Several people in the last couple of decades have referred to this photo of Kirkton Park as being taken in 1957. However, I wish to correct this. Whilst the flower beds certainly existed in the 1950’s, the picture was actually taken in the 1970’s, and I suspect in the early 1970’s. I have a good copy of this photo and zooming in, you can clearly see the roof of the houses beyond Broompark Road in the distance which weren’t built until 1969, i.e it could not possibly be the 1950s.
I had to seek a second opinion as the photo has been published in a book by others, and so I recently asked Blantyre Heritage Chairman, Gordon Cook, who told me, “I think you’re right about the date, those are the houses that were built around 1969.
The council workers got their hut in 1939 (a sort of tool shed with room for them to eat their lunch in or shelter in really bad weather.) It was green and had a window that was boarded up at night. The bandstand was gone soon after the war, although I have spoken with those who remember it. The park in the early sixties was supervised by a “Parkie” who had a whistle. He kept us all in order and would shout to tell us to get off our bikes, or move us off a section of the park with our ball because we were too close to the flower beds. There was a toilet and there was a drinking well just in front of it. The park also had a paddling pool but no amenity for changing. During the sixties, the Calder down at Millheugh and both public parks were very busy on sunny days, and when it came to football, the biggest boys usually got the pitch. If we weren’t ‘up the bing’ or up in Auchintibber, we were ‘up the park.’ I remember work starting on Greenhall Place while we played football on the park side of the hedge, and when we played for High Blantyre school football team the steep brae resounded to the noise of 44 studded football boots (the old hard leather studs). Great place to be in the 1960s.”