On Saturday 20th April 1929, the Falkirk Herald ran a story giving an update of how preparations were coming along ahead of the opening of the David Livingstone Memorial.As follows,
“The reconstruction work of the Shuttle Row, in the old Blantyre Village into a national memorial for Dr David Livingstone is now well advanced, and the opening date has been provisionally fixed for Saturday, July 6. During the next few weeks the memorial buildings will be fitted for the reception of curios and relics which were intimately associated with the great missionary.
Workmen are now engaged in laying out the recreation park and open air theatre, and these, when completed, are expected to prove the rendezvous of the many large companies from church organisations to visit the shrine of Dr Livingstone. There are to eight tableaux scenes in the buildings depicting different episodes in Livingstone’s life.”
I found the proposed opening date of July 6th 1929 interesting for the centre never opened until 5th October 1929. What happened? Did contractors fall behind with their work? It would appear not, for there is no mention in press articles before May 1929 that the opening would be attended by a Royal, i.e the Duchess of York. It would surely have been mentioned had this been arranged and negotiated before then. As such, I’m left to conclude that in sometime at the end of April or in May 1929, the centre negotiated the services of the Duchess of York to come along at a later date and they CHANGED the opening date from July to 6th October 1929 to accommodate her diary.
Pictured is 3 further photos of the opening day in October 1929.