Bellshill Town Centre
Before becoming a coal mining and iron hub as the rest of the surrounding area, Bellshill’s main economic activities were agriculture and hand-loom weaving. The records indicate that 113 weavers were operating by the end of the 18th century in the parish of Bothwell, which encompasses modern Bellshill.
From the mid-19th century, coal mining and iron production took over as the main activities in Bellshill as it did in the surroundings. This led to a number of railway stations being built in the area, which improved the communications of the settlement.
The Bellshill Hospital was built in the 1870s and specialised in infectious diseases, especially in smallpox when this assumed epidemic proportions in 1899. The two-ward hospital was also used to discharge disabled soldiers during the World War. From 1917, the focus started to lean towards child and infant welfare, to become the first Maternity Hospital in Lanarkshire and the first in the world with an Obstetric Flying Squad. The hospital functioned until 2001 and was demolished in 2003.
It is not coincidental that Bellshill is the birthplace of so many famous names, especially in the worlds of music (link to Did you know) and football with Matt Busby at the head. Malky Mackay, Craig Easton, Ally McCoist and Billy McNeill are just some names in the extensive list of football players and managers born here. TV presenter Jackie Bird and the late politician Robin Cook came to the world in this town, too.
Modern Bellshill occupies a strategic location in the map, well connected with Edinburgh and Glasgow via the M8. It is also served by a train station which is part of two routes: that connecting Glasgow Central with Lanark, and other that links Glasgow Central with Edinburgh via Shotts.
A number of national stores and independent businesses operate in the town centre streets and inside Bellshill shopping centre. Bellshill Academy and the war memorial that sits in front of the building reign in the middle of Main St. The complex hosts one of the two high schools in Bellshill, and just as a fun fact, is the place where Justin Bieber first played in Scotland back in 2010, before becoming a worldwide media phenomena.
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