Craig Street leading between Glasgow Road and Auchinraith Road, started off simply as a field boundary. At some point during the 1870’s, a track was formed along the edge of this field and upon expanding nearby population, became a small road, initially called, “The Slag Road.”
Perhaps due to the proximity to the Auchinraith Pit, the name may have been given from the pit ash used to form the rough road surface, an effort made to prevent the track being muddy. It was a quick route to get from Stonefield up to Auchinraith, most notably for miners who chose to settle on Glasgow Road.
By 1898, nothing at all existed either side of the Slag Road, not even at the corners of a busy Glasgow Road, with exception of the Congregational Church midway up the Slag road, where it is today. At that time, the church sat isolated beside this track completely surrounded by empty fields. At the top of the Slag Road, at the junction with Auchinraith, near to Auchinraith Pit Rows, the road ran under the raised railway track.
The most radical change this road ever saw was in the short period from 1898 to 1910 which saw quality, well built homes built on either side from Glasgow Road up to the church, then up the eastern side towards the brand new Auchinraith School. These houses would have had a lovely, rural view across open fields before any of the Crescents were built. Such construction deserved the renaming of the road, for who would want to live on a road named after ‘dirty, auld shale deposits’? The name ‘Craig Street’ was chosen after prominent former land owner, Mr. James Craig of Birdsfield, sponsor of the church, owner of the farm fields and constructor of some of the homes.
With other property owners including the Smellie family, Craig Street had arrived and would have been a desirable place to live in the 1910’s by comparison to some of the nearby more populated and older, miners homes.
Pictured in 1979 is the bottom part of Craig Street showing how narrow it was and following the demolition of houses at either side to make room for ASDA carpark.
From the book, “Blantyre Glasgow Road South – The Real Story” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017
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