I think I may have uncovered evidence of Blantyre’s first petrol station.
The Hamilton Advertiser commented on 30th May 1914 that a “Mr. Anderson, The Wheel, Blantyre had just erected a suitable place for the storing of petrol or shell spirit, the largest portion of which was placed below ground level.”
Owing to restrictions imposed by authorities, such spirits could not be kept or sold in any house or shop not set apart for that purpose. In Mr Anderson’s store, no woodwork was present, the sides and roof being entirely cement and brick, and it was well ventilated.
Mr Anderson’s store had been erected within the directions of the chief authorities of the county, and was considered then a model place for keeping and selling such spirts to the motor industry, then in its infancy.
Anderson was granted a license store and to sell such spirits for the use of motors, and he, even then had twenty years’ experience in storing petrol, suggesting it may have had other uses before vehicles. By 1914, he had plans to erect a shed for fixing up motors. By that era in America, Bowser had perfected a system where underground tanks could be linked to pumps, considered very much safer than storing petrol above ground. The system was copied throughout much of Europe.
I note, “the wheel”, is a particular reference to the term ‘mechanic’. I think i know where this was too. Mr Anderson according to the 1915 valuation register lived in Springwells at Burnside Cottage and owned a shed and byre by then. Today, this would be roughly where the Parkburn Industrial Estate is at Springwells.