From the illustrated social history book…research paid for & compiled by Paul Veverka
“Blantyre – Glasgow Road, The Real Story” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016 – 2018.
JR Reid Printers
J.R.Reid Printers was a former printing business based on Glasgow Road. Starting as an apprentice Compositor (typesetter) with the Hamilton Advertiser in 1964, John Reid registered the Business Name ‘J.R.Reid Printers’ in May 1969, after earlier in 1965 spending £25 on his first hand-printing machine. His first commercial job on the hand press was 250 business cards for Grant & MacDonald Painters, Stonefield Road, who were charged 15 shillings (75p in today’s money).
After qualifying as a Compositor in 1970, John Reid left the ‘Advertiser’ and tried his hand at selling sewing machines while still running his small print business from his parent’s home at 317 Glasgow Road (the actual outbuilding pictured in 1969 where it all began). However, he decided he was better at printing than selling! In 1972, after being contracted to produce regular sale catalogues for Shirlaw Allan Auctioneers, J. R. Reid Printers rented the old Templetons’ Grocers shop at 108 Glasgow Road, near Forrest Street and changed it into a small print factory.
In November 1972, while still running the printing business, John Reid along with a Mr G. Moon and Miss Jean Nicol of Shirlaw Allan formed ‘Blantyre Publishing Company Ltd’ to produce a free local newspaper called the ‘Blantyre Advertiser’. The newspaper was published fortnightly and was distributed door-to-door throughout Blantyre by Geoff Krawczyk of Pate’s Newsagents. Blantyre Publishing Co. Ltd., while using the same premises, was a separate business to J. R. Reid Printers. The 1970’s decline of Glasgow Road properties and businesses had an adverse effect on advertising revenues, causing the paper to only be published at Christmas, when the remaining businesses were prepared to advertise. Eventually even the annual publication became unprofitable and the Blantyre Advertiser ceased publication. While the Blantyre Advertiser was in decline in the late 70’s, J.R.Reid Printers kept growing each year. In addition to general commercial printing and the Shirlaw Allan auctioneers’ catalogues, Reid’s started to specialise in theatre ticket printing. They were the sole printers of all concert tickets for the Apollo theatre in Glasgow and business was growing.
J.R.Reid Printers were then advised by their accountant to become a ‘Limited Company’, but rather than go through all the start-up costs of creating a new Limited Company, it was decided to simply change the name of the now dormant ‘Blantyre Publishing Company Ltd’ to J. R. Reid Printers LIMITED, the two other directors of Blantyre Publishing Co. Ltd. having previously resigned. This happened in February 1979 and Reid’s then traded as limited Company No. SC51794 (until January 2015 when the Company, now under new ownership, was dissolved.)
In 1976 Reid’s moved from the 450 sq. ft. Templeton’s shop at 108, across the road into the then empty 3000 sq. ft. Central Co-op Grocery building at 109 Glasgow Road underneath the beautiful ‘Co Hall’ and next to Glen Travel. Then in 1979 John Reid, his staff and their ‘mascot’ one-eyed Alsatian, Ricky, were forced out of the Co-op Building due to pending re-development which caused the beautiful sandstone Co-op building and Hall to be demolished. J. R. Reid Printers then moved round the corner into new premises at Rosendale Way (where the industrial clothing company now is) and remained there until 1989 when they moved to their own 23,000 sq. ft. custom built building at the corner of Auchinraith Road and Glasgow Road.
The new large building with good frontage on Glasgow Road, is located on the former site of Botterill’s Building, Springwell Farm House, Henderson’s Buildings and the former Burleigh Church. The custom building is brick built with a red rolltop corrugated roof and is highly visible from Glasgow Road and previously from the expressway. It sits on the bottom of the former Auchinraith Road.
A little earlier in the 1980’s, the very end of Auchinraith Road junction with Glasgow Road was blocked off and Auchinraith Road traffic (mostly from East Kilbride) was forced to go down Herbertson Street, past Rosendale Way, on to Glasgow Road. This meant that very northern part of Auchinraith Road was not open to traffic and ran through the current carpark of the printers. It is still visible today in the carpark, untouched due to several services, primarily an old mains gas supply running through it. The location was used as a very large roundabout during the construction of the lower end of the East Kilbride expressway.
In 1990 the Company bought Exacta Print Ltd on West Regent Street, Glasgow and in 1992, J.R.Reid acquired the assets of McClure, McDonald & Co. of Maryhill, including their four-colour press. Acquiring this press along with the McClure press operator enabled Reid’s to start producing full four-colour process printing from one press in Blantyre. McClure’s produced social and gift stationery for Waverley Stationery Ltd. of Blairgowrie, but later, due to payment issues, J.R.Reid also took over Waverley Stationery Ltd along with their UK wide sales team and various Stationery Brands. The Company name changed slightly over the years but the Company Number always remained the same. With operations in Blantyre, Wishaw, Glasgow and Blairgowrie the name changed to J.R.Reid Printing Group Ltd in 1995; J.R.Reid Print & Media Group Ltd in 2000; and then in 2007, after John Reid left the Company, the name was changed to Reid Printers Ltd.
J.R.Reid Printers Ltd was solely owned by John Reid from its foundation until 2002 when 50% of the shareholding was purchased by Mr I.J.Johnstone who had just sold a chain of pharmacy shops and in 2006/7 I.J.Johnstone ‘acquired’ the rest of the shareholding of J.R.Reid Print & Media Group Ltd, with John Reid retaining Wishaw Printing Company and Exacta Print Ltd, Glasgow, which is now run by John’s son, Innes Reid. John Reid resigned as a Director of the Company he founded 37 years earlier, on 9 March 2007, but is still a Director of Exacta Print Ltd.
In 2007, I.J.Johnstone through his Group Company, GT4 Group Ltd (SC226642) took over Gavin Watson Ltd label printers and Ian Johnstone was appointed a Director of Gavin Watson Ltd on 30 March 2007. The Company operates from the old Reid factory and still employs some ex-Reid staff. The main product of the Company is now labels. Many people utilised Reid’s for their printing services over the years and they were a good employer of local people in their time in Blantyre, fondly remembered.
Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said,:
Stuart Dodd I started working at J.R.Reid’s in 1988, and still there! John Reid was a fair & honest man to work for, lots of good times. One of my memories is you Paul delivering sandwiches around 20 years ago, when you had a sandwich business 😉 lol
Blantyre Project ah, my early midlife crisis! Ended up with a shop in Hamilton, then left quickly after my school lunchtime trade vanished overnight when Hamilton Schools closed and were rebuilt further away! I met a lot of nice people in those years.