1967 Ghost Town Protest


1968-walter-batters-shop-bwSome interesting reading from just over 50 years ago. In March 1967, a Blantyre resident wrote to the Hamilton Advertiser wishing to make a formal protest about the state of Glasgow Road.

“I would like to draw attention of the Council to Glasgow Road, the main street in Blantyre. There is a Church Hall which is condemned and other children are gradually demolishing it, leaving a danger for smaller children. Some child is going to get hurt or killed. All along the street there are empty properties appearing above the shops and I have seen better looking shacks in a Ghost Town for a Western film. David Livingstone left Blantyre for Africa to teach God and Beauty. The African students who come here to pay homage to him, must wonder who the savages are.”

Archie MacLachlan of 2 Kirkton Avenue, High Blantyre in his capacity as County Councillor was quick to provide a written response to this the following week saying, “The County Council have been trying to buy that Church hall for some time for the purposes of demolishing it to make it safe, as the church haven’t got round to it. As for homes and shops, the business of purchasing property can be protracted. Shopkeepers have a natural desire to stay in business, some of them being there generations.

The County Council are in the business of buying any old property on Glasgow Road, acquiring as much as possible to make a future task of redvelopment much easier. A new shopping centre is proposed and renovation and development of existing tenements to such a standard that Blantyre is the envy of surrounding towns.”

Pictured in this era is Walter Batter’s former shop on Glasgow Road.

From the book, “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2018

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:

Marian Maguire The old Blantyre was much more diverse and better looking than today. Those lovely old buildings could have been renovated and preserved. Asda has added nothing to the town and the parking situation at the front put smaller businesses out. Let’s hope that the ongoing works are a improvement.
Jim McSorley Archie mc Laughlin was our Co- Op van driver. He actually stayed at 2 Kirkton place then moved to timber town. Some useless facts.
Ian McLean My mother in law worked in Batters.

Margaret Duncan Batters always had wonderful Christmas window displays – I loved the smell of Batters; the wood, paraffin etc. Great memories

Sadie Dolan Loved the old st,

Mary Gray Great memories of old Blantyre streets .

Libby Moffat Loved batters shop and the smell in it xx
Sadie Nicholl So did l Libby xxxx

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