Russo, Mr. Amerigo – or Rigo for short was the owner of former Russo’s Grocers shop on Glasgow Road. He had a strong Italian accent and black wavy hair. His wife also worked in the shop.
They lived at a cottage near Rosendale on Auchinraith Road. Rigo may have served with the British Army in Korea. Rigo was also high up in the Casa D’Italia in Glasgow, which was an Italian social club and later as the Italian consulate.
The family were well liked including their son Adrian who assisted also in the shop and who went to St Joseph’s School. Adrian Russo now lives on Stonefield Road. Rigo’s daughter Carla also went to St Joseph’s and became a schoolteacher at St Blanes. Rigo may have acquired the chip shop in Springwell in the 1970’s, although this remains unproven.
Russo’s Grocers – was a former mid 20th Century grocers shop in the lower floor of 2-storey Millar’s tenements on the north side of Glasgow Road, between John Street and Clark Street. During the 1960’s and 1970’s it was adjacent to a small laundrette named Glencairn. Italian, Amerigo “Rigo” Russo owned it and it is known to also have sold sweets and Pasha Cigarettes.
When you walked in the shop there was a counter to the right that sold cigarettes, newspapers and Wishbone scratch off lottery cards. A counter to the left that sold fruit and veg and a counter at the far end that sold sweets and newspapers again. The shop was a casualty of the late 1970’s development of Glasgow Road.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017
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