Coal Slump forces pubs to close


1910-pubs-blantyreDuring the 1920’s, there was a distinct slump in the number of public houses in Blantyre. By March 1928 at least TEN Blantyre licensed premises were on the market at the same time!

Since the 1921 strike Blantyre had gradually declined as a coal-producing area, and the spending capacity of the workers had become correspondingly smaller. With many men leaving for overseas to seek employment in Canada, a slump in retail and the license trade was inevitable. Prior to the strike there were employed in Blantyre collieries—including women and boy workers on the surface —nearly 6000 people, but by Springtime 1928 there were only around 3,500. It was a sign of things to come.

The owners of the premises then up for sale, including two licensed grocers, had been compelled to put up their businesses for sale, owing to loss of business, license taxes, and abnormal local taxation. It was reported at the time of the possibility of several public houses being closed down altogether.

As can be seen from this small section of Glasgow Road map of the era, the red dots give an indication of just how many pubs were crammed into one small concentrated area, never mind the rest of the Blantyre area.

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

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Anthony Smith In 1967,The Wellington had closed by the time I was old enough to legally drink.

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