Pate’s Ladysmith Bus, 1920’s

84244458_2636122629957286_7881340841577414656_nRob Pate shared this cracking photo. He told me, “This is my two uncles, Wullie Pate on the left and Robert Pate (who I was named after) on the right.”

“The bus was named for the house they lived in I believe, possibly in Auchinraith Rd. I think the bus route they had was to Cambuslang. I don’t know the year, late 1920’s perhaps? Robert lived at 38 Bruce Terrace, not sure about Wullie. Someone may recognise the location from the sign behind the bus.”

I’m unsure of the location and don’t recognise the buildings, but the road is cobbled , indicating its likely a main thoroughfare, a tramway and could very well be the 1920’s. I do know a little bit about the Ladysmith bus and cottage though.

This was a Blantyre bus. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, the Blantyre based Ladysmith Bus service operated on a route between Low Blantyre, High Blantyre and Burnbank. The proprietor was indeed Mr. Pate, who operated the business from his home at Ladysmith Cottage on Auchinraith Road.

Ladysmith (the house) was built by Duncan Smith just after 1906 and originally occupied by him. James Pate had moved in between 1921 and 1924, renting the property from Mr. Smith. During the late 1920’s, postal addresses changed and the house became 145 Auchinraith Road. The Pate family were only at the address a short time, as few as 5 years, or at the very most 9 years. It is thought competition from a growing number of bus services including Baxters, did not help their business. Nor did regular bus services being introduced on the same route in 1930 when trams ceased.

At Ladysmith Cottage, tenants changed often after 1929, but the house remained the property of Mr Smith even beyond WW2.

Ladysmith Cottage is still named so today and sits near the top of the road.

Screenshot 2020-02-13 at 22.40.31

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

Drew Fisher Wonderful picture Rob. We’ll have a look at Ladysmith when you are over.
Mary Sitters I was always taught that my Dad William Scott lived in Ladysmith. Will have to look up his birth certificate.
Jane Paterson My friend stays in the detatched cottage and has done for a long time. The road has been “A no through road x
Senga Steven Arbuckle That’s answered a question for me. My great grandparents lived in this house and their name was Smith. I wondered if they owned it and named it but they must have rented and name a coincidence . As well at least I know now
Elizabeth Weaver From what the article says, it looks as though your gt-grandparents were indeed the owners. The Pate family owned the bus company. This section: “Ladysmith (the house) was built by Duncan Smith just after 1906 and originally occupied by him. James Pate had moved in between 1921 and 1924, renting the property from Mr. Smith”.
Blantyre Project Smith family were definitely the owners and I would strongly suggest Duncan’s good lady wife was the inspiration for the name!
Moyra Lindsay The Pates were my Dads cousins. Their mums were sisters. I am in touch with another cousin in Cape Breton
Moyra Lindsay I think Robert was a bit older than my dad..Also Willie .
so this was maybe 30s ? My dad did tell me that Pates lived there.
Andrea Olsen My parents and brother lived in Ladysmith Cottage, 145 Auchinraith Road during and after WW2.  Ted Olsen, Jessie Scott Olsen and their son Olaf.
June Gorrance Robert or Bobby as he was known was my ” adopted” granddad & I shared many many happy times with him & his wife Janet or Ma Pate as I called her,they were wonderful people.My own granny & grandad lived a cross the road from them in Bruce Terrace & by the time I was born,both were in poor health so Ma Pate would look after me as my mum attended to her parents,they were a big part of my life thereafter.Bobby was born in 1906 & died in 1976 ( if my memory serves me right) I recognised the picture immediately. Bobby’s childhood family home was Oakbank in Glasgow Road
Rob Pate Thanks June for sharing that nice story. Uncle Robert died in 1979. I turned up on his doorstep in 1976 during my wandering days. That was the last I saw them. Their daughter Barbara moved to Australia, but have never heard more, other than she may have returned to Blantyre.
Neill Reid Rob Pate we visited uncle Robert a few times on our trips back “home”. He was a lovely old gent and made us feel very welcome.
June Gorrance Hi Rob,Ma Pate died just before the millennium & she was survived by her son Jim,who looked
after her so well in her later years,sadly Jim died just a few years later,he was a lovely person.Barbara never returned from Australia,she has 2 grown up children,a son Craig & a daughter Shanni.
Maureen Friery Moran I practically lived at Wullie Pate’s house growing up. He and his wife, Jean, had four daughters who ‘adopted’ me as a wee sister. They first lived in Elm Street then moved to the timber houses (I believe it was Birdsfield Drive). Wullie drove one of the Chieftain buses that drove from Motherwell to High Blantyre. He was a great guy
James Richardson Bobby Pate’s son also Bobby boxed out of the Hoover club in Cambuslang,his sister Barbra was at school with me.
Iain Mcalpine The house is definitely 145 Auchinraith road and is still occupied by a Smith family. 149 two houses up the road was also owned into the 60s and possibly later by Andrew Smith who had the garage and funeral services at corner of Broompark raid and main street.
Iain Mcalpine I remember these houses well as I lived at 142 across the road and later at 190 at the top of Auchinraith Road looking into the residential home
Iain Mcalpine trying to remember the family names of the people on Auchinraith road in the50s and early 60s from two timber houses in the small culdesac to top of the road. I can’t remember them all on the odd side. please correct or fill in missing from 135 was Agnew,137 Williams, 139 King, 141 Allen, 143 Lavell, 145 Smith, 147 Calder, 149 Smith, 151 Black?

1 Comment

Add a Comment
  1. Hello Rob Pate,
    Wow, fancy finding you here!! Linda Mackie-Marieskind here, I am so happy to see a photo of your family and history Rob and sorry we didn’t get to see you and pour over these before you left town. I hope you and your family are doing well Rob with warm Blantyre regards, Linda

Leave a Reply