In 1920’s Blantyre, there were TWO main gangs. Bigger rivals, rejoicing in names of ‘The Glad Eyes’ and ‘The Blue Tanks’. Both groups were comprised mostly of young men of Blantyre, and whenever a Glad Eye met a Blue Tank, a fight was inevitable!
Plots were hatched on either side to attack certain opponents, and the pinnacle of clan warfare reached its height in 1924 when a pitched battle took place in a field in Low Blantyre. There were numerous casualties, and the police, who came unexpectedly upon the scene, were able to arrest 11 of the combatants.
After a long trial by the magistrates six were found guilty of disorder and assault, and fines amounting to £13 were imposed. The Glad Eyes (that’s an eye for the Ladies) appear to have outlived the Blue Tanks, with the gang still known as late as the early 1930s.
From the book, “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2018
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