Templetons Ltd – was a mid 20th Century store located on the north side of Glasgow Road, on the lower floor of a tenement to the west of the junction with Forrest Street. It had address 108 Glasgow Road. Situated between Forrest Street and Clark Street, this store was unique in that they would display a lot of their dry goods in shelves and canvas bags on the pavement directly outside the store, and as you can imagine this was asking for trouble with kids around. There was many a stolen mouthful of Oats, Carrot, Peapods, Dog Biscuits, you name it, kids stole and ate it. In those days there was very little packaged goods, mostly everything came in bulk, and most of that was in canvas bags and wooden casks.
The butter arrived in a cask perhaps weighing around 100lbs it was hoisted by hand up on the marble counter top where the cask was stripped away. The butter was wrapped in cheesecloth, which had to be wetted down and stripped off.
The Cheese was in a rounded ball of about 50 lbs, this too was up on the counter, outer layers of cheesecloth stripped off and duly cut into the proportions required by the customer. The hand cutting of cheese was done with a piano type wire. The butter was hand cut and shaped with two wooden paddles, again into the size required by the customer. You have to remember that there was no refrigeration then and things could get rather sticky, so a fair amount of water was being used to counteract the stickiness.
Mr. Billy Steven worked in Templetons in 1957 and 58. By the 1960’s following the tradtion of self service supermarkets, the shop changed where customers could buy things direct from the shelves instead of having to ask. During the first Sunday evening in January 1967, the shop was broken into and a significant quantity of foodstuffs were stolen.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c)
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