1890’s Dereliction at Blantyre Mills

1895 Blantyre Works 3 wm

In 1889, the Blantyre Works Village, and especially the mills suffered a serious crisis.

Except for the weaving factory which was still continued on vigorously by Messrs R. Kerr & Co, the famous Blantyre mills stopped working, with the turkey red dyeing mill exposed to the auction hammer. The mills stopped to a standstill, by May no longer being profitable and many workers lost their jobs. There had been a lingering hope that somebody, somewhere would have taken up the mills again and tried to restore them to their old glory days, but it was not to be the case.

The works had been started by the celebrated David Dale in 1785 and seven years later bought by James Monteith of Anderston. With him was his still better known brother Henry. The mills had been a great blessing to the Parish, bringing employment to many hundreds of people for over a whole Century. As it turns out though by the 1880’s and the decline of the mills, job opportunities lay everywhere at this time for men who were prepared to turn to the new emerging business of coal in Blantyre. For woman though, not so much.

Interest in the 1889 sale was almost non existent. The majority of the mill buildings continued to remain derelict after this time and as our picture shows in the 1890’s, were little used. They were eventually declared condemned in 1903, around the same time as the closure of the final weaving factory. Some though like the wages building and the old Mill House were thankfully saved.

Pictured is the full photo by David Ritchie, High Blantyre photographer taken in the 1890’s all those years ago.

1895 Blantyre Works 4 wm

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

Joe Sneddon No shortage of child labour in the good old days ..
Gord Fotheringham The pay brig in the photo….but it does not go anywhere…dead end….and yes i remember the pey brig..
Blantyre Project through a gap in the buildings right into the works!

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