1978 Elm Street

This is the first time this photo of Elm Street, Blantyre has been seen in colour online. Thanks to Rob Gordon for sharing. This is an original colour photo which appeared in black and white in Neil Gordon’s book. Adding some narrative to this. In September 1979, three streets in the centre of Blantyre were blocked off (for their own good, it was said!)

Hamilton District Council had decided in August that year they would block off the end of Elm Street, Logan Street and Greenside Street because of redevelopment in the area.

The plan was to prevent traffic coming to and from the proposed ASDA store going up and down residential streets. Within a week of the decision in August 1979, Elm Street (pictured) was blocked off first, with the other 2 streets following a month later. Councillor George McInally said the action was imperative if it was going to prevent complaints of busy streets at a later date. However, residents felt it was an inconvenience and the blocking of the streets was initially unpopular. It took the building of the store and the arrival of commercial traffic to show residents that the move HAD been necessary and the separation of commercial and residential traffic had been required.

Elm Street previously had a row of terraced Miners homes called Merry’s Rows at either side running its full length. Within a couple of years of this photo being taken, not one of the buildings pictured remained.

Narrative from the book, “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c)

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