The Battle of Colloden.
  The battle of Culloden.  



The article below was taken from a local Hamilton Newspaper and transcribed by Wilma Bolton. The article re, the unwelcome presence of Prince Charlie and his troops in Hamilton. The letter clearly describes the feelings of the inhabitants of the town. I love where the paper could not bring itself to say what I think was “naked” whores and used the letter “W” instead.

By the kindness of a friend of this paper we are enabled to publish the following interesting letter, dated 6th January, 1745, written by a Hamiltonian to a friend, concerning the doings of the Highlanders and Prince Charlie in 1745, on their way through Hamilton from Douglas, Lesmahagow, etc:—

We have at last got a visit from your formerly troublesome neighbours, which we neither expected, desired, nor wanted. However, their stay was but short, but, at the same time, very troublesome. Upon Tuesday, the 24th December, there came in here 1900 horse and foot, though they gave themselves out at 2500. They were commanded, if may call it so, by the Lords George Murray, Nairn, Elcho, Ogilvy, and Glenbucket and others.

Upon the Wednesday morning part of them went off to Glasgow; their Prince, the Duke of Perth, their French Ambassadors, Lochiel and others, with part of their clans came in both these nights; the people of the town, though greatly thronged, were in greater peace than on the Thursday night, when the Camerons, MacPhersons and MacDonalds, of Clan Ranald’s party, came up (after having burned some houses in Lesmahagow and rifled one of the ministers’ houses. And had it not been for two of Lochmoidart’s brothers they would have laid the whole town in ashes and plundered the country about); and then, indeed, we felt the effects of an undisciplined, ungoverned army of Highland robbers, who took no more notice of their nominal Prince, or Commander, than a pack of ill-bred hounds.

The provisions, ale and spirits, beginning to run short in the town, they threatened the people with death or the burning of their houses, unless such victuals and drink were got as they called for, which victuals were not of the coarse sort , herrings, onions, and butter, and a cheese, which we looked upon as their best food, such as they would not taste. The people of England have taught them such a bad custom that they would scarcely taste good salt beef and greens, the meanest of them calling for roast or fried fresh victuals, if such were not got they treated the people very ill.

My lodgers were so luxurious that they would not taste boiled pork a little pickled, unless we could dress it in a frying pan with fresh butter. Amongst this set of ruffians there were some civil people, some of whom my aunt had the good fortune to get for lodgers. I had no less than 33 of them the last night, besides horses and naked w——.

Our subscribers, volunteers and militia were obliged to leave the place, amongst whom were your good brother and myself, so I had not the least trouble of them , though their three nights lodgings with what they stole from me, cost me about 6s sterling.

They have rifled several houses in this neighbourhood, and broke and destroyed what they could not carry off, particularly Captain Crawford’s, Thomas Hutton’s at Smiddy Croft, and Woodside.
The Prince went a hunting upon Thursday in the Duke’s park; he shot two pheasants, two woodcocks, two hares, and a young buck, all which were carried in triumph. He dined at Chatelroy where I saw him, but could not find out this angel—Prince among the whole rabble till he was pointed out to me. While here they stript the people of their shoes upon the street, and took what they thought proper from them, refusing to be hindered by any of their officers.

Bonny Prince Charlie.
Bonnie Prince Charlie.

There was not any of this rabble but what were possessed of plenty of gold, even the smallest boys. We were freed from these troublesome neighbours upon Friday morning the 27th, who left us nothing but an innumerable multitude of vermin; (a sentence follows which is unsuitable for publication). Our town smells of them yet; but the people’s spirits are getting up, for while they were here they looked like dead corps.

They stopp’d us from a merry Christmas but, God be thanked, we were blessed with a merry New Year’s Day. I wish you a happy New Year and peace, which we now begin to value. All friends having being here assembled, join in good wishes and services to you,— I am etc.

After his defeat at Culloden, Charles Edward Stuart escaped to Europe where he made few friends due to his drinking and short temper. In less that four years he indicated to his remaining Jacobite supporters that he accepted the impossibility of his recovering the English and Scots crowns while he remained a Roman Catholic and he was willing to commit himself to reigning as a Protestant. Accordingly, he visited London incognito in 1750 and conformed to the Protestant faith by receiving Anglican communion. However he seemingly returned to his Roman Catholic faith by the time of his marriage in 1772. He died in Rome of a stroke on 31 January 1788 aged 67 years.

The above document was transcribed exactly as it was written. Wilma S. Bolton.

One landmark in Hamilton that links Prince Charlie to today still exists. Bonnie Prince Charlie marched his troops across the Old Avon Bridge that is in the picture below.

Avon Bridge.
The Old Avon Bridge.

10,000 likes on Facebook!


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The Troc


The Troc!
“”The Trocadero” Hamilton,the greatest place to go,
Music, dancing, happiness, friends you got to know,
Big band night, for older “kids” run by big Dave Muir!
We loved all the groups, n’the best wee Chris McLure.
You were told about this place, n’went with trepidations,
But once you entered, it fulfilled all of your expectations,
Young men n’women, dressed to kill, realy lookin” great,
Lookin’ around for a while, to go dance you couldn’t wait.
The girls danced together, round handbags on the floor”
The sound of music all around, you couldn’t ask for more,
The lads at the side, keeping watch, “which girl should i ask”
We all had to pick our moment, it was a real daunting task,
The women took no prisoners, a nod, or you seen thier back
When the ‘spotlight’ came on, now that was a different crack,
Lot’s of lovely girls, but the boys were really far outnumbered
A magical night was had by all, and especially if you lumbered””
The above poem was written for Historic Hamilton By Hugh Hainey.

The county Buildings.



The county Buildings.

The Council Headquarters building, on Almada Street, Hamilton, was built as the Lanark County Buildings in 1963, and designed by Lanark council architect D G Bannerman.

The 16 storey, 165 foot tower is the largest in Hamilton, and is a highly visible landmark across this part of the Clyde Valley. The modernist design was influenced by the United Nations building in New York.

County Buildings...Fix...jpg

Glass curtain walls cover the north and south facades, with the narrow east and west sides being blank white walls. At the front of the building is the circular council chamber, and a plaza with water features. It is known by the Hamilton people as the “County Buildings”.


The building today is still Hamilton’s best known landmark and in previous years people have used the fountain at the front to cool down in hot summers and there have also been brave people abseiling down the side of the building to raise money for charity.


I have never been in the county buildings, but maybe someone who works in one of the top offices could get a picture for us all to see the remarkable views over Hamilton.

Meikle Earnock Village, 1877.

Meikle Earnock Village 1877.
Meikle Earnock Village 1877.
In August 1875 coal was found at Eddlewood and the discovery of this precious mineral heralded the end of life as is had been for hundreds of years in the area surrounding the little village of Meikle Earnock. Below is an article copied from the Hamilton Advertiser describing the area prior to industrialisation.
We stand at Eddlewood Farm and manse, which dates back to the beginning of the feudal system, which was granted by Bruce to the progenitor of the of the Hamilton family, where the Scotch Nelson, Thomas Cochrane, Earl of Dundonald, was born whose life was a proof of the old adage—“It is no use living in Rome and fighting against the Pope.” The beech avenue so much admired at Eddlewood was planted by his maternal grandfather.
Taking the Packman’s Path leading to Meikle-Earnock, we cross the burn by a large flat stone that has long done duty for a bridge, and enter the village at Cockle Hill. Going past Brackenhill Road, which leads to the railway station, we are stopped by a gate closing a path. You used to go past Neilsland House to Woodhead Farm, where you went over the step style, then across the burn and over another step style, then across the burn and over another step style at Midstoneha’.
Crossing over to Little Earnock, you find a road which takes you to the Hamilton water filter. But now we must come back to the Meikle Earnock pump. It is now useless. The village and most of the estates surrounding belong now to Mr Watson, and passing his new pit at the entrance to Fairhill House and the “lovers’ loan,” my mind reverts back to what I have seen in the East, principally Cyprus, at the British occupation, and my description of a Cyprus village in your paper at that time. Time and the spoiler (the coal pits) have been here. Everywhere –ruins! Opposite the graveyard at the Neilsland gate, once stood an ingle factory, where were woven ribbons, braid, and netting. Sitting on a flat headstone–there are only two now where once were many–those beautiful lines of Byron’s “Address to the Ocean” come into my head—
“Man marks the earth with ruin,
His control (only) stops with the shore.”
In the corner stands the vaults the old lairds of Meikle Earnock. At our feet lie the forefathers of the Strangs (former lairds of M.E, from whose family it came to the Mathers), all now belonging to Hamilton. Most of the stones have disappeared. The above are all that are readable, except the half one in memory of the wife of the late Baillie Naismith. Before many years they will all disappear, as will everything about it.
The Burnhouse.
The Burnhouse.
The preset representative of the Mathers has even been stopped from repairing the place. Further down the road, we come to the famous Whisky Well, also sadly changed. Formerly the water fell into a natural basin, which was always running over. This basin stood two feet above the ground, but it is now hidden with engine ashes.
A wooden foot-bridge took you past the well, where there was a public road, with a fence on each side, down to the Mill (Eddlehurst House stands where the miller’s house stood), for the Meikle Earnock folks and surrounding farmers to go to the Mill, Half-way down, at the junction of the two burns, stood a weaver’s house and workshop, with garden.
The Burnhouse.
I am informed by the last Laird Mather’s descendants that the said laid spent large sums in litigation with the covetons to keep this road open to the public, which he always won; but when Watson got Burnside House, he closed it. “Pity the laird is not to the fore.” A copy of the rights was in the possession of three farmers, John Alston of Brackenhill was one, and my informant thinks another was at Chapel.
When Fairhill was sold to Captain Coventry (it lately fell to the Urquharts), the graveyard was reserved, and the mound behind was to remain unaltered. CERTES. Ref. Hamilton Advertiser, 20/10/1894 page 4. Ref. A History of Eddlewood and Neilsland Collieries by (Wilma Bolton)
The above document was donated to Historic Hamilton by Wilma Bolton. This article features in her latest book: “A HISTORY OF EDDLEWOOD AND NEILSLAND COLLIERIES, HAMILTON 1873 to 1932.” This book is not for sale to the public, however it can be read at the Hamilton reference Library.
To purchase one of Wilma’s fantastic books, then please visit:

Walter McGowan dies, aged 73.


The Hamilton fighter won Scottish, British, European and Empire titles before defeating Italy’s Salvatore Burruni at Wembley over 15 rounds to land the world flyweight title in 1966.

Walter McGowan.

In McGowan’s next fight, he won the British and Empire title at bantamweight when he defeated Alan Rudkin, again at Wembley.

He won 32 of his 40 professional fights before retiring in 1969.

McGowan had been in poor health in recent years and was living in a nursing home in Bellshill.

Walter McGowan1

He died peacefully at Monklands Hospital on Monday night.

One of 10 children, McGowan is survived by a son and daughter and a grandson and grand-daughter.

Our thoughts go out to his family.

The Eddlewood Gala Day 1985.

Angela MacSkimming Gala Queen 1985.

In the picture is Andrea MacSkimming as the gala queen 1985. With. Left is andrea and right is jane. As the maids of honour, Picture courtesy of Johnny MacSkimming.

What was your memories of the Eddlewood Gala Day? Do you have any pictures that you would like to share?

Andrea MacSkimming as the gala queen 1985. With. Left is andrea and right is jane. As the maids of honour.

Best years of my life.

John Mills.
John Mills & his two younger brothers.
John Mills sent us a picture of him and his two younger brothers, John Wrote:
“I’ve unearthed another image. Again Me and my two younger brothers. I reckon it was taken in 1960. Its at the bottom of the garden at 143 Meikle Earnock Rd. Looking down toward Neilsland Pl and Fairhill Pl? There were playing fields and a football pitch down there.”
Can you remember the playing fields at Fairhill Place?


The Hamilton Hippodrome.


The Hamilton Hippodrome was situated in Townhead Street. The picture above is advertising a run of the film ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’.


It opened it’s doors on the 14th of  October 1907 by E.H. Bostock, to the cost of of nearly £5,000.  It was situated at 90 Townhead Street, just at the junction with Low Patrick Street. The building was similar to his Paisley Hippodrome, which in turn was based on the huge Scottish Zoo & Glasgow Hippodrome in Cowcaddens. The building was designed by Bertie Crewe  and it was based on ideas created by E. H. Bostock.

E.H. Bostock
E.H. Bostock.

The building was a large wooden auditorium.It created  space for circus entertainment and for variety shows, and pantomime. There were stalls which could be reduced to make way for a circus ring, circle & balcony. Films were also added if time permitted!

Programme for the Hippodrome.

Harry McKelvie who often did pantomimes at the Royal Princess’s theatre in Glasgow also did his shows here at the Hippodrome, the admission prices were: boxes 11/6d, single 2/4d, stalls 1/3d, pit 8d. In the 1930s Harry Gordon, Dave Willis and Tommy Morgan were great favourites and also often did shows here in Hamilton.

Hippodrome Advert
Advert in the Hamilton Advertiser 27 February 1915.

It was reported in the Hamilton Advertiser in December 1914 “As it was the festive season the Hamilton Hippodrome were running the Panto ‘Goodie Two Shoes’ starring some local ‘mirth provokers’ and the wounded Belgians soldiers housed in the area were taken to the cinema by the Provost’s wife, Mrs Moffat.”

The Hippodrome was Sold to Winocour’s, 1941. and ran up until 1946 when sadly the building was destroyed by fire.