When reading through old news paper articles, you sometimes come across some sad stories and none was sadder than the story of a poor wee girl called Sarah McFarlane who died when she was out playing in the back court of her house.
The Daily Record reported the story on the 4th February 1914 and it read:
“The Hamilton police report a distressing fatality in a back court in Church Street. A rope stretched from a lamp post to a telephone pole is made use of by the tenants as a clothes line. At one end of the line a loop hangs down, and the children have been in the habit of fixing this loop round their waist and swinging on it.
Sarah McFarlane (3), daughter of a miner appears to have attempted to imitate her elder playmates, with the result that the rope slipped upwards and caught her round her neck. Before assistance could reach her death had ensued from strangulation.”
Sarah was the daughter of James & Sarah McFarlane James was from Cambuslang and Sarah from East Kilbride. They had only been married 8 years, they had two other children called James & Mary-Ann. The family like most could have come to Hamilton so that James could gain employment at one of the mines.
The family lived at 39 Church Street, the accident could probably have happened at the back court of number 39 and as you can imagine, this would haunt Sarah McFarlane every time she had to go outside to dry her washing.
I had a look at the 1915 valuation roll and the family were still living at 39 church street! I have left the research at this point as there still may be some descendants of James & Sarah McFarlane living in the town.