A unique plan was thought out in Springtime 1978 where “holy ground” would be given up for the sake of a new youth development project. The plan, which sadly never managed to get started was to give Blantyre’s youth a new sports ground and centre at Kirkton, High Blantyre.
It was the brainchild of High Blantyre minister Rev John Silcox, who motivated by the changes being made in Low Blantyre, proposed changes also to High Blantyre.
He had hoped to change part of the fields adjacent to the church into an all weather “kick about” area for children and create a youth centre, in the small manse stables building, then fairly derelict and only being used 1 night a week.
Blantyre Community Council lent their support to the idea and had even applied for a £2,000 grant from Strathclyde Regional Council. Councillor Malcolm Waugh was also keen on the idea. Rev Silcox was of the opinion that there was nothing in this area for children to do. Alternatives to hanging around streets was needed. The wish was to see some sort of youth centre open in the afternoons and evenings, especially at weekends.
However, the project was not to be. The lack of any grant, meant serious funding issues were the order of the day. Youth unemployment was a noted concern of Rev Silcox, who clearly wanted to make a long lasting positive impact on High Blantyre, so soon after his arrival. Rev Silcox was also a member of the Community Council.
Today, the Church Hall has been built on the proposed field for that planned pitch.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017