Whilst visiting Kirk Care Home back in December, resident Tom Robertson gave me a copy of this fantastic photograph of a time when he lived at “Greencroft” at Bardykes Road.
At the time four families lived there including the Bowies, a family of florists who had a shop in Glasgow Road. Tom described how the Bowies would collect moss at the upper fields in Blantyre and at Douglas, in order to make wreaths. The bags of collected moss, he assures me are in the background of this photo. Headed by George Bowie, his family worked hard at their home at Greencroft, Bardykes Road amongst 5.5 acres of market gardens, producing flowers, produce and wreaths for cemeteries. They would travel to Douglas Moor to get the moss to make cemetery wreaths. The shop also doubled up as a Fruit and Veg shop and was well known in Blantyre throughout the 1950s and 1960s. A descendent of this shop went on to own Jilts Pub, in Hamilton.
Greencroft is not to be confused with more modern Greencroft Cottage (built in the 1930s, demolished 2003). The name of the area at Greencroft may have been derived from the name “Girnelcroft” which appears as far back in Blantyre’s history as the 1600s.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c)
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