Greenfield was a village or hamlet in its own right. The sleepy, rural scene with just a farm owned by the Potter family, denoted in 1859 maps, was short-lived and this whole area would quickly give way to industry with the discovery of coal. As the population expanded in the 1860’s and 1870’s workers came to find employment in Greenfield Collieries Pits 1 and 2, as well as the newly formed Greenfield Foundry which sat on the boundary itself (explored later) and of course in 1870 with the arrival of Robertson’s Aerated Water Factory just over the boundary in Springwells.
During the 1870’s and 1880’s, many more houses were built. Miners lived in tied cottages at both Old and New Greenfield Rows, the latter built on the banks of the Park Burn. All these miners homes were small and hemmed in by railway lines.
Greenfield quickly became an established village, with its own pubs, school and even its own station, which would later be rebranded Burnbank Station. The railway branched off the nearby busy, Strathaven junction. Railways featured heavily on the dirty landscape, not just the passenger lines, but several sidings to assist the heavy industries.
Greenfield was incorporated into the burgh of Hamilton in 1878, although as the surrounding population grew, it quickly became known as Burnbank itself. Running through the centre of Greenfield was the old Glasgow to Hamilton Road, branded with a street address, officially known as ‘Glasgow Road’, as it was in Blantyre in the 1890’s, turning sharply at the bend on the left of the above graphic, heading up, towards Blantyre.
With the demolition of Greenfield Farm between 1898 and 1910 and subsequent closure of the colliery, the name ‘Greenfield’ would decline more and more throughout the 20th Century, slowly replaced by Burnbank, in time being built upon right up to the Blantyre boundary.
When in 1903 tramlines were laid along Glasgow Road in Blantyre, Greenfield and Burnbank, this only served to further populate the area with good access to homes and businesses for all. It was an affordable means to readily travel in and out of each village. Convenient tram stops were situated all along Glasgow Road, primarily beside major businesses or public buildings. Even by 1903, it was safe to say the rural charm of this area had well and truly gone.
From “Blantyre Glasgow Road – The Real Story” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017
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