Annual Co-Operative Gala Days started in Blantyre in 1900. It’s worth a quick description of a special one held, 10 years later in 1910, if only because how exceptionally well it was attended and families of course had no idea of the horrors of war that would in a few short years after, descend in a cloud over the town’s spirit and freedoms.
The 10th annual children’s gala day, given by the Blantyre Co-Operative Society, took place on Saturday 18th July in a field adjoining Logan Street, kindly granted Mr Roberts. (The field beside the Drill Hall. Mr Robert’s owned the land and the adjacent Priory Bar)
The procession, headed by Auchinraith Brass Band, and accompanied also by the following other bands in rotation : Blantyre Salvation Army, Blantyre Parish and Blantyre St. Joseph’s, left the society’s premises at 12:45 and marched via Auchinraith Road to High Blantyre. They were then joined the High Blantyre contingent, and all proceeded by way of Larkfield and Stonefield Road to the field.
On entering the field each child received a bag containing cakes and sweets, and milk was afterwards served out. Over 4000 children entered the field! After all had been supplied, sports were commenced, the races being for boys and girls from 5 to 14 years of age. A 5 a side football competition also took place and the following teams secured the prizes:- 12 to 14 years of age – 1, Low Blantyre School 2, Auchinraith School. 9 to 11 years- 1, Auchinraith School; 2, Stonefield Five. Dance music was provided in the afternoon by the various bands. Refreshments were also had in a marquee specially erected on the field. The weather although dull in the morning cleared so beautifully in the afternoon, and all seemed to enjoy themselves. The committee deserved great praise for the manner in which everything was carried out.
In 1910, Logan Street was merely a hundred yards or so long, a small dead end street long before the council houses appeared. The field referenced was where the current petrol station and road is today, as pictured. A wee bit of Blantyre history looking back at this spot and all the fun which was had on it!