No 1 Co-op

Blantyre's Ain Website

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, ScotlandGlasgow Road South

No 1 Co-op

 No 1 Co-op, Blantyre Co-op halls, offices & shops, Central Branch stretching from halfway up Herbertson Street, to Jackson Street. This is where you would queue to get your “Divi”.

Co-op checks


The Co-op was the largest row of shops in Blantyre, everyone at some time or other shopped at the co-op. We had the Tailors, the butchers, the grocers, the hardware, the fancy goods, the millinery and a huge bakery, which daily sold every known loaf of bread, biscuits, and yummy cakes.  No 1 Co-op Staff, Blantyre

Around the side entrance in Herbertson Street was the Co-op entrance to the Dancehall. This was held every Wednesday, 7-11pm. Friday night was the late night 7-1am, and Saturday 7-11.30 pm.

 No 1 Co-op, Blantyre Also on Hebertson Street were a Saw and Joinery Mill owned by William Roberts where all of Blantyre went to get any wood work done. The Manse for the church on the corner was around here. The top entrance of Herbertson Street was a mixture of two storey tenements and private homes. The other end of the street finished at Auchinraith Road, which was running at a 45-degree angle with Glasgow Road.

Jackson Street Building at the top of the street probably named Jackson Terrace.


Some memories of when I was growing up in Blantyre. I hope you find them of interest.

Ailean McLeman (Roberts) remembers,

“It was great to see the pictures of Glasgow Road in Blantyre on your website, especially one of the ‘Number One’ Co-op building situated part way up Herbertson Street and round onto Glasgow Road towards Jackson Street.

I spent most of my younger days in Herbertson Street in the ‘Roberts’ building which is mentioned elsewhere in your website. My maiden name was Roberts, and my dad was William (Bill) Roberts, who for many years ran the joiner’s business (which was originally his father’s) from the workshop next to the Co-op building in Herbertson Street. The house we lived in was right next to the joiner’s yard, so Dad did not have far to get to work each day. The garden at the back of our building backed on to the garden of the tenement at the top right-hand corner of Jackson Street. All the kids from Herbertson Street and Jackson Street used to play in these gardens, and we had many a ‘back green’ birthday party which everyone attended… any excuse for a get together, which included bringing the furniture out of the houses into the garden… no fancy garden tables and chairs in these days!!!

I remember the Co-op building very well, especially the Co-op Hall. When I was very young and growing up in the late 50s into the early 60s (I was born in 1950), my great ambition was to be old enough to go to the dances held in the Hall on Friday nights. I used to lie in my bed and listen to the music and later, the laughter coming from the dancers leaving to go home. By the time I was old enough to go dancing I am afraid my interests lay further afield in Hamilton! As my Mum (Betty) and Dad were both members of the Blantyre Choral Union, their annual concerts were held in the Hall, so I at least got as far as going in there to listen to the choir and also to help dad prepare for the concerts as he usually built up the stage!!

I do remember the Co-op shops which were next to the Hall. Going down Herbertson Street from our house, there was the shoe shop, and then the Draper’s shop on the corner with Glasgow Road, next to that was the butcher, and the grocer. There was great excitement when the grocer became a ‘self-service’ where we had to leave our shopping baskets in a wee locker and use the numbered shopping basket to go around and help ourselves. I remember following the renovation; some of the marble counters from the old grocers ended up in Dad’s yard and my pals, and I had an endless stock of ‘peevers!! Next to the self-service was the fish shop, then the fruit and veg shop and finally at the corner of Jackson Street, there was the electrical shop… at least I think that’s what was there!!! Oh! And of course the Co-op offices were up the same stairs as the Hall, and we got our dividend made up there!! At the back of the Co-op building up Jackson Street, was a big blank wall against which my pals and I used to play ‘tennis’ for hours on end, and I remember that near there one of the men who worked in the butcher’s shop (I think) used to have an aviary where he kept budgies!

Ailean McLeman (Roberts)

April 2014

My Grandfather was a master tailor with the Co-op and this is probably a photo of the folks who worked in the Co-op, probably at the beginning of the 20th century.

Sent in by Jean Brownrigg

 Co-op Staff c1900


If you have any Photos… Send them to Bill

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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