Kirkton, Near High Blantyre Cross

How about this for an amazing photo! This is Main Street in High Blanyre, photographed from the middle of the road at High Blantyre Cross looking east down Main Street.

What’s remarkable about this 1890’s photo is everything you see in this picture is no longer here. The people. The fire hydrant, the old Kirk wall leaning so dangerously into the picture, the houses, shops, all the buildings, the pavement, kerbstones and unsurfaced road. All gone.

There is one very faint exception! Beyond the 2 storey tenements on the right, you’ll just be able to make out a single small one storey house (behind the children to the mid of the picture). That little cottage is now derelict and still sits on Main Street to this day!

The rest is unrecognisable and although the shape of the street still exists, it’s a scene thats difficult to reconcile unless you have the modern photo, which I’ve attached. The kirk wall you see in the right of the photo was removed, along with part of the cemetery and rebuilt further back in the position it is today.

This is home for me. The area and place I’m most strongly connected to and whilst that’s a nice thought, I still feel a twinge of sadness that all the shops and some of these buildings have gone. Although in 2021, there is a nice mixture of nature and modern buildings, I cannot imagine what all those barefoot kids would have made of the modern scene some 125 years later.

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