Workshops & Yard – Stonefield Road junction
On the eastern corner of Glasgow Road at the bottom of Stonefield Road was a couple of workshops and a yard. The earliest workshop dated back to 1865 when constructor Robert Lindsay built it and let it out to Mitchell & Forrest, local joiners and blacksmiths.
This commercial relationship existed even after 1881, when the Lindsay’s left Blantyre and John Mitchell, a joiner continued to rent with his business partner for around £9 per annum. In 1895, John lived nearby in Stonefield Road and rented from new owners, the Hamilton Savings, Investment & Building Society, who also owned most of the buildings at the corner of Stonefield Road also.
Around 1900, a second joiners workshop was built in the yard, facing out on to Stonefield Road, which was initially rented by John Reid, a joiner. John would operate from this workshop and yard until the end of the First World War, by which time it had address 281 Glasgow Road.
Also around 1900, the older workshop expanded with a new small pitched roof single storey workshop facing out on to Glasgow Road. This would have address 279 Glasgow Road and was situated between Clyde Cottage and Reid’s joinery workshop. This was to be the rented workshop of the Smith family for several decades. The workshops would have been a common sight as passengers alighted at the nearby, new tram terminus in 1903.
In 1905, the pitched roof workshop at Glasgow Road was rented by James Smith, a joiner. By 1915, Andrew Smith occupied the workshop.
The Stonefield Urinal
Yes, you read that right! By 1915, space at 281 Glasgow Road, directly on the corner had been reserved for a public urinal. It was noted in the 1920 as still being reserved and constructed during the 1920’s. It was likely sited there due to the proximity of the Old Original Pub across the road. The urinal was an ‘iron duke’ type and despite having a Glasgow Road address, opened out on to Stonefield Road. Under ownership of the Middle Ward District Committee (part of the County Council), it was still there in the late 1930’s, but demolished after WW2.
Workshops Post WW1
Andrew Smith joinery business rented 279 Glasgow Road, the little pitched workshop right up until the early 1930’s, until such a time the business was renamed as “J&A Smith”. In 1935 their business as joiners and carriage hirers was flourishing and as undertakers, business was good. Smiths undertakers however, were still renting the workshop and yard from the bank who remained owners for most of the 20th Century.
The large hut in the yard was used to make and store coffins, the workshop used as an office and nearby at 5 Stonefield Road, certainly in 1920, their salesroom shop. J&A Smith kept their carriages in a large wooden building at 10 Broompark Road. Several other wooden buildings, huts and stores sprang up over the years within the yard for the purposes of Smiths, some being immediately adjacent to Valerio’s Café de Royal on Stonefield Road.
The other workshop at 281 Glasgow Road facing on to Stonefield Road was occupied by Stewart W Allison, joinery in 1920 right up until the immediate post WW2 years, passing to Alexander C Allison , a joiner sometime between 1930 and 1935.
Fisher’s Yard & Latter Years
Contrary to popular belief, the corner of Stonefield Road and Glasgow Road was not Mickey’s ‘Café de Royale’ which was actually nearby further up Stonefield Road during the 20th Century. In post WW2 years, the corner of this junction was David Fisher’s Yard.
Blantyre Project Social Media:
Robert Stewart: “For years an old double decker bus sat at the right hand corner of the yard next to Valerio’s. I remember being in the yard with my dad and I’m sure it was used for storing strips of steel. Silly the things you remember from youth!”
David manufactured wrought iron gates, fences and offered general blacksmith (smiddy) services. The main office and showroom faced out to Glasgow Road at number 279 in the small pitched roof building similar to the current hairdressers shop at Larkfield. The yard was narrow and long, running from the Glasgow Road to the gable end of Valerio’s, with its entrance at the bottom of Stonefield Road. David Fisher’s company was there well into the early seventies. After he retired the little showroom became a different kind of showroom selling interior light fittings, tables lamps etc.
Blantyre Project Social Media:
Drew Semple: “I remember that plot of land at the corner. At the end of Fisher’s Yard was a corrugated fence with a cigarette machine built into it. Needless to say, it got emptied a hundred times by locals.”
Moyra Lindsay: “I remember David Fisher. He made our railings for our verandah in 1971. He had a white poodle, which went to work with him and he cut the doghair himself, it was a right sight! I’m sure he was bit grumpy.”
Moira Hutchings: “In the early sixties we went to Mickey’s once a week to use the payphone to speak with my Dad who was working in England. Sometimes we even got an ice cream! Across the road was the grocers, where my Aunt’s friend Janet worked. Butter was still sold from a massive block from a barrel and had to be patted when you bought it. Next door was the butchers.”
Stewart Dennings: “In the 1970’s, I recall Jeannie Scratcher (a nickname obviously). She used to sit on the wee bench at the corner, her affliction causing her to touch her face often. Not nice name on reflection. Hope she lived long.”
Fisher’s Yard looked likely to have been cleared when the other buildings were demolished around 1979 and 1980. Prior to that around 1975, the yard was fenced off and a gravel path was constructed on the small triangular plot of land offering a bench to sit on and a few shrubs cordoned off by some modern red 2 foot high tubular railings. A tiny little park no less at that busy junction with good advertising space on the billboards on Valerio’s Stonefield Road gable.
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,