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Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Blantyre history


Another bite sized chunk of Blantyre History

Rosendale WatercolourBack up on the Main Street after passing under the second railway bridge. Rosendale is on your left side and the Baird’s Raw’s is on your right.

Rosendale is the bus stop where the lad with the two greyhounds tried to get on the bus.

Rosendale Place was the name given to a large 3 storey tenement type buildings with the first floor entrance from the Main Street, the other entrance for the other two stories was around the back of the building or buildings with an attached tiered stairway, as a child when I first saw this stairway at such an angle it was frightening.

Rosendale and FairgroundEveryone in Blantyre had an occasion to see this because when the The Shows (FUN FAIR) as we called it came to the village it was parked in a piece of wasteland directly behind the Rosendale buildings. That stairway looked scary to me.

The first street on your left would be Auchinraith Road which as I said before led from the Low Blantyre Main Street up to the High Blantyre Main Street. On the corner of Rosendale and Auchinraith was the Auchinraith Men’s Club a well frequented place for the miners.

Directly across the street was the Smiddy Bar which must have taken its name from the blacksmith shop that once was active in this area. (Note from Bill: The pub being referred to was not The Smiddy but The Horseshoe Bar or Kelly’s corner as it was called after the Celtic legend James Kelly, the owner.)

We had a lot of pubs in Blantyre, nearly every other corner on the Main Street there was a pub and well used. Must admit I was partial to a few myself.


Continuing the conversation between Thomas Dunsmuir Hartman in Chicago, formerly Logan Street, (known as TDH or Drapadew) and Margaret in Queensland Australia on TalkingScot.



( A Magic Place When We Were Young )

Ah’ remember the tenement called Rosendale
in Blantir toon fae whence ah’ hail,
an ancient place, a bit o’ a dive,
but somehow magical, when yur only five.

Ah’ remember ma pals an’ thur cheeky wee faces,
thur wee short troosers held up wae braces.
Playin’ ootside was always a must:
Kickin’ a baw in the stoor an’ the dust.

Ah’ remember the outside toilet wae dread,
is it any wunner we peed the bed?
tae go doon there made me awfy unhappy,
thir wur times ah’ wished, ah’ still wore a nappy.

Ah’ remember the close wae hardly a light
the ghosts oan the stairs that gave ye a fright,
an gaun tae bed when the time wis just right,
tae wait fur the Daleks, that came in the night.

Ah’ remember ma da’ wae his jet black hair,
young an’ handsome an’ fu o’ flair,
a Blantir Dandy some wid say:
but a gentleman always, come what may.

Ah’ remember ma mother, a young Snow White,
always there tae make things right,
tender, lovin’ an’ fu o’ care,
wae a heart fu’ o’ love, for us tae share.

The family remembers those childhood days
in auld Rosendale in oor different ways,
an’ as we remember, happy or sad,
we’ll always be grateful, tae oor mum and dad.

Brian Cummiskey

Just a wee note on Rosendale. It was the first poem I ever wrote. I wrote it for my father’s 70th birthday. It was he who said he seen the ghost of an old woman on the stairs. The Daleks that came in the night were inspired by a life size Dalek that sat in the Co-op window on Glasgow Road. I’m sure it was the Co-op, opposite the old post office.

The mither tongue gratefully added by Mr James Cornfield


Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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