Hi Folks,

Christmas Logo..png

Hi Folks,

Next week we will be reposting Historic Hamilton’s most popular stories of 2017. This will give you all a chance to have another read over our fully researched publications and it will also let our new readers see what they have missed.

Do you want to know the History of a building in Hamilton? Is there a family mystery that you would like solved or are you curious about your Ancestry? Send us the details and we will look into this for you.

One more thing! Don’t forget to buy your copy of the Hamilton advertiser this week as we will have an advert in the paper, so remember and tell us what you think.



Hammy Ad Cake

For me, it was the end of an era for Campbell Street -when I heard that the Hamilton Advertiser were moving premises after reporting the local news from its old building for more than 150 years. The old press building was at the heart of the town and in its heyday, not only did the reporters all work from the newsroom they also printed and distributed the newspapers from here.

They finally closed its doors to the public on Wednesday the 13th of December and just before it closed, the last customer walked in – this customer was me! Me being the sentimental guy that I am, was quick to tell everybody that I was the very last customer in over 150 years publishing to use the Hamilton Advertisers services in the Campbell Street building. I love nostalgia and it got me thinking of who was the very first customer to pay for the Hamilton Advertisers services. So, a wee trip to the Hamilton Reference library will be on the cards to see if I can find out.

I have met with the staff at the Hamilton Advertiser before, including the Editor and big chief Robert Mitchel or Bob as he is better known to his staff.

Hammy Ad2
Bob’s teamwork great together and when I first met them I was a bit apprehensive walking through the doors of the old press building as I had in my head that the editor was going to be like the one in Spiderman shouting at all of his staff. But no, they are all very nice people and very approachable, and always if you have a story, then they are more that willing for you to come and have a chat with them.

So, as I had mentioned, I was the very last person to use the Hamilton Advertiser in Campbell Street, I was placing an advert in the paper for Historic Hamilton which you will all see in next weeks edition. I spoke to two lovely ladies called who were called Lorna Marshall who is the receptionist and Carole Mathers, who is the Multi-Media Sales Executive.

We ended up chatting about the History of the building and Carole had mixed emotions as she has worked at the old Campbell Street office for 30 years. We got chatting about the strange goings on and apparently, the old Campbell Street building has its very own Ghost.

Hammy Ad1

So, it was sad times for Carole too as this building has played a very big part in her life, but as they say you have to move with the times. I only hope that this Historic building does not get torn down and become another car-park, lets watch this space – pardon the pun.

The new Hamilton Advertiser premises are now located on the ground floor of the Brandon House business centre and they have an open plan office that looks out over Duke Street and the building is also right at the bus station, so bear in mind, Bob’s reporters are watching you as you walk in and out from the bus station and they will see everything that’s going on. This is also an excellent vantage point for the ‘Reader of the Week’ section, so if you’re up this way, then you may just be lucky enough to make Page 3 and get a free box of chocolates.

I paid a visit yesterday (Friday the 15th) and as usual, Bob was still in the office arranging next weeks stories, I had a wee chat with Bob and Carole and they were showing me around. I managed to get a wee bit of the Tunnocks Cake and Carole was showing me my advert for Historic Hamilton. So maybe I can also be classed as the first customer in the New building?

Hammy Ad3

Times are indeed changing as more of the younger generation are turning to news in the digital format, The Hamilton Advertiser’s Facebook page now has a massive 17,314 followers but I’m sure that most of you will agree that it’s just not the same as sitting down with a cup of tea at the table and having a read of the local news.

We still turn to the Advertiser to either do the crossword or to see what is happening in the town or to find the local guy who will give you a free quote to fix your fence. With Bob’s team working all week to get you the best stories I’m sure that the newspaper will still be here for many decades to come. So, to all the staff, good luck in your new home and we hope that you have many happy working years at the Brandon House building.

Hammy Ad4


The grand opening of the Hamilton Fire Station 16th May 1931.
Red Letter Day for the Fire Brigade.
County’s new fire station opened.
Hamilton Fire Station - Freddie KrugerWM.
First phase of headquarters costs £35,000
The first phase of the new fire station in Bothwell Road costing £35,000 was officially opened by the provost Mrs Mary S Ewart on Saturday the 16th of May 1931. When completed the new fire station will become the headquarters of the Lanarkshire fire brigade.
In thanking the fire brigade committee for the honour conferred on her, provost Ewart said that some years ago, when the new question of the new fire station was before the town council, she had been apposed to the idea because she felt it would not fit in with the surroundings of such a lovely part of the town. However, having seen the new station, she had changed her opinion because it was a work of art.
Today, She said, fire fighting and prevention of fire was a very highly skilled art indeed, but the men and women of the Lanarkshire fire brigade were well trained and equipped for these tasks.
The committee had realised the great need for extending the service and providing the best services possible for their personnel. She congratulated the architect on a splendid job of work. The building had enhanced the already beautiful burgh of approach to the Bothwell.
Hamilton’s Strategic Position
Bailie John Fox, chairman of the Fire Brigade Committee, in introducing Provost Mrs Ewart, said he was pleased at the large turnout of people who had been sufficiently interested to come along to the opening of the new station.
He described it as a unique occasion, for not only were they opening a new station at Hamilton, but they were opening a new central Fire Brigade Headquarters for Lanarkshire. Hamilton had been chosen because of it strategic position in the centre of the county.
As the committee included representatives from all the burghs in the county, the members felt that since the delegate from Hamilton Town Council was none other than Provost Mrs Ewart they could find no better person to perform the opening ceremony. He then handed over the key of the new station to Provost Ewart, who in turn presented it to Station Officer George Cathro. Little Miss MacIntosh presented the Provost with a bouquet of flowers.
At the dinner in the new fire station after the annual inspection and sports at Hamilton Park Racecourse, Firemaster A. S. Nisbet extended a sincere welcome to all those who had attended the opening of “a very small part of the new fire brigade Headquarters in Hamilton.” This was the first time, he said, that a function of that kind had been held inside a fire station.
“Reaches the Hearts of the People”
In proposing the toast of “The Fire Brigade,” Bailie Fox said it was one of the services which reached right to the hearts of the people. It was one service which could never be measured in steps of safety. They could lay out great plans for fire prevention, but it was never really possible to measure or gauge how much good the fire service could do. When anyone talked about the fire service they talked about the service the people got, but never about the service the fire brigade gave.
“The last twelve months will go down as a record for the number of lives lost in fires in Lanarkshire,” he said. In one fire nine lives had been lost, and in another four. “What would you regard as the topmost price you would pay for a fire service which could prevent the loss of life?” he asked. “Surely,” he continued, “there is no price which you could put on a service which saves lives.
“The fire service is one of the most essential services there is, because it is dedicated to service: dedicated to the preservation of life and property.”
Proud Record
Bailie Fox said that in Lanarkshire they had a record of which they could be proud indeed. It had been a struggle since 1947 to get all the fire services on to the level they were at today. The ceremony that afternoon was only a stepping stone towards the completion of an ideal to provide a great fire service to the people. A fire service could not operate successfully if it did not have the co-operation of the people it had to deal with, and the county service had been fortunate in its dealings with the Scottish Home Department.
In a short and witty reply, Mr A.S.Nixon of that Department said he thought the committee would have taken the opportunity to prepare some sign or placard for the wall of the fire station recording their “undying appreciation of the attitude taken by the Scottish Home Department”!
The new station was a very fine one indeed, and he thought the committee, the firemaster, and the architect would view it with a certain amount of pride.
The toast of “The Builders” was proposed by Mr W. Lockhart Hutron, the architect, and replied to by Mr. J. T. Robertson. A vote of thanks was proposed by County Councillor J. Aiton, vice chairman of the Fire Brigade Committee.
Mrs Nisbet presented the prizes won at the annual competition and sports.
The New Building
The complete scheme as planned for a central fire station envisages central administrative and training facilities, maintenance workshop and stores, as well as an operational station serving the Hamilton area and providing accommodation for the larger and specialised fire fighting equipment which can be sent to the assistance of any other section of the brigade in any part of the county.
Fire Station.
Behind the main building facing Bothwell Road, there will be a training quadrangle with ground for stores buildings, maintenance workshops capable of dealing with minor and major repairs of the brigade’s fleet of vehicles and appliances, special training facilities, and a hose tower.
The main building will comprise a six bay appliance room flanked on one side by operational quarters, and on the other by the central administrative buildings, while over the appliance room will be situated the indoor training accommodation.
The portion of the building now completed represents a three bay appliance room with the operational facilities necessary to serve the needs of a local station.
The accommodation on the ground floor consists of the appliance room, a muster bay on which the firemen converge from this floor and by means of the poles from the upper floor immediately the “bells go down”, a changing room and a drying room where returning crews may change and dry their clothing, a wash room with shower baths, and a mess room and kitchen facilities. Adjoining the appliance room is the watch room, the nerve centre of the station, containing a comprehensive switch board where all messages are received and from where instructions can be issued immediately by means of alarm bells and signals.
On the upper floor is the duty crew accommodation, consisting of locker rooms, wash room, dormitories, duty officer’s room, and the necessary stores. From each of the upper floors there is a “pole drop” to the muster bay. There are also two small rooms , a quiet room, and a recreation room.
Externally the building is faced with the mellow coloured brick imported from Lancashire, while the appliance bay is faced with synthetic stone blocks produced locally. Internally the finishings are simple and are provided primarily to give surfaces which will be easily maintained and will stand up to the hard wear to be expected where everything is done “at the double.” The rooms are painted in light, attractive colours.
Hamilton Fire station was officially re-opened on the 9th March,1993 after major refurbishment (Phase 3).



Crichton’s shoes have been an established business in Hamilton since the store first opened in 1952 and it has been selling quality footwear ever since. The store over the past 65 years has saw off competition from the big named shops and is still a thriving business in the town.

Clifford CrightonWMMay Crichton was the person who opened the shop in 1952 and it has been kept in the family passing down to son & grandson. The family come from Cambuslang however most of their lives were spent in Hamilton. When May eventually retired, the business was passed down to her son Clifford Brain and he was already an established and well-known business man in Hamilton, he lived in the town with his wife Isabel and two sons Alistair & Gordon.


Crichton’s are integrated into the Hamilton community and they like to do their wee bit for people in the town and they have a tradition that not many people know about.

Mrs HoldenWM


The family have been serving Tea & Coffee to a group of men from the British Legion for over 25 years. This started off to be quite a gathering but, over time, the group sadly has gotten smaller. This has been important to the men who are still able to attend. They have a meeting on the Saturday before Armistice Day before they off for their Parade. Crichton’s have fully supported this, and it is a special day for the shop as well as for the men.

Alistair Brian WM2


One display at Crichton’s that many people will remember is the old rocking horse. The rocking horse was a significant part of the shop and many kids used to come in and have a play on it, sadly the shop’s owners have no surviving pictures, so if any of you can help us out, then let us know?

Crichtons WM.

Niki Donnelly, who works at Crichton’s has kindly sent in some old pictures of former staff members, you may see some old faces from the past.


So, are you looking for some new shoes? Why not come to Hamilton next week and come into the shop and have a wee look around!


The current owner is called Gordon and he is the grandson of May Crichton. This family business which has served Hamilton for the past 65 years has many repeat customers, and why? Well it’s because when you walk into the shop, you will get some good old-fashioned customer service that the big shops don’t have anymore.


The Caretaker’s Cottage of the Mausoleum.

Researched & written by Garry McCallum.
Additional notes and research kindly donated by Linda Kaden & Walter Smith.

Mausoleum Construction.Alexander the 10th Duke of Hamilton displayed his wealth in many ways and none so more than in the form of building himself a chapel and family crypt in his back garden. The mausoleum was so grand, and it covered such a large area that the Duke had to employ someone to look after the mausoleum and its grounds.

During the construction of the Masonic chapel, the Duke had to also build a house for his new caretaker so around 1858 the construction of the caretaker’s cottage got underway.
During its time as a functioning job-attached house it had at least four caretakers who got the house with the job, however, the first man to take up this post, and to be employed as the mausoleum caretaker, was a man named Arthur Nisbet. Arthur was born in Hamilton, in the year 1801, and he was the son of John Nisbet who was a general labourer and Marion Hamilton.

He was married to Barbara ‘Rome’ Currie. Barbara was the daughter of William Currie who was a Cotton Weaver and Marion Morris.

I am assuming that the family must have lived a happy life! They previously lived in Dalserf and then lived at Larkhall where Arthur was working as a cotton handloom weaver. They had four children who were called John, Marion, William & Elizabeth.

The family first appeared at the cottage when they were recorded on the 1861 census. Arthur, his wife and his daughter Marion (Known as Minnie) were staying here and along with the residents at the keeper’s cottage, all the staff at the Hamilton Palace appeared on the same page.

Happiness was about to be short-lived for the family when Arthurs eldest son John became ill and had to bring his own family, which included his wife and three young children to come to live at the Mausoleum Lodge.On the 14th of July 1863 John sadly died, he was the first person to die at the Caretakers Lodge and as you will read further on, you will see that more deaths were to follow.

Tragedy struck the family again as only three years later and nearly to the same day as his father on the 16th July 1866 Arthurs grandson died at the caretaker’s lodge, he was only 10 years old and he died of Scarlatina Maligna.

In 1871, Arthur appears on the census return as ‘The Keeper of the mausoleum’ living at Mausoleum Cottage. He not only lives in the small house with his wife but his daughter Minnie, (Dressmaker) Grandson William and Granddaughter Elizabeth are also living at the cottage.

The run of bad luck strikes again on the cold winters morning on 8th of January 1874 as Arthur’s wife Barbara who was the third person to die at the Mausoleum Lodge passed away and the cause of her death was pneumonia. Barbara had been suffering this illness which lasted for 7 days.

Arthur must not have been a superstitious person as he continued to live at the lodge, most people would assume that the house was unlucky with all of the deaths that had happened, but things started to look up for him as his daughter Marion was about to be married.

She had met a man from Larkhall who went by the name of James Anderson. James was an inspector of the poor at Dalserf and his address was 34 Union Street at Larkhall. The couple married quite late on in life, as Marion was 45 and James was 56 but nonetheless, they must have loved each other, so on the 10th of June 1878, they were married at the Mausoleum Lodge by Thomas Simpson, who was the minister of the United Presbyterian Church.

James Anderson & Marion Nisbet Marraige 1878.

It is not documented if Marion continued to live with her father after she was married but Arthur Nisbet continued to work for the Duke until finally on the 6th of March 1879 Arthur also died at the Lodge. He reached the grand old age of 80 and his cause of death was recorded as senile decay. He served the Duke for 21 years. His son William was the person who registered his death, the Mausoleum Lodge now had four people who had died under its roof.

There was now a vacancy for a Caretaker of the Mausoleum but who could fill the shoes of Arthur Nisbet? Arthur’s son William took up the post shortly after his father’s death, the Duke may have had a say in this as many of the Duke’s of Hamilton’s staff were generations of the same family who worked at the Palace.

William Nisbet WM

William had been previously married before he met his second wife Mary, he lived in Larkhall and was married to a lady called Janet McGregor and between them they had 4 children, who were called Arthur, Jane, Barbara and Elizabeth. Their first son Arthur died 10 days after he was born, and the other three children were born healthy, but on the 6th of April 1867 Janet died at the age of 26.

William re-married at Woodend Cottage on Bothwell Road on the 19th of March 1869 to a lady who was from Hamilton called Mary Haddow.

William continued to live in Larkhall with Mary before he took up the post of caretaker and between them they had a son, who they also named Arthur and again this son died of bronchitis on the 6th December 1870. In these days child mortality was high. Undeterred by the two previous deaths William & Mary went on to have three more children which they named Mary, Arthur & Marion. William was determined to have a son named after his dad!

In 1881 William is living at the lodge with his three children Elizabeth, Mary & Arthur. On the census return Elizabeth’s occupation is a Domestic Servant, so it’s possible that she was working in the Palace at this time.

His wife Mary on the night that the census report was taken was visiting William’s sister Marion and her husband James at 34 Union Street in Larkhall.

William & Mary were expecting a new addition to the family and on the 20th of July 1882 a daughter was born premature, she was named Janet, but the curse of the Mausoleum Caretakers Lodge struck again, when she died only 13 days old. This was now the fifth person and from the same family to die in the house.

Janet Nisbet Death WM

In 1891 they continue to work and live at the Lodge and history seems to be repeating itself where like William’s father, he also has his grown-up family living with him at the lodge. Jane is living here with her daughter Janet after being widowed. Mary, Arthur & Marion are here too.

Between 1891 and 1905 life seems to be going ok at the Mausoleum Lodge, there are no recorded deaths. William Nisbet must have enjoyed the work that he did, where on Friday the 2nd of September he won 3rd prize for the everlasting bouquet in the Lanarkshire flower show.

The 12th Duke of Hamilton died on the 16th of May 1895 and his successor was his son Alfred Douglas-Hamilton. The Hamilton Palace and its lands and servants all had new owners. Times were changing with the turn of the century, but the lodge was to hold one more wedding where on the 17th of August 1906 William’s daughter Marion married her cousin who was called Maxwell Muir Bryce.

William Nisbet continued to work at the Mausoleum Lodge until his retirement. He worked right up to 1911 where he appeared on the Census living with his wife and he also had his grandson George Henderson living with him. When he retired and continued to live in Hamilton, he moved to 64 Dalziel Street in Burnbank. He died on the 7th of March 1912 and the cause of death was pneumonia. His son in law Maxwell Bryce who lived at Saffronhall Crescent was the informant of his death.

William Currie Death 1912

When William retired and left the keepers cottage he was the last of the Nisbet family to have a connection with the Duke of Hamilton.

The Mausoleum Lodge now had new residents, Thomas Kerr was employed as the new groundkeeper for the Mausoleum, he moved in with his wife Violet Annie at the end of August 1911. They lived here with their children.

The happiness of the new home and job was to be shattered very quickly when there was a tragic accident which happened only three weeks after they moved in.

A sad tale occurred on Saturday the 16th of September 1911. Mrs Violet Kerr, wife of the keeper of the Mausoleum at Hamilton Palace, died at one o’clock Saturday morning from injuries sustained by explosion of gas in her house late the previous night.

Her husband had gone out to post a letter, leaving in the house his wife and two children, aged respectively two years and six months. After making some calls, he returned home between ten and eleven, and entering the house a painful scene confronted him. His wife was lying on the stair, leading from the kitchen the coal cellar. Her clothes were practically burned off, and her body was scorched in a terrible manner.

He lifted her into the kitchen, and ran for assistance, Mrs Kerr was still conscious, and was able to say that when she was going down to the cellar fetch coals something went up in a blaze at the gas jet on the stair. The elder of her two children, a bright little girl, was with her, but Mrs Kerr had the presence of mind to push the child down the stair when the explosion occurred. In this way the girl escaped the flames which enveloped her mother.

The younger child was asleep in a perambulator in the kitchen, and was uninjured. Mr and Mrs Kerr are a young couple, who only entered upon duty at Hamilton Palace three weeks ago, having previously lived at Caledonia Road, Glasgow.

Thomas Kerr continued to live at the Mausoleum Lodge and he remarried again to a woman called Frances Helen Bangham. They had two children who were born at the Lodge. The children were named Thomas & Henrietta. Thomas being born in the year 1915 and Henrietta born in 1925.

In 1915, the Trustees of the Hamilton Palace agreed to permit the colliery company to work the underground coal seams immediately beneath the Hamilton Palace and the Mausoleum, which resulted in the surrounding areas sinking to an extent of some 20 feet from its original level and taking the buildings with it. However, while the main palace building eventually became so damaged as to be uneconomical to repair, the excellent workmanship and the heavy dove-tailed stones of the Mausoleum resulted in the complete building sinking more or less vertically and the binding of the stones was such that only one vertical crack has appeared in the complete structure.

This sinking, however, resulted in the crypt section of the Mausoleum being subject to flooding, caused by the annual overflow of the River Avon on its junction with the River Clyde between Hamilton and Motherwell, and for many years the crypt section of the Mausoleum was closed to the public, only being reopened on 10th May 1971.

As I previously mentioned, times were indeed changing at the Hamilton Palace, the palace remained the seat of the Hamilton’s until 1920 when it became uninhabitable owing to the extent of the deterioration and damage caused by the underground extraction of coal.

It was, however, used as a temporary hospital for naval personnel during the First World War, by which time the Hamilton family had moved to the town of Dungavel in Strathaven.

The Hamilton palace which was first constructed in 1695 was eventually fully demolished in the year 1927, it was the end of an era for Hamilton. All that was left of the Hamilton families legacy at the palace grounds was the Mausoleum and the mausoleum keepers cottage.

The little house next to the Mausoleum must have now felt like a lonely place to live. When the Palace was there, people would have passed the cottage every day but now it was isolated, and the area would have been very quiet. Thomas Kerr continued to live at the Mausoleum Lodge until his death. He died there on the 8th of July 1947, he was the Sixth and final person to die in the house.

One thing that I have to note, was the title of Thomas’s occupation on his death certificate. He was no longer referred to as the keeper of the mausoleum, he was titled as a ‘park ranger’.

With the recent flooding and the underground coal mines the Mausoleum and the cottage were in danger of following the same path as the Hamilton Palace. At some point in the 1960s, the cottage had subsided so much that Thomas Kerr had to be evacuated and rehoused. He was rehoused at the newly built Mausoleum cottage which was built at the foot of the hill next to the golf course. These houses are still here to this day and are privately owned.

Mausoleum Cottage.
The role of Keeper of the mausoleum was eventually made redundant when Strathclyde regional council took over the maintenance of the of the whole area. As the old Mausoleum cottage was left to rot, all the care and attention was directed to the Mausoleum itself.

Strathclyde regional council did a great job of maintaining the Mausoleum – one notable bit of maintenance that was carried out was when the glass dome had to be replaced. The original glass dome remained in place until July 1971 when it was replaced by Perspex which was lowered into position by helicopter.

This repair and replacement was necessitated owing to damage caused by birds pecking at the putty securing the original glass dome, in order to get at the linseed oil content of the putty, thus breaking through the original seal and permitting the entrance of the elements which would have caused damage the building.

Dome being replaced in 1971.WM.

At the start of this story I quoted “Masonic Chapel” Alexander, the 10th Duke of Hamilton, was Grand Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Scotland during the years 1820/22, and although the mausoleum was not designed or intended to be a building of purely Masonic significance, the many instances in which symbolic Masonic teachings have been incorporated throughout the construction cannot fail to impress the Masonic visitor, or be merely a coincidence.

In September I was contacted by Alex Johnstone who, at the time was a park ranger at Strathclyde Park. Alex told me some invaluable information on the old mausoleum cottage. The following words are from Alex:

“ In the early 1980,s i was privileged to work on the bowling greens tennis courts and Hamilton municipal golf course during my time working there along from memory along with one or the park rangers i entered the old caretakers cottage to clean it out then there was subsidence inside as when you entered you walked down a slope and went below to a floor below where the founds had subsided at one end and your feet forced you to slide from one end of the floor to the other so please beware if you or anyone enters the building.

Keepers House1 (2)

At that time Joe Smith was park manager, Ronnie McCormack was assistant park manager. the park rangers who i knew and worked alongside during winters were Eric Dunsmuir head park ranger, Robert (BOB)Reid, George Elliot, Tom McGregor, Campbell Bryant and Matt Mitchell.

Again, from memory some of the stuff we took out of the cottage was placed in a pre fab at the Bothwell haugh end of Strathclyde park some of the bits and pieces we took out may still be there it lay adjacent to the M74 across from the ash football parks.

From what i remember all the furniture had been removed and we took pick handles, spades, axe heads and bits of lathe drill bits. As i went inside the building i can remember turning left and going down some steps to the underground part then coming back up and clearing theough the ground level part, the building was in complete darkness, so we were using torches.

Keepers House. (2)

There is no problem using any of the info i give you in any articles you do. Seeing the state of the place this morning it is in a very sad state for our heritage, back in the 80,s there was a squad of men in huts beside the municipal golf course and every week the grounds were cleared of litter and both sides of the mausoleum were well maintained by the squad.

The grass cut both sides of road, paths regularly weeded and I remember when back then, the Winters were bad and as there was very little work could be done in any parks or football fields so the squads were sent down by the foreman with chain saws etc to keep the entry road to the innkeepers cottage clear for entrance from emergency vehicles and park security staff and all the rubbish taken away and dumped in coups.

In the late 70,s Harry Kerr was the guide for the Mausoleum and he stayed at No 2 Mote Hill the cottage beside the golf course and next door in No 1 was Wullie Sloane the golf course green keeper who i worked with under Hamilton district council before we transferred to Strathclde region as Strathclyde park had taken over the running of the complete Hamilton side of the palace grounds.

The Keepers House.

From memory Harry Kerr retired around 1976 to 78 and Wullie Sloane around 1980 around just after then was when i went into the cottage with Ronnie Mc Cormack and the park rangers and cleared out the remains taking most to the prefabs and some bits to our units at Strathclyde park in the water sports centre in Motherwell.

The park was run by the region until North Lanarkshire took over the running of the Motherwell side of the park and the Hamilton side was taken over by South Lanarkshire and from then on is when the Mausoleum and grounds have went sadly backwards.

Due to ill health i left the park in 1984 but still love to go a wander.

Where you have marked on the photo is exactly where we emptied all our finds back then were placed at present who has the keys to that prefab I have no idea but as i sometimes see Eric Dunsmuir in Burnbank on my travels if and when i see him i.ll ask him if he can help me any further also next time i am down that way will drop in at John Turnbull the ex Park manager s house ( 2 Mote hill ) in the 90,s house and ask him if he possibly knows any more.

While i was down this morning met a South Lanarkshire employee talking to him he was a building inspector his job to check safety of buildings he had a camera and as i left was going in the direction of the innkeepers cottage.

As i am unfamiliar with countryside laws nowadays at one time then the countryside commission gave out grants for renovations on old buildings could this possibly be a way forward of a clean-up or could it not be done on a volunteer basis like what happened a few year back in Parts of Chaterhault.

All the best, Alex”

Today there is a group of people who are taking a stance and are putting pressure on South Lanarkshire Council to take more care of the Mausoleum and the Mausoleum Cottage. people such as Walter Smith & Robert Reid are currently in talks with SLC and I am sure that most of you will agree that the keeper’s cottage must not be left to deteriorate any further. The Keepers cottage should be given the same status as the mausoleum and could be a great asset to the people of Hamilton.

Today the little cottage sits in the woods and is surrounded by overgrown shrubbery, but if you look beyond this, then you will see that this can be cleared very easily. All that would be needed would be a JCB to scrape all of this shrubbery and weeds and the cottage would be once more on proud display sitting side by side with the grand mausoleum.

I ask South Lanarkshire Council to consider this one thing? For the time being, can you please fix the roof, secure the building and make it watertight and at least for now, can you make it a focal point and part of the Mausoleum. The architecture of this house cannot be lost, this is our history and our inheritance from the Duke of Hamilton. It will cost less than the price of building a new car park to make the cottage safe and secure for us all to enjoy.

Historic Hamilton. © 2017


Royal Bank Of ScotlandWM

It has been announced that the Royal Bank of Scotland is to close 62 of its branches throughout Scotland. Our branch which has stood in Cadzow Street for 115 Years has been confirmed as one of these branches. The new age digital world of online banking has brought the demises of high street banks and for this reason, Cadzow Street will lose an old familiar shop.
Hamilton Cadzow Street branch opened as an office of the National Bank of Scotland in October 1902. Hamilton at that time was already a thriving and important town with a population of around 7,600 people. Serval successful decades of coal mining brought considerable wealth to the area, as shown in the numerous fine buildings which were erected in Hamilton and particularly in Cadzow Street around the turn of the twentieth century.
The bank agreed to open a branch in the town at the request of William Dykes Loudon who was a local solicitor and town councillor, who believed that Hamilton could provide enough banking business to support another branch, in addition to the several which were already open in Hamilton.
National Bank of Scotland had been founded in Edinburgh in 1825 with more shareholders than any other bank in Britain. By the beginning of the twentieth century, it was operating around 125 branches in Towns and Villages throughout Scotland.
National Bank’s Hamilton branch first opened on the 20th of October 1902, with William Loudon himself as its agent. In its early years, the branch operated from Hamilton’s Masonic halls, originally near the bottom of Cadzow Street and Lower Auchingramont Road.
Just as William Loudon and the Bank’s directors had expected, the new branch was an immediate success. It was located in a thriving area of the town, with trams beginning to run along Cadzow Street in 1903, and the impressive new Municipal Buildings being opened in 1907.
Nevertheless, difficult times were on the horizon when the first world war broke out in 1914, the banking industry found itself facing new challenges. Levels of trade were reduced, money market rates were low, and staff shortages became severe as many Bank clerks of military age enlisted. William Loudon and two members of his staff from the Cadzow Street branch were among 439 employees of the National Bank of Scotland who left their posts to join the war effort.
After the war, business returned to normal, but Hamilton itself was changing. The coal mining industry had been severely affected by controls on exports and a shortage of workers during the war, and it never again returned to the levels of productivity that it had experienced at the turn of the century. Numerous Pits in the area were closed during the 1920s and 930s.
When the second world war began in 1939 the Banks resumed the special duties which governed their activities in wartime. Five men from the National Bank of Scotland’s Cadzow Street branch left to join the war. Meanwhile, the premises of the branch were also undergoing a change wherein 1942, the bank bought the site of 50 Cadzow Street and set about preparing it for use as a bank branch.
In fact, this was not the first time that 50 Cadzow Street had housed a Bank. In the 1860s and 1870s, the building had been owned by the Hamilton branch of the City of Glasgow Bank. This bank collapsed with huge debts and much publicity in 1878, leaving many of its shareholders, including serval citizens of Hamilton financially ruined. (Lewis Potter of Udston House in Burnbank was one of the men who went to prison as a direct result of the collapse of the Bank.)
In the early years of the twentieth century, the building had been occupied by a branch of Mercantile Bank of Scotland. More recently it had served as a shop of Peter Wyper & Sons but by the end of the war 50 Cadzow Street had become a bank once more and National Bank of Scotland’s Hamilton Brach was, at last, the sole occupant of premises of its own.
The Cadzow Street branch continued to trade successfully throughout the 1940s and 1950s, as new industries moved into the area replacing the old coalmining jobs. New housing was also built around the Town.
In 1959, the National Bank of Scotland merged with the Commercial Bank of Scotland, and 50 Cadzow Street branch became part of the National Commercial Bank of Scotland. In 1969 another merger occurred, this time between the National Commercial Bank of Scotland and the Royal Bank of Scotland. The new bank, with 693 branches enjoyed over 40 percent of Scottish Banking business.
The Royal Bank of Scotland now found itself with three branches in Hamilton, all located on Cadzow Street, there was the old National Bank at number 50, a former Commercial Bank Branch at number 88, and the original Royal Bank Branch at number 105. All three branches remained open, although the branch at 88 Cadzow Street was relocated in 1972 to Duke Street, in order to give a better geographical coverage of the town, particularly in the growing shopping area.
The branch at 50 Cadzow Street remained in its own premises and in 1980, a cashline machine was installed for the first time. The interior of the premises was also refurbished in the early 1980s and again in the mid-1990, but the exterior remains as much as it did when the branch first opened here in 1902. The branch absorbed the business of 105 Cadzow Street branch upon its closure.
Today and 115 years after it first opened its doors for business, Hamilton’s Cadzow Street branch continues to offer a full range of Banking services to our community, but for how long?
Royal Bank Of Scotland1

Hamilton Academy 1965, Class 2D.

Margaret Hewitt WM1

Margaret Hewitt sent us her old class picture of Hamilton Academy 1965 Class 2D.

Margeret told us:

“From the bottom. Can only remember a few names – no boys names.

2nd row from bottom / left to right – ?, ?, Norma Davidson, Jane?, Margaret Syme, ?, ?, ?, Marion Massey, Sheila McKenzie, Margaret Howie, ?

3rd row left to right – ?, ?, ?, Brenda Maher, Margaret Lapin, Patricia Barrie, Margaret Culbert, ?, Denise Arnold, Fiona?, ?

Can you fill out the blanks?