Clydeview Shopping Centre – East

Clydeview Shopping Centre – East

   Clydeview Shopping Centre is a contemporary small shopping centre fronting on to Glasgow Road, currently with partially occupied businesses.

   It is located near Blantyre Asda supermarket and was opened in October 1980. It comprises of 2 storey retail units to the east and west of a central pedestrian precinct leading from Glasgow Road to Asda. The retail units have anodised display frontages with matching doors protected by roller shutters. Sizes range from 1212 sq ft/112.6 sq m to 3780 sq ft/ 351.2 sq m over 2 floors.

   ‘Clydeview’ takes its name from the post-office building, formerly at 249 Glasgow Road which relocated to a more modern premises in 1953. The centre occupies the land between Logan Street and Victoria Street, at its boundary with Glasgow Road. The shopping centre is built in two blocks, an eastern and western side. This article is about the east side, formerly on land that was Turner’s Buildings and Craig Street. Craig Street prior to 1979 ran down to Glasgow Road near to where the central hard landscaping now is. The land the eastern shopping centre occupies was subjected to extensive redevelopment during 1977 – 1979. When the shopping centre first opened, brick planters decorated the area, as well as young trees. However, some planters were removed, replaced with more robust paving in 1990.

2017 Clydeview zoned

Clydeview Shopping centre – east on modern map

   The purpose built Clydeview Shopping Centre enjoys a frontage to Glasgow Road with extensive free car parking facilities to the rear and today, the centre is anchored by ASDA nearby who also own and rent out the units.

   Over the years, there has been at least 53 shops and businesses on the eastern side including Malcolm Campbell Greengrocers, Just Video, Video Express, Global Video, RS McColl, Supersweet, B2B Hair Styling, Greggs, Betfred, Marie Curie, Munro the Butcher, Quids In Poundshop, Hawkhead Carpets, Jem Carpets, MDC Motor Shop, Farmfoods, Capital Frozen food, Craft at Home, Rapture Clothes shop, John Fernan Ladies hairdressers, Theresa Mulholland Hairdressers, Weaver Wines, ATR Curry House, Tandoori Nights Indian Takeaway, Mr Kebab Takeaway, Happy Place Chinese Takeaway, Iceberg Frozen Food, Awans Takeaway, Kenny’s Tattoo Parlour, Cartys Solicitors, The Curry House, Country Feeds Pet Shop (Gibbs of Galston), Clydesdale Electricals then very briefly The Post Office, Lorraine & Sabrina’s Hairdressers, Gillian Baker Family Law, Gostelaw Family Law, Blantyre Criminal Lawyers, Little Bo Beep Wool Shop, Kaos Skateshop, Rinaldi’s Chip Shop, Luciano’s Fish and Chip Shop, Stepek Electricals, Royal Bank of Scotland, The Abbey National, Sue Rider Charity Shop, Cantors Furniture shop, Mr Saver, Ace Clothing, ‘Land of Leather’ Italian Furniture Leather shop, Masons Furniture Shop, and Capital Options (Car & Life Insurances).

   Sadly, some of the units have been unoccupied for many years and as of 2017, still are. The centre has been a huge talking point in Blantyre in recent years with many people angry at the possibilities wasted, caused by high rent and rates, non-competition terms and conditions and poor maintenance. In Springtime 2017, following a petition started by local lady Amanda Dawson, Blantyre Community Council added the item for discussion on their monthly agenda, inviting Asda representatives to come along and explain potential solutions to getting the units occupied. As of September 2017, there is a strong possibility that these eastern units will be demolished entirely to pave the way for modernized, rebuilt units for traders. Such a radical development for the town makes this worthy of inclusion in this book. Some businesses, like the Royal Bank of Scotland have already left, closing their doors for good, others have been given notice.

2016 Clydeviewi east

Clydeview Shopping Centre East Block – pictured in 2017

   Addresses were all Clydeview Shopping Centre and none were given numbers along Glasgow Rd. Let’s now look at a few of the former, more well-known businesses at this location.

Abbey National

   Abbey National plc was a UK-based bank and former building society, which latterly traded under the Abbey brand and Santander name. Along with RBOS, it was one of two banks to occupy the Clydeview Shopping Centre in 1981, in the retail units adjoining the Asda shop at Glasgow Road.

   The Abbey was in a unit where the façade changed direction, where now Baker Criminal lawyers are based, facing out on to Glasgow Road. When it opened, adjacent shops included Rinaldi’s Chipshop (later Luciano’s) and Rapture’s Clothing Shop (which had a hairdresser above). It had an ATM outside the façade, which is remembered as being one of the first in Blantyre.

   Ex-Boxer, Jim Watt officially opened the Abbey National to the public, signing autographs and handing out signed photos. The entrance was on the left and the frontage was all window glass. The Abbey National had white signage with red writing. It had postcode G720QD and is remembered for having a good savings programme for children and adults alike with customers receiving a small pay-in book, first manually written into, then during the mid 1980’s, typed into with each incoming or outgoing transaction.

   The children’s savings had “Mickey Mouse” pay-in books. In 1989, with branches at Hamilton also being rebranded, the Blantyre branch closed down for good, causing much frustration and forcing many people to change their bank in Blantyre to either the Royal Bank of Scotland or further up Glasgow Road to the Clydesdale Bank.

2009 Clydeview

Clydeview Shopping Centre pictured in busier times during 2009

Royal Bank of Scotland

   The Royal Bank of Scotland, (under that name) has been in Blantyre since the 1960’s at Glasgow Road. First located on the ground floor of a 2-storey tenement on the opposite North side of the road at 166 Glasgow Road it was adjacent to a pub. Rita Clark started working there in 1972 and added that when the pub put their fire on, smoke would come through the walls into the bank, as the tenements were so old. New premises were needed badly.

   During the construction of Clydeview Shopping Centre and with the subsequent demolition of the Glasgow Road tenements, bank staff worked temporarily from a portacabin at 188a Glasgow Road. The bank opened in 1981 at Clydeview Shopping Centre. Rita would later move back to Blantyre branch in February 1996 when she became manager. A long-standing employee was Caroline Lee who worked at the Blantyre branch at Clydeview Shopping Centre from 1981 until 1996. A former manager was Stephen Morley, one of many staff who worked there over the years.

   To huge disappointment, the Royal Bank of Scotland closed down at Clydeview Shopping Centre on Tuesday 20th June 2017 and planning permission was granted for the ATM being removed shortly after.

Munro Butchers

   Munro Butchers was a former butchers chain shop at Clydeview Shopping Centre in the 1980’s, which is now occupied by Marie Curie. In August 1995, Property group Asda Property Holdings linked up with Dewhurst managing directors Roger Reeson and Eugene Lines.

   Asda Property purchased the freehold premises occupied by Dewhurst, the largest chain of its type in Britain, and leased them back to the new MBO company, Dewhurst Butchers, which by then had bought over the Alex Munro chain of butchers. (In Scotland Dewhurst traded as Alex Munro). However, Munro Butchers in Blantyre was solely a 1980’s business and closed down in the late 1980’s rumoured to have been due to competition ters being imposed from Asda. There were also shops in Rutherglen, Motherwell, Cambuslang and Hamilton at the time. Jimmy Scott worked in the popular shop and former employees remember the multitude of different characters coming in for their meat.

Country Feeds (Gibbs of Galston)

   Gibbs of Galston was a large pet shop and pet store formerly located in the Clydeview Shopping Centre in the late 1980’s. It was officially called, “Country Feeds” located in one of the larger units, near the corner carpet shop and faced out on to Glasgow Road. It was one of the earlier businesses to open at the shopping centre and had operated for some time before closing temporarily in the early 1990’s. It re-opened for a couple of years before again closing for good around 1990. Today, that particular retail unit has been closed for years. People have become accustomed seeing closed shutters.

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


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