After the Second World War, there was a great demand for better housing in Blantyre. One quick solution was to construct prefabricated homes throughout the county, which were manufactured cheaply , but importantly could address the housing shortages until larger or more substantial homes could be created, to a cost effective budget.
The prefabs were greatly welcomed in Blantyre, people moving to them, as soon as each one was completed. The ongoing slum drive during the 1950’s saw many homes in Blantyre finally get demolished as living standards improved. How they improved too! Each home was provided with a fridge and a toilet which was separate from the bathroom. Four prefab sites were chosen in Blantyre, three of them with prefabs built from asbestos panels.
Pictured here in 1967, is 14 Centre Street, the former home of the late Neil Gordon, whose owned this picture. Neil’s former home was the last of 4 houses that stood on the lane from the end of the cul-de sac linking Park Lane and Centre Street, with the foot of Clyde Crescent. The trees in the background are Thornhill Avenue. These particular homes were perhaps known to be the best quality prefabs. Known as “Tehrans”, they were constructed in an area just off Station Road on a large yard owned by Hugh B Kerr and in the fields of Forrests (Mill) Farm between St Josephs School, Thornhill Avenue, Farm Road, Kerr Street and the rear of the houses at Station Road. In this prefab estate were Park Lane, Clyde Crescent, Kerr Street and Centre Street. Tehran prefabs were constructed with sections of pebbled panels and were of such good quality that many local authorities delayed their instruction to demolish them. Some in other areas received bricks around the fabric of the building and made into permanent buildings! When the prefabs were eventually instructed to be taken down, they were carefully demolished to be sold off as summer homes, holiday homes and offices.
The largest prefab estate was at the site of what is now Ballantrae Road, opposite High Blantyre Industrial Estate. Built in 1947, it had 8 streets whose names were associated with Rabbie Burns. Alloway Street, Afton Street, Armour Street, Burns Street, Ellisland Street, Lochlie Street, Mossgiel Street and Nith Street. It’s my understanding these homes were demolished in 1969.
A third estate was at Auchinraith Road and a fourth at Station Road built in the late 1940’s on the site of the former Mill rows, now Fagan Court, Anderson Gardens and Caskie Drive. Did you grow up at the prefabs or can add any dates to the demolition of them?
On social media this prompted a wave of comments:
Thomas Barrett We lived in Clyde Cres from 1961 until Christmas 1968 when they were pulled down happiest days of my life.
Andrew Obrien I think we lived there as well Tam I was just a nipper
Carolyn Patterson We lived in 20 Park Lane right beside St Josephes school out the front door and less than a minutes walk to school…. loads and loads of very happy memories I was only about 7 when we moved out it was sad watching the neighbourhood disapear:(…..
Caroline Lee We lived in Armour St, we got keys for our new home in Nov 1967, so I would guess it would have been late 67 or early 68 that they were knocked down. I remember going back as a child & playing in the foundations
Craig Sharpe I remember the houses almost like this near Hamden park
David Mcintosh Paul,ref.your 1950 picture of Station Rd prefabs,was there not an old cemetry thereabouts?
The Blantyre Project You’re right! The cemetery existed until the 1960s and in the photo of the Station Road prefabs, the bushes at the corner of the cemetery can just be seen leading down the hill on the right. Some of the stones are now in the grounds at David Livingston…See More
David Mcintosh Sorry Paul,I meant the low end prefabs,down at Lvingstones end..
Eleanor Rodgers Wemyss Burn St till 68
Liz Jack I was born in number 1 Burns Street
Jim McDougall We lived in 13 Lochlie St , as Thomas said , they were the the happiest days and years , what great mémoires of a time gone by ,they will live with us forever
Frances McDonald I lived in no 10 centre st till1968 the best memories xxx
Emma Trevethan I lived there in the early fifties for about two years Xx
Jimmy McAllister I lived in no 4 centre street
Mary Bennett We were in Burns Street and we left in September 1968 – we weren’t quite the last .
Patricia Hutcheson Docherty My sister Eileen Young lived in Clyde Crs
Maureen McGilligan Downie Me my big sister and my young brother were all born in 3 Park Lane
Michael Mcginley There was only two prefabs in Kerr st, I lived in one untill we moved to the village
Catherine Morrison I stayed in 15 Lochlie Street it was a great life full of fun
Stephen Kelly My dad stayed in the prefabs down Park Lane way. Think it was Clyde Crescent when he was a wean, then the family moved to Springwells
Jamie Boyle i remember passing by these on the way to St Josephs primary school. also when they were knocking them down, we used to play in the ruins during lunch time, got caught by my granmother. when i was jumping off the roof into a privit hedge. got a sore arse that day….. when they build Park Lane, my family moved into Park Lane, my Dad still stays there. we used to run about the park with the Kellys, Purses, Rodwells, Wylies and the Quigleys
Helen Ward Gartlan My aunt and uncle John Duffy had one of those houses the still stay in Blantyre x
Jane Maxwell We lived in a prefab at 117 Parkville Drive there was only one street at the top end of Springwells. The bing was next and the fields then timbertown. There were other prefabs at the top end of Auchenraith Road as well. When the Electric houses were built most of the people living in the prefabs were allocated these houses.
Jim Frame we stayed at 28 ellisland street beside the coyles ,borlands, gibson, clelland, wypers. high Blantyre ones
Mima Dickson My man lived at 21 Burns street for 11 years
Helen Ward Gartlan Never new that mima x
Mima Dickson Yes Helen Mick Lived there 1957 to 1969
Helen Ward Gartlan So he’s a wee Blantyre bean wonder my da liked him lol
Jim Wood I stayed next door
Thomas Barrett I can still remember most of the people who stayed in the prefabs. Ask me now who my neighbours are couldn’t tell you.
Mima Dickson Hi tambo is mick Dickson
Lorraine Milligan We stayed at 20 Ellisland Street.
Jane Paterson We stayed in Mossgiel Street opposite Industrial Estate and had many friends still see them now and again, my wee mum used to say if they had bricked up her wee prefab she would never have moved.
Ann Mcmonagle I lived in clyde crescent
The Blantyre Project Can i ask former prefab owners here, did you guys have allotments or gardens nearby? In every picture ive seen of prefabs, there never seems to be any veg or flowers in the gardens, but I’m sure they must have been well tended and looked after.
Thomas Barrett They had big gardens and some people grew their own vegetables.
Rose Lee We had a huge garden, there were flower beds, the ‘lawn’, veg patches and fruit too. Plus the sand pit, shed! I am sure Caroline has some old photos. Our prefab backed on to the old sandstone house on Main Street. Opposite industrial estate. The daughter was called Naomi, can’t remember the parent’s name!!!!
Liz Jack We had front and back gardens
Marian Maguire My father in law grew veg and flowers and apparently had a nice hedge. They lived in mossgiel street high Blantyre.
Caroline Lee Armour St, had small I think front garden but long back garden, will look out pics & post
Michael Mcginley We had a vegetable plot at the back of the prefab behind the Anderson shelter witch we used as a coal house
Jane Maxwell We had front and back gardens
John J. Brown My grandparents lived in the prefabs, think my mum may have lived in them too during the early years of her life. Think they moved up to Dryburgh Way after they moved out
Jane Maxwell My father had potatoes and other veg growing we also had strawberries. Our front garden had flowers and nearly all the neighbours had veg and flowers in their gardens. We had great neighbours I remember the mums coming out and joining in our games great times.
Jim McDougall It wasn’t long after the war we moved into the prefabs across from the industrial estate , I remember most of the gardens were well tended ,mostly with vegetables , the front was lawn and flowers yeah most family’s took pride in there gardens then , it was a Brilliant place to live happy memories
Trish Gray We lived in 5 Mossgiel Street (McVeigh’s ) apposite industrial estate …happy days !!
Henry Hambley Like the other posters, I have only happy memories of prefab living(109 Auchinraith Terrace). We had garden at the front and rear which was the larger. There was a small area between our prefab and the next. There was a brick built shed in the rear garden which may have been intended for coal storage. My father took immense care and pride in his garden. Vegetables (potatoes, carrots, turnips, cabbages, lettuce, beetroot, onions and leeks) were grown in the back. At a later stage, my dad built a greenhouse and cold frame for the cultivation of tomatoes and cucumbers. There were some flowers e.g. roses, dahlias and chrysanthemums. The hedge at the front seemed to me to be enormous and took nearly a whole day to cut and clear up afterwards. Happy days. It all ended when we were moved to a flat in Boswell Drive. No garden. We lived there for only three years before moving to Hamilton (1966) and a house with a garden ! My parents lived there until they died (2007).
Jimmy McAllister I lived at 4 centre street from December 1960 to December 30th 1968. Great place, great fun an great neighbours, the Gordon’s, the Barrett’s, the Grant’s, the Young’s, could go on an on.. I was only a kid back then but still remember it well.. To my knowledge there were no allotments, we had small front garden quite large backs, an large area at the side of the house.. There were garages,(or lockup’s) as we call them now, they faced onto farm road or at the back of centre street, we used to play in them coz most of them didn’t lock.. Prefab people will all remember the fun we had in the Dandy