Say “hi!” and let us know what you think of the website! Visitors from all over the world, please feel free to scroll down to the bottom of this page and leave me a little message. I hope you’re enjoying the Blantyre Project website and the book and I’m only too happy to investigate something or ancestry in Blantyre for you. I’d also like to hear from people who have stories, memories, or photos of anything Blantyre related. Who knows, your comments may just end up in one of our many planned books over the next couple of decades.
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“one the ways we were kept entertained and out of mischief, was by a Council financed Punch and Judy show which would appear every July in the 60s. An old black Rover car would roll up onto parks and open spaces carrying all the equipment for the show roped on top and crammed inside. Out would spring 2 old (well they were to US) troopers, Uncle Alec and Auntie Lila, setting up the show in minutes and always with lots of magic tricks and basic props to keep the kiddies enthralled, including sticking their heads through a black curtain on the Punch and Judy stall with tiny arms and legs on the other side, quite bizarre at the time. They did lots of shows over a number of years.”
“Playing ‘pitch and put’ up in Greenhall. Walking all that way from Park Lane up to Greenhall with my pals in the summer holidays. Felt like we had walked miles and miles, as if it was all the way to East Kilbride.”
“I remember Jean’s hairdresser’s in Kirkton. The shop was in the tenement building just above the old church hall. I worked there as a Saturday girl from age 13 till I was 16 and left school. Most of the clients had a blue rinse; white haired ladies who ended up with lilac curls!! There was one older lady with very sparse hair and she always dyed it bright orange, I worried constantly that her hair would just break and fall out!! For some reason she managed every week to get the following phrase in conversation somehow!!! “It takes a green stem tae haud up an orange lily”, I thought she was talking about her hair; hadn’t a clue what she was actually talking about!!”
“The Blantyre and High Blantyre bingo buses in the mid 70s for a hurl around Blantyre. These were old London double decker buses painted in blue with the open back end with pole and handles to hang on to. These buses used to transport women to Burnbank bingo and all the kids at different stops used to jump on the back and get a ride around Blantyre and by the time it got to the West end there must have been about 20 kids hanging off the back of it . It used to pick up at 6 and come back at 9 every single night.”
“I remember auld Martha’s card schools in Hawthorn Place. They would play at the front of our close till the wee small hours. It was great for us weans. We would play ‘poley’ under the light till about 3am. Card game always ended up an argument wae all the auld yins over about 20p. I also remember the bingo bus. We would catch it after the plaza bingo came out at the stop in front of springwell. A wee hurl around Blantyre, last stop was in Coatshill, so the bus came up Station road. Last chance to get off at the corner of Station road and Glasgow road. Jump aff as going round corner (double decker, so slow). Or you could brave it and take the chance that the traffic lights at the bottom of the Whistleberry road (just where lidl is now) were at red, back home. But if they’re at green you’re up to the top of the Whistleberry road before you can jump off. Took the chance one night with my big mate, who will remain nameless but will recognise this if he reads this. Red light, daft arse jumps aff about 30 mph into a big bush. By the time I came back down running, thinking he’s deed, he’s sitting picking awe the jaggys oot his arms, p*ssing himself laughing, classic.”
“peeping through the letterbox at Charles Ireland’s scrapyard in Glasgow road, to see the time on the big clocking in machine.”
“I remember Sledging down the ‘bing’ off Stonefield road on trays and bin bags!”
“In the 60s , it’s got to be Broadway ‘go as I please’ on a Sunday night. I met my present husband there 1964. Saturday Matinee too at Broadway I used to take the Broons . I remember Penny Carmels & orange maids or a Tub. I worked as a waitress for a short period in Vics with Janice Fulston and Mary Watt. Robert Watt worked behind bar with Big Dy. Gibby was the best though , the real star of the Vics . Hilarious I could go on forever with funny things he said! The band, ‘Judas’ were the heart-throbs in their day . Auchinraith Club on a Sunday night, the Greenfield club was a bit up market. Woe betide any stranger that sat in the regulars seat!!! One woman practically sat on ma knee once glowering at me !
Knights of Colomba club in the 80s. It seemed we all had a wee Broon wallet filled with membership cards. The Dookit was popular too. Who remembers the Hislops whose mother ran a highland n tap dance class on a Saturday morning at the Masonic Hall and played the fiddle. The Dad Jimmy had a band. June and Jim were the kids. I still have my medals somewhere . Emma Holmes was the golden girl! Living in High Blantyre in the 1970’s we can’t forget (Fraggle Rock as I called it) the Apollo pub, Oh and The Stanley. Hoolit’s Nest was popular too. Ahhhhh happy days”. (Janice’s account made me want to go out this weekend!)
“the roller disco in the sports centre. It was great fun with friends.”
“We used to go to the Broadway on a Saturday morning Jubilees in hand. Some of us would pay in and someone would open the fire escape and let the rest in. By the time we left, we all had a red cola moustache after eating Jubilees!”
“Remember when chitty chitty bang bang was being showed in the Broadway.(cinema). Ma dad took me an oor bobby as a treat after he had a few in the Smiddy bar, we were mortified!!! There was everyone laughing as we thought at chitty chitty bang bang but what they really were laughing at was wee Hughie (my dad) who fell asleep an was snoring like a bull….lol”
“My Dad used to send us down the bing to steal coal. We had to take an empty pram with us, and cover the coal with a blanket on the way back. Dreaded someone asking to see the wean.” Mary went on to say:
“I remember the big old double decker buses with the high step to get up, I had on my mini skirt but it was that tight, I had to get two passengers to help me on the bus. The whole bus was in stitches!”
“Got to be the first time I was taken into McVeys pub (now The Priory) with my older brother William. Andy (the king) Kelly was singing we are having a heatwave, at which point he takes off his jacket and throws it to his ‘fans’, turns round and he has a huge iron burn on his shirt! Fantastic!
Another tale I remember. Andy Kelly was in the Commercial Pub (priory). I was barely 18, he was singing ‘let me be your teddy bear,’. There was a false pillar in the centre of the pub. Andy decided to do the showbiz swing around the pillar which was made from cardboard and to his shock and horror he pulled the full thing down along with the false roof and wee display. The place was in stiches, Class!”
“Summer time in the 70s, when the sun shone and you would make a picnic of jam sandwiches and head out for the entire day with your friends to the public parks, the smell of the Calder, the miner’s welfare gala day in the David Livingstone park. When you got a Tunnock’s snack box with a pound note in a brown envelope, a trip down the main street with my gran in the days before Asda, down to Gallachers, a wee look in the window of Mauchlines at the pocket money toys, across the road to the co – op, and a stop over at Mickey’s ice cream parlour on the way back., five centers or galaxy counters….and all the great pals and neighbours you grew up with.”
“Blantyre was a fantastic playground in the 60’s. There were great parks, Millheugh, and of course the bings. Everyone knew everyone else, so if you did anything naughty, your mother knew about it before you got home and she welcomed you with a skelp. The plus side of that was there was always somewhere you could get a piece and, if you hurt yourself, there was always someone close to help. Be it aunties, cousins, friends of the family or whatever. It was a bit if a midden, in hindsight, but it was a fantastic midden and, most importantly, it was our midden.”
“Heading to the swing, I borrowed my brother’s good cords, then ripped the erse out of them when I fell off! When I got home, I got an even sorer erse!”
“When I was younger and my grampa used to look after us while the parents were at work, he used to take us walks down through Greenhall along the Calder and up Pech Brae just to knacker us out for the rest of the day. Now I can’t look at the Pech Brae without feeling out of puff. And what about hanging upside down on the monkey puzzle and forgetting you’ve got a skirt on!! I also remember using the rope swing across the burn at High Blantyre. It used to drive my mum nuts!”
“Waking up on a Sunday morning quite regularly to find Peter Wilkie’s cows in our garden!”
“I remember living in the prefabs and I was going to a party with my brother and sister one day. We all had our new clothes on and were told not to get a mark in them. When I think about it now I still laugh. I was about four or five and a bit of a tomboy and on that day before we had to leave, my mum found me dangling upside down on a fence hanging on by my new dress.”
“I lived at 1 Rosendale Place and the thing I remember most is the derelict building in front. My brothers used to say it was haunted and the old woman would get you if you went in there!”
Hi, my dad was born at 1 Rosendale place in 1930, his name was Robert Sutherland and his parents were Rose and John, any information you have would be greatly appreciated.
“Living in the prefabs bottom of Station road, I loved the buses coming to Livingstone Memorial Park . We could tear off all the streamers that used to hang from the bus windows, sneak into the park and have a play with all the “tourists” and take part in their organized game playing. With so many kids on these day trips they couldn’t tell who was ‘officially theirs’ and take a picnic, well ‘piece and a drink’. Childhood was magical then.
I also remember getting into trouble when a classmates father came a knocking on our door. I had been bullying his daughter, we were both 6. Why, because she used to come to school with woollies her dad had knitted, she was teased shamelessly by most of us, I apparently more than others. I tracked her down in Canada 60 years later and apologized but she had no idea what I was talking about. I, of course still cringe at being a 6 year old bully, strange, since according to my older sister I was a quiet shy wee thing.”
Playing at ‘houses’ and climbing towers with the timber (used underground for shoring up) at the Priory Pit and getting chased by the watchman, usually after we had built a three storey ‘house’. And of course sliding doon the bing and getting a cuff around the ears, as we were all as black as the miners with the coal dust when we got home.”
So folks, don’t be shy. Take 30 seconds to leave us a little message. Where abouts in the world are you? Are you enjoying the website? What’s your Blantye history? Blantyre Memories?
Hi Paul, Was having a wee look at your fab website and was wondering if I could buy your book. I hope you don’t mind but I have forwarded your link to the care homes and day care units in Blantyre because I think your book and website could be used as a very useful tool for the staff to use as part of reminiscence work with their service-users.
Thanks for all the hard work that you do to keep Blantyre a great place to live and to keep it’s history in the forefront.
My mom’s father was a miner and the family lived on Waterloo Row in Blantyre. They all moved here in New York in 1929 & 1930. My late mom said they had to move since their house burned down. Could it be that the Council was tearing down their houses because they were nearing the end of their use? My mom was 16 when they emigrated, so maybe she didn’t know why the house burned down? Does the above map show where Waterloo Row was? I can’t find it on a map anywhere. Thank you for any info you may give me. I intent to visit Blantyre in 2014 and would love to know where her house might have been located. I live on Long Island, just outside New York City – and was born in Manhattan. PS – I ordered 2 books online and await their arrival.