Blantyre Station 1900

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, ScotlandGlasgow Road North

Blantyre Station 1900

Blantyre Station 1900Blantyre Station 1900

In 1849, the Caledonian Railway opened its Rutherglen – Hamilton route which included a stop at Blantyre. Although originally intended as a goods line for Lanarkshire’s coal and iron output, passengers soon became an important source of revenue, and Low Blantyre Station was rebuilt in the picturesque form seen here around the turn of the century.

Steam Train, Blantyre Steam Train coming from Glasgow via Newton on 4th June 1949. It looks like a School outing, probably to the David Livingstone Centre.

In 1974, the route was electrified and the appealing brick and timber station buildings removed and replaced by modern British Rail fittings.

More recently, the station has been the subject of a revamping project involving landscaping and the installation of works of art. Nowadays, on a site at the far west end of the station, two silver men clutching a pole between them can be seen heading in a determined fashion leading the train traveler from the station to the nearby David Livingstone Centre.  Livingstone Sculptures

 

Blantyre Station 1950 Aerial view of Blantyre Station c1950

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A poem from my friend Lon McIlwrath, now living in Vancouver, Canada.

Broadway Train, 1967

Oor Mum gave us a ten bob note,
Tae see the Saturday mat’nee,
So me an’ ma wee sis and bro,
Went aff tae the Blantyre Broadway.

It wis sae nice, the summer heat,
We’d raither be ootdoors insteid,
Then walkin’ doon Victoria Street,
An idea came intae ma heid.

We’d get oorsels aboard the train,
Fae Blantyre tae Glasgow Central,
A rerr day oot for us three weans,
And oor Mum wid never tipple.

Ah telt this plan tae ma wee crew,
Ma wee brother thought it wis grand,
Wee sister wisnae quite sae sure,
But she said okay in the end.

We bought some sweeties fae a shop,
Tae begin oor big adventure,
Then quick we flew, a skip and hop,
Straight past the Broadway pictures.

But haufway doon auld Station Road,
Wee sister she burst oot greetin’,
The tears they flowed and froze she stood,
Despite oor soothin’ and pleadin’.

Ah said tae her, “C’mon noo sis,
Oor Grampa takes us tae the toon!”
Ah held her haun, gave her a kiss,
And whistled a wee Grampa tune.

That wis just the thing she needed,
Tae put aff her apprehension,
And oor wee gang then proceeded,
Tae the Blantyre railway station.

Ah gave ma best big brother face,
For the man ahint the wicket,
“Three cheap returns please, toon’s the place,”
And wi’ that we had oor tickets.

The train came soon alang the line,
And stopped wi’ a screech and rattle,
Ma heartbeat fluttered, like a sign,
As we barged on in a prattle.

The carriage lurched, gave a shudder,
When the train man blew his whistle,
Moved slowly first, then much quicker,
Pulled by the noisy big diesel.

Newton we passed, then Cambuslang,
We were wide-eyed in sensation,
The railway tracks a-rat-tat sang,
As we neared the Central Station.

The train slowed doon, a sudden halt,
But we didnae hit the buffers,
Off we got in that mockit vault,
Made black by the auld steam puffers.

Just we three, in crowds of people,
Their wee hauns Ah held sae tightly,
Ah stretchit tall, like a steeple,
But could see the boards just slightly.

Wee sis and bro, excited noo,
Were askin’ too mony questions,
Ah answered them as best Ah knew,
Zig-zaggin’ through the congestion.

“Look way up there,” Ah said oot loud,
“D’ye see that, platform seven?
That train’ll take us oot this crowd,
And back tae the Blantyre station.”

So fast it seemed, the back-hame train,
Wi’ relief Ah steppit aff it,
We crossed the bridge, went up the lane,
And the long walk hame wis startit.

The two wee wans were tickled pink,
Their day oot had been a riot,
But walkin’ back Ah had tae think,
How tae make them keep it quiet.

“Listen youse two, we had great fun,
But we cannae let mummy know,
So if she asks us whit we’ve done,
We’ll say a Broadway movie show.”

Mony years later, Mum wis told,
The big secret we’d kept sae well,
She said she knew, but didnae scold,
She’d done the same thing twice hersel.

Lon McIlwraith
Copyright 2011

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If you have any Photos… Send them to Bill

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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