Anderson’s Buildings, Blantyre

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

Anderson’s Buildings

Andersons zoned

Former Anderson’s Buildings (on our 1910 map)

   Situated between Henderson’s Building and the United Free Church (Burleigh Church) was the former Anderson’s Buildings. The 2 storey tenements were constructed between 1902 and 1904 by Thomas Anderson, a bicycle maker.

   The property was directly across Glasgow Road from Grant’s Building and made of stone, consisted of 2 shops on the ground level, opening out on to Glasgow Road pavement and 2 houses above. They were directly attached to Henderson’s Buildings but slightly lower and of different appearance. There were 5 narrow windows on the upper storey facing out on to Glasgow Road, with chimneys at either end and the middle of the building. The garden at the back consisted of a long, narrow plot of land. Access to the upper floors were on stone steps at the rear yard, entered from nearby Herbertson Street behind the church.

 Andersons Buildings  Constructor, Thomas Anderson was a Cycle Agent who made bicycles in those boom times when trams had just started running and lack of motor vehicles. Born in 1865 in Old Monkland, he was an incomer to Blantyre around 1900, noted in the census of 1901 living at Stonefield with older brothers John and Matthew. Clearly his parents were religious people, naming their sons after saints. With them were cousins, the Richardson and Robertson families.

   In 1905 first occupants in the 2 houses were Denis McKay a spirit salesman and Matthew Anderson, the brother of Thomas. Matthew was a pitheadman who moved specifically from Springwell to these buildings once constructed, renting from his younger brother. In the shop nearest Henderson’s Buildings was Mrs. Ann Robertson, a greengrocer and cousin of Thomas. She rented for £10 per annum.

   In the other ground floor shop, next to the church wall was Thomas Anderson himself, conducting his business as a cycle agent. On the outside of his shop was a metal bicycle wheel, which could be seen at a distance by customers, as pictured here in 1903.

   Around 1910 postal addresses were allocated to Anderson’s Buildings, and from that time onwards the buildings was only known, certainly in census and valuation rolls by the addresses 97, 99 and 101 Glasgow Road .

Tenants and Change of Ownership

   In 1915, Thomas was renting out the 2 upper houses, both with address 99 Glasgow Road to William Cunningham a miner and continuing to rent to his brother Matthew. At 101 Glasgow Road the end shop near Burleigh Church was no longer run as a bicycle shop, but instead was occupied by John Marshall, a merchant (possible printer) who lived at the house behind the Burleigh Church Hall on Herbertson Street. John’s rent was £18, 10 shillings that year. Whilst researching this era, we found a long lost Blantyre pub, which was situated in Anderson’s Buildings at 97 Glasgow Road. Robertson’s greengrocers was now Robertson’s spirit dealership, immediately adjacent to Henderson’s Buildings. The spirit shop was formed between 1905 and 1915 but was short lived and gone by 1920.

   By the end of the First World War, ownership was to change and Matthew R Anderson, a pitheadman who lived at 99 Glasgow Road in the upper floor was the new owner, buying or inheriting the property from his brother, Thomas. The other house in 1920 still occupied by William Cunningham. The spirit shop was then John Marshall & Son a grocers shop. The other shop was also John Marshall & Son, likely a printers. The Marshalls therefore rented all shops in that building, but again only for a short time with shops to change occupancy frequently.

   1925 saw Matthew Anderson, still owner at 99 Glasgow Road but in the other house was James Botterill, a boot repairman. The name Botterill is interesting given the Botterills ended up owning and running shops here later in the Century. The ground floor shops of Anderson’s Buildings in 1925 were occupied entirely by Hill Brothers Ltd, pawnbrokers, renting the larger premises for £28 and the smaller shop for £22. Again, though only for a short time, vacating Anderson’s Buildings in 1927.

   1930 had Matthew Anderson living away from Blantyre at 134 Dredis Street, Airdrie. His former home occupied by Frank Lyon, a stocktaker. James Botterill occupied the other house. At 97 Glasgow Road the shop was by then James McTavish’s Butchers. The larger shop at 101 at the opposite end was split, one half empty, the other half occupied by Charles McElhone, a pawnbroker and competitor of the previous tenants Hill Brothers. Matthew died in 1932 in Airdrie, aged 75 with tenant James Botterill buying his building.


The pawn sign, a clear icon to let people know, where the local pawn shop was

   You may think the economic depression of the 1920’s gave rise to pawn shops in Blantyre, but they existed far before that, and indeed can be traced back to the 1870’s. Families like the Fegans, McLindens, Hills all were involved in the pawnbroking industry in Blantyre, some of them like the Fegans even earlier in nearby towns.

   Charles McElhone married into the pawnbroking business. He lived at 114 Glasgow Road on the north side of the street with his wife Anne Fegan, the daughter of more established and well known Hugh Fegan pawnbroker. The McElhones ran their own pawn broking business from 120 and 122 Glasgow Road until Anne passed away in 1927, after which Charles moved to Anderson’s Buildings. He ran the shop until his death in 1947.

   In January 1940, a terrible fire gutted some of the adjacent homes at Henderson’s Buildings which must have made Anderson’s tenants very concerned. At the back of Anderson’s Buildings around this time a small greenhouse was built and 2 outbuildings which may have served as stores for the shops.

andersons location line

Our Location Line drawing showing former Anderson’s (Botterils) Building in modern context

   Anderson’s Buildings existed beyond WW2 with popular shops on the lower part like Botterill’s shop, subdivided into Annie Botterill’s fishshop and Nancy Botterill’s business. Houses remained on the upper level into the late 1970’s until the whole building was demolished in February 1980 at a cost of £1,150. Finally, to put all this into context, here is our overlay of Anderson’s Building where it would be located today at the western end of Gavin Watson Printers.

Botteril’s Building, Glasgow Road (GC)

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said,:

Moira Macfarlane Remember it well ,,,,
Anthony Smith Do I also remember a Botterill’s on Coatsill Avenue and Farm Road ?

Sylvia Mclaughlin Yep

Ray Couston Think we still call it Botteril’s despite it being a Spar for 20 years and latterly a Scotmid.

“Landmark” up on Stonefield Road as well. I don’t even think that building was a furniture shop in my 28 years. 😂
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Ian Paterson Yes Billy botterils my mum worked in the coatshill shop 19 70s
John Duncan My sister work in this one for many years with jimmy botterils Helen Janet xxx
Rab Graham Hi John I remember you i was a pal of your brother in the 50s 60s and have been back in touch with him it was great to hear from him again keep well John
Rab Graham Willie
Linda Gilmour Roberts My Gran Gilmour was a friend of old Mr Botterill and as we lived across the road early 1960’s, my gran visited her often. Nancy used to let me choose hair ribbons which was a special treat for a 3 year old.
Liz Allan My mum worked for Nancy to help with her mum who lived upstairs this was around the time she was going out with Yaqub Ali.
Annie Anderson Jay Peajohn Stone remember granny used to babysit for them xx
Blantyre Project can anybody describe inside it? Now theres a question!
Ian Paterson No but I can mind cashing my giro in the coatshill one
Lillias Addison I remember buying baby wool out of that shop
Alan Baird i remember the building very well
William Mullen botterils farm rd…wee bags a coal easy 2(lift) lol
Michael Docherty I remember getting my fingers caught in a mousetrap in there lol.
Ian Paterson In the till lol
Michael Docherty No under mum used to work in it.
Gerry Walker There used to be a rush in our house (Craigton Place) on a saturday morning back in the 60`s to run up to the Coatshill shop for all the comics that came out during the week. It usually needed two of us to carry the comics ( Victor, Hornet, Judy, Bunty, Jackie, Twinkle, Dandy and the Beano.) and the other messages we needed. Quietest our house ever was on a saturday morning.
David Baillie Used go and in there to get sweets when visting my gran and papa in Bruce terrice good memories
Andy Paterson Botterills also had 2 premises on Stonefield Road. Which is now the two Scotmid stores. The shop at the bottom end was originally Norris’s shop
Sheena Thomson Know the building well, my Gran and Grandpa Gilmour stayed in Gilmour building across the road in the Fifties, and then when I married I stayed in the same flat 1970.
Jim Donnelly Anybody know the man standing outside..!!

Blantyre Project that may be difficult, Blurry when zoomed in.

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Miller Armstrong What is amazing is that in frugal times they managed to build substantial properties.

Linda Marshall Brian do u keep in contact with any the botterills family? This would be if interest to them x
Brian Æ Straiton Hi Linda, yes I have tagged Lizette she can let her dad see this too. Thanks x
Linda Marshall No problem. Wee bit of history for the family x
Lizette Craig Thanks Linda Marshall and Brian Æ Straiton
It is really good to see some of the old photos of the family shops and really nice comments about. Great gran Annie Botterill x
Linda Marshall Lizette I thought of u all as soon as I seen it. Hope u and the family are all well x
Lizette Craig Linda Marshall thanks yes Allan, Holly and Jason are great just enjoying a birthday dinner as Holly is 11 tomorrow!!
Hope life is treating you well? X
Linda Marshall Lizette jeezo 11 already. Hope Holly had a lovely birthday. That’s gone in fast. Glad to hear u are all good. Tell ur mum and dad I’m asking for them. Yes lifes treating us good too thank u x
John Docherty The shop to the right was there stores then granny botterill stayed upstairs my father used to be the delivery driver back then
Margaret Farmer Are you Jimmy’s son?
Nancy McFadden Was there a post office there as well i seem to remember going to the old post office …..i got a xmas doll from that shop
Jim Donnelly The Old Post Office I’m Sure Was Straight Across The Road From This Building.
Sheena Thomson Yes there was a post Office there in the Fifties.
Nancy McFadden I also remember a shop I think was called Nancy botterills and it sold materials and ribbons…thought that was across the road
Margaret Liddle The old post office was across the road next to Ella Littles shop, the shops in pic was Annie Botterills chip shop and her daughter Nancy had the shop next door selling wool, ladies stockings etc
John Krawczyk Botterills owned the shop round the corner from us in farm road.
Jim McAllister The building next to that I’m sure that was Kelly’s building where I was born also known as Henderson’s building in June 1960. Can anyone correct me if I’m wrong.. Kelly’s building was above Kelly’s pub also known as Kelly’s corner

Blantyre Project Hi Jim – Hendersons Buildings was indeed next to this. We explored Hendersons and Kellys in 5 lengthy parts on 31st October and 1st November here on this page. If you missed it, part 1 is here

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Jim McAllister Cheers B.P will check it out

Eva Brown Baird Rows was across the road from Botterill’s and the man who had the post office was Sam Douglas.
Blantyre Project thanks Eva.
Jim Docherty My maw and da worked here for botterills, remember going up here when I was wee boy
Margaret Farmer Remember it well. Over the years there were several different stores in the two downstairs locations. One of my father’s sisters lived upstairs. I used to live on Herbertson Street. Would love to see some photos of that building at some point. It was between the coop building and the church manse.
Catherine Docherty My mum was manageress in here and annie botterill stayed upstairs

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  1. Thomas Anderson was my Great Great Uncle and he was a Boilermaker, before becoming a bicycle manufacturer. He had 7 siblings, 2 brothers and 5 sisters and the family were members of the United Free Church. All the sisters went into Service and there were at least 3 illegitimate children, raised by their Grandparents and later lived with their uncles and maiden aunt (Margaret) in Blantyre along with their orphaned Richmond cousins. All of Thomas’s nephews were Miners and nieces were married to Miners.

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