James (Hamish) Sneddon Dow recently shared these wonderful snippets. A few comments of social history, that sites like ours love to capture! He commented,
“My father, Malcolm Dow, used to take me as a treat to the Priory Baths which were looked after by my great uncle, George Dow of Springwells. At that time we were housed in the tenement on Main Street, (No 222) sharing an outside toilet with our neighbours the MacMillans. On Fridays, we would go for a bath at the house of my grandparents, Jimmy and Jessie Sneddon, at 1 Small Crescent. But the Priory Baths had something special – showers. Ye coodnae whack them!
Out of interest My grandfather Jimmy Sneddon (Snibs) finished his 60yr service in the mines at the Priory. He got a certificate from the NCB that was framed and hung on the living room wall. Dr Adam Stewart whose father had worked in the Priory with my grandfather noticed the newly hung certificate when he visited. “Is that all you got for 60yrs, Jimmy?” he asked. “Aye” replied my grandfather “That and two ton of free coal a year.” Whit a pension!
Another wee note: Dr Adam Stewart had his surgery on the east corner of the junction of Craig Street with Glasgow road. I might be wrong but I understand his father was killed in the Priory. Of course, the greatest achievement of Dr Adam was bringing me into the world at 222 Main Street, High Blantyre. A task he performed for many a Blantyre worthy. Now there’s a man worth a statue. Dr Adam, I mean, no me!”
The Priory Pit Baths building is still there alongside the Railway, behind Coatshill, though of course is no longer baths. The building is now a shadow of its former self, and heavily covered in graffiti.