Abbott the Plumber

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Today, I have a previously unseen photo of a former business, Abbott the Plumbers on Main Street, High Blantyre. To put this in context, the tenement you see is now the Shanghai Wok. I think this is 1953, during the Queen’s Coronation. Union Jack flags are on the buildings and as you’ll see from more of this photo later in the week, similar flags were on almost all the buildings. A co-op van sits on the roadside to the left.

Here are my notes from “Blantyre Explained”:

Abbott the Plumber – was a successful plumbing business in High Blantyre’s Main Street from the late 1920’s until the 1960’s. Located near Causeystanes on the north side of the street in a small single storey building with a pitched roof. The little garage type building was a workshop and was owned by 2 generations of plumbers the first being Mr. Matthew Abbott who started the business in the late 1920’s. His wife, Margaret (nee Lindsay) worked in the front office, which was heated by small paraffin stoves. The workshop was at the back. The Abbott’s initially lived at 371 Main Street near High Blantyre Cross, but following the demolition of those homes, would later move to the small traditional cottages further down Main Street across from Cemetery Road, next to the Patersons Chemist.

According to the 1930 Valuation roll, their workshop had address 260 Main Street with ground for the workshop at number 262 owned by Matthew Abbott. In 1950, the phone number was Blantyre 21. Matthew Abbott was not only a plumber, but also an electrician and domestic engineer. After the death of Matthew Abbott in 1953, his son took over the business and it eventually relocated to Hamilton. His son during the mid 20th Century also at one time owned an electrical store in the village in East Kilbride.

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

George Crossan I stayed in the tenement building 268 Main Street next to the plumber remember it being there .
Jim Donnelly George Crossan George whatever happened to Carol Sloan We went to school with that stayed next to you on Main Street..!!
George Crossan Jim Donnelly sorry Jim don’t know what happened to carol we used to go to school together
George Crossan I remember going across the road to the farm to get eggs.
James Tonner I could be wrong but was that not still there in the early 80s? , and was used as the hall for the orange flute band for band practice ,,,,I remember that when I was young and i’m sure it was in there ?
Margaret Elma Griffin I remember it being there always past on the way to School
Jim McSorley Great story. Nice to see the SCWS van in the photo. A story of the CO- OP yard in Auchinraith road would be interesting along with some old photos
James Tonner some pics of the main st ,late70s early 80s would be nice to see ,bring back memories
Moira Mulvaney Pacheco It was a hut and I remember them well as I am High Blantyre born and bred. High Blantyre was all Tenemants and there was 4 farms the top was Irish Willie’s family. Then the one where the June Stewart hall is and at the bottom of High Blantyre was another one . Then broom park rd was big Alan Ruckheads. High Blantyre stopped at Larkfield also in Hunthill Rd after the railway bridge . I used to do the woman’s collection in High Blantyre for St Joseph’s Parish . 6 pence every fortnight .i can’t remember all the Amex but I remember doing the main st. Broom park Rd cemetery walk then down to the last tenement after Boyles Pub. I also did Mrs Boyle. Her daughter went to Elmwood with me . Moira Stewart done Kirkton . St. Joseph’s gad a dance every year for us who volunteered and it was a great night . I remember my Father coming down to pick me up as it was in the Welfare where the dancing used to be held and I danced with my father. He was a lovely dancer. Oh the memories I have of the old High Blantyre. We would be waiting on the bus at the top of Park Cres. Where we lived and the other people who were going to the Parish church always past us and said good morning. I always remember Paul the chap who writes the book on Blantyre his Mum and her mum etc always passed at the same time . Oh what lovely memories I have of days gone by . We were no different from anyone else we were all the same . In High Blantyre Primary School we used to go to country dancing one night a week then on another night there was sewing classes. Mr Baird was the janitor and he stayed upstairs in the first house . We used to go up the disused by then the railway line to collect raspberries and Blackberries also on the spare grass after the railway bridge we would gather mushrooms . Oh they were the days you were never bored . There was always something to pass the time. Fond fond memories.
Margaret Elma Griffin My Auntie Jean Rodgers lived at 18 Park Crescent
Moira Mulvaney Pacheco I remember Mr and Mrs Rodgers they lived through the wall from us . We lived in 24 . They had only 1 son Sam I think his name was. Lovely people. She grew pee pods and we used to get some of her
Margaret Elma Griffin Moira Mulvaney Pacheco Sam was the youngest son but there was David the oldest and then Jim sadly all passed away now maybe you remember my Granny and Papa Miller Auntie Jeans parents they lived in the old buildings on Broompark Road we used to live in Cemetery Road I live in England now
Moira Mulvaney Pacheco Margaret Elma Griffin yes I do remember them . If they are originally High Blantyre people I know them all . What a small world Margaret
Margaret Elma Griffin You’ll probably know my dad Jimmy Miller jeans brother
Maggie Anderson Moira Mulvaney Pacheco My Aunt Josie Wilson lived at 24 Park Cres too must have been after your family left….also my friend Jean Wilson ‘s Granny McCudden lived in #20 below Mrs Rodgers….Laterly my friend Jean and her husband Jim Ramage bought #20 …Sadly Jim died a few years ago
Bill Graham Was there another plumber further up the hill on the same side just before the entrance to the park? That would have been in the 60’s, or was that a roofer and slater
Blantyre Project You’re right Bill. That was Mr Seton. During the 1960’s Mr Seton also owned a plumbing business located on the upper floor of Todd’s Building (also known as Nelson Place) on High Blantyre Main Street, where now the entrance to the park is. He lived in the upper floor of the building in the rooms nearest the current McLeans Newsagents. Todd’s Building is no longer there today. Allegedly, Mr Seton painted over the old sign on the gable wall half way up the front edge of the building, which originally said ‘Nelson Plac’e and turned it into an advert for his plumbing business. Mr Seton, certainly a couple of years ago was still living at Broompark Road.
BillandLexy Dorricott As I remember it I learned how to box in there as a young boy I was born across the street 303 main street

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