This picture was taken in 1928 and you can notice the changes that the town has gone through in the last 87 Years.
As you can see, there is no M74 at the top of the picture but a road leading up to Motherwell. You can also see the line where the grand avenue of trees lead from the Palace up to the Duke’s hunting lodge at Chatelherault.
Tuphall Road (A) is shown from it’s junction with Quarry Street and Bent Road, with the Gasholder (B) to it’s right. The back of Johnstone Street tenements (C) has Woodside School beyond.
Selkirk Street (D) ran through from Portland Place (E) to cross Tuphall Road. Scott Street (F) and Butterburn Park Street (G) climb, uninterrupted, from Tuphall Road and across Burnblea Street (H).
Low Patrick Street (J) has the old Hippodrome at its foot. Central Station (K) and the former Town Hall are on the Left of the picture.
The fields at the bottom of the picture would be later built on as the construction of much needed council housing got under way.

Arial photograph of Hamilton in 1928.
Arial photograph of Hamilton in 1928.

Ha Ha Hamilton

On a Saturday mornin, we awe went tae the baths,
Com’on let’s go tae the toon, hiv oorsels some laughs,
We awe mingled at the bottom cross,havin a carry on,
Dayin’ a Harry Worth in Burtons windae, decidin where wir gawn,

Their buildin that new regent thingy, let’s go fur a wander,
Wee alec says ‘climb up the scaffold, n’ end up right roon yonder,
We wir sittin on the edge, a Lightbody’s man came wae a big tray on his heed,
As he walked by we leaned ower, a got a load o’ cream cakes, doughnuts n’breed

We were sittin there scoffin cakes, yum” then we came a cropper,
Standin there shoutin’ ‘come on git aff’ wis Hamiltons new copper,,
Ye cannae catch us wis the cry, as we splattered him wae cream n’breed,
He wis screamin at us, called us all sorts, n’ jist going aff his heed,

We ran roon the scaffold, he kept on chasin, he wis never gonna stop,
It wis realy funny, runnin hawdin he’s helmit, wae cream awe ower ls top,
The only problem wis, that we forgot, there wis only wan way doon,
”Big Wully,” the other polis’ even he wis laughin’ before he went to toon’

If Wully” tells you tae dae somethin, ye better dae it or yir’ dead,,
His favourite trick wis tae kick yir’ arse, or smack ye roon the head,
But ok, it wisnae funny, I thought awe the memories they wir great,
Jist wait tae the next time, I’ll tell ye whit happend wae the Majestrate,,,,,

Written by Hugh Haney for Historic Hamilton.


“Is it a book ye want”
A see yir’ on aboot writin a book, well that’s mighty task,
The informations at yir’ fingertips, if no ye jist hiv tae ask.

Jist look aroon’ the places that yir’ postin’ aboot every day,
Go on meet the people, write a book, tae them that’s child’s play.

Ask aboot their thoughts n’ fears, they’ll sharp talk off yir’ ears,
They’ll tell ye things ye won’t believe, stuff that’s bin telt fur years.

Go out n’ have a fun day oot in Hamilton, Burnbank and Blantir’,
You’ll hiv loads of things tae write aboot, if ye listen tae the banter.

Jist look at their faces, suss their age, then thir era ye can gage,
See ye cannae ask a young un’ aboot whit happend in another age.

The best news is from the source, ask if true, they’ll say of cource,
Yil git loads that’ll talk awe day,n’ tell ye porkies till they’re hoarse’.

Remember people ye talk tae, take some wae a wee pinch of salt,
They’ll say they worked on the titanic, if ye buy them a single malt.

But seriously, these great people, who live n’ work all these places,
They’ve got histories to be told, the truth is in all of thir faces.

Written for Historic Hamilton by Hugh Haney 16/10/2015.


Hurrah for Historic Hamilton, and yir’ stories aboot oor histories’
I love the way ye dig them up, then solve awe them wee mysteries,
The story aboot the break in n’ the dissapearng chicken,
If ye could talk tae the wan that done it, he’d say it wis finger lickin”
Yir’ pages n’ posts are magic, aboot the people n’ awe the places,
It’s great the way ye suss them oot, n’ put names tae thir’ faces,,

For awe the great folk in Hamilton Blanti’r and Burnbank,
For all you’re hard work, you’re the one we’d like to thank,

The story aboot regent centre, n’ the wee man wae the monkey,
I sure remember tha wee guy, ye see noo am turnin’ a hamilton junkie,

I log on you’re page n’ when iv’e looked, that’s it completely hooked,,
Some of the stories people send are so far out you could write a book,
Whit’s this aboot the Polis’ pinchin paint worth very little money,
But the story wis he didnae git done,, is’nt that a wee bit funny,,

I realy love the stories aboot the real people, the auld fashioned folk,
I like the way you put them across, n’ sometimes wrap them with a joke,,
Yir’ always informitive, and always precice, some are nasty, but most are nice,,
So keep goin for awe us oldies, and new new followers yet to come,,
If the proofs in the pudding’. You’re page is the Plum””.

Written by Hugh Hainey 13/10/15

Robert Hepburn

Robert Hepburn.
Robert Hepburn.

Bob Hepburn was a footballer from Eddlewood. His son John Hepburn tells Historic Hamilton a bit about his dad during his football & time in the Army. John wrote:

“Bob was his family name, but in the Eddlewood community where he was born in 1902, he was known as “Hep”. This nomenclature lasted through his lifetime. Bob attended Low Waters School, and then followed his father and brother into working in Neilsland pit.

He played his junior football with Dykehead Juniors. He then had a short spell with Third Lanark. He went back to playing Junior with Quarter Juniors, and then had the unique experience of signing for Ayr United on a slab of coal down the Neilsland pit.

I believe that was in 1922 and then he went on to play for Ayr for 15 years. He was capped for Scotland against Ireland in season 1931-32. His biggest disappointment was after being selected to play at Wembly was not able to play owing to injury.

Hep was rewarded by Ayr with a benefit match against Manchester United. It was in this game that the late great Frank Swift made his debut for Man United. Hep was very popular in the close knit Eddlewood community, and with a few more local worthies organised and performed in concerts in the community hall.

One of my fondest memories was being carried on his shoulders at the head of the pipe band, in the final Eddlewood gala. I believe Eddlewood missed his gregarious personality when after marital differences with my Mother, he moved to London.

My dad joined the Royal Air Force in ww2 and landed in France on D Day plus 4. He returned to London post war working in De Havilands factory. Dad died in London at age 74 and his ashes are interred Prestwick Cemetery.”

Cigarette coupon featuring Bob Hepburn.
Cigarette coupon featuring Bob Hepburn.

We would like to thank John’s daughter Carol Hepburn-Manseau for taking time to send us her pictures of her Grandad and for writing down her dads story. The photos provided are from a football coupon from a packet of cigarettes which featured Robert Hepburn.


Stolen Chickens!!

It was reported in the Hamilton Advertiser on Saturday the 5th of July 1862 that, “Stolen on the afternoon of the Sabbath last, between two and four o clock pm from Chanting Grove, Union Street, two hen chickens of the golden Spaniel breed…..Whoever will give information of their whereabouts at the office of this paper, or at the Hamilton police-office will be handsomely rewarded.”

I myself can’t help but think, that those two Golden Spaniel Breed chickens would have made a delicious Sunday dinner for the persons family that stole them.


Mary with her granddaughter Agness McNamee at 8 Back -o-Barns.
Mary with her grandaughter Agnes McNamee at 8 Back -o-Barns.

Mary Ellen Connolly was born on the 25th of December 1875 at James Street in Sligo Ireland, she was the daughter of Michael Connolly (A Baker) & Maria Carr.

Mary lived in Sligo with her parents, 5 brothers & 3 sisters and later moved to 9 Cranmore Street. She was married at the age of 25 to a local man called Patrick McAuley. They immigrated to Scotland in the summer of 1902 and moved to Motherwell where Patrick gained work at one of the local coal mines.

On the 29th of October Mary gave birth to twins Mary & Annie at Fairfield Place in Coursington Street, Motherwell, where they lived for a further 9 years before moving to Glasgow for a short period.

The family then moved to Hamilton where Patrick was working as a railway plate layer and lived at 28 Bailles Causeway. Sadly Mary’s husband Patrick became ill and died of Pneumonia on the 25th of April 1913. Mary gained employment as a laundry worker and moved to 8 Back-o-Barns where she would live the rest of her life.

Six years later, Mary met a widower called James Brunton who was a carter and originally from Peebles, he lived in Hope Street and they had a son in the year 1919 who they named James Brunton. Mary & James later married on Mary’s birthday on the 25th December 1934 at St. Mary’s RC Chapel.

James Brunton & Mary McAuley's marriage Cert.
James Brunton & Mary McAuley’s marriage Cert.

Sadly James died on the 11th of April 1947 and Mary was once again a widower. Mary’s daughter, Mary continued to live in Hamilton and has an extensive family who are the McCallum’s, McNamee’s Poultons & Mitchells. Annie (Mary’s twin) later immigrated to Canada where she met a local man Amos Anderson and they raised a family with two daughters who they named Thelma & Olla. Sadly Thelma Died in 2008.

Annie Josephine McAuley.
Annie Josephine McAuley.

Olla who is married to Jim Stephens have their own family and still to this day, Olla keeps in touch with her Scottish cousins Janette McCallum,James Poulton & Anne-Marie & Mary Mitchell.

Mary's Granddaughter Olla Stephens from Canada.
Mary’s grandaughter Olla Stephens from Canada.

Mary continued to live at 8 Back-o-Barns for the next eight years until she sadly took an epileptic fit on the 18th of March 1951 and unfortunately when this happened she was standing at her fireplace and when she collapsed and her apron caught fire. She was taken to Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride where she died the next day of second degree burns.

Mary was survived by her three children and she was sadly missed by all.