St Joseph’s Church and School 1905

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, ScotlandGlasgow Road North

St Joseph’s Church and School 1905


St Joseph's Church and School St. Joseph’s School situated in Glasgow Road opposite Stonefield Road. Built in 1878 and was used weekdays as a school and Sundays and Holy Days as a Chapel, replacing the Hall of Worship in Dixon’s Rows which was four house units converted into a church hall. The Church could accommodate 620 sittings.
The present-day St. Joseph’s R.C. Church was built next to the original in 1905 and can be seen in the background of this photo in relation to one another.

I was surprised that there are no more photos of the two buildings together. It was our friend William Ross, who pointed it out to me when I previously posted the ploughman photo.

 Russell's Farm

From the left we have David Livingstone Memorial Church, St. Joseph’s R.C. Church and next, the St Joseph’s Church and School.

St Joseph's Church and School However, after a long and intensive search, I came across this unique photo.

Thomas Hamilton-Hailes: St Joseph’s was where I had my first day at school in 1959 … and I was a prod. It took till dinner time before the Police could calm my mother by saying they’d found me: I’d got fed up waiting for her to get ready and wandered off from Fernslea Avenue to the only school that I knew about; and where all my neighbourhood friends went to.

I still have a perfect recollection of that wonderful first morning at school … and of the two “Blantyr Polis” comin’ in to take me home to my frantic mammy.

After the term break, the catholic school started back a week before the prods and so there I was sitting outside the door in my wee Royal blue short trouser suit ready for my first day at school … which should have been the Nessies.

Probably thinking I was a big boy now that I was going to school, I joined my mates and walked off down to school with them. In their classroom the teacher wanted to know who I was and various answers such as “That’s wee Tom from downstairs frae us,” didn’t help her much.

A priest was brought in to help sort out who this strange wee boy was but he didn’t recognise me as one of his flock.

The desks were amazing; you could lift the desktop up and ,,, Lo … there was a wee blackboard with chalk: I’m loving this. We had to close our desks and put our heads down on our crossed arms on the desktop; to keep quite while the teacher and the priest left the classroom to try and sort this out with the head master … who might have been responsible in the end for getting in touch with the police.

I took me a long time to get used to the Ness’s … mainly because their wee desks didn’t have that great wee blackboard but rather a fixed top with a silly wee shelf under it. Always treasured my first day at school.

Dixon Street, Hall Street and Park Street made up the three Dixon’s Rows; My Grannie and my sister both lived on Dixon Street, but I never knew the origin of the “Hall” in Hall Street … till now.


If you have any Photos… Send them to Bill

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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