Top Co-op Buildings

Blantyre's Ain Website

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, ScotlandGlasgow Road South

Glasgow Road 1920

The large three storey block on the left of this 1920's picture was Blantyre's Co-op.

The large three storey block at the left of this 1920’s picture was Blantyre’s Co-op. Communally owned co-operative shops date back to the end of the Napoleonic Wars when they had sprung up in industrial areas hit by post-war recession. The main advantage of shopping at a co-op was the annual dividend that they paid out, sometimes equivalent to as much as ten weeks’ wages.

Blantyre’s Co-op was registered in 1883 at a time when the population was expanding rapidly because of the new coal industry. In the early 1940,’s the wholesale grocer was accused of using child labour, but it survived the scandal and was integrated into the SCWS Retail Group in 1972, when it lost the Co-op label. Today a Co-op funeral parlour is still housed on the ground floor of the building.

Top Co-op Buildings Built 1891

The Co-op No2 Branch consisted of two buildings, the three storey and the two storey where the telegraph pole is. Then the Knights of St Columba Building, McNally’s chip shop on gable end (now Sun House Chinese Take-away.)

John Cornfield wrote: Yes you’re 100% right, the shop that’s now the Saint Andrew’s was the Co-op grocers, a mini supermarket. The bank was where you could go in at the front of it, I seem to remember was clothing and at the back after you went up 3 or 4 steps was shoes, and through the connecting door from the shoe shop was household goods and at the front was men’s clothes I think, I might be wrong and everybody got to pay the dividend lol.

Jeanette Allardyce Ward wrote: that’s right John, got your stamps in the grocer’s haha. There was a payment desk upstairs where the bank is where you payed your hp goods. Co-op was from where the bank is right along to where St. Andrews is. I still call the butchers the co butchers. My mum worked in the clothes, etc of the co-op when she was young. We stayed in Priory Street so it was our main shopping place.

Top Co-op early 70’s

Ariel & Art cabs, Blantyre black cabs. Photo by Jim McGuire

Top C-op early 70's, Ariel & art cabs, Blantyre black cabs.
Top Co-op 2000 Co-op Funeral Service, Clyde Star grocers, Barbers Shop, Co-op Butchers, Mackintosh Carpets and Furniture


Top Co-op 2000

Co-op Funeral Service (still there), Clyde Star grocers (now Londis and the Post Office), Barbers Shop (now Agnew’s Cafe), Co-op Butchers (now Peters Family Butchers), Mackintosh Carpets and Furniture, (now St. Andrew’s Hospice).

John Cornfield: My mam used to get oor school shoes (animal tracker) remember them with a compass under the insole and animal tracks on the sole we got them on hire purchase oot the co happy days. My mam used to call it the emporium.

Marianne Aitken: We used to get oor school uniforms from there… I remember my mam getting everything for the hoose from there and paying “it up” also have memories of said mum talking boot her dad having a “divi” number and people borrowing it!!  John a relative of oors stayed in the flat above I remember ma mam talking about it.

Mary Crowe: I remember my mother telling us it was known locally as the Wee Irish Building. My great uncle lived in it at the 1911 Census.

Jeanette Allardyce Ward: It was part of the co-op. the bank and the funeral parlour were one, you could go in either door and there were a couple of steps inside which took you into the next part, sold clothes and shoes etc, upstairs sold furniture etc.

Duncan Slater: Later when the white building was removed, a large Billboard was there and we used to climb up the back and throw snowballs at the line up’s waiting to go into the Broadway.


If you have any Photos… Send them to Bill

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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