Nora MacDonald Fabric Shop.

Burnbank Banter1

Nora MacDonald Fabric Shop.

Nora MacDonald’s shop was situated on Glasgow Road in Burnbank and it was across from the Old Greenfield School.

Minutes Made chip shop one side, and Jimmy Mitchell’s pet shop was at the other. Nora lived in Kenilworth Crescent in the Jungle.

The date the shop opened is unknown to me but it was closed down in 1971 by compulsory purchase from the council.

The picture is courtesy of Linda Reid who is Nora’s daughter and was sent to Burnbank Banter in June 2013.

What are your memories of Nora MacDonald’s fabric Shop on Glasgow Road? Let us Know!

The Watson’s Fountain.

Watsons WordPress..JPG

THE WATSON FOUNTAIN.

 

How many times have you driven past this statue and wondered what it was? This statue is actually a fountain!

The statue is one of the last remaining emblems of wealth gifted to the town by one of the coal masters of Hamilton. Hamilton’s Coal masters during the 1800s were very rich and powerful people and one of the coal masters was Sir John Watson, Bart of Earnock.

In 1893, John Watson donated the fountain to the people of Hamilton. It was erected at the junction between Cadzow Street & Muir Street. In the centre of the fountain is a woman who represents & commemorates the finding and working of coal. In her right hand, she held a miners pick and in the other hand a miner’s wire gauge Davy safety lamp. The fountain was built at a cost of £10,000 (Over £600,000 in today’s money)

Today the fountain still stands, however, the miners pick and safety lamp are both missing and the water no longer runs through the fountain.

The house behind the fountain at Muir Street are no longer there, however, they have been replaced with new flats.

I would personally like to see the fountain switched back on again! When I was young in the 1980s I can recall the water running through it, there were 4 exit points for the water at waist height and i believe there were 4 at the bottom (possibly for animals)

So thank you to Sir John Watson for donating this marvellous gift and now an antique for us – the people of Hamilton!

Bet, ye mind,,,,,,

Bet, ye mind,,,,,

 

A wis lookin oot the windae the day n’ thirs nae wains a taw’ oot tae play,,
Then a started thinkin aboot whit oor streets wur like way back in the day,,
Thir wis wains came fae awe ower the schemes, be it hail, rain, sleet ur snaw,,
The wee lassies wae thir skippy ropes, n’ the wee boys wid be kickin’ a baw,,
😇
The bestest times wur whin the lassies wur skippin’ n’ started singin’ a wee song,,
Ye kin bet a poun tae a penny, thit awe the ither wans, wid join in before very long,,
Wan potato, two potato, three potato, four, a bet ye mind a that wan, n’ many, more,,
A still see thim in ma minds eye, “skippin n’ singin’ n’ playin thir games galore,,
😀
Skinny malinky long legs, big banana feet, went tae the picturs’ couldnae git a seat,,
Then the wee wains wae thir dolls, singin’ be baw babbity, that was realy sweet,,,
Three wee craws sittin oan a wa’ “ma maws a millionaire” a mind that wan anaw,,,
Ally bally, ally bally be, Sittin’oan yir mammys knee, noo, that wan wis awfy braw,,,
😂
Well, see us wee boys hid wur “durty wans” Mrs Mc quiddy’ comes intae ma mind,,
Bit noo we cannie sing them wee songs any mair,cause they wid be far too unkind,
Chap the door n’ run away, “peever, n’ kick the can” oh aye n’ lets play hide n’ seek,,
A mind whin a gote a wee bit aulder, ‘kiss cuddle ur torture’ a wis sore fur a week,,,
😢

(A love a lassie, a bonnie heelan lassie )

The above poem was written for Historic Hamilton by Hugh Hainey,

The Burnbank Bolt Works 1931.

The Burnbank Bolt works 1931.

 

Burnbank Bolt Works..JPG

In the picture are girls from the Burnbank Bolt Factory. This picture was taken in 1931 and was sent to us by Paul McCarroll.

Paul told us: “My Granny is bottom row 3rd from left and her name was Martha Mccarroll (maiden name Strachan) and her sister Rose Cox (maiden name also Strachan) is first on the right bottom row with some girls arm around her.”

Paul, thank you for sending us this fantastic picture of a bygone era. Many people worked at the Burnbank Bolt Works. The factory holds many good memories for people and i know this because people speak about the Bolt Works all the time on Historic Hamilton.

Share your memories of the Bolt Works or even better, do you have an old picture from inside the Burnbank Bolt works? If you do, then send it to us and we will share it with everyone on Historic Hamilton.

Torheads Farm and Lake.

Torheads Farm and Lake.
By Garry McCallum – Historic Hamilton.

Torheads Lake1.JPG

The large lands, once owned by the Watson family, stretched over 2000 acres all the way from Earnock past Torheads and down to Fairhill and Meikle Earnock and at Torheads, there is very little written about this part of Sir John Watson’s land. I wanted to tell you the story about the Torheads lake but when I started to research the lands of Torhead I thought that I would do this area of Hamilton some justice, and tell you about the people who once lived here.

Torheads Lake takes its name after Torheads Farm, which was a farm steading situated south of Hamilton Town Centre and the farmland stretched across 57 acres and it was surrounded by fields and woodland as far as the eye could see.

The first owner that I have found was a farmer called William Gardiner who was born on the sixteenth of September 1810, to parents William Gardiner Snr and Janet Hart. William Gardiner who from 1841, owned the farm and he lived here with his wife Margaret Wilson and their nine children who were called William, Janet, Margaret, John, Jane, Andrew, James, Robert and Bethia.

It seems that William was an outgoing social person, who liked to take part in things within his community. One thing that he always took part in was the local Annual Ploughing matches, where in February 1849, he judged a Ploughing Match in Hamilton and later on in 1856, he appears in the Glasgow Hearld as coming in 4th place in a ploughing competition where the Duke of Hamilton was in attendance handing out medals to the winners on this day.

William Gardiner had owned Torheads from at least 1841 up until 1863, where things seem to take a turn for the worse for William as in April 1863, he files for Bankruptcy and he loses his Farm at Torheads. At the age of 53, poor William after working at the farm his whole life is left with nothing. Torheads Farm was later overseen by the Heirs of D. Marshall Esq and was factored by Thomas Dykes of Hamilton. After 1863, the trail goes cold and I can’t find any further info on what became of William and his family.

Ellen Wilson Born at Torheads 1873.

Moving on, the next family that I found living at Torheads was the Wilson Family. In 1865, the farm steading was leased to John Wilson who was a man from Avondale in Lanarkshire and he took over Torheads and became the new tenant farmer.
John Wilson who was married to Elizabeth Blackwood leased Torheads from 1865, up until his death 17th May 1884. In the time that John and his wife Elizabeth lived on the farm, they had six children born at Torheads who were John, James, Elizabeth, Ellen, Robert & Euphemina.

As Sir John Watson started to extend his coal mining empire, he snapped up all of the land and properties around Midstonehall and Earnock, which began with the purchase of the Midstonehall Estate in April 1871. Sir John Watson wanting to put his own stamp on Midstonehall House then changed it’s name to Neilston House taking the name from a nearby Farm Steading which was to be then locally known as the Old Neilston House.

Tor Lake 1877 WM.JPG
Sir John Watson moved on and extended his land portfolio and bought the land at Torheads and in the year 1873, he arranged for a water supply pipe to be run from Neisland Mansion House to the Torheads marshy land which surrounded Torheads Farm at this time. The area was formerly known as the “Tally Ho” and it was transformed into a small lake. When the lake was constructed, a varied selection of trees were planted to form an arboretum on both sides of the glen and a rockery was also created to give it a much grander appearance.

I have to mention that the name “Tally Ho” could possibly have been used in reference to a hunting ground, but this is just my thoughts on it. The Tor Lake was more than likely designed by a Dundee man named David Mitchell, who was a former gardener of the Duke of Hamilton. David Mitchell had also helped build the beautiful gardens at the Grand Neilsland House.

In the year 1895, a man named Robert Maxwell, who was a road foreman, is now living at Torheads and renting from Sir John Watson. As Robert was a foreman, I would say that the house at Torheads was a ‘Perk of the Job’ house. Robert Maxwell, even though was living in the farmhouse and as I stated, was not a farmer, he was a Foreman and did not seem to have lived here for long, as only 10 years later the land at Torheads, is being used once again as a working farm. Robert Nisbet who was a Dairyman is now the tenant farmer and running Torheads as a milk dairy. He is now leasing part of Torheads from the Watsons and once more this tenancy is a short one as Robert died of heart failure at the age of 47, on the 21st of November 1908.

1905 Map of Torheads1.
After the death of Robert Nisbet, the farm is partly leased – yet again from the Watson’s and it was a cow feeder who went by the name of Alexander Baird, who was now overseeing Torhead Farm. Now, I know that a lot of you can relate to the name Baird as they have been a long established family of milkmen in the town.

The Bairds worked on Torheads farm from around 1910, and I have traced this family still living here in 1930, where around this time the lease seems to change hands and there is now a man named Alexander Robertson who also seems to be involved in the farm. The Bairds in Hamilton are still to this day a family of milkmen, they have Dairies in High Patrick Street, Portland Place and I believe that they have farms around the Muttonhole Road area.

Torheads Walk..JPG

I have still got much research to do on Torheads Farm and Lake and I will probably update this story for Historic Hamilton when I gather more information on it. On Sunday the 23rd of April 2017 I visited the swampy marshy land with my two sons Daniel and Ryan and as we approached the field we were greeted by two big deer, which unbeknown to us were standing watching as we walked past.

When we got as close as about 200 yards they bolted and both jumped over a big high metal fence to get away and I don’t know who got the biggest fright, them or us.

Torheads Swamp..JPG

As we approached what was once called the Taly Ho and walked down through the fields and eventually reached old Torhead Lake I was trying to imagine the fun that the Watson’s would have had when they were entertaining their guests with a game of curling. We only managed to get as far as the edge of the lake but it was a hard obstacle to tackle as the overgrown hedges and trees stopped us from going straight through. This area has now been left to mother nature.

Torheads Bricks..JPG

When I went on my trip to Torhead Lake, I was trying to find if there was still evidence of the Boat House that was seen in the picture of the Watson’s curling on the Lake. I never got as deep into the swamp as I would have liked to, but this will be another adventure for another day.

Brick at Torheads..JPG

I would like to ask our readers who live in Pembury Crescent – have you noticed any evidence of brickwork through the dense overgrown trees? For those of you who didn’t know, if you live in the row of houses from 17 to 37, where your back garden looks onto trees, you face the old Torheads Lake.

Torheads Farm 1971.1.JPG

THIS IS A PUBLIC LIBRARY.

THIS IS A PUBLIC LIBRARY.

Transcribed by Wilma Bolton from The Hamilton Advertiser.

 

Storehouse of the culture of generations

 

The university of the working man;

 

The meeting place of the authors,

 

The poets and philosophers

 

Who have shaped the destiny of civilisation through the ages

 

A stronghold of the freedom of democracy

 

Where free-men may read what free-men write,

 

The temple of all the arts

 

Where the humblest and the mightiest may enter

 

Friend, you stand on sacred ground.

     THIS IS A PUBLIC LIBRARY.

Ref. 14/11/1942. Hamilton Advertiser.

(Transcribed by Wilma Bolton)

Stuffed Cows on the move.

Cattle on the Move by Wilma Bolton.

We have a picture sent to Historic Hamilton by Wilma Bolton who wanted to give you all some peace of mind.about the stuffed cows that used to be in the Library.

I don’t recall ever seeing them, but apparently, they were here and they were housed in the library before being moved to Chathelerult.

This picture shows the cows being transported away from the Hamilton Library, Perhaps Wilma could tell us the date?

As always, thank you, Wilma.