These two photos are taken from a short 1962 Lanarkshire film, that ever so briefly featured a scene in Blantyre. Pictured are the timber houses at the east side of Blantyre, and in particular views of Birdsfield Drive, Parkville Drive and Bellsfield Drive.
The houses still look very familiar although some of the high chimneys have now been lowered for safety. This was a time before the East Kilbride Expressway. Indeed, the small playpark you see in front of Bellsfield Drive sits on what is now actually the expressway!
I’m not old enough to remember this playpark, but I can tell you at the time, Birdsfield Drive continued on to the right, down a hill and out on to High Blantyre Main Street. I.e you could exit the timber houses, not just at Auchinraith Road, but also at the end of Main Street.
Dating to 1938, contractors building these homes, failed to meet the deadline dates and work continued on into 1939. The outbreak of WW2 prevented many people from entering the houses on the planned dates and this, combined with construction delays saw some of the newly built homes occupied by squatters initially.
The real gem, of course in this post, is the short colour film itself. I would high recommend watching all 18 minutes when you get a chance. Go grab a coffee. This was a time when East Kilbride took its modern new town shape, when the county buildings in hamilton were being built, when Ravenscraig was the major employment source. Its a riveting watch and you can catch a glimpse of Blantyre, with kids running and playing in the timber toon estate, right at the end in the final minute. Whats your memories of this area and the playpark?
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Elaine Hunter I always thought these houses were really nice when I was a wee girl