Blantyre has a number of small hamlets. High Blantyre is thought to be the area of
earliest settlement, with a Bronze Age village near Auchintibber.
On 22 October 1877, Blantyre was the site of theBlantyre mining disaster, where
207 miners (men and boys) were killed when a coal mine exploded due tomethanegas.
There is little doubt that safety regulations were not adhered to.A monument to
the disaster of which the youngest victim was a boy of 11 is at High Blantyre cross.
The site of the mine now lies under theEast Kilbrideexpressway.
Blantyre has a football club competing inScottish Junior Football Associationcompetitions,Blantyre
Victoria F.C.. Known as the Vics, they won theScottish Junior Cup(the highest achievement
in junior football) in 1950, 1970 and 1982; their home ground is called Castle Park.
There is another football club in the town, Blantyre Celtic F.C.. The original club
went out of existence in the early 1990s however, in 2010, they reformed as an amateur
The town has long had links with speedway racing. In the pioneer days a group of
riders who appeared at White City in Glasgow were known as "The Blantyre Crowd".
They operated their own track at Airbles Road inMotherwellin 1930 and this was
known as Paragon Speedway. The Blantyre Crowd also operated a more professional version
on the same site in 1932. The greatest ever Scottish rider, Ken McKinlay came from
Blantyre as did Tommy Miller who had a somewhat meteoric rise to stardom in 1950.
Speedway was staged at the Greyhound Stadium as the home of the Glasgow Tigers in
the late 1970s/early 1980s before the new road forced a move to Craighead Park which
closed down at the end of the 1986 season.
Blantyre's most famous son is the 19th century missionary and explorerDavid Livingstone.
He is acknowledged as the first European to see the "Mosi-oa-Tunya" (TokaleyaandTonga:
the Smoke that Thunders) which he named in English theVictoria Fallsafter the then
British sovereignQueen Victoria. His former house is now amuseumwhich is at the
end of Station Road, on the banks of theRiver Clyde. This centre includes a museum,
a playpark, a cafe, a shop, an African Garden and several workshop studios.
Mandala (the largest city and commercial centre ofMalawi), one of the countries
which Livingstone explored, is more commonly namedBlantyrein recognition of the
link created by Livingstone during the colonial era.