See you,, See me,,,


See you,, See me,,,
Written for Historic Hamilton by Hugh Hainey.

See you, Historic Hamilton” am telt “yir great” so kin a no join yir group,,,
See me,, a went oan anither site n’ a dropped masel’ right intae the soup,

See awe a did wis tae tell we true storys, n’ a tried tae make people laff’,,
See me, a wis telt thit a wis writin’ too much so a decided, jist come aff,,,
It wis probably awe ma fault, n’ a spat the dummy n’ toys oot the pram,,,
Ur maybe it wis cause a love tae laugh too much bit that’s jist who a am,

Awe these wee funny stories aboot Hamilton, wur runnin roon ma head,,
Only intending tae bring happy insights aboot where a wis born n’ bred,
Ma goal is tae make ma wee memories mingle in wae awe of youres,
A don’t know aboot you, bit a could talk aboot “Hamilton” fur oors,,

No much got by me whin a wis younger, n’ walkin’ roon this auld toon,
Always sayin’ c’mon n’ hiv a laugh on me, bit don’t try tae caw me doon,
See you, every single post oan here, goes tae show, yir the “best”thir is,,
See , a might no be brainy” bit whin it comes tae the toon a know the bis”

See me, naebody his tae tell me thit the people ur awfy nice n’ pleasent,,
See me, if ye lit me I’ll tell ye aboot “Auld Hamiltons” past no’ present,,

( from, Hugh Hainey, B.I.B. eating humble pie,, )

JOHN McAULAY 1903 – 1946.

JOHN McAULAY 1903 – 1946.

Written by Garry L McCallum – Historic Hamilton.

Mharie Hughes contacted us as she was looking for information on her grandfather. Mharie wrote:

“Hi loving the site …. old pictures are great! Our family are looking for information/pictures of our late grandfather, sadly he passed away many years ago but none of our family have ever seen a photo of him.

My dad died 1981 and he himself never seen any pictures of his dad! Would you oblige us by asking your members if anybody has any memories or photos of our papa, he was named John McAulay known also as PEACHY was married to MAGGIE CALLISON we know that their family home was 1 LIVINGSTON STREET BURNBANK, tragically he was killed (as the story goes) in Burnbank 1947 near the “cross”

We would all be delighted if we received any response as we have been trying ourselves without any luck.

Thanks, in Advance
Mhairi Hughes (nee McAulay)”

Mhairi, I did some research on your grandfather and unfortunately, I couldn’t track down a picture of him. I did find his obituary in the Hamilton Advertiser from 1946. Your grandfather John died on the 7th March 1946, at 6:10 am at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary and as you stated, he was married to Margaret Callison.

Your grandfather’s occupation was a Colliery Brusher (The Job of a brusher was quite a dangerous job and it involved working with dynamite to widen roads and make more space for the coal miners to work) there also seems to be some conflicting information on his occupation, as in the newspaper article from the Hamilton Advertiser it states that his occupation was an aero engine fitter, perhaps he was a colliery brusher before working as an engine fitter.

When John died, his address was indeed 1 Livingstone Street and tragically he was knocked down by a double-decker bus at Burnbank Cross. Burnbank Cross today is roughly where the old Clydesdale Bank building – now a betting shop is. The cause of John’s death was a fractured skull and laceration to the brain – it seems that he sustained a serious head injury caused by the accident. Immediately after the accident, he was taken to the Police Office in Burnbank where a doctor was sent for and it was then clear that he had to be moved to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

John McAuley Obit.John McAulay Obit1

Your grandfather’s brother, A McAulay of 53 Kerr Crescent in Hamilton was the person who registered your grandfather’s death. If anyone does indeed have a picture of John McAulay or any memories, then please can you share it with us.

John’s parents (your Great Grandparents) were Andrew McAulay who was a coal miner and Catherine Cooper. By 1946 your Great Grandfather Andrew had passed away and your Great Grandmother was still alive. It appears that Catherine remarried after your Great, Grandfather passed away as her new maiden name on her son’s death cert was Frasier. I found that she re-married a man named William Frasier a year later, on the 23rd of December 1910.

John McAulay Death1 1946.

I wanted to look further into your family tree, as I was curious about the family names, as I also have McAulay’s in my family, so I obtained a copy of your grandparent’s marriage certificate and they were married by Rev Falconer on the 31st of August 1923 at the United free church in Burbank. I see by 1923 your great-grandfather had died before your grandfather was married, so he must have died young. Your grandmother’s parents (your great grandparents on your gran’s side) were called Richard Callison who worked as an underground fireman and Mary Summers. When your grandparents were married, your grandfather John was living at 12 Wylie Street and your grandmother Maggie was living at 23 Holyrood Street. Maggie at the time was working as a cloth factory worker and your grandfather was working as a coal miner. You also thought your grandfather had a brother called Thomas, but you weren’t sure so I can confirm that he did as he was the best man at the wedding. The bridesmaid was your grandmother’s sister Mary Callison – I thought that this added a nice little touch to the wedding and they must have been quite a close family on both sides.

John McAulay & Maregaret Callison Marraige 1923. Snipet.jpg

When I tracked down your great grandfather’s death certificate I found that he sadly died on the 27th of December 1909 at 20 Lamb Street. He was only 31 years old and your grandfather John was only 3 years old. Your great grandfather died of Pulmonary Tuberculosis.

Andrew McAulay Death 1909 Snippet..JPG

I have now linked your family into my family tree, I found that we have a family connection through your Great Grandfather Andrew, he was my 1st cousin 3 times removed and he was the son of John McAulay and Agnes Adams and they were a family from Hamilton. John McAulay who was your 2 times Great Grandfather was born at Sea! On the census returns he is recorded as a British Subject Born at Sea and I have this information from the 1881, 1891 and 1901 Censuses. I haven’t fully researched this side of my family for many years, so I intend to research them again over the coming weeks.

What I can tell you is that your Great, Great, Great Grandparents were called John Adams and Jean Pettigrew. The family of Adams and Pettigrew have been a long-established family who have been living in Hamilton for hundreds of years and still to this day, their descendants of this family line still live in the town. John and Jean were our 3 times Great Grandparents so that will make us 4th Cousins. Pleased to meet you.

Your 3 times Grandfather John Adams was born in the year 1829 in Hamilton and he was one of the many Chimney Sweepers in the town and was married twice, first to a lady called Margaret Doyle who died young and they had 1 child called James, he then married Jean and they had ten children, (Not much to do down in the Auld Toon in the mid-1800s) they lived in a couple of different houses in Church Street and John died on the 1st November 1884 at his house at 21 Church Street, he was 57 years old and he also died of T.B. Your Great, Great, Grandmother was Jean Pettigrew, she was born on the 21st June 1835 at the same house, 21 Church Street. Jean Pettigrew lived at Church Street all her life and she died on the 18th of November 1874 and her cause of death was recorded as Excessive Drinking so she clearly was an alcoholic.

Jean Adams Death Snipit..JPG

Moving on to our 4 X Great-grandparents and on the Adams family line they were Thomas Adams who was also a Chimney Sweep and Annie Condie. Thomas was born in Hamilton around the year 1804 and Annie Condie was also born in Hamilton around the year 1800 and Anne died between 1829 and 1834, I have not managed to track down her death certificate. Thomas and Annie Condie had at least two children between them who were John and Jean. After Annie’s death, Thomas remarried a lady called Jean Rankine who was from New Monklands and they lived at Grammar School Square where they had at least two daughters Grace and Helen. Thomas Adams (our 4th x great grandfather) died on the 7th of January 1860 at his home in Grammar School Square and his cause of death was Cardiac Decay, possibly from all the soot that he would have breathed in from all the chimneys that he swept.

Moving across to our 4 times Great Grandparents on the Pettigrew side, they were called John Pettigrew and Agnes Hodge, both yet again were born in Hamilton, they lived there all their lives and died there. John was a cotton weaver and they lived at Back Row for a time and he died on the 17th of December 1876 at his house in 14 Young Street, the cause of his death was a disease of the stomach. Agnes Hodge later worked as a Washer Woman and lived until the grand age of 91 where she died at 19 Leechlee Street, the cause of death was T.B. Together they had nine children between them.

Luckily for us, I have continued to trace our family back down a few more generations and I will try not to confuse you with all these names, but Genealogy does take time to get used to and I hope that I have explained myself as best as I can for you.

I will stay on the Pettigrew line and our 5 times Great Grandparents were called William Pettigrew and Christine Baillie. William Pettigrew was born on the 30th of May 1766 in Shotts and he was a Weaving Agent and wife Christine Baillie was born around the year 1785, I don’t have a place of birth for her. They at some point around the year 1807 moved to Hamilton and this is where this family line first set down their roots in the town. Our 6 times Great Grandparents in the Pettigrew line were called Thomas Pettigrew and Agnes Russell and they were born in Shotts and died there. Thomas was born around the year 1740 and Agnes was born around the year 1745. I don’t have any years of death for our ancestors, but I can tell you that they had five children between them. I am proud that I have traced this family line going back to 1740, this is 277 years of our family’s history that I have managed to trace.

I have added a screenshot of our family tree to try to put a visualisation together for you on what our family looks like. Please see the Family Tree below. You will also notice on the McAulay line the spelling is spelt as McAuley, this is due to early records of the name that I have transcribed.

McAulay Family Tree1.JPG

Mharie I wish that I could have tracked down a picture of your Grandfather John and maybe there is a picture of him out there somewhere but I hope that I have given you a nice little insight of your Ancestry and where your roots come from.

If you do manage to come across a picture of your grandfather then please share with all at Historic Hamilton.


Peter Condie..jpg


Lynn McCaig Dixon sent us a picture of her Papa Peter Condie who just turned 97 on Friday and she was telling Historic Hamilton about his younger years when he was growing up.

We like to tell the story of people in Hamilton who have done things and went that extra mile for their hometown and Peter has been a pillar of the community for over 70 years. He attended St. John’s Grammar School and when he left school he joined the RAF and worked as a Communications Officer up until 1946.

Peter Condie1

After his time in the RAF Peter worked as a town Officer for the Provost in Hamilton and in his spare time, he helped with events within his community. In the 1950s he formed a youth club that he called Hamilton Youth United and out of his own money he ran nights for the kids in Hamilton.

On Monday’s Peter hired the Hall in Beckford Street Primary where they held badminton and skittles and he put on music for everyone to dance to. He also started a boys swimming club and this was done at the Hamilton Baths on a Tuesday. The swimming club had become popular with the members, so he then started a Swimming club for girls which was held on Wednesdays.
Not being one to sit around the house, Peter then hired out the hall at his old school, St. Johns and he started a woodwork class and he continued to pay for all of this out of his own pocket until the council finally took notice of what Peter was doing and started funding his youth clubs & events.

Peter did the youth clubs up until the 1970s where he then turned his attention to volunteering, he joined the Hamilton Volunteer Group where he would go around hospitals, old folk’s homes and sing or play his mouth organ and this brought a lot of joy to the elderly, who used to look forward to Peter’s visits.

When Peter eventually retired, he wasn’t going to be one to sit around and watch TV, he still had a busy schedule and lead an active life, which he keeps to this day! So, on Mondays, he started to attend an art class, which he still does and Tuesday’s he did his part at the volunteer group. He worked for the volunteer group from the early 70s up until the late 90s.

On Wednesdays, he does his country dancing, which he still loves to do and on Thursday’s he attends his Church Choir night. Peter also still to this day loves to swim, and he used to do over 100 lengths at the baths, but not as many these days, just about 50-80 lengths. He does this every Friday and some say that he’s the oldest swimmer in Lanarkshire.

He would also take time out of his busy schedule to make time for his family and on Saturday’s he would make dinner for his sisters and Sunday’s he would attend his Church in the morning and then up to his sisters for his lunch.

Peter Condie2

Sadly, Peter’s wife passed away in 1988 and he has three children named Christine, Jean and Peter and four Grandchildren named Brian, Karen, Lynn and Gregor and six Great Grandchildren named Steven, Sarah, Sophie, Elliot, Nolan and Megan.

We would like to thank Lynn for telling Historic Hamilton about her Papa Peter, I am a firm believer in giving recognition to people who have done good things for their community. People do have busy lives now a day’s and it is hard to get the correct balance between family and work life so well done to you Peter for showing us great community spirit and please don’t forget to show us your card from the Queen in three years’ time.

Peter Condie3.jpg


The Motte Hill
By Garry McCallum – Historic Hamilton

The Motte Hill

In Hamilton’s Low Parks, north-east of the town centre, near to the Clyde, there is a motte. This is all that remains of an early fortified structure and it can be presumed that the early settlement clustered around this site.
Settlers would have been attracted here because a fortified building offered a measure of protection to those nearby, while the castle and its occupants would have looked to their neighbours for labour and a supply of necessities. This is probably the first settlement site of Cadzow or Hamilton as it is now called.

Me at The Motte Hill..JPG

On Sunday the 23rd of April I took two of my boys Daniel and Ryan over to the Motte to tell them the story about it and to show them the area. When we got there, I was actually looking for evidence of an old Ice House that was situated at the back of the Motte.
We walked close to the M74 through all the overgrowth and as we approached the side of the M74 two deer who were quietly watching us without us noticing them, jumped up and bolted towards the mausoleum. This just made my boys day.

So, I didn’t find the Icehouse due to two reasons, one, the area where it should have been was densely overgrown with nettles and two, I could only get in so far, but I did look as hard as I could and I couldn’t see any evidence of the old Icehouse.

Daniel & Ryan at The Motte Hill.

If you are wondering what an icehouse was, it was basically a food storage area dug into the ground to keep the food cool. Icehouses were used by large estate houses in the day before electricity and most had one, this particular Icehouse would most definitely have been attached to the Hamilton Palace in some way, possibly the Older Hamilton Palace and not the one that we now know it as.
Going back to the Motte, we took our metal detector with us to see if we could find something of interest and we were getting bleeps everywhere, after a bit of investigation and looking around we came to the conclusion that this place has been used for many years by teenagers and drinkers, as it was riddled by old cans and broken bottles.

1896 Motte Hill Map.

We did, however, find some interesting stones that look as if they have come from an old building, so I am going to have to look into this to see why there are so many here. When I looked at some old maps, there was a monument listed, however, this is also gone.

After walking out of the deep undergrowth we stumbled across a dead fox that looked as if it had just happened in the last week, this gave my boys a fright. There were also rectangular shaped holes at the top of the Motte, so it looks like someone has been recently been digging, but looking for what I don’t know, hopefully, nothing has been taken from this scheduled monument.

Old Stone at the Motte.

If any of you have any knowledge of the Icehouse then please let me know. Once the better weather comes in I will be going back to the Motte to have a closer look.

I would like to point out that the metal detector was taken to the Motte Hill for the purpose of making the trip with my boys more exciting. I did not take a spade or any other digging objects with me on the trip. I would also like to note that digging at any scheduled monument is illegal and anyone who is seen to be doing this should be reported to the police.



Jim Bradley

Cheers Lads!

In the picture, we have two old pals Jim Holland & Jim Bradley having a drink at the Splendid Hotel.

They were at the Small Faces Gig which had taken place at the Splendid in 1966.

Did you attend this Gig? If you did let us know!

Picture courtesy of Jim Bradley’s son Nick & his daughter in law, Kimberly Bradley.


Ye know fur years ave bin paintin’ a picture, a ‘portrait’ ye may say,,,
A paintin’ thits filled wae vibrant colours, but wae nae black nor grey,,
It’s a panorama’ of ma wee “hame”, with people of a very special kind,,
Bit ye see thirs nae need fur paint nor pallette, it’s a pictur’ in ma mind,,
Lookin oan this “Historic Hamilton” a love it, readin awe yir great posts,,
That’s helped me tae jog ma memory, of the people thit a love the most,,
It’s chocka block’ wae lots of history, and wee memories of days of old,,
When a read the other peoples patter, a jist hiv tae add a bit mair gold,,
In ma mind it’s a vision” of Hamilton, but more so the great people there,
Never have a met anyother race, with passion n’ pride, n’ who realy care,,
I ‘ll say one thing with certainty, this paintin’ won’t be done tae am dead,
I’m sure thirs mair tae come fae all of you, and where a wis born n’ bred,,
( it’s up tae you tae fill in the blanks,, thanks )
The above poem was written for Historic Hamilton byHugh Hainey.