Let’s go the 1930’s next…a photo showing Victoria Street in Blantyre.
Looking South, the photo is taken from outside the former Health Institute. The homes in the Crescents were fairly new, no more than a decade old and the county council established a popular playpark pictured here on the left. Children and prams play on the wide road, which looks like it had just been extensively upgraded. A traffic free scene, it looks eerily quiet by today’s standards. The monkey puzzle tree we’ve all become accustomed to seeing, not even there.
The site of the old playpark are now modern, attractive homes on Victoria Street and Handibode Gardens, built in 2018. Who remembers playing in this park?
Victoria Street was named around 1901 following the death of Queen Victoria. In a decade of huge expansion in Blantyre, old roads were upgraded to create better and cleaner infrastructure. Formerly called the Clay Road, Victoria Street became a vital link between High and Low Blantyre and accommodated many of Blantyre’s public buildings, ranging from the Police Station, a School, a medical centre and children’s welfare institute and even an infectious diseases hospital!