High Blantyre Police Station, 1950

High Blantyre Police Station opened on the afternoon of Wednesday 10th May 1950 at Main Street, High Blantyre.

However, it had been planned for some time, for according to the 1930 valuation roll, the County Council had already at that time secured the land from nearby Croftfoot.  The station sat on the north side of Main Street, between the entrance to Croftfoot Farm and the Baptist Church. Members of the Committee made an inspection of the premises after the formal opening.

The new Police Station with 4 houses attached was built on a Greenfield site, previously unbuilt upon. Mr D. Pollock Smith, Stepps, the Vice Convenor and Chairman of the Police Committee, formally opened the station on High Blantyre’s Main Street as pictured. In declaring the station open, Mr Smith confirmed it was the first to be completed in post war years as part of the Police Force’s intention to improve all police buildings in the County. Their aim was to house all the officers in the houses adjacent and this had been a good start to that goal. Schemes for police houses were at the time also being constructed in Westburn, (Cambuslang), Garrowhill, Viewpark, Newarthill and Larkhall.

He congratulated the contractors on the excellent job they had made of the new station, which was to be an asset to the Force. Those present at the ceremony included members of the Police Committee and local councillors and Chief Constable Thomas Renfrew, Depute Chief Constable John Wilson, Superintendent GH Docherty (from HQ), Superintendent Alex Murray of Hamilton and Inspector Peter MacDonald of Blantyre.

A tea then followed the opening and Mr Robert Aitkenhead on behalf of his company, which built the station, presented Mr Smith with a gift as a memento of the occasion. An air raid siren used to be positioned on the roof of this building, even well into the 1970s. 

Even in 1968 there were no personal radios. There was a red light outside Blantyre Police Office and one outside at High Blantyre Police Office. Should the Office man require a Constable he would switch on the appropriate red light to alert the Beat man. The Beat Officer would then call at the station to obtain the message. Or if he was lucky and was on Glasgow Road near the telephone Exchange, he would call up to the telephonist to give the Office a phone and get the message. If as an officer, you came across an incident, you would handcuff the accused person to a nearby lamppost and continue on your beat and call into the office as you passed for a vehicle to pick up the prisoner. It was around 1970 before personal radios came on the scene. 

The buildings still exist today but now as lovely, large homes.

Extract from “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka

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