David Livingstone Birthroom


1930s-dlc-birth-room-wmLooking through the website, I can’t quite believe I’ve never put this old postcard up before.

Taken in the 1930’s it features the birthroom of our famous Explorer, David Livingstone. The room is located in an upper floor of Shuttle Row at the David Livingstone Centre but the museum is currently closed off the public, whilst the building is renovated.

The room has been changed several times over the decades, but each time trying to capture what life would have been like in the time a young Livingstone lived there in the early 1810s and 20s. The room is small, bed recessed against the wall and the scene would have been typical for all the other families living in cramped conditions like this.

The photo was made into a postcard in the 1930s, celebrating the popularity of the Livingstone Centre.

On social media:

Donna Hamilton My mum was born in Shuttle Row 1919 her family lived there both her mum and dad worked in the local mine her dad came from Durham to work in the mine don’t have much info apart from that.
The Blantyre Project At that time Donna, families were renting those homes from William Baird & Co (coalmasters). The houses had seen better days even by that time, so I’d imagine things were fairly tough for them.
Donna Hamilton Mum would visit and show us where they all lived always made her sad and I knew it had been very hard for them all squeezed into that place. Mum left school at around 13 maybe 14 went to work in a boys reformatory she worked six and a half days half day off went home and gave her mum her wages. The family was poor had to apply for parish help as I believe my grandfather died leaving my gran to raise her family on her own. Horrible times to live in and left my mum with many bad memories she died young age 62 with ill health most of her adult life thank God we don’t live like that now a days and thank for the info.
Jane Johnstone That could have been a room in a room and kitchen even into the nineteen fifties in Scotland…
Anne Mackie When we visited the David Livingstone Centre in the 50s my mother put my baby brother David into the crib in this room xx
Teresa McKinnon That would have been the crib we all used to rock in when we were kids
Margaret Elma Griffin I was born in Broompark Road the old Buildings in a room not much different to the photo many people in Blantyre at that time lived in this type of accommodation

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  1. My distant relatives moved to Shuttle Row in abt. 1838. My 3rd Great Gran was a Mary Ann McIntyre, was born there in 1841. She married my 3rd Great Grandfather William McNab on Hogmanay 1860. They had a family, staying here until the end of the century. From census records the McIntyres and McNabs stayed in numbers 4 and 5 Shuttle Row.

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