Drew Sweenie his mother Mrs Sweenie had the little shop on the corner of Broompark Rd and Main Street
Elizabeth Glass Ann McLean was in my class in St John’s
Jane Johnstone Passed Macleans in High Blantyre last week on my visit. Noticed the Apollo or JB’s closed down.
Betty McLean I bought my bus tickets from McLean’s also sweets, comics and the Peoples
Betty McLean Friend and another magazine called
Betty McLean Secrets.
Betty McLean Sorry my ipad is jumping lol
Carole M Castle This is where my mum bought her daily papers every day including Sunday x
Andrew Little The 70’s and Alastair’s Red V12 E type with the rego JAG 22. Sorry to hear he has passed

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