In December 1967, a 10 year old girl from the Prefabs in High Blantyre had her face badly burned after demolishers of the prefabs left lit refuse piled on the demolition of one of the homes. Additionally, the fire brigade had been called on several occasions after local boys found a way to dangerously light the existing gas supplies leading to the demolished homes.
Prefab Tenants decided on a two fold attack on the County Council. Firstly, they complained about the demolished houses being a danger to playing children and they took the opportunity to further enquire also when they would be relocated. Tensions ran high in Winter 1967/1968 as residents demanded to know where their new homes would be.
It was Elizabeth, daughter of Betty Anderson of Ellisland Street whose face was burned in the accident. Mrs Anderson said, “The demolition contractors had just taken down a vacated prefab, burning the timber inside, but had vacated before ensuring the fire was out. Some children were playing at the site and one of them hit my daughter with a burning stick. You can’t blame the children. It was the responsibility of the contractors to put the fire out.”
The situation was bad. Some of the prefabs had been lying empty for months by December 1967.
Mrs Rodgers of 13 Burns Street added, “Boys from another nieghbourhood came after one prefab in Burns Street was demolished. The gas Board had plugged up the inlet pipes of the gas supplies, but the young boys took out the plugs and set fire to the emerging gas. It used to be a weekly occurrence. Once people moved out the houses could sit for nearly 4 weeks before contractors arrived. I remember when one case the water was not shut off and there was a great spout of water like a geyser.”
The protesters stated to the council that they had been promised priority housing in Blantyre, yet it was known some new houses had already gone to others. Scottish Nationalist Councillor Mr Robert Craig was at hand to hear the complaints and promised action. Assurances were made for rehousing.
Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said,
Isabel Mcneily My gran McGhee lived in Burnside Crescent. Visited the prefabs often as my aunt Bella, Mary and Jessie lived there
led protest march into Hamilton town hall he met with councils etc and helped people get housed in Burnbrae rd area Where we still live he s 90 now 😁
Ann Ford Well I’m not sure about the spellings but here a few Simms,Docherty,Downie, burns, Rodgers, Clements, Young, O’Neill, there not all afton street just names I can rember.
Ann Hartman Fairlie Gordon it was Doherty not Docherty and wee stayed in Lochlea St next to Mrs Gordon and 2 down from the mains family who ended up our neighbours In Belvoir right up untill they passed away great times in b prefabs lots of happy memories with the Bolton and chassils fsmily as well mum was glad to move to new house but we fair missed all the neighbours and tight knit community
We lived in Mossgiel St
Fairlie Gordon I lived at 10, Lochlee St,
Ma da in the modle.
Steeling the boilers as the prefabs where taken down.
Whisky out the barrel works.
The wee green shop.
Walking through the tunnel.
Robert Crothers The model.then the big scrappies.whit was that called
Robert Crothers I Charles Ireland’s was the big one with the army helmets ..massive big one next to the burn..is that right fairlie
Kenneth Downie Irelands was an iron works
Fairlie Gordon Ireland’s was a foundry then a scrap yard ( we used to blag from ireland’s and take it to Duncans)
Robert Crothers That’s right Kenny I thought it was Duncan’s ..ma dad got stopped taking.scrap to it with the police .in a pram .with me ..holding on to the pram..
Robert Crothers Props.there was a other man .can’t remember if it was your dad..shiffty characters ..Doon there .lol
Robert Crothers Good how are can remember these …
Rental telly with a broken pay meter on the back.
Borrowing from neighbours till next payday.
No locked doors.
Kenneth Downie My da put a bit of plywood in the alcove then papered over it then cut it out so that you could take it out and that’s where the telly went when the detector van was about 😁
Jim Reid Yes next door to the Lambie’s and then the Walsh’s, Douggie McConnel same street. Cant remember what it was called!
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MY MUM DAD MYSELF BROTHER AND SISTER LIVED IN 13 AFTON STREET X I LOVED IT WHEN THE PREFABS WERE BEING EMPTIED WE USED TO GO TO ALL THE OLD HOUSES AND JUMP FROM THE ROOFS WELL I DID THEN MY BROTHER WOULD COPY ME WE USED TO MAKE ROASTED POTATOES AT FIRES AS WELL IT WAS BRILLIANT X JOAN HUNTER