Written by Wilma Bolton.
Above is a photograph of what the road just before the Cosy Corner, Mill Road, Hamilton used to look like before the road was widened by the removal of the site of the old Cadzow Colliery mineral railway line.
The walls show the entrance to what we called Laighstonehall House. Originally known as Eddlehurst it had been built for rich Glasgow Merchants (there were another 5 merchants houses further up the Mill Road four at the Bush Park) and one next to Laighstonehall House which we called McAffer’s house which was big and scary, the family who lived there in the 1940/50s sold tomatoes from their greenhouses.
There was also Chantinghall House further down the road. The Glasgow merchants had built these houses in the country to get away from the dirt and smog of Glasgow and then came the coal mines with all their workers and black smoke right on their doorsteps. They were absolutely surrounded by coal mines. That was not all, the houses started subsiding from the underground workings.
The Glasgow merchants moved out and Watson the Coal master bought them and let them to his managers with the exception of this one as his son and heir lived at this property at one time (must have been before it really subsided). As a wee girl, I used to play with a girl called Preece who lived in it and the floors were so uneven I felt seasick when walking in it. You were either walking uphill or downhill.
Laighstonehall House was built on the site of the old mill (Mill Road got its name from it) which once stood there. The lade can still be seen in the burn just up from the Cosy Corner.
There are two of the merchant’s houses still standing, one on Mill Road, across from the back of St Anne’s school. Known locally as “The Majors” after a major who lived there many years ago. Its real name is Ivy Grove and it was at one time the property of a lawyer called Hay. It is a lovely house but has historic subsidence damage. The other one is at Graham Avenue and it was the South Church Manse for many years. It is now privately owned.
The narrow road down to the Cosy Corner had no lights and it was pitch black. I worked in Phillips factory and was really only a wee lassie (17) and had to go down it myself on a day shift. As it was half past five in the morning I used to take to my heels and run like a greyhound from the last house in Mill Road to the houses at Chantinghall. I was petrified as there was a flasher hanging about in the trees. A female police officer (Laura Thorburn) who was Hamilton’s first female detective used to walk this road in an attempt to catch him.
Laura was a tall slim blond and he would have spotted her a mile away so she never did catch him.
Below is the approximate site of the former Eddlehurst House.