On Saturday the 15th of June 1985 the residents of Whitehill put on their annual Gala Day Event. They put the event on with style and everyone came out and showed some great community spirit.
The Gala Queen was Sharon McGuire, who was a pupil at St. Paul’s Primary School and she was the star attraction of the day in her robes and finery and she was surrounded by her maids-of-honour and couriers.
In this year nearly, every child joined in the sense of occasion, dressing up as everything from clowns to cowboys and even as Dalmatians.
Other characters appearing on the streets of Whitehill during the Gala Procession included wanderers from the land of Oz (Complete with Wizard) But all agreed that on the day Whitehill was definitely the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. For everyone in the area, both young and old, It was a Gala Day to remember.
Did you attend the Whitehill Gala Day of 1985? If you did, then we would like to hear from you. Please send us your pictures and stories of the day. And if you see any familiar faces, then please remember to tag them.
THE NEW BMX COURSE OPENS AT THE BENT 1985.
Hamilton’s BMX biking craze was raised to the level of a sport on the morning of Saturday the 4th May 1985 when the district council opened the towns very first BMX course for stunt and racing bikes.
The course was officially opened by Murray Tremble who was the chairman of the council leisure and recreation committee. The track was built at the Bent recreational grounds and on the day a specially organised event was put on to mark the occasion.
The event was organised and sponsored by Hamilton round table and on the day four local primary schools and two secondary schools took part, with Woodhead Primary emerging victors following a handicap playoff against the secondary winners, Holy cross High.
The victorious Woodhead team consisted of primary 6 & 7 pupils who were, Alex Crawford, Colin Main, Gorgon Cotter, Alan Taylor & Derek Boslem.
The round table handed over a trophy to the winners plus a £50 cheque for the school which has decided to donate half of the money to Yorkhill Hospital. The individual team members were also given book tokens.
The councils accident prevention committee handed out badges to all taking part and individual trophies for the different race section winners.
So in 1985, the Hamilton town council were keen to start a fully-fledged BMX club to ensure that the track was properly kept and properly used. Mr George Ralton who owned the Raleigh Cycle shop at 6 Avon Street offered to form a BMX club.
Were you at the opening of the brand-new BMX course on Saturday the 4th of May 1985? If you were, then we would love to hear from you. If you see any familiar faces in the pictures, then please tag and share.
WATSON STREET, BURNBANK.
There are many streets in Hamilton which are long gone, and the names have been lost in the mist of time. One of these streets was called Watson Street.
Watson Street was a street situated off Whitehill Road in Burnbank. It consisted of 8 tenements Which housed 4 on each side of the Street and it included 1 Shop. The tenements were built between 1875 & 1885.
The tenements in Watson Street were 3 storeys high and in 1915 the shop in the street was rented by John Lees, and he ran the shop as a confectioner. This would have been the wee shop in the street that sold tins of food and day to day household goods.
The valuation rolls listed the houses on one side as 1-23 and 2-24. The shop was situated at number 9-11.
Apart from John Lees, all of the men in 1915 who lived in the street worked as Coal Miners, so it is possible that they all worked at the same colliery.
In 1915 the Rent for a house in Watson Street was between £6 & £7 per year depending on what house you lived in. The shop was rented at £10 per year.
The Shop at Watson Street changed hands between 1920 & 1925 when William Clarke is the new tenant and he is running a greengrocer, however, this was short-lived, as in 1930 a Mrs Grace Harvey is now renting it. Grace continued to run the shop up until at least 1935.
So, Watson Street in Burnbank was a working-class Street and from its construction and even up until 1935, all the working men who resided in the street were all either coal miners or they worked in connection to the coal mines.
In the local area, there was Greenfield, Earnock, Cadzow & Whistleberry Collieries which all surrounded Burnbank but they all started to close when the coal seams were exhausted. On the 1st of February 1935 Greenfield Colliery, Burnbank, became the last pit in Hamilton to shut permanently.
This would have affected almost all of the families living at Watson Street. Most would have found work in other areas and would have moved away.
The old tenements were eventually demolished to make way for the new industries that were springing up in the area. New flats were built across the road, which was to be known as Sing Sing, so it is possible that a lot of the tenants were relocated across the road and on the site of Watson Street a new factory was built by the M.E.A.
If you are wondering where Watson Street was, then it is where the entrance to Copperwood Crescent is.
The Tenants in 1915 were:
Numbers: 17 Margaret Allan. 13 Thomas Hailstone.
18 David Bett 21 Andrew Hamilton.
7 Dennis Burns 10 William Hamilton.
3 William Carleton 5 Daniel Hassan.
19 John Clark 15 James Hoey
6 Joseph Divers 20 Thomas Hunter
8 David Downie 2 Patrick Kearney
4 John Green 1 John Kelly
9-11 John Lees (Shop) 14 John Macluckie.
23 Jane Maxwell. 12 Alice Smith
16 Thomas Tolland. 22 Robert Weir
24 James Williamson.
Well, another year has passed and I’m sure that you all will agree that it has been a quick one. As you get older the weeks, months and years seem to fly by and 2017 has been a good year for Historic Hamilton.
We have seen over 1,000 new readers like our page and our website is now live. We have reunited many old friends and even put family members back in contact with each other. I am especially proud that we are reaching out to countries all over the world and some of our most viewed stories are read in Canada, Australia, USA and not to mention the many countries across Europe.
We would like to say thanks to everyone who has sent us your pictures and stories over the past 12 months and not to mention our two resident poets Hugh and Kit, they both take us on a nostalgic trip down memory lane with their words. I would also like to say thanks to everyone who has contributed to Historic Hamilton in the past 12 months, there are too many to mention but people like Paul Veverka and Wilma Bolton, you both have given me great advice and as always, it’s really appreciated.
When we post a story, we enjoy reading through all your comments, the old stories of Hamilton are locked in your memory and when a picture triggers that memory you share it with us and we document it.
So, as I write the last post on Historic Hamilton for 2017, I would like to wish all our readers a Happy & prosperous New Year and here is to 2018. Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book, Write a good one!
Garry & Emma McCallum
Hi Folks, I want to share something with you all. From time to time my readers send me things for safe keeping. I have been sent pictures, books, maps and family keepsakes.
I am usually sent these things as people don’t know what to do with them and they don’t want their belongings to be put in the bin or lost.
In September this year, Mary Wood was kind enough to give me some old magazines and flyers that she had kept since she was a young girl. Mary also sent me an old family document that had been passed down to her, which I believe, once belonged to her mum.
This document was an exam paper from St. Johns and it is a real snapshot in time which it is dated 19th of November 1941. The girl at the time who sat the exam was called Agnes Paterson who was a 1st-year pupil at the school. It appears that Agnes Paterson was a very bright wee girl, as she got good marks.
Nonetheless, this is a fantastic piece of Hamilton’s History which I have now digitised and I have it safely filed away for safe keeping. Everything that I have in my Hamilton collection will one day either be donated to the museum or the Hamilton Reference library.
If you have an old Hamilton object or document that you would like to be preserved and you don’t know what to do with it, then I am happy to collect it and keep it safe. If you have any old papers, then I would also like to digitise it and keep it at Historic Hamilton. In turn, this is keeping our history documented for future generations of people to read, or for people in other countries who want to read up on our history.
Mary, thanks again for your donation and I will be researching the history of the wee girl called Agnes Paterson, who sat this exam on the 19th of November 1941.