Open Air Concert, 1901

This idyllic scene is the Blantyre Braes at Craighead, once a popular destination for recreation and events. To the left is the River Clyde and in the background the former Craighead railway viaduct. This photo from around 1904 was well before the creation of Bings made this area a bit of a wasteland.

In the 1900s and 1910’s, open air concerts were common in this area, the banks of the river offering great vantage points for relaxing and taking in the surroundings.

On Tuesday 2nd July 1901, an open air concert took place on the braes, commonly referred to as Craighead Glen back then. The Blantyre Co-operative Society Harmonic Association and Blantyre Brass Band put on the entertainment. The night was very chilly for Summer and not altogether suited for being outside for so long, but still over 300 people turned up.

Mr. William Small introduced the entertainment after a few opening remarks. The band opened with numbers “King Carnival” and “Woodland Whispers”. The entertainment at the end of the night was brought to a close with “God Save the King”, a rather strange interlude when sung, as Queen Victoria had passed away some months earlier and for many people attending, changing God Save the Queen to God Save the King was the first time they had a chance to sing that version. (A bit like today now!)

A pleasant night was had by all with closing remarks by well known Blantyre man, John Gray.

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