Batters Ironmongers


1968-walter-batters-shop-bwBatters Ironmongers was a former late 19thand 20th Century shop on the north side of Glasgow Road at numbers 142 and 144, located on the lower floor of Millar’s buildings, stone tenements, situated between John Street and Clark Street.

The shop was 144, the house above 142 and both were located mid terrace in a 2-storey tenement block directly across from the entrance of Church Street.

The Batters Ironmongers shop started out in Blantyre in 1881, opened by Mr. Walter Batters at Coopermindale Place. Walter’s business did well in the late 19th Century, enough for him to buy a house, workshop and shop on Glasgow Road by 1905. A year later he was building many homes in newly formed Church Street.

When he died in 1918, the business passed to his youngest son, also named Walter Batters.

On Monday 8th April 1935, an outbreak of fire was discovered in the large warehouse of Mr Walter Batters, ironmongers and general merchant, 144 Glasgow Road, Blantyre. The fire originated in a large saloon built of Stone (40 feet by 20 feet) at the rear of the business premises, entrance to which was gained from the front premises via the shop. The Hamilton detachment of Lanark County fire brigade succeeded in confining the fire to the saloon. The damage caused by the fire was not extensive but the stock suffered badly from water.

The adjacent workshop eventually was turned into a store prior to WW2.

The shop was popular and sold all sorts of hardware and when electronics became popular, it branched into providing electrical components of all sorts. It had ladies handbags in the window too, attracting a wider audience that general DIY enthusiasts.

In the 1960’s it also provided a key-cutting service. Blantyre ladies of a certain age may remember buying their scraps and scrapbooks in there, and boys may remember kwenchy cups and the model cars.

The shop continued to be run by the family. At Christmas time, the shop window would be beautifully dressed with lights and toys, which fascinated passing children.

To adults, it only smelled of leather, paraffin and carbolic! Indeed, you could just about get anything in this hardware store. Walter would sell you a single nail if you needed it! It was very much a traditional shop, the sales assistants with brown overalls and coats on and this standard was maintained even after Walter’s death in 1957.

The Barret family lived above the shop in the 3rd quarter of the 20th Century. In the 1960s and 70s the wood was painted around the windows and doors a burgundy colour.

There is a wee saying….”Can i help you?”, asks Walter. “Yeah, kin a have a wee boatle please?” “Certainly sir”, says Walter, “what do you want in the bottle?” “Jist the smell o this shoap. Ah’d like to keep it tae smell when ah git auld, fir memory’s sake, y’know!”

The shop succumbed to Glasgow Road redevelopment and was eventually demolished in 1977.

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c)

On social media:

Janis Orr I used to go into the shop with my Mum and my Nana. Mrs Batters was our neighbour so we were VIPs. Loved the smell and the scraps.
Marian Maguire Loved that shop, You could go in and buy a nail. Loved the smell as well.
Margaret Quinn You could get paraffin for the Tilly lamp but my favourite was the scraps they never hurried you and the selection of scraps was mind blowing my sister bought the silver bangles I think they were 12/6d each a grand shop it was 👍🏻
Elaine Speirs Going with my dad to get seeds for the garden. They were in labelled drawes and weighed out on brass scales, and put in a wee brown envelope and handlabelled with pencil. I loved this shop so much. So many memories of the people who ran the shop and all the lovely smells.
Ann Clarkin Loved the smell
Marie Rooney My friends mum worked in there. It always smelled of glue! Mrs Tallon from Burnbrae Rd.
Marie Rooney Lovely lady
Tom Loggie I used to buy slugs for my air gun in Batters shop over 65 years ago
Peter Kelly Like others, the smell. And that I always called it ‘Batteries’ shop.
Bernadette Watt The thing that’s I remember Was the smell x
Helen Lawson Taylor I used to buy scraps .
Anne Mackie remember going for nails and a mouse trap etc.,
Brendan Mcghee Pellets for my 177 😎
Carolyn Patterson Used to love going in to this shop with my mum .. I got my first bottle of nail polish at age 5/6 can still remember the smell 👃 happy memories x
Caroline Rundell Not sure if same family, but there used to be a solicitors office on Glasgow road called batters malone and Mckay x
Alan Baird getting string for a plumb line and 4 inch nails by the lb and the nice smell and how the staff were always so polite and eager to assist you
Ean Brown That’s where I used get my tyres and tubes for my bike. Always in stock
Patrick Sanaghan Loved the smell.
John Berry Mind my mum gettin paraffin for or stinky fire for me to gt up too b4 i went to school an my dad buyin me toy cars if i was good happy memories for sure
Tom Brown Orange enamel paint for my racer bike and chequered black tape to wrap round the handle bars
Drew Semple A pun o nails please 👌
Helen Grieve Wee lassies spending their pocket money on scraps . I got a full set of angels there.
Jane Maxwell I just loved the smell.
Sadie Mcqueen I still have scraps bought for my daughter also a brass rose bowl my mother bought me in 1966
Jim Doherty Love that shop I used to stay in jackson st up above the smiddy bar good times
Thomas Barrett Went in every day from school just for the smell.
Susan Walker Graham I bought scraps in here ..but is this the same shop where we got our ” sanshoos” for gym time at school ?
Martha Brown I bought my scraps in the shop loved the big angels we saved up. 2 buy full sets we would 2 swap with friends i was often sent 2 buy mantels for my granys gas lights they were so fragile we had 2 b so careful. With them i was born in a single end on See more
Isabel Mcneily Bought all my scraps there
John Duncan Remember my mam buying I called it a witches hat for making Bramble jelly n the scraps Janet
Karen Paterson Simpkins Bought lots of scraps there. Loved that shop.
Susan Muir My friend Jeanette worked there and got me my first Saturday job in Lightbody’s next door 😊
Carol Crombie Sadly I don’t have many memories of my great uncle’s shop – just the smell and things hanging everywhere.
Norma Cassidy Foley the smell and scraps/no matter what you wanted they sold it
Rose Paterson Bought by scraps there .
Graham Elder I’m glad we don’t have a similar Ironmonger Remembrance Day here in Bellshill – it would be Dicks Day
Christine Crawford Use to go and get scraps for my scrapbook like this

Image may contain: 1 person
Gary Doonin Used to get my Raleigh Grifter gear chains in there . Real businesses and real people running them unlike these faceless bad service multinationals we now have
Jeanette Lee I had a Saturday job in Batters when I was still at school.
Matthew McGuigan My favourite Blantyre shop. Well, that and Mauchlines! 😂
John Krawczyk Always remember the smell in the shop.
Stuart Gallagher Remember if well it could have been used for the Two Ronnies 4 candles sketch
Anne Grogan I remember it well.
Elaine Hunter I loved these old shops in Blantyre when I was a wee girl

1 Comment

Add a Comment
  1. On a Friday night I remember taking an accumulater to Walters shop to be charged so that we could listen to the wireless on the weekend. Radio Luxembourg on sunday night, top twenty That would be late forties early fifties. Thank you so much Paul, Fond Memories

Leave a Reply