Markets – During 1599, the weekly Blantyre market was fixed to take place on a Thursday and an annual fair was to be granted on 14th October “for buying and selling of flesh, fish, oxen, sheep, meal, peas, corn, barley, linen and woollen cloth skins and all other goods, victual and merchandise.” This would serve Blantyre’s 500 population and no doubt attract others from nearby villages.
In the 20th Century, Tuesday markets were held at ground in front of Logan Street and also from the early 1970’s on spare ground in front of Hastie’s Farm, where former Annfield Terrace was once located. In early November 1978, the council announced they were closing the market much to the dismay of traders and residents.
The Hastie’s Farm 1970’s market was run by an English based company called “Spook Erections” and their market would open in Blantyre each an every Tuesday. It had a maximum capacity of 50 stalls and was a popular, lively and thriving place to do business. Indeed it was doing so well and so many people had lined up, asking to be involved in outdoor trading that in 1978 they applied to DOUBLE the market size to 100 stalls utilising all the space in front of Hastie’s farm right down to Glasgow Road.
Hamilton District Council turned down the application on the basis that nowhere nearby offered good parking for the market, something incredulous to people given Glasgow Road at the time had so many vacant plots. The decision was taken by Councillors who visited the site and had already decided amongst themselves that a market would not be a good thing for Blantyre given plans underway to create a modern shopping centre. It was believed open air trading was a thing of the past and relied upon weather for successful trading. Hastie’s Farm Market closed for good in March 1979 upon expiry of the final issued trading license.
Spook Erections who applied annually to renew market licenses, were not best pleased. From their English offices, in 1979, together with petitions from Blantyre people, they collectively voiced their protests to the Council and the market was moved briefly to space near Glasgow Road, (later to become Devlin Grove.)
In the 20th Century, markets tend to be confined now to fetes, events and gala days. In 2012, the Blantyre Community Committee organised a successful Christmas market, one of the largest in Lanarkshire, which has become an annual event, attracting around 70 stalls each year. Festive and Summer markets continue to this day although success is still very much dependent upon weather. I’m proud to be part of the little committee who brought sizeable markets back to Blantyre.
Pictured in 2013 is the festive Blantyre market, with the green grass behind it, across the road where the old Hasitie’s Market used to be.
Do you remember Blantyre’s markets of old?
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017 and partly from the book “Blantyre Glasgow Road South – 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,: