Broompark Road

Blantyre's Ain Website

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

High Blantyre

Broompark Road

Aggie Bain walking along the crown of Broompark Road.

Aggie Bain walking along the crown of Broompark Road.Aggie Bain, who lived in Bardykes Road, next to the Barnhill Tavern, is seen walking along the crown of Broompark Road. My Mum, May Forrest was brought up in the tenement number 108 Broompark Road, seen at the right of the picture, before moving to 11 Park Crescent. She was born just along the street at 79 Broompark Road, on 8th Sept 1921.

The small building at the end of the the row of cottages on the left is Barnhill Smiddy. The photographer is looking towards Pech Brae.

Hi Bill, please find below a little bit of 1930’s history, for a small part of Broompark Road. The properties concerned are already featured on your web-site.

108 Broompark Road, Barnhill, was for a time the home of my Grand-parents Robert and Jeannie Forrest. It was a tenement building which was ultimately condemned by the Local Authority in the early 1930’s. Looking at the frontage, there was a small whitewashed cottage to the left, then two common closes or entries, then two small cottages running along Russell Road, off Broompark Road.

The Smiddy, Broompark RoadThe cottage to the left was occupied by Mrs. Scott, whose son had gone to live in Carmyle, in the close adjacent, at ground floor level, lived the Hunters, and across the close lived the Berry’s who emigrated to Australia. Upstairs, above the Hunters lived the McGovern’s, and across the landing, Mr and Mrs Liddle. In the next close, at ground floor left, lived the Forrest’s from whom I am descended, and across the close lived Mrs Japp. Upstairs on the left, lived the Sommerville’s, with the McDonald’s across the landing. Mr McDonald was known locally as Pigeon Harry as he “kept doos oot the back”. At the right side of the tenement were two cottages along Russell Road, and these were occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Kelly, and Pinnie Johnson, who appears on an old postcard, standing at the bottom of Peth Brae. Mr. Kelly was referred to as “blind Boab”

 The Smiddy, Broompark Road Across the road, was the Smiddy, owned by the Templeton’s, then to the right of the smiddy lived the Cooks, and then the wee farm at 79 Broompark Road, occupied by my Great Great Grandmother Janet Cowie and my Great Great Grandfather Robert Main. Janet was always referred to by the family as Janet Cowie Main.

Hoping your visitors find it of some interest,

Regards, George Park


Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Aeroplane Built in Blantyre

The Smiddy, small building on the left.

The Smiddy, Broompark RoadIn 1860 a flying machine was built at the Smiddy in Broompark Road, 43 years before the first manned flight by the Wright Brothers in 1903.

Thomas Tailor, a local miller who worked in the Bardyke Mill, was also an inventor of many gadgets that could be used in Mills and Farms.

Thomas built an aeroplane which was powered by a steam engine. Mr Templeton, the Blacksmith at the Smiddy, manufactured the parts and assisted Thomas in its construction. The contraption was taken into the field adjoining the Smiddy to attempt its first flight. ( High Blantyre Primary School, was built on this field.)

The local inhabitants of Larkfield and Barnhill were of course very curious and a large crowd gathered to see the great event. It is not recorded who piloted the plane but we can safely assume that Thomas was the aviator.

Numerous attempts were made without success but it was noted that the nose of the aeroplane did in fact lift off the ground. Of course Thomas was not alone in attempting to invent the aeroplane. The principles of flight were known then, the quest being to generate enough speed to get the machine into the air. It was the invention of the petrol engine, 43 years after Thomas’ attempts, that enabled the Wright Brothers to claim their place in history.

The onlookers watching Thomas’ attempts were greatly amused and someone shouted, ‘Haw Tam, if God had meant ye tae flee, he would hae gien ye wings.’ Tom’s reply to this remark was, ‘Wha ever lives tae see the day, machines will fly o’er Blantyre.’ How right he was.

The Smiddy has recently been demolished, yet another historic building bites the dust and soon to be forgotten.

My friend and drummer in our Band, Donald Moore, served his apprenticeship as a Mechanical Engineer at the Smiddy under Bill Morrison, the owner. Donald said that the Smiddy, when he worked in it, had all the original doors, windows etc, a real piece of Blantyre’s heritage. So sad then, for the price of progress, once again, we lose a little piece of history. And at what price is the loss of the teaching method, I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand…

Your Social Comments:

Marianne Aitken: No way I did not know that!! Bill the picture your showing and you mention Barnhill Smiddy is that what was recently knocked down and is looking rather derelict at the moment? Ps sorry for the duplication rid neck. I walk past every day with my dog and remember thinking God do the people of Blantyre know they’re tearing this down?? What a shame, I wish I had taken a picture now: the doorways were tiny!
John Fallon Jnr: The big tree in the background is still standing today !! I now stay where the lamp post on the right of this picture.
Margaret Stewart: Bringing back memories!!!
Mary Marr: When we moved into the property it was the two old cottages and the smiddy and the horseshoe that we found at the smiddy and in the cottage that we live in there was a old fashion range and the other cottage there was old seventy eight records as well we discovered that Mary Queen of Scots had her horses shoe at the smiddy and the history of the smiddy and the cottages as well it was a at least one hundred years old so that when I found out that it was taken down to build a house l was hurt that they did this to a part of Blantyre history. If you read Neil Gordon’s book of Blantyre it will tell you of the plane that was built there and it took of the ground about four inches of the ground.
David Marr: A story I heard about when I was a young kid at my grandparents place and by the way my grandfather was Bill Morrison the owner of the mechanics where Donald Moore did his Apprenticeship.
Elizabeth Dobson Grieve: Loving these photos Bill. If you have an active imagination you could imagine the other buildings there rather than what’s there now.


If you have any Photos… Send them to Bill

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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