Broompark Place, Glasgow Road

From the illustrated social history book…

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

Broompark Place, Glasgow Road

   Near the eastern corner of Stonefield Road at Glasgow Road junction was a former 2 storey tenement officially called, ‘Broompark Place’. The name certainly sounds strange in a modern context, a name that many people would more associate with High Blantyre, which in itself may have been a reason the name fell out of existence through the lifetime of the building.

1962 Broompark zoned

1962 Map with Broompark Place highlighted on it (c)

   Broompark Place was constructed of stone with a slate roof and had a large central close running north to south right through the building leading from Glasgow Road to its rear yard. Built in 1888 into 1889, it consisted of 1 shop to the east of the close, 2 shops to the west and with 2 houses on the upper floor. Access to the upper homes was through the close and up a stair at the rear yard.

   The property was initially detached, but later neighbouring Minto’s Buildings would be built up against it. It had a prominent position directly across from St Joseph’s Presbytery (later the entrance to St Joseph’s School) and would also have enjoyed good views across to St Joseph’s Church.

   The name ‘Broompark’ was certainly popular in the 1880’s. Indeed, in 1885, there already were another two ‘Broompark Places’ in Blantyre! A building at Larkfield with several shops and homes and another building on Stonefield Road with 9 houses, should not be confused with this article. When Broompark Place was constructed on Glasgow Road, it may have taken the name from the Stonefield Road property demolished around the same time.

   The original constructor appears to have passed away between 1889 and 1895, for the first recorded owner in valuation rolls in 1895 was a Mrs M.W.D Cruickshank of Polockshields, noted as being the bondholder in possession. Mr. George Campbell of the adjacent bank was factor. In the houses, Mr George Pate and Mrs Arabella Arbuckle were first tenants.

James B Dall

   Broompark Place was a building which would have a long retail tradition of being associated with clothing or drapery. The first shopkeeper occupying all three shops on the lower floor was draper, James B Dall of nearby Brownlie Cottage. He was advertising looking for drapery staff in 1889 at newly constructed Broompark Place, having moved from Gilmour Place on the north side of the road presumably for this opportunity. In 1891 James was 37 years old, married to Margaret and had 6 sons and an infant daughter. The Dall family moved away from Blantyre by 1901, perhaps due to drapery competition from the Co-op and several other private retailers. However, it was far from the end of drapery businesses at Broompark Place.

   In 1900, another draper arrived in Blantyre for the first time and moved his business into the 3 shops, i.e. the whole lower floor. Henry R.S. Oliver was to be a long term occupier operating his business there for several decades and was to be one of the longest established traders on Glasgow Road.

Oliver’s Building?

did-you-know-that-600x450   Others have incorrectly assumed and called this building ‘Oliver’s Building’. However, it was never called that. Not in any census, any valuation roll or official documentation. Oliver rented the building at all times and at no time was it ever his building, never owning it. There’s no doubt though that Blantyre residents knew where ‘Oliver’s Shop’ was being there for so long.

Henry R.S. Oliver

   Henry Russell Stewart Oliver was born in 1867 in Alloa, the son of James Oliver a master baker and Mary White. He was 33 years old when he came to Blantyre in 1900, but was already established as a draper. He was married to Irish woman, Isabella Holland. The Oliver family lived nearby at Brownlie Cottage and it is known they had at least 1 son who went into the family business. The Olivers would rent the lower 3 shops at Broompark Place for an incredible 46 years until his death. Henry’s died on 11th March 1946 at Homeland, Glasgow Road, Blantyre.

1946 Oliver death cert

Henry RS Oliver death certificate in 1946

   Tenants in the upper storey would change over the years. In 1905 Hugh Davidson a roadsman and Gilbert Harper Junior, a mechanic lived there. Alexander Russell, a roadsman lived there from prior to WW1 until the late 1920’s. Sometime between 1920 and 1925, the 2 homes upstairs were reduced to just one, as one side of the upper storey became a storeroom for the shops below. The house was occupied by James Devine from the late 1920’s.

   The name ‘Broompark Place’ was used less and less following WW1 for this building, even more so when it was allocated postal addresses 267, 269, 271 and 273 Glasgow Road. The shops were 267,269 and 273 and upper homes was 271 Glasgow Road, a configuration that continued throughout the 20th Century. Olivers may have flourished especially at this location being so near the tram terminus at Glasgow Road, offering shoppers convenience.


1903 Glasgow Road looking west. Minto’s Buildings and Broompark Place on the left

   It is little wonder that this charming postcard was commissioned in 1903. Looking east along Glasgow Road, as well as celebrating the arrival of trams to Blantyre, it must have represented modernization at the time. The newly built Minto’s Buildings on the left foreground with its wooden picket fences, next to it the older Broompark Place with iron railings. (Railings were NOT removed during the ‘Iron Drive’ in World War 2 for iron to construct ships as others keep mentioning here. At this location the iron railings were removed a full decade earlier when the road was widened.). Elsewhere other relatively new buildings of the era like Mayberry Place and the Old Original Bar feature.

   As well as clothes and textiles, Oliver’s sold curtains, bedding and other decorative soft furnishings, some of which may have been considered as luxury goods for any humble mining family. In WW1 years Oliver’s rents to Mrs MWD Cruickshank was around £8 and 10 shillings. Mrs Cruikshank lived in Liverpool by that time, still owner, bondholder in possession of the entire property right up until the end of World War One. Ownership then passed to John Jackson Coats from 1918 until the early 1930’s and subsequently before 1935, to AJ&A Graham, as bondholders beyond World War Two.

   Following 1946, shops changed use and in the late 1940’s for a short time into the 1950’s the end shop at 273 became Dr. Terris’s surgery. When he moved to High Blantyre in the 1950’s the surgery became Dr. Harkins practice then more latterly Dr. Church’s surgery. From the mid 1970’s until its demolition in 1993, this shop then became Batters, Malone & McKay Lawyers.

1979 Boompark Place 1 wm

Hughes Photography and Patons Hairstylist, Glasgow Road, 1979

   Post WW2, the other shops were also well used. Many Blantyre residents remember Pat Hughes Photography. Pat lived in Victoria Street. His shop was small with a single room studio, but it was well used and photography services could be called upon away from the shop too. It moved westwards to Westend Place around 1979.

   The other shop was Paton’s Ladies & Gents Hairdressers. Willie Paton, his wife and daughter Margaret were well known in Blantyre throughout the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. Willie’s nickname was ‘Scooby’ and he had a pleasant manner about him. Although one main public room, the shop was always busy, with loads of chatter and gossip.

1979 Broompark place wm

1979 Glasgow Road, Broompark Place sowing Batters, Malone & McKay Solictors

   Broompark Place was completely demolished around 1993 and is now the site of several homes belonging to modern Valerio Court.

Blantyre Project Social Media:

Arlene Green: “My mum remembers Pat Hughes Photography shop as being an old fashioned type shop with a simple counter. Next door was Paton Hairdressers. Willie Paton’s daughter Margaret worked there as did a girl called Grace Brown. I got my hair done in Paton’s. The ‘Purdie’ was a famous cut in the 1970’s and then frizzy perm in the 1980’s.”

Martin Smith: “Pat Hughes did live on Victoria Street. He was good friends with my father.”

Sharon Morrison Doonin: “Hughes Photography was still at the Westend in the mid 1980’s. I remember getting my photos there.”

Elaine Spiers: “I had my first communion photo taken at Hughes. The hairdressers next door was where mum got her hair done. It was a noisy room with big ‘sit under’ hairdryers and always with a smell of hairspray and perm lotion. I watched people endlessly getting their rollers put in. In 1978, I had hair so long I could sit on it, but I wasn’t allowed to get it cut until I was 12. Even then, Margaret Paton refused to cut all that lovely hair so short, so we had to go elsewhere.”

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

Janey Murray I’m sure doctor church surgery was there at some point x
John Cornfield Remember well

Sally Jamieson I remember this wee. Holding well. Xx

Jeanette Allardyce Ward Remember this building well x

Thomas Barrett Batters;Malone and McKay solicitors.

Thomas Barrett Class mate of mine lived above Rab Doran

Jim Canning Robert recently died Thomas.

Thomas Barrett Sorry to hear this Jim he had a young brother Graham.

Jim Canning Graham is living in Solihull.
Daniel Anderson Used to get my haircut here …sat on a board to see mirror

Caroline Rundell I always remember walking past the solicitors office batters malone and mckayx

Ann Ford Hughes photography done my wedding photos.

James Sime Remember the hairdressers. Barber at front and ladies at back. Think it became Highway One bike shop before it was demolished.

Blantyre Project thanks James.

Margaret Lappin Janice Munro this is where your house sits about now!

Diane Cunningham Remember it well my 2 boys photos where taken I Hughes when they where babies

Andy Callaghan I have a photograph of my two youngest daughters aged 3 and 4 taken by Pat Hughes in that very shop. It’s unfortunately the worst photo ever taken of them. They still cringe when they see it. Sorry Pat. Not one of your better efforts. Pat was a lovely man and a friend of the family.

Ann Hartman Had my wedding pictures done by Hughes in early 70s all were taken in black and white by mistake hated them no apologies no refund nought needless to say never looked at or shared

Pamela McKeown Ann Hartman do u no you can get them colour’d now? The original pics? Xx

Elizabeth Wallace Hughes done our wedding photos

Maggie Anderson Ours too in 1963 !!

Elizabeth Wallace ours was 1976
Hugh McDade Barber’s/ hairdressers was patons

Steven Lightbody Was that round the corner from mickies cafe?

Blantyre Project yes Steven. More unseen photos over the next couple of days will put that right into context.

Matthew Neil So was my holy communion photos
Jean Pickering You are right Janey the doctors office was there

Linda Hunter Miller Hughes photography done my wedding photos in 1982

Blantyre Project Linda – was Hughes still at this location in 1982, or had they moved to where Devitos is at the westend by then?

James Sime It was still there in late 80s / early 90s. I remember it and remember the photographers then suddenly appearing at the west end bar.
Blantyre Project Di Vitos celebrated 35 years of their shop been open at the Westend last year.

James Sime Yeah but the photographers was a seperate door next to the chippy. Think it must be part of the lounge of the west end bar now. The chippy was open at same time as the photographers was next door.
James Stirling Hughes the photographer stayed in the first house as you go up the sydes brae,he also took my wedding photo

James Stirling On the left-hand side as you go up the sydes brae
Margaret Liddle Hughes took our wedding photos in November 1975, my brother worked in the barber shop for years

James Rouse Dr Church Surgery. You left by a door that led into the close. Im sure Crawford Mason used this office after Dr Church moved into the Health Centre.
Jim Brown Jim Paton lived at Waverley Terrace, so we were sent to his house for our regular crew cuts 🙂

Eleanor Cockburn We got married 1972 Hughes took our photographs in East Kilbride & then at the Tillytoodlem Hotel

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Rose Paterson Brings back memories
Irene Berry Milligan The front of the shop was the barbers,and the back was ladies hairdressing. I worked there many years ago and have lovely memories.

Regarding the Lawyers office:
John Cornfield Aye I remember it quite well
Catherine Morrison Yes just across from where st Joseph’s was
Aileen Hamilton Was that Oliver’s outfitters before it was a solicitor?
Blantyre Project yes, thats going back a bit
Danny Campbell That must have been the lawyer that got you so many ‘Not Proven’s ‘ Aileen. X
John Lynaghan Was the solicitors name Kevin Hughes son of Big Yogi that played with Celtic
Isabella Law It used to be Dr Church’s surgery. You went in the front and left out into the close at the side
Gerald Kellachan Was a satellite office of Malone and McKay of Sauchiehall St , Glasgow . McKay was a brother of well known teacher Archie McKay , of St Joseph’s . The original office was in Kelly’s building at other end of Glasgow Rd. Drs Harkins and Church were heavy smokers , the ashtrays on their desks were always full and invariably had a lit cigarette in it.
Blantyre Project Thanks! I can imagine the doctors chainsmoking and giving advice about getting people to quit. lol. Sums up the 70s quite well
Betty Brown Dr church .s👍👍💥
Liz Allan The wee house to the right the Valerio’s from mickey cafe lived in it at one point
Blantyre Project explored next. Stay tuned!
Liz Allan It was one gate 2 semis
Gordon Dennis There was a welders yard there as well did gates and fences
Moyra Lindsay He did our railings in 1972, he had an old Volvo estate and his poodle sat in it all day. He cut its hair himself and I have to say his welding was better than his dog grooming. I remember him as a grumpy old man. Did the job though.
John Breen You r thinking of stoddart and carrigan who later owned pubs in the town
John Daly Paton’s was where my mother took me as a wee boy for my first hair cuts. Wasn’t there a dentist in that building at one time, too?
Blantyre Project doctors surgery at the end. See yesterdays posts for many comments about that. Happy New Year John.
John Daly That was Dr Church. Still curious about dentist/no dentist scenario.
Blantyre Project John im personally not aware of a dentists being there, but others may be able to confirm or not.
John Daly Hmm, I wouldn’t put money on me being right.
Edward Tonner I thought dr church was up next to Crawford mayson lawyers ???
Blantyre Project this is just one building away from Crawford Mason lawyers. The bank building being where the lamp post is in the same picture.
Elaine Speirs Got my first communion photo taken at Hughes in 1974.
Frances Reid my three sons had their photos taken at Hughes 1964 1965 1973 great photographer
Blantyre Project Frances – were Hughes at that location even in 1964?
Frances Reid i think so it that was the area x
Frances Reid all the photos were taken in the same studio x
Martin Smith Pat Hughes was a very good friend of my father!!
Helen Henderson Mclaughlin One of my brothers did his apprentiship in the welders yard
Betty Clark Remember this place Kate and Robert. He was cheaper than Sharps. Lol Xx
Jeannette Flurey Kennedy Remember it well Eleanor x
Stephen Anderson Hughes moved to the West End.
John Fallon Jnr This photo was take in Hughes 1972 and looking at our hair it was cut next door 😂😂😂😂Manage

Image may contain: 5 people, people standing and child



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  1. hi i like the stuff on here i am looking for this man called David Thomson he lived at 175 Stonefield rd Blantyre i am help this young lady todo her family search so we need ur help to find this man he would be about 33years old in 1935 .

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