Blantyre organisations were shocked in the first week of November 1979, to learn that the derelict building formerly the Auchinraith Primary School at the corner of Craig Street and Auchinraith Road, would NOT be turned into a community centre.
Springwells Tenants Association and the Boys Brigade had been especially interested in using the school, so it was a blow to learn that the Government had turned down an appeal for cash and decided there was no future for the building.
Despite some sentiment, which still exists even today for the old building, it was the right decision in this instance. Many years of neglect had committed the building into a state beyond dereliction, vandalised beyond all description. However, it was the independent survey of the fabric of the building itself that ultimately sealed its fate.
The report in November 1979, recommended that the Auchinraith School was beyond saving and recommended it should be demolished. Severe subsidence caused by the immediate proximity to the former Auchinraith Colliery had put almost the stonework of the windows and doors out of alignment, with severe cracks to the walls. The report went on to say there was a strong possibility of the roof collapsing, the complete lack of wiring and plumbing, no heating and dangerous lead pipework throughout the building.
Local Councillor Malcolm Waugh, wasn’t surprised having made all the points before. He had been instrumental in getting the building closed as a school in the first place due to its dangerous condition. One of the groups hit hardest was the “Blantyre We Care Group” consisting of mothers of handicapped children who had been hoping to move there and had hoped renovation would allow it to be used as a creche.
The fate of Auchinraith School had been sealed by December 1979 and was subsequently demolished in 1980.
Pictured, in my previously unseen photo and put up online for the first time today, is a photograph taken by a distant relative of mine, of Auchinraith School in the 1910s, clearly in its prime.
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