Memories of Greenhills Playbarn as bulldozers tear down popular sports hub


Residents of East Kilbride are sharing fond memories of Greenhills Playbarn as the bulldozers moved in this week to make way for social housing.

A landmark in the town for four decades, the disused sports center was once a thriving community hub for generations of local youngsters and sport stars.

Demolition of the building began on Friday with Merchant Homes Partnerships given the green light to build 28 two-bedroom flats on the site on behalf of the Sanctuary Housing Association.

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Rumors had swirled that the site was going to be used for new homeless units after South Lanarkshire Council announced that Lindsay House in the Village would eventually close its doors, but these were soon quashed.

Opened in the 1970s, the Greenhills Playbarn was packed with crowds of sporting enthusiasts from all over East Kilbride.

The demolition begins at Greenhills Sports Center

The playbarn was built as a result of the increased demand for sporting facilities in the new town, especially in the Greenhills area.

Home to East Kilbride Gymnastics Club for many years, other sports offered included five-a-side football, badminton, table tennis, volleyball, handball and netball.

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The eleven popular haunt is reduced to rubble

And, unlike the John Wright Sports Center there was no membership scheme, so disadvantaged youngsters far and wide could enjoy the facilities.

Capturing the moment the bulldozers began the demolition, local resident Irene Dorrian said: “The playbarn was a big part of my family’s growing up here in Greenhills.

East Kilbride Gymnastics Club trained at the Greenhills sports center

“My son was always there playing 5s and my daughters went to the summer playscheme then the gymnastics.

“It was a great place years ago for the kids but it’s been lying empty for years, I knew it would end up being demolished eventually.”

Sharing fond memories of the playbarn online, residents said they were sad to see another vital East Kilbride community resource go to developers.

Plans have been passed for 28 flats on the site of the vacant Greenhills Sports Center

Posting on an East Kilbride Facebook community page, a local resident said: “Fond memories of the playbarn. More houses and less facilities for kids. Such a shame. Was always a landmark for directions/meetings/parties.”

Another posted: “Lived close by in Fir Drive, girls went to gymnastics there, landmark gone.”

A Greenhills resident added: “Gymnastics and pokemon battles and card trades. Grew up around this place, sad times.”

What are your memories of the Greenhills Playbarn? Email [email protected] or post on our Facebook page.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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