By Summer 1980, the ASDA store and the western side of the shopping centre had been almost built. With earlier acquisition of many houses on the lower part of Craig Street taken by compulsory purchase order then subsequently demolished, there was a huge expanse in the form of a open square carved into the landscape. What had previously been nice old stone houses and gardens were completely ripped up and removed to form the 430 space ASDA Car park in the footprint we know today.
It meant the realignment of power cables, the removal of some old trees and the rebuilding of new walls to separate the Congregational Church and the back gardens of homes on Logan Street. These photos demonstrate the work very well.
Whilst this looks immense, the store was so popular when it opened in October 1980 that the car park was always full. People came from all over and there was even a worry that they had made the car park too small! In time though, as things settled, concerns about the size diminished.
Was an opportunity missed to build a town square? I dont think so. Asda always needed a sizeable carpark right next to it and of course this was private ground. The council however, owned land on the opposite side of Glasgow Road and I’ve always believed the sports centre should have been built where David Dale House is, with a new “Town Square” operated by the council could have been accommodated where the sports centre is now. That was the missed opportunity. As plans for the future include the possible demolition and rebuilding of the sports centre, we hope the council take the opportunity to consider building a focal point or town square for Blantyre, rather than our focus being on a supermarket!
With thanks to G Hay for these photos.
Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:
Davy Thomson Used to climb that wall every day to get to springwells, that was the shortcut at home time when auchinraith primarys Bell was rung lol
Deesha Shaw Don’t forget that that parkland was much bigger then. As well asthe sports centre being built, land was taken for houses again, and again.
Laurie Allan Crothers I was born in the tenament building which used to stand there before it was demolished to make way for progress. Not sure about that though.
John Foley Was only 5 when was getting built well informed now I’m older asda has ruined lower end of Blantyre
Tich Mcneill The tree in 1st pic was a crab apple tree just saying