In August 1946 Sad news ended an anxious wait for the parents of Alexander M. Muir. Mr & Mrs John Muir of 10 Whitehill Road in Burnbank had known that their son was reported missing following the fall of Singapore, but the sad news came that he had been killed in March 1943.
Gunner Muir joined the Royal Artillery in August 1939 and went overseas in 1941. He was a native of Hamilton he was educated at Greenfield School. He later moved to Rosewell in Midlothian where he gained employment as a machine man in one of the local collieries.
He was survived by his wife and his six-year-old son. His only brother who was called John served with the 7th Hussars in Libya and was discharged with war wounds in June 1941.
Alexander Muir was another Brave Hamiltonian who gave his life to his King and country.
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.
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.
Helen Lochore’s parents were called John Lochore who was a Handloom Weaver & Helen Millar.
Are you a descendant of Thomas & Helen? If you are, then let us know where in the world you live now.
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.
GINGER STEWART 1920 – 1990.
Hamilton has produced some great fighters over the years and one of our best was a lad called Robert Ginger Stewart who was a professional boxer and he was active between 1936 and 1950
He boxed at featherweight; lightweight; welterweight; middleweight and took part in 83 professional contests. Carrying the nickname of a 19th-century boxer, Ginger Stewart fought professionally from 1939 to 1950 and he was the Scottish Area Welterweight Champion from 1939 to 1946.
Robert fought seldom in the wartime years and he had to reclaim his title each time after his absence from the sport, this was probably due to his military service. His career record was 61-13-3, with 26 knockouts delivered and he only received six knock-outs.
Robert was born on the 14th of June 1920 and he was the son of John & Margaret Poulson; his father John was a foundry employee. Robert in his day was a celebrity in Hamilton and he was never out of the newspapers, he loved his boxing, but also loved his time in the army.
He joined the army at the age of 15 and he served his time in the army and made it to the rank of Bombardier and in 1949 he was drafted to Malaya. When he was in Malaya, Robert was in the wrong place at the wrong time! At this moment I do not have the full details of what exactly happened, but he was accused of killing a native of the country.
The incident happened in either at the end of 1950 or the beginning of 1951 where he was accused of shooting a local Malayan girl. The newspaper accounts from 1951 which I have so far come across only seem to cover the story of his mother Margaret, who had to make the long 8,000-mile plane journey to see her son.
Robert’s parents first heard the news of the impending trial when a letter came to their house written by the Rev W. J. Campling who was based at the Roman Catholic Parade in South Malaya.
John and Margaret Stewart were astounded to hear of this terrible news, as Robert had never in his life been in any sort of trouble. The trial was set for the 6th of February 1951 and John’s mother Margaret flew over to be with him.
I have to assume here that Robert was not found guilty of the Murder charge, as he was back home in 1952 where he continued his career as a Boxer. Perhaps someone in Malaya was trying to make him a scapegoat.
At this time I don’t have much more on what became of Robert ‘Ginger’ Stewart after his boxing career ended. I did find some reference that he moved down to Blackpool and became a fruit merchant, but I can’t be certain of this.
I do know that Robert Died 20th October 1990, and I would like to tell the story of this Hamilton fighter whose memory should not be lost in the mist of time. If or when I do find a relative who can tell me more, I will update this story of him.
Do you know what became of Ginger Stewart? If you do, then please let us know and we will share with everyone on Historic Hamilton.