1978 Vandalism of play areas


Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 18.49.33I’ve previously eluded to the huge problem of vandalism in Blantyre during 1978.

In August that year, vandals turned towards the new leisure area in Springwells on what had previously been an eyesore of wasteground. A £90,000 scheme was underway to turn the ground into a play area, with landscaped grassed areas. However, shrubs had been attacked and uprooted, as quickly as they had been planted and the project was not due to be finished until the end of that year.

The expensive ash playpark had been churned up even before it was finished with motorcycles and cars driving upon it and brand new goalposts were ruined, by somebody actually stealing the crossbar.

By far the worst damage though was 90 young trees uprooted and left for dead, representing half of the total planted at the taxpayers cost. Hamilton District Council commented at the time that the trees had been taken 10 years to grow in a nursery before being planted in Blantyre, and had died in a month of being out the ground. In the end, those 90 trees were NOT replaced, hence today the play area looks fairly open, rather than having the intended wooded perimeter.

Vandalism thankfully decreased gradually following the renovation of Glasgow Road and the improvement of local housing estates alongside the building of several community halls and further small parks.

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017


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