High Blantyre Prefab Protesters

 

1967 Tenant Prefabs Hb1In 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,

Blantyre Project Did you live in the prefabs? What was life like there? Cine footage of the Prefabs coming to this page in July.

Jean Miller Looking forward to this Paul!

Jim Frame So am I we stayed in ellisland street

Margo Lee Gibson My mum stayed in the prefabs in the 60s Jessie Lee, nΓ©e Mcmillan I was born in 61 Burnside crescent in 1963 my Maws (grans house) wonderful memories of Blantyre.

Isabel Mcneily My gran McGhee lived in Burnside Crescent. Visited the prefabs often as my aunt Bella, Mary and Jessie lived there

Mary Bennett Mrs Rodgers, the spokesperson was our mum!

Kenneth Downie Most of them were moved up here to the electric hooses 😁

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 Our family stayed at 1 afton street , still speak to some other family’s from there

Blantyre Project Thanks Ann, can you remember any of the families surnames? I struggle with prefabs as they’re ‘modern’ and beyond my retrievable valuation rolls.

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.

Kathleen Nelson Dixon, Cavanagh, Irvine, Anderson, Fulston, Wiper, Fairlie Gordon, Bolton, Maines, Strang, chasells, Corrigan, Mcleenan, Nelson. Most of them Burns street

GordonDocherty,Trusler,Downie,Kane,Reid,Morrison,Boyle,Young,Strang,Low,McGuire,Carr,Fulton,McCabe,Black,MCGwigan.Nicolas.Mclaughlin.Guy,Foley.McLelland.

James Dick Staid in the same street as jim docherty new the boltons and lowe

Isabel Mcneily Paton’s, wrights

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

Mary-Jane Greenhorn Robert Beetham ask mam about this?

Ann O’Neill To add to the list from Ann
Morrison, Montague
We lived in Mossgiel St

Fairlie Gordon I lived at 10, Lochlee St,

Maureen Friery Moran The Ennis family lived there before moving to the Coatshill scheme. Don’t know which street.

Janette Stark James Stark

Robert Crothers Mrs hunter…I think? Mrs frame ..?

Kenneth Downie Me 18 Burns Street

Robert Crothers I was Afton street

Kenneth Downie Wee Joan Dixon,

Kenneth Downie Baggies in the burn.
Fighting springwellies.
Ma da in the modle.
Steeling the boilers as the prefabs where taken down.
Whisky out the barrel works.
The wee green shop.
Hannahs shop.
Walking through the tunnel.

Robert Crothers The model.then the big scrappies.whit was that called

Fairlie Gordon Charles Ireland’s scrap yard

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

Fairlie Gordon Yep, Ireland’s was the big one where the bus depot is now ,but me and Kennie’s broth Tam , were frequent visitors to Duncan’s then we used to fill out faces in the cafe πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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)

Kenneth Downie Billy 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..

Kenneth Downie Probably with my da 😁

Robert Crothers Props.there was a other man .can’t remember if it was your dad..shiffty characters ..Doon there .lol

Kenneth Downie Ah the smell of burning copper… Brings back memories. Him falling in the burn and shouting for ma maw tae come and help him 😁

Robert Crothers Good how are can remember these …

Kenneth Downie Television hidden in the alcove when the TV detector van was in the area.
Rental telly with a broken pay meter on the back.
Borrowing from neighbours till next payday.
No locked doors.
Hand-me downs

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 😁

Robert Crothers Kenneth Downie πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ™„

Jim Reid Yes next door to the Lambie’s and then the Walsh’s, Douggie McConnel same street. Cant remember what it was called!

Elaine Petriat I think some of the houses were allocated to others after the big storm of 67/68? when buildings for example in Ulver place in the village almost collapsed leaving the families homeless. I know that my parents were housed in the ‘ new electrics’ at burnbrae road.

 

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  1. 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

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