Back in Time

Need your help – Quick Question

OK, so I need your help with a “Banter” section which will be inserted at the back of the next book. Hoping for some answers to this question:

“If you could timetravel back to Blantyre’s past (either in living memory or further back), WHEN would you go back to… and WHY? 

And if you could bring just 1 thing back, WHAT would it be?”

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

Fran Mcdermott Walters The 80s up the cauther! Cargo and tape recorder ! With the bits where you try and cut the DJ out ! Kids today don’t know the struggles lol
Maria Pedersen Personally I would go back to the 1880s/90s as that’s when my family arrived from Ireland. Would love to find out more about them.
Stewart Willis Back to the when there was an actual main street. Full of shops and charachter. Everyone going about their daily business and the charachters that you met. The public park was well kept and maintained and although most people still didnt have much there was greater feeling of civic pride. I am a 70s child and my gran had Hamiltons Greengrocers so i have a preference for that time period but having studied and traced my family tree it would probablely have to be the 1880s and 1890s when as with Maria the familys came over from ireland and up from New Luce following the Coal and the railway.
Fiona Allen 86. Great memories of that time and so many special friends Paul Veverka.. and id bring back our Sandra x
Davy Thomson On a serious note, it would be the 90,s,id bring back Robertsons five star ginger beer
Elaine Speirs I would go back to 1971 when my Papa still lived in Springwells. I remember the lovley neighbours and well kept gardens. I would play in that garden and bring back sone if my Papas peonies.
William Mullen 1970s glam rock 
Helen Grieve 50s when life was simple very little keeping up with Jones’ folk were content with what they had. Blantyre was a great place to grow up. Stonefield park was my playground and had every shop that you needed.
Sandra Murphy I would go back to 1972 when I still lived in Blantyre…it will always be home to me
Jean Richardson With all the luxury of hind sight back to the 60’s & 70’’s, to try and prevent the dereliction of the Main Street, & keep going into the 80’s to try to prevent the arrival of Asda.
Barbara Morrison After finding out recently that Andra McAnulty was my great great grandfather Agnes Morrison was my Granny i would love to go back to see if any more relatives about
Jean McIntosh Bring back the parks to what they were. Swings etc for the children. Putting greens. Pitch and put at Greenhall and swings. All disposed of.
Pat-sheila Dempsey The old burnside crescent everybody was safe unless you were a stranger and you could leave your doors open.
Davy Thomson Anne Bell, I’ll always mind the bonfire they had in the park, they used to use a telegraph pole for the Centre of it,, the whole of Springwells used to gather to watch it burn,, we used to terrify oor Ann, telling her she was getting tossed onto it, cause her birthday was November the 5th lol
Anne Bell Davy Thomson aye that’s right David lol nobody had 2 bob but you know what they were the best loved croftpark your mum and dad were good to me I will never forget them x
Rosie Law My wee granny and her immaculate house and Garden and her wonderful words of wisdom . Adventures in the woods and over the railway xx The 70 s were one big adventure
Mary-Jane Greenhorn Bring back the respect. A day where u could leave ur door unlocked. Closely followed by Micky’s cafe
Mary McGaulley I would bring back the time when we lived in 4 Rosendale Place with all the lovely neighbours the Broadledays, Darcy’s, Ellis’s, Murray’s, the shows up the Park behind the building. The Coronation 1953 when all the neighbors arranged the Celebrations, watching the ‘dugs’ racing from my Granny’s bedroom window and my ‘granny’ and all my family. The best days.
William Mullen 70s in tyre wit a great grounding for future years lol
Duncan Peat I would go back to Station Road and my Grandad and Aunt Helen being alive. Never been kinder or beautiful people than them. To me as a Grandson they were Gods.
Marion Connor The 70s when we had the boating pond, paddling pool and pitch and putt in the public park and the big frying pan thing at David Livingston park
Janette Innes McElwee I loved the parks but a Sunday at my great grannies with all my cousins and family nothing to beat it and I would love my gran back to hear her sing.
Stephen Allan 1975 ans stay till 1980 to see the transformation of Glasgow Road happen.
Anne Bell The 70s were the best auld joe,s youth club everybody met there from either Calder st or the joe,s life seemed better then people just seemed to get on with one another
Christine Bradley I would go back to the sixties in heath Cliffe Ave number 15 loved it
Jim McDougall I would go back to the early 1950s growing up in the prefabs on main st , What brilliant neighbours we had looking out for each other , those were the best days great memories
Robert McLeod-Wolohan aye good old burnside crescent, as u said u could leave ur door open in safety. i lived in number 58 for a number of years. i would also love to go back to low blantyre main street, where u had every shop u wanted there. there was batters, the ham and egg shop i think it was called, then u had the dookit picture house, the priory bar, templetons, the watch repairers shop. to name just a few.
Robert McLeod-Wolohan oh and the white elephant shop lol
Lynne Conner The Gymkhana at Wilkies farm! Loved it xx
Ann Hartman I would go back to 60s/70s when Blantyre was smaller safer and friendlier and if I could bring back anything it would be ma wee granny Mary Wildman from Springwells she was one in a million still miss her.
Sheila Kerr I would go back to the early 80s when I used to spend the summer holidays at my grans in Northway nothing to beat it
Elaine Hutcheson Station road in 70/80s with all the great friends.and an amazing public park.
Anne Grogan I would go back to the sixties, all the wee shops, small community, friendly people and where kids were kids, playing outside till the lights went on, building jigsaws on a cold winters night.
Peter Kelly Back to the 70s for me also. Living in Park Lane, St Joseph’s primary just across the road, the park at the bottom, across Station Road, full of flowers and rose beds. The day the schools broke up in June 1975. I had been presented with a book for ‘General Merit’ that school year, in the last school assembly that morning, which I still have, and the playing in the park that afternoon among the rose beds with flowers all around the park.
Carmen Moran I’d go back to 1993 up the industrial estate wids with a bottle must have been about 20 of us.. Good pals, Good music, Good Times
Isabel Mcneily Fifties or sixties for me. Living at 35 Coatshill Ave, buddies, St. Jodephs. Great memories
Andy Lynch I would travel back to 1969 when I started at Calder St. Loved the school and teachers were brilliant. I have forgiven them them for belting me as more often than not they were knocking sense into me
Lori McCulloch 1940’s Blantyre 71 Merry’s Row to learn more about my great grandparents Thomas Stewart Brown and Eliza Aitchison and their families
Anne Gilmour Callaghan Early sixties, when the Public Park was buzzing, Boating / paddling pond, putting and the Punch n Judy show. The Broadway was brilliant , miss all that.
Jim Frame Go back to the 60s when we stayed in the prefabs then moved to a brand new house in Winton crescent and had no problems leaving your doors unlocked with neighbours just walking into your homes
Archie Peat I would go back to May 1950/51 ? and see the Vic,s bus come along Glasgow Rd with the Scottish Junior Cup after beating Cumnock at Hampden
Margaret Elma Griffin I would go back to the 50s when we live on Cemetery Road in the old buildings my uncle and cousins next door all my family nearby none of us had anything in those days but we were happy High Blantyre Park was beautifully kept with lovely Flowerbeds and Mrs Sweenys wee shop on the corner of Broompark Road and Main Street and My Granny and Papa Miller who lived in the old buildings in Broompark
Robert Stewart I’d love to go back to a time when people respected churchyards and cemeteries. I often wonder about the people who vandalised and deliberately smashed family memorials in the cemetery all in the name of fun and entertainment feel about themselves today.
Karen Morton 1970s/80s David Livingstone park with frying pan, horse and huge chute plus Micky’s Cafe and the smell of the cobblers on Stonefield Road
Mary Cushley I’d like to see the Auchentibber Gardens and area as it was back then..
Elizabeth Grieve Loved staying down the orlits and going into Mickys cafe for an ice cream milkshake. Couldn’t get anything better.
Jiae Jiae 1950s at my Grannie and Grampa ‘s house 125 Auchinraith Road, a wee timber hoose, sundays with all the family round🙂 great times.
Joe Sneddon Born in the fifties; the sixties was such a huge play area ;
two old collieries ;the Clyde and Cather ; the old army camp ; 
the public park ; the Main Street had so much to shop for and local ownership;  Good times are not forgotten.
Jiae Jiae 1950s at my Grannie and Grampa ‘s house 125 Auchinraith Road, a wee timber hoose, sundays with all the family round🙂 great times.
Jane Maxwell The sixties, we had a Main Street that just went on and on. Three lovely parks Stonefield, High Blantyre and David Livingstone each one well looked after with boating ponds , putting green, paddling pool. Beautiful flower beds in all three. Youth clubs and a great feeling of community. Like others we were in the prefabs and moved to Boswell Drive.
Andy Callaghan I would go back to a very hot summer’s day in 1963, to a clearing in the woods between the Priory bing and the Clyde and i wouldn’t take that first cigarette that Joe O’Donnell gave me. I’d bring back with me a much healthier pair of lungs. 
I loved those woods running from the Livingstone bridge to Boat Jokes. Knew them like i knew the back of my hand and spent some of the happiest days of my life wandering through them and the woods on the opposite Bothwell bank.
Ian Mcgowan I would go back to 69/70 when I started at Calder street and this time attend every day instead of staying away, getting the belt was not a fav pastime. Delivering milk with friends like Jim Donnelly and others. Going to the cafe in Stonefield road for ice cream.
Sadie Dolan I would go bk to the late 60s loved my childhood and the public park and all the shops up glasgow rd then down other side full of great shops!!!!


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  1. Back to late 1910s/early 1920s when my husband’s grandparents – The Browns – had a shop in Blantyre … I would ask them why Blantyre? (they lived in Glasgow) Which other relatives are around the area (Blantyre or Glasgow) that I could speak to? Why did one of the family move from Ireland to be followed by others?

  2. I would love to go back to the years between 1790 and 1830 to find out more about Robert Jackson, his daughter Agnes Jackson and also find out about how Agnes met her husband, Thomas Gemmell. Was Robert one of the Jackson tea-men and what was in his Will?
    As an aside, I wondered if Thomas thought he was marrying into money but left for Cheshire in the
    1840s I believe.

  3. For me, it would have to be sitting on the banks of the Cadder looking over to the priory and watching the comings and goings of people watching their day to day life.

  4. Mike McGovern (New York).

    I would go back to the last few month of 1927 to see how my then 13 year old mother Helen Dolan lived before their Waterloo Row house fire and how my miner grandfather Tom Dolan worked, and the first few months of 1928 after the fire – to see where they lived and how Tom decided to emigrate to New York.

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