In the early hours of 2nd December 1946, the gable of 4 John Street collapsed in a fierce storm that Sunday night/ Monday morning. It rendered six families homeless. Although the authorities rehoused three families, three families remained defiant about not moving until they were satisfied that alternative accommodation would be up to standard.
Luckily nobody was injured. Three out of the 6 families made homeless ended up living temporarily in shops, and one part of the school. Mrs O Neil living in the former Blantyre WVS shop, found her new “home” quite comfortable and cosy but of course was anxious to find a house, rather than live in a room with a shop counter!
The Nesbit family moved temporarily into the housewifery building attached to Calder Street School. Mrs Nesbit is pictured here with her daughter, Betty that year. The little building felt quite like a cottage but again, the family wanted a proper home to move to.
Another family lived in another shop. Mr John Finnie had the problem of trying to rehouse the other remaining three families. He was the County Sanitary Inspector and sent them a letter informing them that the ruined John Street building was dangerous to occupiers and they were advised to leave at once.
One of the remaining tenants, Mr John Gough a member of the local tenants’ association and also a former District Councillor visited the inspector on behalf of the 3 families. He asked that given the exceptional circumstances, that the families should be rehoused in new homes.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka © 2017
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