I’ve not forgotten about our weekly Blantyre history video….a little later than usual due to my recent holiday. This week we’re exploring the first decade of the 20th Century, from 1900 – 1910. From 110 – 120 years ago, you may think I’d be struggling for good quality Blantyre photos, but you would be wrong! In fact, I have many hundreds of excellent quality photos of that decade, some seen here online for the first time and in amazing clarity. (some as sharp as if they’d been taken by modern cameras!)
That was certainly a decade of change.
The beginnng of the Edwardian era, following the death of Queen Victoria also brought change in fashions and style. For Blantyre, the mills which had given Blantyre the prospect of prosperity a Century before, were suddenly redundant and demolished. The arrival of trams connected Blantyre to nearby towns in ways that made it affordable for almost all to travel, opening up the prospect of commuting. New buildings went up, including an impressive church. Despite some progress, society was not without its problems. Health and Education were still lacking investment and housing shortages and strikes were common. The shocking statistics of infant mortality and early death were still all too real.
By contrast to the main population struggling to make ends meet, grand estates around Blantyre were still impressively maintained in this decade of hope for the future, offering employment to many people. Common to all our townsfolk though, going about their business, was the lack of any inclination of a coming, terrible war.
I have some wonderful “people” photos for this decade, so that’s what I’ve focused on. I hope you enjoy this. Plenty more of these to come.