Part of the great Scottish heritage was the various “Bings” that were left following the closure of mines and pits throughout the country. I was born and brought up at the top of Hill Street in Burnbank, better known as the “Jungle” right at the bottom of Earnock bing, as a wee boy I looked on it as my own personal real estate. Many of the coal miners were pigeon fanciers (doo men) and had their loft out the backyard including my own dad which explains a wee bit the following tale.

The poem below was written by
AND WAS DONATED TO WILMA BOLTON. Wilma has kindly shared this for the Historic Hamilton readers to enjoy.
Corrugated iron—wae the ends turned up
Blint— wi stoure and shale
Fifty miles an oor at least
Anither on yer tail

Earnock bing my Everest
The biggest bing aroon
Ah climbed ye every day in life
The tallest in the toon,

Mony’s the time I fell aff the tap
Fae aff yer towr’n heights
Broken taes and fingers
Ah should be deid by rights

Cadzow bing it was’nae bad
But wis’nae near sae steep
Naewhere near the broken bones
Aw’right for grazin sheep.

Dae ye mind wee Wullie doon the road
We put him in a tyre
Ah’m shair it wis aff a Chieftan bus,
An’ fae aff yer very spire,

We gied’m sich a hefty shove
He fell oot haufway doon
He staggert’ roon for hauf an oor
An roon n’ roon n’ roon,

As soon as he could staun at peace
He said “Christ that wiz great”
“Could we dae it agane jist wan mair time”
It wiz clear he could’na wait.

So intae the tyre again he went
This time we tied him in
An wi an even harder shove
We sent him for a spin.
Well “Tottie Minto’s” pigeon loft…
Ah’ ken ye’ve guessed already
It, wiz quite plain for aw tae see,
Even tae blind Freddy

Unhappy circumstances wid unfold
And mibbie even mair
A heid oan crash, a lot a stoure
An’ feathers everywhere

Deid doos deid as dodos
Died in their loft that day
Like road kill they aw’ lay aroon
Ah guess its fair tae say

We thought the wee block doon the road
Wi’ the doos had done his dash
Surprise, surprise, would ye believe,
Fae in amang the trash

A ghostly figure staggert’ oot
An roon n’roon n’roon
He said “Christ that wiz bliddy great”
Ah hope that very soon

“ We dae that agane jist wan mair time”
“This time ah’ll git it right”
at this point ye can guess the rest
its time to say guidnight

Dear Earnock bing where ur ye noo
Wherever did ye go
Scattered to the winds, ah think
Ah’ ken ah miss you so.

Oh Earnock bing my Everest,
It’s time to say fareweel
Ah won’t forget ye ever
Fareweel Fareweel Fareweel!!!!!

(A wee efter thought)
For those of nostalgic persuasion
Ah hope ye enjoyed my heart felt reminiscence
Slidin doon ma Earnock Everest, Oan ma erse…….in verse.

Thomas Matthew Edgar.
Wilma Bolton. 2005.

Christmas Time.

Christmas time…………………84

Xmas tree green an bright stawnin oan the flair
awe things hingin fae the limbs sparklln the room
red an white black and awe angels swingin oan
covered linen oan the table pure as driven snaw.

Boxes oan the bottom wrapped in merry paper
wae corners wore awa an some nearly open
the heavy wans an bright big things lay quietly
daring any hawns thit wid want tae touch thim.

An oan the windi sill oot ben the back lies waitin
ashets clean an ready tae be yazed wans mair
a dumpling lies wae thrupenny bits steamin there
enough tae feed an army maybe even the weans.

The screw taps oan the table furr the uncles tae drink
wae cartons oaf smokes thit awe kin go an hiv a draw
an talk wae a mention oaf things good an bad an laugh
oaf where the coal fae that welcome fire really came fae.

Aye xmas time in oor wee hoose awe wiz stull an quiet
wae reflections oan whit might hiv been it anither time
if the dice had landed right wiey up doon it the pitch an toss
an we wurr awe the gither tae talk oor memories awe day.

The above poem was written for Historic Hamilton by Joh Stokes.

Earnock Raws..

There were times when Hamilton’s treatment of there own
was not always the best this poems tries to talk to that from my memories.
Earnock Raws
Aye Earnock Raws jist stie awa
don’t go doon thair tae plae at fitba.
Ye ken it’s ruff bit thae dinnae know
it’s noa a plaice whaur ye shud go.
Thi hing ower the railins an shoutin
thir washin aye wis luks loupin.
Thirs mony a durty wee face thair
his nivir seen baths up thae stairs.
Bit thi Raws had thi same as any street
some wir thi best o’ folk yi cud meet.
The Raws an Jungle an ower Whitehill
the folks wi cash gave us luks tha wud kill.
In fur joabs or jist in tae borrow
yir address wid mak thair brow furrow.
Thaed hum an thaed haw sayn naethin at awe
faces screwed up as at jumpers thae claw.
Sum hae gone an moved tae new plaices
livin aside thae auld screwed up faces.
Disnae matter ataw it’s a hoose or a haw
wir aw part o’ thi same Human Races.
The above poem was written for Historic Hamilton by Kit Duddy.

The case of the stolen cabbages.

STOLE CABBAGES. Lawyer takes Exception to Fiscal’s Question.

“I don’t want to be unfair you. I put the question as straight as I can! Do you swear on your oath in that box that you got these cabbages from George Russell?”

This was the question put by the Fiscal (Mr Robert Weir) in Hamilton J.P. Court on Monday to Charles Bell a miner from Udston Rows, Hamilton, who accused with having 16th or 17th September 1922, stolen Five cabbages from a field in Little Udston Farm.

Accused’s agent, Mr Nat. Cochrane, Hamilton, took exception to the form of this question and said the Fiscal was trying to “catch” Bell. The lawyer thought the question should have been: “Are these the cabbages you got from George Russell, or are they like them?”

However, after some argument, the accused answered “Yes” to the Fiscal’s original question. The case for the prosecution was that the police met the accused (Charles Bell) about 12.30 a.m. on the 17th September on the back road leading to Udston Rows.

He looked rather bulky, and when was searched by the constables he was found have four cabbages inside the lining, of his jacket. When asked where had got them, he said: ‘Take to Hamilton and I’ll tell you.”

His name and address’ were taken, and then the police went to the nearest farm (Dykehead Farm) and asked the farmer if had had cabbages stolen from his field. The farmer made a search but found that none of his cabbages had been stolen. The vegetables were then taken the Little Udston Farm, where roots were found that fitted perfectly into the cabbages found in Bell’s possession.


On the Tuesday night after he was caught the accused stopped by the police and told them that he had got the cabbages from a Burbank man named George Russell. A constable went to Burnbank, and Russell told him that he gave Bell four cabbages out of his allotment about 9:50 on Saturday night on the 16th of September.

The defence was that Bell met Russell in the Empire public house in Burnbank, on the Saturday night, and asked him for some cabbages for Sunday’s dinner. Russell took him to his plot and gave him four cabbages.

On his way, home the accused met two men, Andrew McDade and James McEwan on the road. He sat beside them for about two hours, during which time they drank two bottles of beer which the accused had in jacket pockets. McDade and McEwan said Bell had some cabbages in his jacket when met them. After hearing all the evidence the bench found the charge proven, and Bell was fined £2, with the alternative of going prison for twenty days.

I tried to find out what happened to Charles Bell after his court case, however, I could not track him down, perhaps he didn’t hang around in Hamilton after his trial.