On the 26th of January 1946, Mr Thomas Whitehouse, who was the local grocer at Eddlewood Toll, had just come back to his house after a long day’s work and he was sitting in his lounge with his daughter Christina when he heard a knock at the door. It was around 8:00 pm at his house number 2 Fairhill Place in Meikle Earnock and thinking it was the shoemaker he sent his daughter to fetch the money to pay for the shoes and when he answered the front door he saw two young men with handkerchiefs over their faces.
Thomas at first thought it was a prank until the two men pushed their way into his hallway and at this point, he saw one of them with a gun in his hand. The one with the gun said, “your money” and started to wave the revolver around and Mr Whitehouse told them that there was no money in the house and immediately opened his kitchen door to find something to protect himself with, but couldn’t find anything, and at this point the other man said, “let him have it”.
Trying to defend himself, Thomas grabbed the throat of the man with the gun and the man fought back, but Thomas – even though he was 73 years old, managed to push the young lad back into the hall. It was at this point his daughter saw what was happening and she ran up and closed the door.
When they opened the door a few seconds later they saw the two men run off with another two who were hiding in the bushes in his garden. Mr Whitehouse did indeed have money in his house, he had £80 sitting on his sideboard in the Livingroom so he felt relieved that this wasn’t stolen. The CID were quickly on the scene after the hold-up and several men were detained.
4 MEN ON PETITION
At the J.P. Court, a few days later, four young miners were on trial for the hold-up, they were Charles Hassan Jr, of 2 Irvine Terrace in Eddlewood, Terance Murphy of 45 Strathaven Road, Eddlewood, Thomas McCrum of 16 Eddlewood Rows & John Thompson 26 Austine Street, Cadzow.
They were all accused of attempted robbery and assault to Mr Whitehouse and his daughter Christina and were remanded in custody and later remitted to the High Court.
Christina Whitehouse was the wife of William Wallace, who was a well-known garage proprietor in Hamilton.
Six years later Thomas died at his home on the 3rd of September 1952, he died of cardio vascular disease and his son in law William Wallace was the person who registered his death. Thomas was the son of Thomas Whitehouse & Christina Ballantyne.