Lloyd’s Motorcycles.

Lloyds Motorcycle World June 1985.

In 1985 the Peacock Cross had one of the largest motorcycle shops in the country.

This picture shows us the size of the building with all the bikes inside. What are your memories of Lloyd’s Motorcycles?






In the mid-1980’s a group of travellers came to Burnbank with their horses, waggons and vans. They were the last known group of Tinkers to come to Hamilton as they were being phased out and forced to live in council houses.

For hundreds of years, Tinkers have passed through not only Hamilton but all over Scotland using old roads and forgotten by-ways. They were also known as the Summer Walkers, as they settled in an area for winter and travelled in the summer days.
There are many different types of travellers, they are Irish, Romany, Gypsies, and Scottish Tinkers and just like the Royal family and British hierarchy, they all keep to their own kind with cousins marrying cousins and a strong family marrying into another.

This group of Tinkers however and for some reason unknown to many never moved on in the summer. They set up their Tinkers Camp at Greenfield and they stayed at Burnbank for longer than most of the residents wanted them to.

In the old years, the Scottish Tinker was welcomed every summer by many generations of housewives and Farmers alike. They were very hard-working people and when they came to town they brought their trade with them.

The men were great Tinsmiths and they made and mended pots and pans, they made spoons and forks and anything that could be used in the kitchen, the men would make these scullery objects.

They also made Baskets and worked on the Farms, so once a year they had repeat customers and the Tinkers wives were great Hawkers, who went around the doors selling their Husbands goods, the Tinker women also earned money by reading palms and selling lucky white heather.

If the Tinker family were in town, then the Farmers welcomed them and either gave them land to pitch their bow tents or in the colder days, they were offered a barn to sleep in.

Anthony McCallum c1900-Hamilton

However, this was in the old days and when you could now buy ladles and kitchen utensil’s cheaper than the cost to repair it, the Tinkers trades went out of fashion. The tractors on the Farms got bigger and there was less need for hard manual labour.
The family of Tinkers who were camping at Greenfield could all have been from the same one, however, it is likely that they were different families.

Most of the Tinkers at the camp were hard-working people, but it was also known that there were thieves among them and from time to time, the travellers clashed with the residents of Burnbank and fighting among them was common.

The police were called to the Tinkers camp many times by Burnbank residents and some of the alleged offences were urinating in the street, noise making at night and many other things. The environmental health board were sent for on many occasions and each time they attended the Tinkers Camp, they were chased off by brute force and dogs.

The Hamilton burgh police were also accused in February 1985 of turning a blind eye to the goings on at the Camp and a headline in the Hamilton Advertiser read “The law has gone soft on Travelling People”. A local councillor got involved to try to have the council disperse the camp but at the time the government had a policy of non-harassment of Travellers, which prevented the Police using their full powers to move the camp on.

The site at Greenfield where the travellers camped was deemed an illegal site, but nonetheless, they were never moved away from it.

So, the residents of Burnbank thought that the Tinkers were there for a long stay! One weekend in the middle of February and without notice, a mass exodus suddenly had taken place! The Tinkers had all packed up and left the illegal Greenfield Camp Site.

Of the 18 caravans pitched there, only four remained, following what was understood to be a dispute between the Traveller families.

The police reported that at the time of their departure, there had been no reports of a disturbance or any crime connected to the dispute, which involved two families.

The future of the controversial traveller’s colony was in doubt and it was not known when the four other remaining caravans were to move. There was also a dispute between Strathclyde Regional Council and the local authority as to who actually owned the land. (I bet today, there would be no argument as to who owned a bit of land, no matter its size!)

There was a proposal put forward to allow the remaining travellers to stay at Burnbank until a new legal campsite became available at Swinhill in Larkhall that Summer.
The district council agreed on the condition that the region provides toilet facilities on the site and when the travellers eventually move off Greenfield, the site had to be fenced off to prevent any of them returning.

The management of the adjacent Lanarkshire Bolt works Ltd also made complaints about the Travellers interfering with the water main in the area and turning the main entrance to their premises into what one executive described as “an Ice Rink” with possible risk of injury to its employees.

So, the last of the travellers finally packed up and left Greenfield and moved on to their new premises at Larkhall, where I’m sure some of them still remain to this day. But they did leave us with the memories of how this old way of living was still in existence even in 1985.

We would love to know what your memories are of the Travellers who lived in Burnbank? Or even better, do you have any pictures?

14,000 likes on Historic Hamilton.

Logo (14,000)

This month we have reached another milestone on our Facebook page. We have now got over 14,000 followers!
We would like to say thank you to every single one of you for stopping by and spending time with us on Historic Hamilton.
After today we will be going offline for a while as we will be moving house. We are moving back to Hamilton after being away from the town for nearly 20 years, so new things on the horizon for the McCallum family.
Historic Hamilton should be back in a couple of weeks, please keep sending us your pictures, stories and family research requests as we will pick them up on our return.
Thanks again for your support and see you all soon…..


Whitehill Gala Day 1985.

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.

Whitehill Gala Day 1985.1

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.

Whitehill Gala Day 1985.2

In this year nearly, every child joined in the sense of occasion, dressing up as everything from clowns to cowboys and even as Dalmatians.

Whitehill Gala Day 1985.3


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.




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.


Watson Street map 1892-1914.

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.

Watson Street 2015.

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.


Hi Folks,

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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
Historic Hamilton.