The Springwell Piggery was formed in 1916, when Thomas Speirs, the new owner of McLelland’s Buildings cleared the yard at the back and fenced off the large open plan space. He sold the former stables that year, which was of no use to the Speirs family and the buyer was a Mr. William McCallum Junior of 64 Auchinraith Road. It is unknown how the Speirs family took the news when they learned of the plans for land outside their home.
By 1925, William McCallum had sold the piggery business and land to Robert McDougall, the son of the former owner of McDougall’s Buildings. The land initially owned by his father, now returned to the family. This allowed Robert to give up his mining profession and he became a pig breeder, moving away from nearby 29 Glasgow Road back into the family home at McDougall’s Buildings the year after. Pig rearing may not seem the best job, but by comparison to the working conditions in the mines, so far underground, it may have been much more tolerable. There may have been chickens kept in the same area.
It will take a person of a certain age to remember this piggery, for it was removed around 1955. It was relatively tucked away off the Glasgow Road at Springwell, behind buildings and should not be confused with the piggeries accessed from Craighead or John Street.
Piglets were weaned and removed from the sows at between two and five weeks old and placed in sheds or nursery barns. Farmed for their slaughter weight, for the purposes of providing meat, piggeries became less common in Scotland rural areas during the latter part of the 20th Century.
Contaminants from animal wastes sometimes could enter the environment through pathways such as through leakage of poorly constructed manure lagoons or during major precipitation events. Regulations became stricter and pig farming became less of a small business pastime, with individuals becoming more unable to compete with larger, intensive pig farming operations.
From “Blantyre Glasgow Road – The Real Story” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017
Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said,
Gord Fotheringham I worked at one of the piggerys I worked with the chickens…..terry connoly had a wee piggery in his backyard…..he was the one who would come round the houses in the village and collect the food scraps from the broke bins….