As new year approaches, nothing signifies “out with the old and in with the new” more in Blantyre than the transition which happened to our town in the late 1970s. This amazing picture demonstrates this very well, the past and future combined.
Pictured in Winter 1981 is the last tenement in Blantyre being demolished, alongside the construction of the brand new Sports Centre, which initially was named “Blantyre Sports Centre”. Later to change its name to Blantyre Leisure Centre, the building was state of the art at the time and cost £2.2m, (thats £7.5m in today’s money). The centre opened in March 1982. Out the picture on the right hand side the Clydeview Shopping Centre had already opened.
This is another scene that’s changed remarkably and actually, looking at it now, looks quite green. It is of no surprise that many people consider this the middle of Blantyre and also the chosen place for hosting the town’s festive event.
We’re quick to criticise Glasgow Road for how it looks now by comparison to the old buildings, but lets now forget many of them were condemned and were an eyesore, their charm long lost to generations even before the 1970s. Looking to the future, I would add this, if the current trees are left to grow to a majestic height, our grandchildren will enjoy driving up a treelined Glasgow Road.