Tommy Ward

I had a message from Janette McCallum & John Murray, asking about local “Hamilton Characters”, one of the Characters who was mentioned twice was a guy called Tommy Ward!

John Murray wrote:

“Who remembers Jimmy Hamilton? How about Tommy Ward? Both Hamilton characters, would love to hear from folks that remember them”

Janette McCallum wrote:

“Can anyone remember Tommy Ward who used to walk around with his little dog wearing woman’s clothes”

Now I had never heard of Tommy Ward as he was before my time, However we had another post from Margaret Murray that was copied from the Facebook page, “The two Larky mashers from Avon High Street.”

Here is the Post below:

“Tommy Ward- the World’s First Homosexual?

Mashers who frequented Hamilton Town Centre in the 1960’s may have heard of the name, Tommy Ward.

Remember this was a time when Gay was a descriptive word for Paris or described your mood on a night out after a few pints.

In fact The Sexual Offences Act 1967 became an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom (citation 1967 c. 60). It decriminalised homosexual acts in private between two men, both of whom had to have attained the age of 21. The Act applied only to England and Wales and did not cover the Merchant Navy or the Armed Forces. Homosexuality was decriminalised in Scotland by the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1980 and in Northern Ireland by the Homosexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 1982.

To me in my Macho world Tommy Ward was all of the above and a ‘poof’ or any of the other words around at the time, and there were plenty, and worse.

I had heard of the guy, and the fact that he dressed up as a woman, but I had never actually seen him and as time passed I wrote it off as a myth.

Until one night coming up from the Splendid Hotel passing by the Chez Suzette’s Coffee Bar and approaching the Cross I was aware of someone standing in a doorway. I turned round, and I’ll be honest, got the fright of my life, It was him, Tommy Ward, not in woman’s clothing, but a tall man, dark hair with make up, very effeminate looking, a sort of Lanarkshire Liberace.

As I quickened my pace the insults from across the street from a group of lads grew louder, I think you can guess the tone and words used, but he got the works.

I saw him around Hamilton a couple of times after that, and it was always the same, abuse was hurled at him and to be fair he gave it back.

Thinking back he was a pioneer for gay rights in our area, he took the insults, and life must have been hard for him, but he obviously had guts. He was just born in the wrong era.

Did you know of him?

To me, he was Tommy Ward, the World’s First Homosexual.”

Who was the “Hamilton Character” that always makes you laugh? Let us know and share your memories.

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One thought on “Tommy Ward”

  1. I lived on the street ( Hutchison Street) where he would walk up well more like minced with his wee dug on a lead but the lead was held et arms length and he held it between his thumb and forefinger saying to the wee dug come on ya wee bitch ye . He was related to the Griffins I think Pat Griffins wife Alice ? was his sister ! I remember another time he was standing with all the other workers he worked with all the women sorting potatoes at a Potato Merchants in Avon St and he stood there wi his shopping back in the crux of his arm gossiping away with them . Must admit never saw him in a dress ever ! Oh and he’d come out of a pub down there and cross over in front of the Hibernian walk with his half of bitter or lager !

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