Finding a Site, 1907

For quite some time prior to 1907, the Blantyre population had heard of a rumour that a new police station was to be built. Finally in October 1907, the news appeared in papers confirming that the rumour was true and that week officials had gone to Blantyre to discuss finding a site.

A meeting took place with the trustees of the late John Clark Forrest and a site was carefully chosen on Victoria Street. However, it wasn’t the site we all know the police station is at today.

No, this site was at the side of a field, just off Victoria Street, but away UP the street beside the railway, at approximately where the junction of Burnbrae Road is today. The street had previously been known as the Clay Road and the population were worried about an increase in rates to fund this public building. However, their more immediate concern soon came to the forefront when a query about this quiet location, soon spread into an outcry.

Victoria Street, as pictured a little later in 1910 was then only a modest track with farm fields at either side. A quiet, rural location, a long time before the Crescent housing. It was considered bizarre that such a site had been chosen away from the busy central location of a bustling and expanding Glasgow Road at Stonefield.

In the subsequent weeks to October 1907, authorities were forced to renegotiate a new site, the familiar one at the corner of Calder Street. Tenders went out to price the new building in November 1907, with Kerr & Sons, the successful builder. The new station was erected in 1908, marking a closure of the old one on Glasgow Road in Springtime of that year.

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