Walter Wingate, Hamilton’s Poet. 1865 – 1918.

Walter Wingate WM.

Walter Wingate was born on 15 April 1865, in Dalry in Ayrshire, the fourth son of David Wingate, who himself was known as ‘The Collier Poet’, having achieved some local fame for his own poems and songs. While Walter was still an infant, the family removed to Lanarkshire, where he remained for the rest of his life.
 
He attended Hutcheson’s Grammar School in Hamilton and, at the age of 16, went to Glasgow University from where he graduated with honours in mathematics before the age of 20. He was keen to work for the Indian Civil Service, but though passing all the academic tests, failed the physical requirements due to poor eyesight.
 
Countering this disappointment, he turned to teaching, obtaining an appointment in St. John’s Grammar School in Hamilton as mathematics master, a position he continued to occupy until his untimely death at the age of 52. Many years later a memorial fund was inaugurated by the Hamilton Civic Society, and a framed picture of the poet was given to the school in 1932.
 
During his life Wingate contributed poems to the Glasgow Herald and Evening News, to magazines, and to the anthologies of the Glasgow Ballad Club, but never had a book of his own published.
 
In his editor’s note in the collection put together after Wingate’s death, (Poems, published by Gowans and Gray in 1919) Adam Gowans speculates that many of the poems ‘will become familiar and dear to his countrymen.’ Certainly the Scots pieces have: ‘The Sair Finger’ remains a popular recitation piece, along with ‘The Dominie’s Happy Lot’ and ‘Conscience’.
 
A contemporary reviewer in The Scotsman was of the opinion that ‘the Scots verses are racier and more humorous in expression’, while praising the tender meditations on nature in both languages. Wingate’s talent for capturing wayside flowers and their habitat in watercolours was equalled by his ability to paint in words the countryside he so loved to wander.
 
In 1907, Walter had married Agnes Thom, who predeceased him by two years; her sudden death affected him profoundly and may have hastened his own death in 1918. Their two sons were subsequently raised by relatives, including Walter Buchanan, also a member of The Glasgow Ballad Club, who contributed the preface to Wingate’s posthumous collection.
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The last poem of Walter Wingate.

Following on from our earlier post on Walter Wingate, Iain English sent us a poem that was written by the Hamilton Poet in 1917.
 
This poem until today has never been published and is the first time that it has been read by the public as it has been in the families possession since 1917.
 
Iain told Historic Hamilton:
 
“Walter Wingate (famous Scots poet) knew the Dawson family (and my Grandmother) and wrote this poem dedicated to Robert Dawson who was tragically killed in Passchendaele”
 
Here is Walter Wingate’s poem which was dedicated to Hamilton soldier Robert Dawson, which was to be one of his last poems written as he died the following year (1918)
 
 
“Corporal Dawson died of wounds”
That is all the story.
Brief and poor the notice sounds
Not a word of glory.
 
Sits Etaples by the sea:
There when war is over,
We may find where such as he,
Last have taken cover.
 
Two, whom none are left to call,
Father now or Mother,
Into lonelier years must fall,
Comforting each other.
 
And a symbol, meant to show,
Lovers newly plighted,
Rings a finger with the woe,
Of sweet promise blighted.
 
Shrapnel tore the soldier’s limb,
Here at longer ranges,
Spreads its havoc: reft of him,
Life’s perspective changes.
 
Let consoling Duty say:
“Would you have desired him,
Though you loved him, to say nay,
When my call required him?
 
God accepts your sacrifice,
Pleased with gift and giver,
And in him your comfort lies:
Death is not forever.
 
Walter Wingate 1865 – 1918.

Jotters….

JotterWM.

Thank you to Sandra Fox who took us on a wee trip down memory lane when she sent us a picture of her old Jotter which she found up the loft.

If you were at school around the 1980s and early 90s and before the region broke up this is what the schools in Hamilton were issued with.

Do you have an old school picture that you would like to share?
Send them to us and we will share with everyone on Historic Hamilton.

John Reynolds aka Jukebox Johnny R.I.P. 1948 – 2017.

Juke BoxJohnny WM.Hi all, I just wanted to let you all know that sadly John Reynolds passed away on Wednesday. John who was well known around Hamilton and in his younger years he played football and was a football agent. Later in life, he cleaned windows and was a pioneer of the music singing contests where he appeared on Michael Barrymore’s ‘My Kind of People’.

John was a karaoke singer and he sang I a lot of pubs & clubs around Hamilton & Lanarkshire. In his recent years, he has been in a home with Alzheimer’s.

Our thoughts are with John’s family at this time and I am sure that you will all agree that we have lost another Hamilton legend who will ever be in our thoughts for years to come. John’s family will let us know in due course where & when his funeral will be held.

John Reynolds 1948 – 2017.

Haud yir weesht!

In memory of all the steel work jobs
that migrated south.

Ravenscraig.

Haud yir weesht!

Haud yer wheesht ya we
bit man a’ll tell ye this
am no a fan. Ye micht
hay dun it when ye
waur 22 but it’s
nay yoose at
40 an yer oan
the buroo.

A wee durty fiver tae git
a drink, am a made
o’ money wad dae
ye think. Ma moneys
aw goan tae monday
week, anywise ye’d
pish yer drawers
an then ye’d reek.

Whaurs yer suit, it’s in the
pawn, nae yoose you
haudin oot yer haun.
A bocht sum tatties
an sum mince fur
wir dinner there
thi nicht, why
don’t ye git
yirsel a joab
an gie us aw
a fricht.

They shut thi Craig thirs nae
Joabs left, thi street
cleaner’s goat a degree.
Thi man in buroo saes
thirs naethin
tae dae an
it’s aw up
fur me.

Am no trained fur nursing
tae lay bricks isnae me,
am only trained as a
hoat bed slinger an
the only bed thas
hoat noo is
the wain’s
when she
pees.

Ifn thirs nae work tae be
hud wits a man tae dae,
thirs nae yoose prayn
tae God he’s been pyed
aff tae.

Aw the factories thas left
it’s weemin they want tae
employ, that an fur sweepin
up jist a young wee boy. A’ll
need tae get a license an
learn tae drive a truck,
mibies a’ll get a joab
then if thi tories don’t
F*** tha up.

Ravenscraig1

Written for Historic Hamilton by Kit Duddy.

Brandon Street mind 1980s.

Brandon StreetWM..JPG

Brandon Street mind 1980s.

In this picture, we have Brandon Street and the photo was taken during the mid-1980s. As well as the old bus, you will notice the old Hamilton rent office.

There was also the old dentist called Borland & Rankin where I believe the kids used to be terrified of going. And not to forget the Doctors which were very well known by families in this part of Hamilton.

This part of Brandon Street was thriving with small business at one time, but this was long before the buildings were knocked down to make way for the new ones.

Dan & John Daly in the 1950s

Dan & John Daly. 1950s.WMJPG

Rab McMillan sent us a picture taken from John Daly’s book ‘Our Daly Bread’. In the picture is Dan Daly (left) Who was visiting his brother John in Craigneuk in the 1950s. John is the person on the right-hand side of this picture.
 
Dan was loved by many people and also feared by much more! What were your memories of the local legend Dan Daly?