I’ve recently uncovered a further piece of the jigsaw which saw the fate of Auchentibber sealed.
In June 1928, a petition by a number of residents of Auchentibber (still being referred to as Auchintibber in the 1920s) was presented to the District Committee. The petition was to raise concerns that the dwindling community in Blantyre’s most Southerly upper hamlet should be considered for a brand new housing scheme.
On Friday 6th July 1928, the clerk reminded the committee that the decision had already been taken NOT to build new houses at Auchentibber, but instead to consider moving tenants to new homes at Auchinraith Road. (This was around the new homes built by then at Springwells facing on to Auchinraith Road) The proposal was made on the basis that the Auchentibber tenants be dispossessed through the closing of the insanitary houses at Auchentibber. By this time, Closing orders had recently been passed in respect of 28 insanitary houses at Auchentibber and it was proposed to remove the tenants from these houses to the houses which had been built for them at the Auchinraith site.
This was a particularly destructive time for Auchentibber and the demolition of these homes were carried out, never to be replaced.
At that same Committee, it was explained that in April 1927, the District Engineer had reported on the proposal to form a special drainage district for Auchentibber, showing that such a scheme would entail an addition to the public health rate of 0.11d per £, and if the proposed district had to bear the whole cost of the scheme, the rate would require to be 27/3 per £.
Mr. AB Maxwell spoke up stating that arrangements might be made for accommodating tenants from High Dykehead and Udston at Auchentibber, in the event of further houses being erected there but the matter was delayed in respect of the Hamilton representative was not at the meeting. (Had he been there, perhaps approval would have been given for the new homes at Auchentibber!)
The petition submitted had 71 signatures, all ratepayers resident in Auchentibber. The clerk reminded the committee that the area of Auchenitbber had previous drainage and sewerage problems. Owing to the lack of industry by then at Auchentibber, the Committee agreed there was no justification in providing new homes there or indeed an expensive drainage solution.
The Committee concluded that the 28 Auchentibber homes would be demolished (i think most likely Craig Row and Peesweep?), no new homes would be built and that residents would be moved to the 26 new homes they had built at Auchinraith Road. It was noted that although available, the tenants at Auchentibber had not yet taken advantage of the move, perhaps a suggestion of them waiting to see if their petition for new homes would be successful.
Mr. AB Maxwell, (Councillor of Blantyre) was the sole person in favour on the Committee of forming new homes and protecting the community being retained at Auchenitbber. Outvoted, the deconstruction of Auchentibber officially commenced.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016 All rights reserved
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