Low Blantyre Post Office

From the illustrated social history book…

“Blantyre – Glasgow Road, The Real Story” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016 – 2018.

Low Blantyre Post Office

   From as early as the 1850’s, Blantyre had in those times 2 posts offices. The Low Blantyre post office located in the gatehouse at Blantyre Village Works had adjacent gates that could close off the village to the outside area. The other post office located also in a populated area in High Blantyre at Main Street, on a site where the Apollo pub would later be located.

   By the 1890’s, the post offices had changed location. The Low Blantyre Post office had moved to large new tenement premises at their main Post Office at 7 Stonefield Road. This important building was located at the bottom of Stonefield Road for just over 3 decades located between Benhams shop and Valerios café. Blantyre postmistresses were Miss Isabella Stewart and her assistant Marian Kilgour. In WW1, on the window was the famous poster of Lord Kitchener pointing for “More men – God save the King”.

   The Village post office, still retained was used as a sub post office. In High Blantyre, the post office moved across the road to the tenement which formerly stood where now is the car park entrance to Kirkton Park.

   For the convenience of the residents in the Stonefield district of Blantyre a further sub post office was opened in early February 1900 in Gilmour Place under the charge of Mrs. Arbuckle, stationer. This was much welcomed at the time and was noted as being a great convenience to the inhabitants of the area. Mr Sam Douglas actually cut people’s hair from within the post office. It was often called the “wee post office”. Mr Eddie Dobson lived above the wee post office.

   By 1910, the Village sub post office had moved from the Gatehouse to a new tenement, further north at Ulva Place, where it existed for many decades.

   That year, High Blantyre’s sub post office was on Main Street directly across from Lint Butt’s on the lower level of a tenement. It was adjacent to the bank, situated on Main Street, at the corner of Cemetery Road. A Mrs Darling worked in this post office around WW2. In the 1960’s, it became Jim Hobson’s butchers shop. It was located next to Brown’s shop (which previously had been the bank.) The High Blantyre Post office would later move back near McLean’s Shop, then in 2016, move to Family Shopper where it is at present.

1910 Post office stonefield road

Main Post office on Stonefield Road during the early 20th Century

   During the mid 1920’s, the main Post Office at Stonefield Road closed and the post office moved to a rented building named, “Clydeview” at 249 Glasgow Road immediately adjacent to the YMCA. This was to be Blantyre’s main post office until 1953. This old place of business was apparently very cramped and unsuitable for the type of work being carried out by the postal authorities, conditions that they had suffered for years.

   Low Blantyre post office on Glasgow Road started construction in 1953 (not 1960, as others have commented in a book). It was located on the vacant ground where the collapse had taken place of Turner’s Buildings 13 years earlier, exactly at the western corner of Logan Street.

1955 Post Office wm

Post Office during 1950’s at the corner of Logan Street and Glasgow Road

   The dating stone on the new Post office showed the commission date of 1953, along with of course the Royal Mail insignia, quite iconic for the postal service set into a stone at the top of the building. The new Post Office was opened without any ceremony whatsoever on Monday morning 25th October 1954, when business was conducted ‘as usual’ at 9 a.m. Built of stone blocks, single storey the new public building had a solid construction look, one which certainly was unique in Blantyre and almost art deco in places, bordering on municipal. The gable of adjacent 2 storey Turner’s Buildings was reinforced.

   Soon afterwards in early November 1954, the Blantyre Gazette recorded that there was a call for a pillar-box and a stamp machine to be placed at the site of old premises (next to the Y.M.C.A. further along Glasgow Road on the same side). In the new building, which was welcomed warmly in Blantyre, customers would go in one door and out the other and were impressed by the speed in which the counter staff could stamp things from stamp pads to pension books and postal orders. A phone box was located in the inside of the building. The Post office also catered for Car Tax, Family Allowance, Postage, Premium Bonds and Savings Accounts. A popular feature to this building was the ability to pick up a parcel from the office, rather than having to go to Cambuslang. A lady named Betty was the cleaner for many years.

   The post office had address 165 Glasgow Road. When the council bought the surrounding land in 1977 in advance of Asda, this little site where the post office was located, was “ringfenced” off and left out of the sale, the requirement for the postal building continuing. As such, once Asda was built a few years later the post office, appropriately named “Clydeview” after the old premises was maintained and indeed provided the name for the new shopping centre. After the demolition of the post office in 1997, some rubble was left, landscaped over to create a grassy area at Logan Street corner near the Asda Petrol station, which today, is still council owned, vacant but maintained.

1997 Demolition Post office wm

Post Office during demolition in 1997

   After the building was demolished, several Blantyre people were interested in acquiring the masonry date stone to protect and ensure it didn’t get put in a skip. Amongst them was Blantyre man, the late Jimmy Cornfield. Jimmy had struck a deal with the foreman of the wrecking crew, and when he returned with the cash he was told the deal was off, the worker saying his boss has told him it wasn’t for sale and that someone else had taken it. The location of the stone is unknown, but perhaps another local person beat Jimmy to the ‘prize’.

   The Post Office then moved further along Clydeview Shopping for a short time. Afterwards the post office relocated west along Glasgow Road to the rear of the Londis supermarket, on the same southern side of the road. Difficult to park there, it feels perhaps a little inconvenient but remains an important, popular resource for the people of Blantyre.

Blantyre Project Social Media:
Henry Hambley: “Lovely, functional building!”
Elaine Hunter: “I remember it well. I used to go up there with my Nana when I was a wee girl. I’d play with the fountain pens and blotting paper in the booths, whilst she was at the counter.”
Bruce Baldwin: “I worked as postman there. Great memories! Lots of fun with the front counter staff. It was a great place to work with guys like Bill McGlynn, Alex Young and Malky Muir back in the 1960’s.”
Maureen McCallum: “My dad was Bill McGlynn. He worked in the sorting office at the back. I worked there a few times when it was busy at Christmas.”
John Krawczyk: “Remember it well! When I was a student from time to time I worked there as a postman.”
Eddie Meechan: “I used to run in one door as a child, and out the other!”
Carol Crombie: “I played in it too! I loved skidding around the shiny floor and loved the style of it inside, playing in the booths and phone box.”
Anne Grogan: “I wished we’d preserved some of these old Blantyre buildings. Saddens me when I visit my old home town.”

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

Henry Hambley Maybe it’s my memory but was the the front of the post office granite ?
Liz Allan Yeah huge big tiles
Jim Canning Inside too. Shame they pulled it down.

Anthony Smith To mention Post Offices and barbers.This was a small Post Office and you had to go through it to get to the barbers in the back room.I can still remember he put a board across the arms of the chair for us to sit on,at his cutting height.And don’t put your feet on the chair.Late 1950,s.I don’t know if there is any copyright on this photo.

Daniel Anderson Would have made a good Wetherspoons

Moyra Lindsay Or even a post office!
Daniel Anderson If building was still there It would not be a post office unfortunately
Helen Lawson Taylor Remember it well .
Sheena Thomson I remember it as my Gran and grandpa Gilmour stayed in the flat to the far left of this picture.
John McCourt Sam and Hector cut your hair, Sam was deadly with the scissors, but you got a wee caramel sweetie at the end
Robert McLeod-Wolohan i rememeber the 1 at the bottom of logan street very well, it was a well used and very busy post office. as i lived in logan street it was so easy for me to get to it lol
Sadie Dolan If I mind right Ella little had a shop on this building,
Maggie Anderson My cousin Anne Wilson as was then worked in the PO for a number of years x
Betty McLean I remember the Post Office beside the bank in High Blantyre.
Margaret Elma Griffin I remember the Post Office near the corner of Cemetery Road I lived on Cemetery Road the old buildings Mrs Darling was the Post Mistress there used to be an old phone box inside that the public could use if you didn’t mind being overheard.

Henry Hambley I haven’t changed my view of the post office. One of Blantyre’s newer buildingof merit. The other owner was the library.
Etta Morrison Loved that post office when it opened..there were two phone booths in it one at each door..
Elizabeth Biswell Beautiful art deco building destroyed. Disgraceful.

Elaine Speirs As a kids running in one door shouting and bawling and back out the other. The Post Office staff would be rahing. It was a great game.

Elaine Speirs As someone would always say Thee are just being weans. Leave them alain.

Eleanor Clark I remember that being there

Maggie Anderson My cousin Ann Wilson worked here for years not sure of dates but probably the 60’s

Claire Isabella I remember her working there.

Marion Robertson I remember her working there too and that’s where she met my brother William who worked as a postman at the time it was the 80’s when they married.

Blantyre Project Anybody know of any sorting staff or postmen?

Catherine McGlynn My brother-in-law Bill McGlynn and my husband Joe McGlynn both worked here as postmen. My daughter also was one of the counter staff for a few years.

Fiona Belk 2 of my brothers worked as post men . William belk & Charles Belk

Maureen Mccallum My dad Bill Mc Glynn worked in the sorting office he was a PHG (postman higher grade ) as it was known in those days

Daniel Anderson Would have made a great wether spoons or Costa.

Anthony Smith Don’t forget this little post office.I don’t know if there is any copyright on this image.Which was here until,at least,Bairds Rows were demolished.The barber shop used to be in the back room.
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Blantyre Project This was the sub post office. As you say, Mr Sam Douglas actually cut people’s hair from within the post office. It was often called the “wee post office”.

Peter Murray Tam paterson worked there for years and got the nickname (giro ) sure his son is still working as a postman

Robert McLeod-Wolohan well i lived in logan street, and i used the post office a lot as it was right on the bottom of the corner. it had to phone boxes inside 1 at either end. and in those days u could get all u needed there.

Elizabeth Grieve Wondering if the Eddie Dobson who lived above the shop was my great great grandfather?

Blantyre Project i’ll try to find out when i write up these buildings in detail. Starting WAY along the road first at Burnbank boundary. Looking forward to writing it all up….. properly.

Elizabeth Grieve Blantyre Project I’ll take a look at the census near the dates you have and other documents.

Elizabeth Grieve Blantyre Project have taken a look at valuation rolls but found an Edward Dobson living in Forrest Street (56) but in the 1901 census my gt gt grandfather was living at Udston Rows in Burnbank. Don’t think it’s the same one.
Charlotte Ogilvie My dad Andy Murphy was a postman in Blantyre from 1949 until he retired in 1972, he held the keys and was frequently called out for the alarms going off or a letter box on fire. My brother also worked there.

James Sime When that post office closed, it moved a few doors along to the old ‘Clydesdale’ unit, before moving again a few years later to where the salvation army shop is now. Then it moved up to the Londis shop. Funny how it can stay in one place for so many years and then move so many times.

Linda McKellar My Uncle’s family owned Valerio’s cafe. Uncle Tommy and Aunt Nancy took over for many years. Loved going to visit. Always got a big pokey hat!

James Faulds sammy trueman was the postie in springwell always on time great man ,and giro tom paterson i thought he sighned all the giro checks thats why they called him giro

Sadie Dolan Lovely memories going for my mums family allowance, and running in one door and out another and also the phone boxes in it, xx

Margaret McLaughlin Russell I got my first passport in the post office at the bottom of logan st

Bernadette Mcparland I opened my first post office saving account in there. Loved the phone boxes inside. It was a beautiful building.

Matthew Neil There was one at the back of paper shop down at the top of forest St next to Richardson the butchers my ant pat worked in it Ann cummisky mum



 

One response to “Low Blantyre Post Office

  1. I remember the Post Office very well, I should because I worked behind the counter in 1980. The Postmaster at the time was a guy called Joe Shields. 2 of the people I remember working with was John Boylan and Angela Mortimer. My Dad, Hugh, was also a Postie at the time…. Good memories of the old place and I was sad to see it go.

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