YTS 1986


YTS in 1986.
In 1986, These group of teenagers from Whitehill appeared in the Hamilton Advertiser.
They were members of the Youth Training Scheme and they built a new play and training area outside the Whitehill Sports Barn.
This scheme was designed and organised by the Hamilton district council leisure and recreation department.
A competition was held among the teenagers to come up with a colour scheme for the equipment and it was won by 17-year-old Steven Robertson who was from Hillhouse. Steven is the boy in the front with the white coat on.
Pictured with the YTS team are the district councillor of 1986 Isaac McKillop, Linda Kerr of the Whitehill tenant’s association & David Brown of the Whitehill Community Council.
Were you one of the YTS people in the picture? Let us know.


Accies & Whitehill Pipeband.

Hamilton honoured their champions in May 1986 when the district council held a civic reception and dinner to mark Hamilton Accies achievement in winning the Scottish first division title.
Accies Fan..JPG
Accies players and officials paraded the trophy through the streets from Douglas Park to the Town Hall, where a crowd of over 1000 people were waiting to greet them. The provost of the time Sam Casserly spoke of the club’s achievement, as did Ian Gellalty, president of the Scottish League.
The trophy was then displayed to the crowd from the Town hall Balcony before the players and other guests went inside to dinner. After the dinner, Mr Casserly passed on the district councils congratulations to the club and he presented the chairman Jan Stepek with an inscribed Silver Salver.
Hamilton’s Labour MP George Robertson also spoke and commented: “After six years of opposition it’s lovely to be on the winning side!” George Robertson added “The success of Hamilton Accies is a success for the whole community of Hamilton. This will do much for the reputation and image of the area.”
Accies Bus..JPG
Accies manager John Lambie and managing director David Morrison thanked the council on behalf of the club.
Jan Stepek, Accied cup win..JPG
Mr Stepek then presented a mirror bearing the Club Crest to the Council. A highlight of the afternoon was a recording of two songs written by supporters Dave Marshall and Jim Irons to honour the club’s performance.
Accies Crowd..JPG
Did you attend the parade in May 1986? If you did, then let us know or even better, Share your pictures.


Jumble Sale..jpg
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.





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.



Ref. Hamilton Advertiser.

25/2/1939. Page 14.

Courtesy of Wilma Bolton 2005.


John Dowds ID Card.


Peter Dowds sent us a copy of his father’s WW2 Identity Card. During the war, it was mandatory to keep your card with you at all times. In this picture, we have John Dowds who was a Hamilton man who lived at 4 Burnside Lane. John Dowds was a Coal Miner and he worked at Eddlewood Colliery.

The National Registration Act of 1939 was an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom. The initial National Registration Bill was introduced to Parliament as an emergency measure at the start of World War II. Royal assent given on 5 September 1939.
The Act established a National Register which began operating on 29 September 1939 (National Registration Day), a system of identity cards, and a requirement that they must be produced on demand or presented to a police station within 48 hours.

Every man, woman and child had to carry an identity (ID) card at all times and the cards would include the following information:
• Name
• Sex
• Age
• Occupation, profession, trade or employment
• Address; Marital status
• Membership of Naval, Military or Air Force Reserves or Auxiliary Forces or of Civil Defence Services or Reserves.

65,000 enumerators across the country delivered forms ahead of the chosen day. On 29 September 1939, householders were required to record details on the registration forms. On the following Sunday and Monday, the enumerators visited every householder, checked the form and there and then issued a completed identity card for each of the residents. All cards at this time were the same brown/buff colour.

Do you still have an Identity Card from WW2? If you do we would like to see them.


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.
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.



Historic Hamilton is now 2 years old and we have reached another milestone on the Facebook page. We have now reached an incredible 13,000 likes! Thank you to Greg Morrison who is from Ayrshire who was our 13,000 subscriber.

The success of the Facebook page is down to you and we would like to thank you for your continued support.

Please keep sending us your old family pictures, stories & Ancestry requests and in turn, we will continue to write about Hamilton and document it’s people and uncover forgotten stories lost in the mist of time.

Thank’s for spending time with us.

Historic Hamilton.

Doherty’s Pool Team 1992

Doherty's Pool Team1.JPG

In the picture, we have Doherty’s Pool Team league cup winners. C.1992. In the picture is Alexander “Axe” Murphy who was captain receiving the winner’s cheque. One of the other team players in the picture is Tam Kelly (Yellow Cardigan) Sadly Axe Murphy passed away on Saturday. Do you recognise anyone else in the picture? If you do let us know.

The picture is courtesy of Alexanders Grandson Terrence Murphy.


Old Neilsland House1

On Wednesday the 3rd of September 1902 The Hamilton shooting case, which caused quite a sensation at the time of its occurrence, came up for disposal before Lord McLaren, in the Glasgow High Court. Justiciary Buildings, Jail Square. This Shooting had taken place on the Third of July 1902 at the Old Neilsland House.
The accused was a pleasant looking servant girl called Janet Laird, who was 20 years old and was smartly attired in a blue costume, and had felt her position keenly, and wept bitterly while she sat in the dock. She was charged with having, on the 3rd July in that year at Neilsland House, Hamilton, occupied by Colonel Rutherford, discharged a breech loading gun, (A Shot Gun) charged with cartridges containing powder and pellets at Alfred Annette, who was an officer’s servant, with intent to murder him.
Mr Morton, who appeared for accused, tendered on her behalf a plea of guilty assault with intent to do serious bodily harm. This plea was accepted by Mr Dove Wilson who prosecuted. The Accused, he said, was about 20 years age, and went into domestic service with Colonel Rutherford, commanding the 71st Regimental District, 28th May that year, bearing good recommendations from her previous mistress.
The only other servant in the house was Alfred Annett and after Janet entered Colonel Rutherford’s service her habits became somewhat idle and dirty, and this led to friction between her and the other servant, who had occasionally to some of her work. Eventually Annett complained to Colonel Rutherford and the complaint was made about June 27, however, Colonel Rutherford seemed to have postponed his decision to dismiss Janet until the 3rd of July where Colonel Rutherford sent for the young woman and dismissed her from his service, giving her a month’s wages in lieu of notice.
The Colonel left that evening do some regimental duties, and shortly after his departure Annette, who from the evidence did not appear to have been on good terms with the Janet Laird, went into a small room to write some letters. He sat down with his back to the door, which shortly afterwards was opened by Janet, who said: “You have done me harm; I will now do you harm.” At this time, Janet Laird had in her hand a double-barrelled Shotgun which she had taken from the wall Colonel Rutherford’s bedroom.
The gun was not loaded it the time, but three cartridges happened to be on the table, and Janet had evidently taken them. As soon as she had spoken she discharged the gun, and from the position of the chair in which Annette sat, it was little short of marvellous that he was not killed on the spot with the pellets from the cartridge just missing him. His face, however, was marked with powder.
Mr Morton said that the case was in some respects as sad a one as had ever engaged the Court. Although he could not set up plea of Insanity there was doubt that Janet was distinctly weak-minded from the time she entered Colonel Rutherford’s service until she left.
It would have come out in evidence that Colonel Rutherford himself came to the conclusion that Janet was not right in her mind, not that was insane, but that she was weak. He then gave instances of some extraordinary things that Janet had done while at Hamilton and argued that they seemed to point to the fact that Janet was somewhat erratic in her behaviour.
On the morning of the affray, she gave one of the silly little laughs which were characteristic her. She was not in a temper and did not appear like one to commit a crime. It was quite clear that she was not at all a person of ordinary mental capacity, and the Colonel although he did not say as much to her, had evidently formed that conclusion also.
The gun had two cartridges, but after firing the first cartridge she threw down the gun and ran off. Janet had never been in trouble before and the Judge thought that the ends of justice would be met with a short sentence.
Lord McLaren in sentencing the accused said that he was sorry to see a respectable girl like Janet to be in court. He was willing to give all the weight he could to what had been said in her favour. If the case had gone to trial, and she had been found guilty of assault with intent to murder, he would have dealt seriously with Janet. But as it was, it was a case for substantial punishment. Lord McLaren could not take it that the gun went off by accident, but it had been discharged with intent to do mischief. In these circumstances, he sentenced her to Six Months Imprisonment. Janet was carried off to Jail in a sorry state.
It was also noted that some of Janet’s friends were prepared to take care of her when she got out of prison. She had already spent the past two months in jail.
How things have changed since 1902! Today if you tried to kill some with a double-barrelled shotgun, you would most certainly get life in prison and not just six months. I wanted to know what became of Janet Laird and Alfred Annett so I decided to go and see what I could find.
Alfred was born around 1876 at Banbury, London. He was the son of James & Charlotte Annett; his father was a butcher in London. He came from a large family and in 1881 he was living at Islington, London. He joined the Army in 1894 and this is possibly where he met Colonel Rutherford. At some point between 1895 & 1902, he left the Army and gained employment at Neilsland House working as Colonel Rutherford’s servant.
After the shooting incident, a year later in 1903, Alfred married Janet McGregor in Hamilton. In 1905, he later moved to 27 Kirk Road in Cambusnethan where he is now working as a Postman. In this marriage, he had 5 children.
Between 1906 & 1907 Alfred moved back down to England he settled at Sunbury in Middlesex. He died on the 17th of January 1952 at Sanbury.
Unfortunately, after the court case, the trail go’s cold and I can’t find any further info on Janet Laird.
** The word Slovenly is what your great aunt Mabel might call you if you came to high tea without a necktie. It means “messy or unkempt,” but is a word you probably won’t hear messy or unkempt people using. This is not a word often used in modern day.