Auchinraith Fairground


1950 Fairground

Small travelling fairs are known to have visited Low Blantyre since the 1890’s. Initially, simple games and booths for boxing matches, the fair arrived at Springwells on an annual basis, but was displaced from the ground in the mid 1920’s, with the creation of the greyhound track.

   A spare plot was utilized across the Glasgow Road on the south side, behind the Rosendale tenement and with the arrival of mechanized rides, quickly became an established, welcomed attraction for local children.

   The location was ideal, on vacant ground near the Smithy at Auchinraith Road. In the shadow of the signal box, a small pedestrian crossing over the railway led Springwells families straight down into the fair. Centrally located, this site was ideal for families coming from all directions.

   The fairground, often called “the shows” was set up in Blantyre each Springtime. Travelling families like Laurences, Dan Taylor’s and Irvin’s are all known to have brought fairs to Blantyre in the 20th Century. Children took delight in going on rides such as “The Whip”, “The Steam Yachts” and “Carousel” as well as playing a variety of fun games on several stalls. It was inexpensive and affordable to most working families. A real treat.

   The fair visited this location right up until the late 1970’s. Today the exact site is the carriageway of the A725 East Kilbride Expressway.

From the book, “Blantyre Glasgow Road South – The Real Story” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017

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  1. My Grandfther John Gess was born on the fairground at Blantyre in 1905 his father was Henry Gess who operated a Boxing Booth and Menagerie.

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