I noticed South Lanarkshire Council has the Priestfield Hall Opening in November 1982, and wished to correct them here, by pointing out that it was opened in 1980, a full 2 years earlier than they have on their website.
The event was well documented in local newspapers. The plaque commemorating the building being opened and coming into active use was unveiled on 8th November 1980 as shown here. Provost James Swinburne had the honour of doing that and the even was attended by many senior citizens who were to benefit from the hall opening.
The building had been commissioned just 6 weeks earlier in late September 1980 and one person delighted that the construction time had been so short, was the late Chairman of the Council’s Leisure & Recreation Committee, Councillor D Murray Tremble. Murray welcomed a large representative group to the opening ceremony and went round the crowd personally chatting to everybody about the benefits of the project.
The hall had cost £100,000 and three quarters of that was funded by a Government grant under the Urban Aid scheme. When the building opened, there was no carpark adjacent, but instead it looked out upon an open expanse of grass at Priestfield, offering a nice rural panorama for senior citizens inside. Another environmental plus point was retaining large mature trees at either end of the building, giving it a ready made and settled look.
At the opening ceremony, officials touched upon a sad note. On the platform speeches were made about the likely Government spending cuts and perhaps an end to the building of such properties for clubs and organisations for some time to come. Councillor Mrs Senga Dallas gave the vote of thanks to all for coming.
Thank you also to Betty McLean. You can find out more history about this building here.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016
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