We’re keeping the town’s history alive.

Historic Hamilton is a non-profit organisation which is dedicated to researching Hamilton’s past and its people. As well as documenting the town’s history we also like to talk about all things Hamilton. What happens in Hamilton today is just as important as its past.
Earnock Rows5
We also cover family research and have access to many genealogy websites which is all subscription based. If there is a story in your family and the people who are being researched were from Hamilton we will research your family tree free of charge, which will be done at our own discretion. We also like to help where we can to try to solve a family mystery for someone who may be stuck in finding someone.
Marion Young Death.
Historic Hamilton is run by Garry McCallum and all stories and research are done in his spare time. We do encourage all of our group members to get involved with the site and our readers are at the heart of what we do. All of your comments are highly valued and we enjoy reading them.
If you have an old family photo or story that you would like to share, then please send them to us. This, in turn, will persevere your memories and not to mention document your pictures and stories for future generations. We also have readers who visit our Facebook page and websites from all over the world on a daily basis, so your pictures are viewed in many countries.
Thank you for stopping by and spending time with is.
Garry McCallum.
Historic Hamilton.
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HUGH SCOTT. 1912-1997

Hugh Scott.
The generations of our ancestors who have over the past decades and centuries were definitely a tough bunch of people. People made do with what they had, and they also worked to the best of their ability to be strong in adverse situations.
 
In 1978 an old age pensioner called Hugh Scott was a direct example of a tough old Hamiltonian. He was born on the Eighteenth of December 1912 to parents John Scott, who was a coal miner and Mary Johnstone. Hugh was born in 82 Albert Buildings which would have been a tied house at Earnock Colliery. The house came with his father’s job as a coal miner.
 
At the moment I don’t have many details to go on about Hugh’s upbringing or what he did in his younger years. When he was an adult, he served in the Tank Corps during the Second World War and after the war, he worked as a loader driver at Drumclog Sandpit where he continued to work until he retired.
 
Sadly, Hugh’s marriage to Helen Mary Boyle broke down and this is where his run of bad luck started. He found himself homeless and although a succession of friends and relatives gave him lodgings he was eventually forced to live rough.
 
Hugh’s story made headlines in the Hamilton Advertiser in December 1978 where he fell on hard times and his birthday was the forthcoming week where was about to turn 66 years old. He told the reporter of the Advertiser that he wasn’t looking forward to his birthday, not to Christmas.
 
Hugh had become so destitute and he was living in a tent on the banks of the river Avon on the outskirts of the Town. He “Moved In” around 6 months prior while most people were taking their Fair Holiday, after spending some time in living in a cave under the nearby road bridge.
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There were very bad storms in December 1978 and the small tent which Hugh bought from a Tinker had been his only shelter, and with the winter starting to set in he wasn’t looking forward to the New Year either.
 
Blankets and old curtains kept Hugh warm at night and protected him from the nocturnal prowling’s of his regular visitors, moles, field mice & weasels. He used a candle to give him light and he had a five-gallon drum as a fireplace while water for washing and drinking came from the river itself and a nearby spring.
 
Most of his meals came from various halls and hostels in Hamilton, while the animals around his tent made a regular habit of raiding his home for any available food, sometimes eating his soap. But it was just not four-legged predators which Hugh had to deal with.
 
At one-point children cruelly raided Hugh’s tent and threw his clothes and other items into the river. The storms also brought another threat of flooding.
 
However, Hugh who was a well-known figure in Hamilton did manage to weather all the storms, but he did not know how much longer he could last as the last storm to his nearly blew his tent away and the rising water was nearly up to his campsite.
 
The council inspected Hugh’s tent and told him that he couldn’t live in these conditions and they promised him that they would help, but a considerable time had passed since the inspection and there seemed to be no hurry to rehouse Hugh.
 
Hugh called to the council offices on many occasions only to be told that they did not have a house for him and that he had to try again later, so the Hamilton Advertiser enquired to the council on Hugh’s behalf and they told the reporter that “he was very close to the top of the housing list for a two bedroom apartment in Burnbank”.
 
It seemed that the council were indeed very aware of Hugh’s situation and they offered to alleviate his homelessness by putting Hugh into the Hamilton Home, but Hugh would have nothing to do with that. The Hamilton Home, or better known as the Poor House was the last resort for poor people who were destitute, and it was indeed not a very nice place to live.
 
Hugh Scott was a tough old soldier and he continued to live in his tent on the banks of the river Avon. He told the reporter of the Hamilton Advertiser “All that I need for a happy Christmas is to have a roof over my head, even if it’s a hut”.
 
I am sure that Hugh did get his council house not long after he appeared in the Hamilton Advertiser. Hugh was well-known in Hamilton I know that there will be a lot of our readers who knew him, so perhaps you could let us know where he got his new house?
 
Hugh continued lived in Hamilton and he lived to the grand old age of 84 where he died in 1997.
 
Did you know Hugh Scott, or do you remember the story of him living in the Tent on the banks of the Avon? Let us know!

1978 Hamilton Weddings.

All the wedding pictures featured in this Album are from the year 1978. 1978 was a popular year for weddings in…

Posted by Historic Hamilton on Saturday, April 14, 2018

BECKFORD STREET PREFABS 1946.

Beckford Street Prefabs 1946.

The new consignment of Prefabricated house started to arrive in Hamilton in 1946. In March 1946 Beckford Street was a very busy place when people of all ages were flocking to Beckford Street to see the new prefabs which were erected.

There was a consignment of 18 Houses built on the site and the first tenants were to move in April 1946. All the Tarran Type Houses were built with the walls constructed of concrete slabs bolted together at the back.

Each block was a house in its self with front and back doors and the houses consisted of a Livingroom, two bedrooms, kitchenette, bathroom, wc and a lobby. The prefabs only had one fire to heat the whole house and the bedrooms were fitted with plug sockets so that an electric fire could be plugged in.
Hot air from the fire in the living rooms was passed through channels near the ceiling to each of the bedrooms. The hot water in the prefabs was transported from an electric boiler in the kitchenette.

In 1946 the kitchen equipment was at the time installed with the most modern cupboards with hooks, shelves or racks. A coal bunker was also provided and it was situated at the back door and they also came with sheds for storing prams, cycles and garden tools.

In 1946 Prefabricated Houses were being turned out at the rate of 50 per week at the factory of Messrs Tarran, Ltd, at Mossend. Some months later a new machine was installed at the Mossend plant and they would increase their output to 100 Prefabs per week.

The Beckford Street Prefabs paved the way for these types of Houses to be built in Hamilton. They proved to be very popular with people who were wanting a change from their old tenements with shared toilets.

After the Beckford Street prefabs were built, Hamilton received altogether another 54 Tarran type Prefabs. The prefabs were later constructed at May Street, Cadzow Square and Glebe Street.

With this proving popular Aluminium Houses were also Built at throughout Hamilton which consisted of 12 at Holyrood Street; 10 at Rose Crescent; 11 at Mill Road; and 10 at Donaldson Street & George Street.

Did you live in a Hamilton Prefab, or do you have a picture of one? If you do, then Let us know.

Thomas Hamilton & Helen Lochore.

Thomas Hamilton.

Seeing old faces from the past is really great if you find out that you are related to the people in them. This picture was taken in December 1946 and in the picture, we have Mr Thomas Hamilton & Helen Lochore who in this year were celebrating their Dimond wedding anniversary.

Thomas & Helen were born and bred in Hamilton, they were natives of the Ducal Town and they lived in the Hamilton their whole lives and between them they had 9 children, 7 of whom survived to adulthood. They had 12 grandchildren & 7 great grandchildren, so there is every chance that their descendants still live in the town today.

For their Dimond wedding anniversary in 1946 they held their party at the Liberal Club Rooms on Brandon Street where they shared their day with their friends and family.

When they married they lived at Helens house at 3 Fore Row where they spent most of their years and in 1946 they lived at 142 Almada Street and Thomas who was very well known in the town and was a ‘Kenspeckle’ figure in junior football circles. He spent all of his working life working for the Hamilton Advertiser working in the print room. When he retired early in 1929 he had given 51 year’s service to the Hamilton Advertiser.

Thomas was secretary of the Lanarkshire junior football association for 48 years and Lanarkshire junior league secretary from the beginning of the first world war until 1939.

They had two sons who lost their lives in the great war of 1914-1918.

The parents of Thomas were called James Hamilton who was a Joiner & his mother was called Margaret Polson. When Thomas married he lived at the family home which was at 5 Park Road.

 

Margaret Polson.
Margaret Polson.

 

Helen Lochore’s parents were called John Lochore who was a Handloom Weaver & Helen Millar.

Hamiltopn Wedding.

Are you a descendant of Thomas & Helen? If you are, then let us know where in the world you live now.

THE GIRNIN WEAVERS.

Girnin Weaver.

THE GIRNIN WEAVERS.

This quaint old panel was originally embedded in the stonework above the door of the brother Hosie’s bookbinders shop, which once stood on the same site of the former Regal Cinema, Now a carpark on Townhead Street.

The inscription read “The airt of weaving is renowned so, that rich nor poor without it cannot go”

Beneath the inscription are three heads with shuttles in their mouths which probably gave rise to the sobriquet of “The Girnin Weavers”

In November 1946 the old stone panel was housed in the back garden of the house at 40 Auchingrammont Road. In 1946 the house was owned by Mr T. Anderson.

Another interesting antiquity that was stored in the back garden of Mr Anderson in 1946 was a 20 Foot Oak Beam taken from the old Hamilton Grammar School which once stood in Grammar School Square. The old wooden beam was “Ornamented” with the initials and names of the schoolboys bearing the date of 1826.

In May last year, I paid a visit to the house of 40 Auchingrammont Road to see if the stone was still there. The family who lived there were very accommodating and they gave me a tour of their lovely house and garden. Sadly the old stone panel and the old beam are no longer there, so perhaps the said Mr A. Anderson from 1946 had taken these items with him when he moved away.

Do you know where the old stone tablet is? Perhaps it is in your garden or built on to your house as a showpiece? Or do you know the whereabouts of the old wooden beam from the old Grammar school is?

If you do then please let us know, we would like to see this old bit of Hamilton History that once stood in Townhead Street and the old Hamilton Grammar.

GIANT TO BE DISPLAYED AT THE LOW PARKS MUSEUM.

Hamilton Skeleton.

Last week we heard the news that the Giant of Hamilton will be returning to our town after being on display in Texas for the past 15 years.

The giant skeleton which was uncovered at Brackenhill Farm back in 2003 is to be put on display at the Low Parks Museum this summer and it is expected to attract large numbers of people from all over the UK.

It is thought that the term ‘do you think that you’re a big man’ originates from the finding of the Hamilton Giant.

The Giant of Brackenhill is thought to be a distinct breed of ‘Big Man’ who lived in Hamilton 3,000 years ago! There are still to this day descendants who claim to be ‘A Big Man’ that live in Hamilton, however, this turned out to be just a myth.

What are your thoughts on the Giant Skeleton? Let us know!