I’ve been investigating the huge billboards that once featured on many gable walls in Blantyre. A little bit of background first….
Allen, David & Sons Billposting Ltd – National advertising business known to exist in 1916 and was part of the larger David Allen company formed in 1857. Their Head Office for Scotland was at 21 and 23 Cathcart Street, Greenock and they made their money by leasing wooden hoardings from building owners and charging customers to advertise on them. In some cases, the business attempted to buy the hoarding outright, to ensure they didn’t have to rent it themselves. This was commonplace, but created a mixture of leased and owned hoardings. They did this throughout Scotland in the first half of the 20th Century, and Blantyre was no excpetion. The company leased gable walls of buildings, (mostly on Glasgow Road) to advertise.
In 1930, according to the valuation roll, amongst the places leased was the gable of 57 Glasgow Road (Chambers Land). They also owned and advertised on the hoarding next to the Central Garage at 163 Glasgow Road. They also owned hoarding and a sign on the gable of 225 Glasgow Road belonging to Margaret Nelson and their own hoarding at 289 Glasgow Road. They also leased hoarding on the side gable of 254 Glasgow Road (now Good Taste Takeaway), which faced on to Station Road in 1930, but was later obscured when the Broadway Cinema was built.
They also leased the hoarding on the gable of 244 Glasgow Road (now Stacks Café), on the north side, facing into the park. They also leased a board at Craighead near the racing track. They owned the hoarding at 2 John Street, near the Castle Vaults. Also, they owned a billboard hoarding at 14 Merry’s Rows on the western side of the street at Low Blantyre. At number 5 and 6 Stonefield Road, they leased hoarding for advertising from Hamilton Investment & building society. Number 6 was noted as being ‘ Clive Place’. At High Blantyre, they owned a hoarding near Lint Butts at Main Street, directly across from Cemetery Road. They also owned and advertised on Whistleberry Bridge.
Pictured in 1978 is Glasgow Road, directly across from the bottom of Victoria Street. Behind the man with the pale blue shirt, is an example of the large billboards, which were all so apparent all the way along Glasgow Road in the 20th Century.
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