How did Blantyre get its name nobody seems to ken,
some say it’s from the Gaelic, or the field of the Holy men,
others say a warm retreat, still other’s the field of St Blane
whatever you choose you may be right, but first let me explain….
In ancient times ‘tis written, that a man by the name of Blaan
came from the isle of Iona, to preach of God’s great plan.
perchance, or was it kismet, God bade him come this way,
and leave his name in memory, of that day he came our way.
There once was a Priory here, down the Blantyreferme Road,
Friar and monks lived there and taught the word of God,
life there was so peaceful in that Christian Settlement,
our small community prospered, with all the things we learnt.
Three hundred years of heaven came suddenly to an end,
the year was 1560, when repression swept this land,
the Prior became a minister, Rev Chirnsyde was his name,
the religion he then taught us was so different from St Blane.
The Priory was given to Walter Stuart, the cousin of King James,
he took the title Lord Blantyre and in Erskine made his hame,
he had no love for Blantyre, in fact he didn’t have any,
but his granddaughter Frances Theresa, is Britannia on our penny.
Two hundred years would pass, then a man with vision came,
he dammed the Clyde and built the Mills, David Dale was his name.
He in turn was followed by the brothers called Montieth,
who built the model village, that became a masterpiece.
In this model village, in a place called Shuttle Row,
a male child would be born, the world would come to know,
as Livingstone the missionary, David was his name,
and he would take to Africa, the word as taught by Blane.
Our way of life was further changed with the discovery of coal,
miner’s came from everywhere with Blantyre as their goal,
and though they worked and played hard, as in the miner’s way,
they little thought there would be a cost, a terrible price to pay.
On a normal Monday morning, just another working day,
the dayshift of 2 and 3 pits, went down in the normal way,
to dig for coal, as was their chore, to earn their daily bread,
the year was 1877, and two hundred and sixteen lay dead.
Bearing in mind all these fact, and after long deliberation,
this small community of outs was born, with religious connotations.
down in that field of the Holy men, with connections to St Blane,
that gave us the name of Blantyre, in honour of his name!
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