Looking West from Church Street

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, ScotlandGlasgow Road North

Glasgow Road Looking West from Church Street – 1937

Glasgow Road Looking West from Church Street - 1937Glasgow Road in September 17th 1937 with a hugely increased traffic flow – although no evidence of any traffic lights. The girl is Betty Morrison, her daily job at school was to go to the Post Office for the School principals mail.

Glasgow Road on September 17th 1937 with a hugely increased traffic flow although no evidence of any traffic lights. The girl is Betty Morrison. Her daily job at school was to go to the Post Office for the School principals mail.

Betty is standing fairly close to the telephone box at the corner of Church Street and is looking across the road at a van just outside the Marshall’s shoe shop (before it was Stepek’s) on the other corner from the Castle Vaults.

Marshall's Thomas Dunsmuir Hartman says, “On the east corner of John Street, there was a shoe store called Marshall’s (later to become Timpson’s and Stepek’s), which always displayed a fair amount of shoes and Wellington boots hanging around the door entrance to the store. As youngsters we used to run by and see how many we could hit and unloosen from their hook so that they fell to the ground.

We must have had a great affection for this particular store or person that owned it, as we made up, a wee song that went like this:

“I hid a wee monkey. I I feed it on Marshals Breed (bread)
Marshall! Marshall! stick it up your as!#%le ma wee monkey’s deed.” (dead)

We must have really loved that guy to have made up such a wonderful wee song, Of course it is easy to see that us Blantyre boys were influenced greatly by the Burns school of thought in our songs poetry.” poetry”.

Behind Betty, to her right would be Stonefield Parish Church (which burned down on 3rd September 1979 and was demolished in 1980). To her left would be the block which contained the Masonic Lodge, Craig the butcher’s and on to the Priory Bar at Logan Street.

On the Corner of Logan Street you can just see the Ironmongers store entrance painted yellow in this photo, on the corner of Turner’s Building.

The next store of any significance was the Labour Party store. This was situated in McAlpine’s Building, a three storey block directly attached to the two storey. You can see McAlpine’s on the right, coloured pink.

The McAlpine building was well known to everyone in Blantyre and more so to our family. This was where my Mum was born, and she lived here with her seven sisters and two brothers.

One of the stores in this block was a fish and chip shop by the name of Allan’s. Everyone in Blantyre knew of this shop, as it sold the best Fish Suppers in Blantyre, and it was always used as a reference point in Blantyre, as in. “Yea that’s three streets past Allan’s, or it’s across the road from Allan’s”

The next shop was a Grocer by the name of Hugh’s and next to them was another grocer by the name of Norris. I delivered the groceries for Norris for about two years.

Hi Bill,

Asda is one street beyond that, at Logan Street.

At the right hand-side going up Church Street sat the telephone box and the tenement on Glasgow road housed the Masonic Lodge On the second floor. And from my memories of the ground floor shops (the 70’s) there was a sewing shop, butcher and a Timpson’s shoe shop. I also believe there was a pub which sat on the corner of Glasgow Road and Logan Street this housed a particularly vicious alsatian who used to slide down the back of a roof to go out to play with my Dad. ‘The Dug Whisperer’ or what!!!

These grounds have been going to waste for some years, the last cottage to be demolished there was latterly used by Blantyre Volunteer Group. The existing cottages on each side of Church Street start beyond the church grounds, where my Papa and Nana lived for over 60 years, the cottage now belonging to my Dad.

Behind this building was quite a large house, known to me as “The Braidwoods” I believe the sisters who lived there were spinsters. Up until the 70s, there were garages and a wall surrounding the ‘Braidwood’ house’.

Opposite the bottom of Church Street was Batters’ Ironmongers, which was owned by my Great Aunt and her husband Walter Batters. My Dad, Kenny Crombie, remembers at around the age of 8 being allowed to cut his first key! I think perhaps getting to use his hands so early on planted the seed for him serving his apprenticeship with Harper’s garage and then to Robertson’s of Springwell. My sister and I were never allowed the ‘ginger’ or Kwenchy cups to make into ‘jubilees’ for fear our teeth would rot!

Also, my Great Uncle Jack Brown was the manager at the ‘Dookit’ and Great Aunt Daisy held dancing lessons. Their daughter Joyce followed Daisy’s footsteps too.

Many thanks for allowing me to ramble on,

Carol Crombie (39)


With thanks for the kind permission of Rhona Wilson and Richard Stenlake Publishers to publish photos from the book, “Old Blantyre“.


If you have any Photos… Send them to Bill

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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