Up until 1910, there was nothing on the south side of Glasgow Road for 500 yards between the villa ‘Orwell’ (today called Larchmont) and the next tenement further along to the west. A small, wall or fence separated the fields of Wheatlandhead Farm and the main Glasgow Road. From 1907 until 1930, running along this length on the main carriageway was a passing place for tramcars, known as Dunallan Loop.
The name is derived from a nearby villa on the north side of the road at this location. The tracks split at either end of this length into double tracks, allowing cars to stop, wait for other cars, or to let other cars pass by safely. The loop also acted as a tram stop, but never as an end terminus. It was part of the extended tram network built in 1907 and included a platform for alighting and disembarking.
On 15th February 1915, Mrs. Mary Watt of 14 Bardykes Road was disembarking from a tram that dark night and as she stepped on to the platform with her child, the tram pulled away too quickly, throwing her and the child to the ground sustaining bruising. In December, she successfully, with the aid of witnesses, sued the tram company for £200.
The name ‘Dunallan Loop’ however did not disappear when the tram-tracks were lifted in the early 1930’s. It survived for at least another decade as an official name for one of the bus stops.
On the morning of Saturday 20th July 1935, five persons had a miraculous escape from serious injuries in a remarkable bus accident near Dunallan Loop. A Central S.M.T. bus proceeding from Glasgow to Hamilton turned over on its side after coming into collision with a tramcar’s redundant electric standard. The bus was thrown over on its side and badly wrecked, both sets of wheels being wrenched off, while the standard was demolished. The accident happened outside a 2 storey building on the south side of Glasgow Road opposite now what is the junction of Coatshill Avenue.
The driver, Andrew McCusker, of Motherwell, was imprisoned in the wreckage of his cabin, but escaped with slight injuries. A passenger on a passing bus, Henry Connor (28), 564 Gallowgate, Glasgow, had his left leg lacerated when attempting to rescue Andrew. The conductress of the damaged bus. Miss Cathie Reid (23), Orbiston, Bellshill, suffered from severe shock. Quite understandably as our picture shows.
Fortunately the injuries to the passengers, caused mainly by broken glass, were not of serious nature, and they were able to proceed home, as were also the driver and conductress. It was little short of miracle that those travelling in the vehicle did not receive injuries of a more serious nature. Eye-witnesses stated that the ‘bus was not travelling at a quick pace and that prior to the accident the framework of the vehicle quivered visibly, the rear portion rising about foot from the ground and then toppling over.’ There were only three passengers in the bus. Miss Nancy Welsh. Craigrock Cottage, Blantyre, sustained a bruise over the eye and suffered from shock. Mrs M’Lean, 16 Braeside Avenue, Rutherglen, had injuries to arm and shoulder and shock, and Miss Jessie Kirk. 18 Park street, Cambuslang, suffered from leg and ankle injuries.
From the book, “Blantyre Glasgow Road South – The Real Story” by Paul Veverka (c) 2018