High Blantyre Industrial Estate

 

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2008 High Blantyre Industrial Estate prior to opening of David Williams Business Centre

High Blantyre Industrial Estate was the third of seven massive Industrial Estates in Scotland opened in 1946, destined to overturn unemployment and bring post war prosperity back to Central Scotland.

Blantyre’s Industrial Estate was opened on Monday 25th March 1946 by Mr Tom Fraser, joint Under Secretary for Scotland. Spread over a massive 42 acres and using some land bought by compulsory purchase order, the buildings were created to employ up to 5,000 people, around a third of Blantyre at the time.

Unemployment was a problem. Just 2 decades earlier, there were 12 collieries in the area and in 1946, only 1 was still operating. At the time of opening, 2 companies had secured premises with firm enquiries for up to another 60,000 square feet. Mr Fraser spoke of the need to diversify industry in the area away from a declining coal mining operation. He added there were 12,000 unemployed in Lanarkshire at the time, 5,500 of whom were men. The estate is located just off Main Street and separated into sequentially named streets.

Many prominent engineering companies rented premises including Rolls Royce, Honeywell and Reyolle Belmos. Indeed, there are simply too many businesses to mention occupying factory units throughout the years but Botterils features prominently at present and many of the units are rented out by a company called Evan Storage.

The large unit named David Williams Business Centre facing out on the Main Street closed down in May 2016 after being liquidated, forcing many smaller businesses to relocate. Perhaps the most prominent former businesses were Simplicity Patterns the clothing manufacturers and the E.K Jig and Tool Company.

An expansion to the estate in the form of adjoining Priestfield Industrial Estate has seen the area continue to flourish. There is no doubt that the estate brought employment and jobs to Blantyre, as it still does today. However, the ageing estate is starting to show signs of age and several of the buildings have recently been renovated.

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul D Veverka (c) 2016

On social media:

Caroline Rundell I remember my dad worked as a sheet metal worker at Reyrolle Belmos from mid 1970s to mid 1970s and I worked at CTS Corporation in the early 1990s
Catherine Davidson The full front factories was all simplicity patterns . I worked there from 15 yrs till I Was 17 then started my training as a nurse in Hairmyres.
James Stirling scotcraft were at the front
Catherine Davidson Simplicity was there in the early 1960’s I stated work there is 1964.
James Stirling scotcraft was there in the fifties,
Marion Anderson I had family work at Belmons and simplicity
Margo Clayton My mum, Mary Bowie, was a tracer at Simplicity in the late 60’s until the mid 70’s. Best Xmas present was when the tracers all made clothes for my Tressy doll. I had the best dressed doll in Blantyre
Anne Cook Are you Margo Bowie aswad??–I’m Anne Cook-Galloway !
Margo Clayton Yes hi Anne
Anne Cook Well hallo !!! This is a great page to hear from former Blantyrians!!!-met my past neighbour from stonefield cres during the summer !!Hope you’re all well !x
Margo Clayton All well thanks. It is indeed a great page. Hope you are well too!
Emma Trevethan I worked in simplicity then moved to the newer one up the hill I think it was called block 18. But not sure loved it. X
Helen Williams Simplicity Patterns from 1968 to 1975 I was a folder.
Elizabeth Clelland I also worked in simplicity patterns loved that job best factory to work in x was a folder as well x
Jane Johnstone Many of my cousin’s worked at Simplicity Patterns in Blantyre
Mary Crowe Some of the other companies were Sydneys (clothing), Lan air cell (Blankets), Baxters (Gents shirts and Pyjamas) Carey springs (Engineering), Marshalls (Furniture) , Metal Powders ( think it was chemicals), Hector Powe (Gents Suits). I worked in Simplicity as a folder from 1964 to 1974.
Carolyn Patterson My dad worked in Hector Powe’s for years as a cutter Tailor in the sixties and seventies It was taken over by an English firm renamed it Executex, where I worked in 1976/78 aprrox .then I closed down all the work went back down to England I’m sure the same building is now part of a garage and workshop..
John Gallagher I was at hector powe’s as a cutter I was 15 then loved it
Carolyn Patterson John you might know my dad Hugh Whyte?
Jan McFarlane Great place for your first driving lessons was High Blantyre Industrial Estate in the sixties .
Jeanette Izzett Hector powes and Lawrence Scott’s worked in both.
Margaret Duncan I worked in the office of Simplicity Patterns with Mary K as my boss- she was quite a girl.
Henry Hambley My recollection is having driving lessons around the industrial estate. It was relatively quiet after 7pm but gave good practice in crossing and junctions.
Lee Alex Caskey Body-Tekk was my Garage there also Blooming Britain,Storm and Brian’s Cafe that’s still there .Meet some great people there..
Jane Maxwell I worked at Simplicity Patterns as a picker in the middle unit. We were just in front of Hector Powys and the Metal Powders factories. We then moved up to unit 18 next to Rolls Royce, happy days.
Kathleen McShane My father Jimmy Brown worked in Metal Powders as a foreman, it then to Bardyke Chemical just outside Blantyre.
Anne Cook My father in law Alex Cook worked in Belmos and I did a summer job at Simplicity patterns when they were at the top building . They put quick records on the tannoy so you walked faster to complete orders !!!!
Moira Todd I lesrned to drive around the roads there!. .& although I had lessons too….it was the famous place to go with your Dad for the first wee try of the car after everyone had gone home!! A complete road network with no traffic…..perfect!
Margaret Henry My mother worked at Hector Powes (Meg Dorricott). My friend Isobel Mackenzie (Scott) worked at Actid Ltd in the 1960s.
Patricia Hutcheson Docherty I worked in the Book Binding dept in Simplicity Patterns my sister Kathleen worked as a folder as did my sister in-law Cecelia McGowan my brothers Tommy John and Willie too. My uncles Tommy and John McGuire and John jnr. Happy days loved it
Patricia Hutcheson Docherty Simplicity also had Block 5 and 18
Patricia Hutcheson Docherty Sidney,s clothes Factor was on the front avenue along from Simplicity
Sandra Bryden Baxter Laurence Scott electro motors was at the top left hand side across from rolls Royce
The Blantyre Project thank you everybody. Excellent topic. All recorded.
Agnes Hynds I worked in simplicity patterns up in block 18 along with my mum Agnes Cunningham ( cleaner)
Blantyre printing and binding was there and when that closed Eagle press then opened up , I worked in them all as a bookbinder
Hannah Mcaleenan Fabritek worked there for 3 years
Lorraine Milligan I worked in Fabritek too Hannah, I started there the day after I left school 1st June 1978! Xx
Hannah Mcaleenan Lorraine Milligan it was a good wee job in there lorraine
Lorraine Milligan Great job Hannah, I can remember the money was really good too. Xx
Betty McLean Baxters a shirt and pyjama factory. There was also a men’s suit factory and a children’s clothing factory
Jean Brown Worked in hector poss in 1960
Bernadette Keenan My dad Declan Keenan worked in simplicity patterns and I worked a few weeks in Laurence Scott just temporary
Stephen Allan I know Clydeway supplies is in there as well but do not know where.
Jessie Caldow From 1955 to 1960, I worked in the business office of Hector Powe’s who manufactured men’s suits and shirts. The factory was in the middle of the estate.

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