The arrival of coalmasters who sunk pits in 8 different places in Blantyre brought a huge population surge with workers coming from all over for the plentiful coal mining jobs. To the east of Glasgow Road at the boundary of Burnbank industries like Robertson’s of Springwell and the Greenfield Foundry offered plenty of employment, alongside the nearby Greenfield Collieries. Hamlets like Springwells, thrived and grew in such an ideal location. Businesses had excellent infrastructure with railways cutting through Blantyre in many places. Further west tied miners cottages at Craighead Rows and Merry’s Rows housed the miners and their necessary services sprang up on either side of Glasgow Road, with property owners choosing to build traditional 2 or 3 storey tenements to rent out, usually with shops on the lower floors.
In the 1870’s and 1880’s churches, schools, halls and public houses all appeared, with several side streets, some of them significantly large being created as communities all along Glasgow Road expanded out.
By the end of the 1890’s, Glasgow Road had become very densely populated, the population of Blantyre tripling in only 3 decades. More new churches were built, many pubs and more homes, including large villas now starting to appear along the north side of the street.
From the book, “Blantyre Glasgow Road – The Real Story” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017