Have you heard of the Blantyre Gazette?
It was the old way that news was spread
Whether it be a broken window,
Or an obituary for the dead.
John Clifford (Snr.) was the proprietor,
With a first edition in ‘25
The Village of Blantyre could keep in touch,
Their only contact to survive.
With local lads plying their trade,
Keeping Blantyre up to speed
A penny a paper, who could complain,
A truly fantastic local read.
John (Jnr.) worked real hard,
No siblings left to take the reins
Sadly the last edition in ’64,
The last time the press did strain.
J.J. Whelan 2011
The journey has been long, eventful, satisfying, happy and good company, but now it’s time to say goodbye. We have come to the end of the road.
John Clifford. Final Edition, Blantyre Gazette. Jan. 1964.
The Blantyre Gazette.
December. 1925 ……… January 1964.
The Gazette was first published in December. 1925, by John Clifford snr. assisted by his two sons, Andrew and John. Mr. Clifford died in 1950 at the age of 83.
His eldest son Andrew died at his home in Edinburgh in 1958. The business was continued by his second son John, the present publisher. Throughout the great strike of 1926 and the world war 1939-1945, the paper missed only one issue (thought to be during the strike period.)
Now for reasons of indifferent health: being no longer a young man and after the tragic death of his only son, John jnr, and having no one to hand over the reins to, Mr. Clifford is reluctantly forced, in the Paper’s 39th year, to cease publication.
The journey has been long, eventful, satisfying, happy and good company, but now it is time to say goodbye. we have come to the end of the road……
The above paragraph, was written by John Clifford himself and appeared in the last issue of the Gazette Newspaper in 1964.
The Paper cost One Penny when first published in 1925, and only cost Tuppence halfpenny in 1964 Edition! It was obvious that he did not set out to make his fortune by publishing and providing this small, popular, newsy and informative Newspaper at a very ‘Reasonable Price’ throughout the 39 year period, that he was in charge of the Gazette.
John Clifford also served as a member of the Education Board and Parish Councillor and was one of the Councillor’s who were involved in the creation of Stonefield Public Park in the 1930’s. John has to be applauded for his contribution to the People of Blantyre and to its History and Heritage.
The location of the Gazette building on Glasgow Road opposite Victoria Street, was formerly an Ice Cream Parlour owned by Jimmy Capaldi & family, which was a well known meeting place for men, at the turn of the 19th / 20th.Century, because of the fact that it contained a full sized Billiard table! This site was known locally as “Hope Hall” because of ‘The Band of Hope Hall’ (A society similar to the Salvation Army) and the first building to be erected on this site, in the 1800.s
James Cornfield 2009.