THIS IS A PUBLIC LIBRARY.

THIS IS A PUBLIC LIBRARY.

Transcribed by Wilma Bolton from The Hamilton Advertiser.

 

Storehouse of the culture of generations

 

The university of the working man;

 

The meeting place of the authors,

 

The poets and philosophers

 

Who have shaped the destiny of civilisation through the ages

 

A stronghold of the freedom of democracy

 

Where free-men may read what free-men write,

 

The temple of all the arts

 

Where the humblest and the mightiest may enter

 

Friend, you stand on sacred ground.

     THIS IS A PUBLIC LIBRARY.

Ref. 14/11/1942. Hamilton Advertiser.

(Transcribed by Wilma Bolton)

Stuffed Cows on the move.

Cattle on the Move by Wilma Bolton.

We have a picture sent to Historic Hamilton by Wilma Bolton who wanted to give you all some peace of mind.about the stuffed cows that used to be in the Library.

I don’t recall ever seeing them, but apparently, they were here and they were housed in the library before being moved to Chathelerult.

This picture shows the cows being transported away from the Hamilton Library, Perhaps Wilma could tell us the date?

As always, thank you, Wilma.

THE HAMILTON REFERENCE LIBRARY

Library.
The Hamilton Reference Library is contained within Hamilton Town House Library, located at 102 Cadzow Street. Until 2009 this part of the library was unknown to me. I discovered this treasure trove when researching my family tree.
 
I was researching my Di & Granny’s side of the family when I was directed to the Carnegie Room upstairs. As I walked towards the big brown doors leaving the lending library, I looked through the window, went through the imposing Carnegie vestibule, and proceeded to walk up the grand staircase. It was like walking into a film set from a more elegant era.
Stain Glass window with Burgh Crest..JPG
 
As you go up the first set of steps, you are greeted with a beautiful stained-glass window depicting the Hamilton Burgh crest. Arriving at the top of the building reveals the magnificent Carnegie Reading Room with vaulted ceiling and decorative plasterwork.
 
The first thing that you notice in the Reference Library, is how peaceful this upper floor is and even though it is usually busy, there is a sense of respect for other people who are studying or using computers and the quietness of the place is really relaxing.
Wilma Bolton's Display Cabinet..JPG
 
Hamilton Town House is jointly operated by South Lanarkshire Council and South Lanarkshire Leisure & Culture. The building contains both the town’s main public hall (formerly known as Hamilton Town Hall) and public library, as well as various Council departments including licensing, registration and community learning.
 
The building, although appearing to be one, was constructed in stages over a 21-year period. The library was opened by Andrew Carnegie in 1907, the adjacent Town House offices were opened by King George V in 1914 and finally the Town Hall completed the building in 1928.
 
In 2002, the entire building was closed for a massive refurbishment project, costing £9 million. This was required to bring the internal facilities to current building regulation standards (including modern lifts), whilst also restoring the exterior of this A-listed building. In August 2004, the new integrated Town House complex was revealed to the public, with an official opening by HRH Princess Anne in September. The library won two awards: the “Architect Meets Practicality Award” for libraries of significant architectural interest that are practical and user-friendly and the “Mary Finch Accessibility Award” for the library which most addresses access issues from physical through to cultural barriers.
1841-1901 Censu Collection..JPG
 
For those of you who are not aware of the Reference Library, I would like to share what you can find in there. The resources are incredible, and include the following: Local Authority / Council minutes and reports dating to the 1600s, a section of the Hamilton Estate Papers, a historic collection of over 2000 indexed photographs, a large postcard collection, historic and contemporary electoral registers, Valuation rolls, Hamilton Advertiser and other local newspapers in print bound volume and on micro-film, a collection of fiction and poetry by local authors and about Lanarkshire, a collection of historic and geographical guides relating to Lanarkshire, a large collection of historic and contemporary maps covering Lanarkshire, Census reports on micro-film, free access within the library to the family history website Ancestry.com.
 
There are 15 Internet-linked PCs available in the ActiveIT suite, in addition to free WiFi throughout the building.
 
All published material is searchable on the South Lanarkshire Libraries catalogue online at
 
In addition to the materials held, ‘Scotland’s People’ (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/gclid=CJKTv5H64tQCFeeV7QodkfcHaA)
 
Vouchers are for sale, there are drop – in sessions for family history advice and guidance, Nostalgia Days at intervals throughout the year, and regular displays relating to the history of Hamilton and Lanarkshire.
Angela Ward..JPG
 
One important thing that I would like to mention is the staff who work at the Reference Library. They are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. One real gem is long-time library assistant Angela Ward whose knowledge of Hamilton is unrivalled. The staff handle family research requests continuously from local and international enquirers.
 
The staff at the Hamilton Reference Library really do try to accommodate everyone, but as you can imagine they are sometimes stretched, so if you are planning to visit the Reference Library for research, then please call in advance to secure a seat and avoid disappointment. The telephone number is 01698 452121.
 
Scott & Angela..JPG
Old Historical Books..JPG
On a more personal note, the Hamilton Advertiser copies that are kept here in storage areas are the last remaining copies ever to be printed of each year and cannot be reproduced in original form. In this digital age, I would like to see the Hamilton Advertiser archived in this way, future proofing the collection for future generations. The collection of Hamilton Advertisers is so large, it would take a lot of time and money for this to happen. These records have preserved the history of Hamilton week by week since 1856. I firmly believe that they should be digitised for future generations to read. Just think that in 100 years from now, someone will be reading what we did today as history! Let’s try put a plan in action and come up with an idea to get funding to have Hamilton’s history stored and made available online.

St. Anne’s School in Hamilton.

St. Anne's1

The Old St. Anne’s school.

Wilma Bolton sent us one of her pictures from her collection which I am sure will stir up a lot of people’s memories. Wilma told us:

“Once the old buildings are demolished they are lost forever. However, I managed to get into Saint Anne’s school before they knocked it down. I took a lot of photographs all of which I gave to Hamilton Reference Library. This means that anyone wishing to see their old school will be able to access them in the Reference Library”

 

Did you attend St. Anne’s? share your memories and tell us your stories from your former school

JUMBLE FEVER.

Jumble Sale..jpg
JUMBLE FEVER.
By Wilma S.Bolton.
 
This story is taken from memoirs of Wilma Bolton.
 
When was the last time you went to a jumble sale or even noticed one being advertised? I certainly haven’t seen any for a long time, yet years ago they were being held almost every weekend and for many a struggling family they were a sure and affordable source of obtaining decent clothing, household goods, toys and prams etc. Going to jumble sales was a favourite Saturday pass time for me when I was younger and I just loved them. They were normally held in church halls and a queue would start forming about half an hour or more before the advertised opening time and there were always a substantial number of people waiting.
 
Not everyone, however, had the manners to queue. In the last few minutes before the doors opened, you would get the chancers appearing and brazenly walk up to the front where they would indignantly insist that their place had been “kept for them”. The early birds who had been waiting for quite some time would have none of it and usually “invited” them to get to the back of the queue, or else. However, there was one “sweet old lady” who without fail used to take a “bad turn” and invariably someone who hadn’t previously witnessed her Oscar winning performances would hammer on the door to attract the attention of those inside the hall. Despite loud protests of “just ignore her”, she’s at it” and “she does this every time” she would fool them into getting her a chair, a drink of water and first place in the queue. The minute the door opened for the start of the sale, an instantaneous miracle occurred and she led the stampede into the hall to get the best bargains. I often wondered how she never got lynched and eventually came to the conclusion that it was more than likely due to her snow white hair, innocent old face and excellent acting abilities. It was also a good job there were no mobile phones then, for if there had been, the ambulance would never have been away from jumble sales.
 
Inside the hall, the goods would be laid out on tables some of which were piled three feet high with clothes. There were separate ones for men, women, babies and children’s clothes. There was also a table for books and clothes racks hanging with coats, suits, jackets and items deemed by the workers to be of a superior quality.
The brick-a-brack table quite often stood alone at the top of the hall and facing it from across the room was the children’s toy section where you could buy anything from a dolls pram to a child’s drum kit. The bric-a-brac table was my favourite and that was the first one I headed for when I got through the door. One particular Saturday morning I was at a jumble sale in Hamilton and the table was almost groaning under the weight of the contents. An unusual looking plate caught my eye and as I lifted it up, a man beside me attempted to pull it out of my hands but he wasn’t quite fast enough. I held on to it and paid the ten pence asking price and put it in my bag. As he was a “dealer” and he had been really anxious to obtain it, I started to wonder if it was valuable so I took it to McTears Auction house in Glasgow and asked them to sell it for me. Four weeks later I opened a letter and enclosed was a cheque for forty eight pounds for the plate. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Forty eight pounds was a fortune to me. That was it, my head was up and the music was playing, I was well and truly hooked and I started going to the jumble sales on a regular basis.
 
I must have taken after my father for my mother would not have been seen dead at one, but a friend of hers Gracie Kane just loved them and I often went with her. Now Gracie had raised a large family and she was the most devout and kindly woman I have ever known. She knew everyone and always kept a lookout for young mothers who were having a hard time coping and kept them in mind when she set off to a sale. She would come back weighed down with bags of good quality children’s clothing and shoes and she made sure that the mothers got them. When Gracie herself was young she had at one point known very hard times due to family illness and she had never forgotten it. She never missed an opportunity to help any mother she thought was struggling and many a child got a fine new rig out via Gracie’s jumble sales. She was one in a million, a friend to all and she always made you laugh when you were with her.
 
The number of jumble sales gradually got less and less over the years and then they just appeared to vanish. By that time I was working as a staff nurse at Hairmyres Hospital and one day I was admitting a Blantyre patient when she said to me “I know you”. I recognised her right away but wasn’t for admitting it, hoping that the uniform would throw her off the scent, but I didn’t get away with it. Before long I could see by her face that the penny had dropped. “I know where I know you from. You used to go to the same jumble sales as me.” I laughed and said “ten out of ten, you have a good memory.” We had a discussion about “good the old days” and both agreed we really missed them. Jumble sales were great fun and I just loved them and many a time they put clothes on my back and shoes on my feet. I believe the reason for their demise lies with the introduction of car boot sales and charity shops. Although these shops do a good job raising substantial amounts of money for charity, they never held any appeal for me because the camaraderie and laughs you could be guaranteed at a jumble sale, were just not there.
 
Wilma S. Bolton.© 2017.
 
Historic Hamilton would like to thank Wilma for sharing her memories with us, Wilma, as always a big thank you to you and please keep your stories coming.

LITTLE MOTHER.

LITTLE MOTHER.

(IN A DEPRESSED AREA.)

 

One at her breast and two at her feet,

Trudging along the dull, squalid street;

Face lined with care but comely and sweet—

Little mother.

 

Irksome her labours tending her flock,

Often her day a round of the clock;

Felon in cell! Your comforts but mock

Little mother.

 

Often her lot is squalor and want,

Wolf on the doorstep hungry and gaunt;

Cares of the day her fitful dreams haunt

Little mother.

 

Same daily struggle, on thro’ the years,

Only her courage quelling her fears;

No time for shedding vain, idle tears—

Little mother.

 

Sister of ease, your scorning forbear,

She envies not your freedom from care,

Counting her blessings precious and rare—

Little mother.

 

You, without daughters! You, without sons!

Think of the trials, the risks that she runs;

Builder of Empires! Feeder of guns!—

Little mother.

 

One at her breast and two at her feet—

Symbol of womanhood, noble, complete;

Honour the name—a name ever sweet—

Little mother.

 

TOM MCEWAN.

Ref. Hamilton Advertiser.

25/2/1939. Page 14.

Courtesy of Wilma Bolton 2005.

EDDLEHURST HOUSE.

EDDLEHURST HOUSE.
Written by Wilma Bolton.
Cosy Corner at Mill Road, Wilma Bolton..JPG
 
Above is a photograph of what the road just before the Cosy Corner, Mill Road, Hamilton used to look like before the road was widened by the removal of the site of the old Cadzow Colliery mineral railway line.
 
The walls show the entrance to what we called Laighstonehall House. Originally known as Eddlehurst it had been built for rich Glasgow Merchants (there were another 5 merchants houses further up the Mill Road four at the Bush Park) and one next to Laighstonehall House which we called McAffer’s house which was big and scary, the family who lived there in the 1940/50s sold tomatoes from their greenhouses.
Eddlehurst House1.JPG
There was also Chantinghall House further down the road. The Glasgow merchants had built these houses in the country to get away from the dirt and smog of Glasgow and then came the coal mines with all their workers and black smoke right on their doorsteps. They were absolutely surrounded by coal mines. That was not all, the houses started subsiding from the underground workings.
 
The Glasgow merchants moved out and Watson the Coal master bought them and let them to his managers with the exception of this one as his son and heir lived at this property at one time (must have been before it really subsided). As a wee girl, I used to play with a girl called Preece who lived in it and the floors were so uneven I felt seasick when walking in it. You were either walking uphill or downhill.
Eddlehurst2.JPG
 
Laighstonehall House was built on the site of the old mill (Mill Road got its name from it) which once stood there. The lade can still be seen in the burn just up from the Cosy Corner.
There are two of the merchant’s houses still standing, one on Mill Road, across from the back of St Anne’s school. Known locally as “The Majors” after a major who lived there many years ago. Its real name is Ivy Grove and it was at one time the property of a lawyer called Hay. It is a lovely house but has historic subsidence damage. The other one is at Graham Avenue and it was the South Church Manse for many years. It is now privately owned.
 
The narrow road down to the Cosy Corner had no lights and it was pitch black. I worked in Phillips factory and was really only a wee lassie (17) and had to go down it myself on a day shift. As it was half past five in the morning I used to take to my heels and run like a greyhound from the last house in Mill Road to the houses at Chantinghall. I was petrified as there was a flasher hanging about in the trees. A female police officer (Laura Thorburn) who was Hamilton’s first female detective used to walk this road in an attempt to catch him.
 
Laura was a tall slim blond and he would have spotted her a mile away so she never did catch him.
 
Below is the approximate site of the former Eddlehurst House.
Eddlehurst3.JPG