Infant School Dry Rot, 1897

I hope you’re enjoying my stories of Blantyre in the 1890’s. Here’s another wee snippet.

No more than 5 years had passed since its construction, when in 1897 it was noticed that there was already dry rot appearing in the new Infant School in Low Blantyre.

At a monthly meeting of Blantyre School Board in September 1897, the subject arose about what to do. A special committee reported that dry rot had broken out in the ladies room, the cause being dampness and poor ventilation. Some “plain speaking” was heard on the matter considering the modern age of the school.

It was agreed that the floor of the ladies room would be ripped up and relaid using concrete instead of wood. In addition, further checks would be made around the building to install additional ventilation bricks improving airflow to voids below floors.

I have a great photo of the former Stonefield Infant School from the following decade and zooming in, I can see clearly the new ventilation blocks all around the base.

A bit of interesting Blantyre trivia, which is little known. The Infant School location was exactly where the Blantyre Asda Foyer is now. Indeed, the whole of the “wee school” being able to fit in that area within the store!

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