During 1931 and 1932, contractors removed the old rusty iron bridges (erected in 1878) and replaced them with modern trusses. Starting at Low Blantyre, the contractor’s worked their way up the Auchenraith line towards High Blantyre.
The first bridge to be renovated was known as “Bridge 1”, a railway bridge crossing over Glasgow Road at the Whistelberry Road junction. Pictured here in 1931, contractors are building new stone abutments with the original older bridge about to be lifted out. The vantage point is from Gardens in front of homes at Springwells. To put this in context, you would nowadays be looking at a roundabout at Lidl, B&M and Farmfoods. I’ve also attached the modern photo to show the exact location and just how much its changed!
The railway bridge is no longer there having been fully removed in the late 1970s. The picture has such clarity and offers a taste of what contracting was like at the time. If you look closely at the carriageway on the road itself, the tram lanes are still there, although were at the end of their use. Children walk alongside the road edge, with some safety in place where contractors have placed hoarding to barricade off the road from the construction work. Admittedly, the pavements have been raised in more modern years as pavements and carriageway levelling improvements have taken place and this has made the wall look lower.
The stone wall these children were walking past IS still there today.
There is one other little thing I lOVE about the 1931 photo. On the bridge itself is a sign on the upper left. It is known to have read “Tram passengers are reminded to stay in their seats when passing under the bridge”. Sit down or lose your head?! How far our Health and Safety has come!
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I had to laugh about the “losing of the heid” if you didn’t sit down on the upstairs going under the bridge … what if you couldn’t read and were a first time visitor…I wonder if anyone ever did “Lose the heid”?? Oh how I miss these beautiful walls on my walks around my home town Blantyre….