For a long time I have been fascinated by Hamilton’s history, I have read numerous books about my home town and as I drive from place to place, I always look out for old buildings or land where factories, houses or farms once stood.
I have often thought about the Hamilton Palace and its Dukes and it saddens me to think of what a credit the Palace could have been to Hamilton if it was still standing today.
Eight years ago my mum bought me a book written by local author and Historian Wilma Bolton, it was called “Black Faces and Tackety Boots”. I always knew about the coal mines of Hamilton, however, like most people I never knew about the horrific fatality’s of men and young boys, who were working underground. I read about the hardship on families as well as the good times and community spirit that the Miners had.
After reading Wilma Bolton’s books, once again I started thinking of Hamilton’s history and its people. I wanted to do something myself but didn’t know where to start. I stumbled across a website called “The Blantyre Project” a page set up by Paul Veverka. This is also a man really passionate about his home town of Blantyre. I got speaking to Paul and over a few months he gave me some really good advice on putting together a website and the best way to start my research. I spoke with my wife Emma and discussed with her about starting my very own website about Hamilton and its people and she was and still is very supportive.
On the 19th of April 2015 I set up Historic Hamilton as a Facebook Page. I intended to write about Hamilton and pack it with facts and stories about the town. I thought that I might get a couple of hundred likes, but after 4-5 weeks, the page rocketed and I was getting between 60-150 likes per day!
The page went in a totally different direction as to what I had planned out in my head, all of the group members started to send us their family photos and stories and before I knew it I was inundated with photos and requests.
As of now, when I write this, the page has 8,986 likes and when I do a story it generates between 2000 & 20,000 views. This is all down to all of you – the members of Historic Hamilton!
We have people in the group from all over the world and frequent contributors from Canada, USA, Dubai (UAE) & Australia. One thing that really makes me happy, is that the page has reunited families and old friends that lost touch many years ago. Please keep sending us your pictures and stories and they will be shared across Hamilton, the UK and the rest of the world.
One thing that I would like to see before the end of 2015 is the page hitting 9000 likes!! All we need is 14 more people to like the page, so tell your friends and family about Historic Hamilton and ask them to stop by and give us a like.
Looking towards the future I will be planning to put Historic Hamilton on paper and write a book about Hamilton and it’s people, so you never know, you or your family might just appear in it.
I hope that Historic Hamilton continues to take you on a nostalgic journey and bring you happiness when you stop by and visit our page.
As the end of 2015 approaches from my family to yours, we would like to wish you all a very happy, healthy & prosperous New Year.
Aw the best for 2016.
Garry, Emma,Daniel, Ryan & Caiden McCallum.