F:A:O Hugh Hainey, I have some good news from the poem that you wrote …” A TIME TO REFLECT”

Hugh Hainey wrote a poem for Historic Hamilton on the 15/12/2015 and the poem was this:

“A time to reflect, (with hope to make it right)

When ever i see a bully, i try to teach them a lesson,
This story is about me, it’s by way of my confession,

I can’t forget a fight with my friend, red is all i see,
There was a rotten bully, and it turned out to be me.

There were loads of other kids, shouting eggin” us on,
I looked into his eyes, i knew our friendship it was gone,

The shame i felt after, when they pulled us both apart,
To see the look on my friends face, realy broke my heart,

His family emigrated to Canada, it was around 1964,
Why oh why did i not go round and knock upon his door,
If I’d only said sorry, maybe we could be friends once more,

50yrs and i still cant forget, the one thing in life i realy do regret,,,

Historic Hamilton, I’d love to find this wee man,
If anyone can do it you and yir readers can.
His name is Danny Dominic, he left 50 odd years ago,
He moved from Hillhouse, to Hamilton Ontario,

Any information, or if anyone knows where he’s at,
Will you please say sorry, from a stupid auld scots pratt””

Hugh, I contacted a couple of websites in Canada and I am pleased to tell you that I have found your old pal Danny Dominic….

Danny wrote back to us and said:

“I received your correspondence this week regarding the poem written by one of your members Hugh Hainey, I would like to confirm that I am the individual Daniel Dominick that Hugh is looking for as I remember that day 50 years ago well enough. Please have Hugh reach out to me thru this email address would be happy to re connect.

Dan Dominick
289 339 4879

Hugh, Thank you for sending your poem to Historic Hamilton, As always your poems are fantastic to read, and please let us know if you & Daniel have put everything behind you.

I wish the both of you all the very best.


Glenlee primary school 1953


Glenlee primary school 1953

This was sent to us by Lucy MacKinnon, Lucy wrote:

“James (Jimmy) strang age 8 years old, 6th from the left bottom row,born in Hamilton 12/3/1945 sadly passed away (1/12/2015)

true gentle man who loved the Scottish land x”

If you recognise anyone in the picture then let us know.


Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, 14th Duke of Hamilton
The Marquis of Douglas and Clydesdale, with a party including a Russian Princess. Miss Bell, Mr Bell, Mr Eagan the Amateur Champion Boxer of the World; and Johnny Brown Middle-Weight Champion Boxer of Scotland, motored from Dungavel to Neilsland Colliery offices where they were met by Mr. John B. Thomson general manager of John Watson Limited.
They then proceeded to the colliery and were introduced to Mr James Cook, manager of Neilsland Colliery, who conducted the party underground, where they spent the day with the miners.
They descended No. 1 Pit and visited the machine cut section of the Humph coal and also a hand pick section of the Ell coal.
On their travels the party conversed freely with the different classes of workmen and evinced great interest in the practical part performed by each. They asked numerous questions in order to obtain a thorough grasp of the general conditions underground.
The young Marquis, at the coal face, assisted a workman by filling a hutch of coal, which he did in a remarkably short space of time. He thereafter expressed his enjoyment at the work performed and remarked “that a miner was always a man, because his work kept him in a splendid physical condition which explained his success in all classes of sport where strength was required.” Many of the pitmen spoke of the courage by the ladies of the party, as they did not hesitate in going into dusty and contracted corners of the mine and returned to the surface grimy enough to be almost unrecognisable by each other.
The party expressed the pleasure they had experienced in meeting personally with the miners at their work and invited a number of them to come up to Dungavel on Saturday, where they would meet with another party of 60 Miners coming from the Bellshill District.
MINERS AT DUNGAVEL :- SPORTS PROGRAME. On Saturday afternoon a party of about 100 miners from Bellshill and Hamilton districts, accompanied by Mr. Joseph Sullivan, M.P. for North Lanark Division, and Mr William B. Small, miners agent, visited Dungavel, where a large house party received them on the terrace in front of the house.
Her Grace welcomed everyone personally. The sports took place on the lawn in front of the terrace and were participated in by all present and greatly enjoyed. Ref. Hamilton Advertiser 25/8/1923. Page 6. Wilma S. Bolton.

William Devanney’s Coal yard in Burnbank.

Charles Devanney
William Devanney’s Coal yard in Burnbank.

The picture below was sent to us by Charles Devanney. This was Devanney’s coal yard in Limetree, Burnbank. Charles told us:

“This is one of my Grandfather’s 26 ton Steam Wagon’s, I’m guessing 1950’s maybe the vehicle is parked in his yard in Burnbank across from Limetree garage in the background you can see the Noël Kegg building”

William Devanney’s Coal yard and his house was situated on Glasgow Road Burnbank, the vehicle in the picture is a 26 ton Steam Wagon.

William Devanney originated from Donegal Ireland, he & his wife Cathie McMonigall arrived in 1908 and they started the coal business and had 8 wagons on the road the picture of the Steam wagon was about 1940’s they had 6 sons who all worked in the business. The business was sold around 2005.

The land where the coal yard once stood now has houses built on it.

The Burial ground on Millgate Road

The Tumulus in Millgate road could have possibly looked like the one in this picture.

“A tumulus (plural tumuli) is a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves. Tumuli also are known as barrows, burial mounds, Hügelgräber, or kurgans, and may be found throughout much of the world. A cairn, which is a mound of stones built for various purposes, might also originally have been a tumulus.”

For the people who live in Millgate Road, take a minute or two to stop at the piece of open land in between 94 & 96 and spare a thought!! This is the site of an old burial ground and an even older Tumulus.

The first visual record of the Tumulus is found on the 1843 map of Hamilton and it was situated on the lands of Meikle Earnock.  The burial mound was located between two buildings, one called Fairhall and the other called Fairhill,  Fairhill being the grander of the two, with lovely gardens and even had a sun dial listed on the map.



There was a document  written in 1845 by W Meek and W Buchan and it read:

“This tumulus is at present about 12ft in diameter and 8ft high. It was formerly much larger and hollow at the top. When broken into, several urns were found, containing cremations with human bones, some of them accompanied by the tooth of a horse”


Next to the Tumulus there is an area, still on the farm of Meikle Earnock and there appears to be another area enclosed for a burial ground by the proprietors of Meikle Earnock around the beginning of the 18th century. There  was an account written in 1874 stating that the oldest tombstone observed having the date 1727, a plain mausoleum, has been more recently erected inside it, but it, and the wall, surrounding the cemetery have become much dilapidated.


Modern satellite overlay on the 1843 map.

The land was re-visited again in 1974 and another document read, “This is a spread earthen mound about 12.0m in diameter and up to 0.8m in height. It is surrounded by a modern housing scheme. Visited by OS (JLD) 22 March 1961 This cairn, situated between Millgate Road and Neilsland Road in the S part of Hamilton, is a grass-covered mound of earth and stone measuring about 10m in diameter and 0.8m in height.”

Google Street View of where the Burial mound & Grave yard are located.

I spoke with Paul Veverka of The Blantyre Project and he and I have come to the conclusion that there must still be bodies buried on the site of the old grave yard! Paul who has done many years of research in Blantyre said that if the bodies were removed, then the council would have built on the site of the old grave yard.

I don’t know if there is marker on this site to say what is here, but perhaps South Lanarkshire Council should have a monument as a sign of respect to the people who are buried here.




The second annual gala day of the Eddlewood and Neilsland Collieries took place on Saturday last. It is a day in which young and old participate, and on this occasion the number of children was very much larger than last year owing to the fact that on Saturday the children of all the workmen in the collieries were included, instead of only those associated with the village.

Nearly 1000 young people turned out, and were marshalled in  procession at 11 o’clock in front of the Workmen’s Hall, Eddlewood. Headed by Auchinraith Brass Band, the children tidily dressed and carrying flags and bannerettes, and each fortified with the indispensable “tinny” marched to a field on Cornhills Farm, kindly granted by Mr Robert Frame. Here buns and milk were supplied and appeared to be greatly relished. The sports were afterwards commenced and continued throughout the rest of the day.

The boys and girls got their opportunity first, and the many substantial prizes were competed for with much zeal and uncommon energy. The sports for the youths and older people began later in the afternoon, during which the field presented a very animated appearance. For the amusement of the children a maypole and swings were erected on the filed, and they received a constant and vigorous patronage. So also did the dance programme, which was ably engineered by M.C’s Charles Rodger and Andrew Skewies, and kept going lively by the creative band strains. The weather, upon the whole was favourable, the few showers that fell during the afternoon creating little or no inconvenience.

When the programme was concluded the children were again formed in procession and, lead by the band, marched homewards, not just to spick and span as they were in the morning, but doubtless, deeming the day’s enjoyment all too brief. Mr John Blake Manager, presided over the proceedings, and among the officials who took an active part in arranging and supervising the details were:– Mr Hugh McFadyen. Convener of the general committee; Mr William Whitehouse, who performed a great deal of useful secretarial work. The following are the results of the sports.

BOYS AND GIRLS. Girls races:–Five years–1, Lizzie Rodney; 2, Lizzie Lyons; 3, Jeanie Hamilton; 4, Lizzie Thomson. Six years—1 Cissie Lyon; 2, Martha Campbell; 3, Janet Dykes; 4, Nellie Berry. Seven years–1. Mary Summers; Annie Reynolds; 3. Janet Corbett; 4. Maggie Thomson. Eight Years – 1, Janet Rankine; Minnie Ramsey; 3. Grace Earle; 4. Susan Collins; Nine years–1 Chrissie Lyons; 2. Barbara Brown; 3. Janet Flynn; 4. Mary Thomson;. 10 Years. 1. Kate Paterson; 2, Mary Collins; 3. Mary Sherry; 4. Maggie McGonigal; Eleven Years–:1. Maggie Brown; 2, Mary McGraw; 3. Janet Robertson; Janie McGuire. Twelve years–1 Nellie Burgoyne; 2, Lizzie McGraw; 3. Maggie Calder; 4. Madge Cook. Thirteen years–1. Annie Summers; 2 Annie Corbett; 3. Susan Wilkie; 4, Jeanie Baird. Fourteen years–1. Joan McKenzie; 2. Anne Paton; 3. Bella McGarry; 3. 4. Rose Ann Rodden. Girls skipping race;- Five, six and seven years— 1. Maggie Stewart; 2. Jeannie Clark; 3. Lizzie Thomson; 4. Lizzie Rodden. Eight to fourteen years—–1. Maggie Brown; 2. Lizzie McGraw; 3. Christina Lyons; 4 Annie Summers.

Boys Races—:—Five years–1, Hugh Lyons; 2. W. McManus; 3. Thomas Baird; 4. James McGregor; Six years–1, Archd, Rodden; 2. Jas. Ballantyne; 3. James Bain; 4, David Wilson. Seven years–1, Thomas Miller; Andrew Dunn; 3. James Wilkie; Dan Kerr; Eight years— 1, Joe Robertson;  2. Thomas Miller; William Baird; 4, Hugh McKay. Nine years—1. John Kerr; 2. John Rodger; 3. Nicol Jardine; 4. Thomas Whitton. Ten years. 1, Isaac McGill; 2. John Gillard; 3. Michael Cunningham; 4. Robert White; Eleven years—1.  David Symons; John Garrity; 3. James Rodden; 4. Robert Hamilton. Twelve years— 1. John Calder; 2. James Maxwell; 3. Patrick Robertson; 4. Thomas Rodden. Thirteen years 1. William Borland; 2. Sam Barclay; 3. John Cunningham; W. Connelly. Fourteen years –1. Matthew Grannochan; 2, Wm. Connelly; 3. Alex McKinven. Candy-Barrow races;_ Five, six, seven and eight years.—1. Francis Calder and A. Hamilton; 2 James Calder and Robert Orr; 3. Robert Hamilton and James Wilkie; Nine to fourteen years–1. David Symons and Robert Hamilton; 2. William Paterson and Sam Barclay; 3. Arthur Brown and John Gilmour. Sack Races;— Five, six, seven and eight years—1, William Clarke; 2. James Calder; 3. David Hendry. Nine to fourteen years—1, Alex McKinnon; 2. Robert Hamilton; 3. David Symons.

Boys high leap under fourteen years—1. John Kerr; 2. David Symons; Boys 100 yards handicap, under 15 years—1. John Forrest; 2. William Hepburn; 3. James Houston; 4. D. Symons. The racing in this event was very good, showing that the boys had been under careful training’ Boys five-aside football–Owing to the scarcity of time, only the first round of this was played off.

OTHER EVENTS.—-120 yards handicap—1. John Gillespie; 2. Dennis Brown; 3. Walter Baxter. Old man’s handicap (from 45 years upwards.)–1. Peter McLuskey; 2. Wm. Perris; 3, John McCarrol. The racing in this event was very good, the winner especially showing a good turn of speed.

Unmarried ladies race— 1. Annie Hughes; 2. Susan Burgoyne; 3, Janet Baxter. There was also a special prize for this race, which was won by Martha Wilson.

Married ladies races—. 1. Mrs Berry; 2. Mrs Cook; 3. Mrs Young. This race created considerable amusement to the spectators, and was perhaps the most enjoyable of the day. Men’s high leap—1, A. Hodge; 2 John McCarthy.

Men’s five-a-side football.—. A good many entries for this event were taken. The five prizes –handbags— were won by No 6 team, and the second prize –non magnetic watches–were won by No 10 team.

Half-mile handicap –1. James Haley; 2. William Hutton; 3. Patrick Quinn.

Five-a-side tug of war–This event created the most excitement of the day. Teams representing each pit, and one from the surface competed. The surfacemen carried of premier honours, second place being taken by John Callison’s team representing No. 1 Pit Neilsland.

Ref. Hamilton Advertiser 11/8/1906 page 4. 


PRESENTATION. A number of the workmen of Eddlewood and Neilsland Collieries met in Eddlewood Workmen’s Hall on Monday evening to do honour to Mr Charles Walker, under manager, who has laboured amongst them for the past six years, and who having obtained a situation abroad leaves the Old Country on Thursday first. After tea had been partaken of (which was provided by Mr William Kyle in really first class style, Mr Blake manager, who presided, gave a very minute and interesting account of Mr Walker’s abilities, and also of the interest he took in everything pertaining to the village, and said that he was quite sure in wishing Mr Walker God-speed, he did so in the name of every workman in the works. He then called on Mr Joseph McGowan to make the presentation (which consisted of a gold hunter watch and albert for Mr Walker, and for Mrs Walker a handsome gold chain), which he did in a very simple and pleasing manner, wishing in the name of the workmen, both Mr and Mrs Walker long life and happiness, Mr Walker, on behalf of Mrs Walker and himself, thanked the workmen of Eddlewood and Neilsland Collieries for their handsome presents, and also for the kindness that they had always been shown towards them while amongst them. A very pleasant evening was afterwards spent with songs and readings. The singing of “Auld Lang Syne” and “He’s a Jolly Good Fellow,” brought a very happy meeting to a close. The presents were supplied by Mr David Calder, Quarry Street. Ref. Hamilton Advertiser. 15/8/1906 page 4.

This story was kindly donated to Historic Hamilton by local author & Historian Wilma Bolton, Wilma has published two books Black Faces & Tackety Boots and Pit Props & Poines. The above documentation is only available at the to view at the Hamilton Reference library.

Please visit Wilma’s site if you would like to purchase one of her books.

The Odeon


The Odeon was built across the street from the ABC Regal Cinema. It was one of the original cinemas in the Oscar Deutsch chain of Odeon Theatres Ltd. The building was designed by the cinema chain’s house architects Andrew Mather,


The Odeon opened on 14th November 1938 with George Raft in “Spawn of the North”. The building was faced in cream faience tiles, and had a small slab tower on the left-hand side. Seating in the auditorium was provided for 1,353 in the stalls and 466 in the circle.


The Odeon was closed for tripling on 1st March 1980, and re-opened on 5th April 1980 with 466 seats in the former balcony, and screens 2 & 3 in the former stalls seating 224 and 310.


The Odeon Was closed by the Rank Organisation on 26th August 1999, and was immediately demolished. The site is now a car park.

Ticket from the last ever showing on the last ever night, before the Odeon closed.

From my own collection in the last picture you will see a ticket that was from the very last showing, on the very last night, before it closed. It was Wild Wild West with Will Smith. Ths showing was on the 26/08/1999, I went with two of my pals and it was quite emotional. I can recall the showing being half empty, and sitting next to us were an elderly couple who must have been in their 70s, they had obviously gone on the last night to reminicse.


The time that David Bowie nearly came to Hamilton.

Paulvevevrka.David Bowie.

Paul Veverka of The Blantyre Project sent us this news paper article of the time that David Bowie nearly played in Hamilton.

David Bowie once was billed to play at Hamilton in 1969 at the Town Hall, Five years after his friend Mick Jagger played at the Chantinghall Hotel, however the show was cancelled and all ticket money had to be returned.

Did you have a ticket to see David Play that night? Let us know.


Beckford Street School, Anti-Smoking League.




This fantastic piece of memorabilia was sent to us by Karen Martin. The card was collected by Karen’s dad, who likes to keep Hamilton memorabilia and it dates from Beckford Street School in the year 1907.

The Card reads:


Anti-Smoking league – I promise to abstain entirely from Tobacco in any form till I reach the age of 21 years.
Signed by George Campbell – Class teacher – John F Lang
Malcolm Blair F.E.I.S,, Headmaster. Date: August 1907.”

I asked Karen if there was a story behind this anti-smoking card, however as it was bought by Karen’s Dad, he didn’t know if there was or not!

I can picture the said George Campbell being caught smoking at school and the Headmaster giving him an ultimatum of Ten of his finest strokes, or to keep off the fags until he was 21……I know what option I would have picked!!