Queen Visits Blantyre, 1962

On this solemn, sad day Monday 19th September 2022, on the occasion of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, we think back over 60 years ago when 21,996 days earlier, the Queen was in Blantyre!

She was travelling with her husband, Prince Philip and the visit is fairly well documents as the opening of East Kilbride new town was the main focus of her visit.

1962 Queen visits Blantyre Project

So many new homes and businesses opened in the New Town , one of Scotland’s largest towns at the time. The Royal Visit was by car and after the opening ceremony and lunch at Torrance House, the Queen and the Prince left on 2nd July 1962 to head back to catch the train to Glasgow. This meant travelling by car through Blantyre, something which was published well in advance by the County Council and local press. The procession came down from East Kilbride, travelled down Hunthill Road and onwards to Station Road and Low Blantyre Train Station.

Moira Pachecho remembers the day well telling us “I saw them going past me in Hunthill Rd. At the top of Park Crescent. I remember seeing them so well. I always remember they were caked in makeup. It’s so funny you have brought this up in your page as I often think back on it“.

Susan Brownlie added , “I can remember the Queen going past my house at the corner of Station Road and Farm Road on the way. People sitting and standing on our wall waiting. I just can’t remember when. We lived in that house from 1953. Mum and Dad sold up during the 80s“

Mary Cushley said “My dad took us to a garage in Hamilton we saw a burgundy limo the queen was to use and there was a picture in the paper the day after. They were at Blantyre station. My cousin was clearly seen in the picture up a tree watching them go past“

The Royals then got on board a train at Blantyre Station to head back to Glasgow, as pictured in this three rare photos, shared here by Alex Rochead.

The Queen had a long, remarkable reign, here is no denying that or the outpouring of sadness and respect that the Scottish people have felt this last fortnight. Rest in Peace Ma’am.

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