Benham’s Shop 1921

I read with interest recently that Valerio’s cafe (Mickeys) sold cigars and cigarettes and “due to them owning the building in Stonefield Road throughout the 20th Century, constricted the sale of cigars and cigarettes in the adjoining newsagents.

1921 Behahams window 1 wm

I’d just like to point out that thats completely wrong and wasn’t the case. Not only did Valerio & Co rent the building from 1906 (not own) from the Hamilton Savings Investment & Building Society, they had absolutely NO control over the adjoining or indeed any other traders and of course, didn’t impose rules on others.

1921 Benhams Window 2 wm

Take nearby Benhams shop for example. I have a really clear photo of Benhams window at 11 Stonefield Road taken nearly 100 years ago in 1921. Benham’s was a tobacconist hardware agent, and confectioner, directly in competition with Valerio just a few doors up. Not only did Benhams sell cigars and tobacco, so did the adjacent shop and most definitely were in competition with nearby Valerio’s cafe.

One of the pictures here shows a replace window with tobacco products instead of confectionery. Another photo shows leather satchels and bags hanging up high above the reach of customers, showing off the goods available.

1921 Benhams Window 3 wm

The full history of every business and building on Stonefield Road is coming to the site later in 2018.

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

Elaine Speirs I worked in Mickeys in the 1980s and there were selling restrictions for the shops in that row. Im sure the Velerios owned the row by then, but I dont know when that happened. Only Mickys was allowed to sell tobacco products by the 1980s.

Blantyre Project Hi Elaine – Thanks. I’ll comment more on that when I post about Stonefield Road and this building later in 2018. Certainly the Valerios had no control over the newsagents couple of doors up at Benhams and adjacent shops of for most of the 20th Century and for most of the existence of the building. Restrictions could only exist if Valerio did eventually own the other shops. (I suppose a bit like Asda and Clydeview shopping centre). This needs checked for 70s and 80s. Perhaps the Valerio family ended renting and bought over the whole block in those decades? I’ll check ownership of the former building in 70s and 80s when writing up the building history and after speaking to the modern business owners, will take your comment into consideration.. After I’ve done with Glasgow Road, i’ll be focusing on the other major arteries of Blantyre….Auchinraith Road, Stonefield Road and Bardykes Road.

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