Adjacent to the 3 storey Stonefield Independent Co-op Society’s (SICS) Building to the west is the older 2 storey premises. It still stands today. This was the Stonefield Independent Co-op’s original fully owned premises.
Again, the beginnings of this building are associated with SICS and not Blantyre Co-operative Society. Constructed in 1891 from stone, the 2 storey building was built with a pend close, leading through to the back. This was a typical design detail of the era as it permitted buildings to later be built next to it, without closing off access. The Stonefield Independent Co-op had a large rear on a long, rectangular plot of land, with Dixon’s Raws to the south. Dating is easy for this building as there is a huge “1891” carved into the masonry on the façade facing on to Glasgow Road, easily seen today. These premises would later be allocated postal addresses 239 – 243 Glasgow Road.
The SICS formed in 1884 at the nearby rented bake-house. Mr F McDade was instrumental is steering the Co-op in these early years and indeed in 1889, was presented with a gold watch for his achievements. Such wonderful gifts were reserved for deserving staff members. The actual watch is pictured, having been sold at auction in 2017 in England for a considerable sum.
More notably was Thomas Carrigan, a salesmen for the Co-op from its humble beginnings and would go on to become the longest serving Co Manager for 33 years before retiring in 1927. Thomas lived in the new premises from 1891 and in his career would notably have to pilot the society through trade depression in the 1920s. His wife was mistress of Auchentibber RC School. In 1889, Thomas also received a gold watch, particularly for increasing numbers of customers.
Shops & Tenants
In 1895, it is noted that there were 2 shops, a bake-house and 4 houses. The original tenants were Patrick Quinn a labourer, David Kerr a justiceman and also Secretary of the SICS, James Canning a miner and aforementioned Thomas Carrigan. The 2 smaller homes were let for £6 a year, the 2 larger for £9. All homes were on the upper floor.
In 1905, nearby spirit merchant Jessie Rae of Stonefield Tavern was renting a small store at the back yard. The Stonefield Independent Co-op was taken over by Blantyre Co-operative Society in 1932. Both the 3 storey and 2 storey buildings they acquired are shown in this photo from 1979, courtesy of local man, James McGuire.
241 Glasgow Road lower shop in this building next to the pend close, was the Co Drapery & Boot shop, but by 1915 had become the Co Butchers, where it would remain right up until near the Millennium, before becoming the current Peters Family Butchers.
243 Glasgow Road, the original Co Hardware and Grocery shop remained as such until the 1950’s when it became self service, effectively turning into a small supermarket. How Blantyre families would marvel at being able to actually touch the goods! The shop in later years became MacKintosh Carpets & Furniture, which closed in September 2010. Today, located at the western end of the building, it is now the St Andrew’s Hospice Charity Shop.
The old outbuildings were demolished at the back sometime in the 1950’s and the Blantyre Co-op extensively extended the premises to the south. In 1967, several windows were often smashed in a spate of vandalism.
This wasn’t the only renovation that took place. Along with several other buildings at this location in Glasgow Road, both on the south and north sides for the Millennium, shops were given similar makeovers, when dark green shop signs and white, black or silver embossed signage. The idea was to bring back some character and uniformity to the street, but within a couple of years, desire for own logos and signs, saw shopkeepers settle back into providing their own signage and putting their own stamp on their premises. The Co Buildings are fondly remembered by all.
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,: