The county Buildings.

 

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

Child accidentally Strangled in Church Street 1914.

Death.
Sarah’s Death Cert.

 

When reading through old news paper articles, you sometimes come across some sad stories and none was sadder than the story of a poor wee girl called Sarah McFarlane who died when she was out playing in the back court of her house.

The Daily Record reported the story on the 4th February 1914 and it read:

“The Hamilton police report a distressing fatality in a back court in Church Street. A rope stretched from a lamp post to a telephone pole is made use of by the tenants as a clothes line. At one end of the line a loop hangs down, and the children have been in the habit of fixing this loop round their waist and swinging on it.

Sarah McFarlane (3), daughter of a miner appears to have attempted to imitate her elder playmates, with the result that the rope slipped upwards and caught her round her neck. Before assistance could reach her death had ensued from strangulation.”

Sarah was the daughter of James & Sarah McFarlane James was from Cambuslang and Sarah from East Kilbride. They had only been married 8 years, they had two other children called James & Mary-Ann. The family like most could have come to Hamilton so that James could gain employment at one of the mines.

The family lived at 39 Church Street, the accident could probably have happened at the back court of number 39 and as you can imagine, this would haunt Sarah McFarlane every time she had to go outside to dry her washing.

I had a look at the 1915 valuation roll and the family were still living at 39 church street! I have left the research at this point as there still may be some descendants of James & Sarah McFarlane living in the town.

FREINDS REUNITED

F:A:O Hugh Hainey, I have some good news from the poem that you wrote …” A TIME TO REFLECT”

Hugh Hainey wrote a poem for Historic Hamilton on the 15/12/2015 and the poem was this:

“A time to reflect, (with hope to make it right)

When ever i see a bully, i try to teach them a lesson,
This story is about me, it’s by way of my confession,

I can’t forget a fight with my friend, red is all i see,
There was a rotten bully, and it turned out to be me.

There were loads of other kids, shouting eggin” us on,
I looked into his eyes, i knew our friendship it was gone,

The shame i felt after, when they pulled us both apart,
To see the look on my friends face, realy broke my heart,

His family emigrated to Canada, it was around 1964,
Why oh why did i not go round and knock upon his door,
If I’d only said sorry, maybe we could be friends once more,

50yrs and i still cant forget, the one thing in life i realy do regret,,,

Historic Hamilton, I’d love to find this wee man,
If anyone can do it you and yir readers can.
His name is Danny Dominic, he left 50 odd years ago,
He moved from Hillhouse, to Hamilton Ontario,

Any information, or if anyone knows where he’s at,
Will you please say sorry, from a stupid auld scots pratt””

Hugh, I contacted a couple of websites in Canada and I am pleased to tell you that I have found your old pal Danny Dominic….

Danny wrote back to us and said:

“I received your correspondence this week regarding the poem written by one of your members Hugh Hainey, I would like to confirm that I am the individual Daniel Dominick that Hugh is looking for as I remember that day 50 years ago well enough. Please have Hugh reach out to me thru this email address would be happy to re connect.

Dan Dominick
289 339 4879
danjed4@gmail.com

Hugh, Thank you for sending your poem to Historic Hamilton, As always your poems are fantastic to read, and please let us know if you & Daniel have put everything behind you.

I wish the both of you all the very best.

Admin

The Odeon

Pictures.

The Odeon was built across the street from the ABC Regal Cinema. It was one of the original cinemas in the Oscar Deutsch chain of Odeon Theatres Ltd. The building was designed by the cinema chain’s house architects Andrew Mather,

Odeon

The Odeon opened on 14th November 1938 with George Raft in “Spawn of the North”. The building was faced in cream faience tiles, and had a small slab tower on the left-hand side. Seating in the auditorium was provided for 1,353 in the stalls and 466 in the circle.

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The Odeon was closed for tripling on 1st March 1980, and re-opened on 5th April 1980 with 466 seats in the former balcony, and screens 2 & 3 in the former stalls seating 224 and 310.

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The Odeon Was closed by the Rank Organisation on 26th August 1999, and was immediately demolished. The site is now a car park.

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Ticket from the last ever showing on the last ever night, before the Odeon closed.

From my own collection in the last picture you will see a ticket that was from the very last showing, on the very last night, before it closed. It was Wild Wild West with Will Smith. Ths showing was on the 26/08/1999, I went with two of my pals and it was quite emotional. I can recall the showing being half empty, and sitting next to us were an elderly couple who must have been in their 70s, they had obviously gone on the last night to reminicse.

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Almada Street Now and then.

Hamilton has seen some dramatic changes over the last 30 years and none more so that Almada Street. Almada Street used to have tenements that led from Peackock Cross and all the way down to the Barracks at bothwell road.

Today there are only two surviving blocks of houses that remain in Almada Street, they are situated at the peackock cross side of the street, with the recent corner block of tenements that were called Almada Hill being knocked down to make a garage car park!

The picture below was sent to Historic Hamilton by Andy Alexander & Steven Matthews. There is some debate that the picture was taken around the mind 1970s, however i believe that the picture was probably taken around the mid 1980s, the reason for this is that the Mk3 Escort was introduced in 1980 (white car) and the blue Mk2 Astra behind it was first introduced in 1984.

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Back in the 1970s & 1980s this part of Almada Street was thriving. There was also a well known  chip shop at the side of the Crown bar called KFC, this was situated at Saffronhall Lane and if you look just behind the blue fiesta then this is where Safftonhall Lane is situated.

The Crown pub later became Chambers Bar during the 1990s and other pubs like  Ewings & the County were also busy pubs at Almada Street. Chambers bar closed down around 2010/11 and was bought by the current owner  Manio Loia, who had the building extended and refurbished in 2012, he then built the current restaurant and called it Cafe Eataliano which now occupies the former site of the Pub. Prehaps in years to come, this establishment will bring back as many happy memories like The Crown & Chambers did for many people!

The tenements at the bottom of Almada Street were demolished at the end of the 1980s and this is now the site of the Job Center and Hamilton Water Palace. If you look at the no entry signs in the picture, then this is the current entrance to the Hamilton Water Palace and further on down at the bottom of the road is where the Furlongs are situated.

Below is a picture taken last week on Sunday the 3rd January 2015. This was taken approximately at the same spot as the one taken in the mid eighties.

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What was your memories of Almada Street in the 1970s & 1980s?

 

Happy New Year from Historic Hamilton.

For a long time I have been fascinated by Hamilton’s history, I have read numerous books about my home town and as I drive from place to place, I always look out for old buildings or land where factories, houses or farms once stood.

I have often thought  about the Hamilton Palace and its Dukes and it saddens me to think of what a credit the Palace could have been to Hamilton if it was still standing today.

Eight  years ago my mum bought me a book written by local author and Historian Wilma Bolton, it was called “Black Faces and Tackety Boots”. I always knew about the coal mines of Hamilton, however, like most people I never knew about the horrific fatality’s of men and young boys, who were working underground. I read about the hardship on families as well as the good times and community spirit that the Miners had.

After reading Wilma Bolton’s books, once again I started thinking of Hamilton’s history and its people. I wanted to do something myself but didn’t know where to start. I stumbled across a website called “The Blantyre Project” a page set up by Paul Veverka. This is also a man really passionate about his home town of Blantyre. I got speaking to Paul and over a few months he gave me some really good advice on putting together a website and the best way to start my research. I spoke with my wife Emma and discussed with her about starting my very own website about Hamilton and its people and she was and still is very supportive.

On the 19th of April 2015 I set up Historic Hamilton as a Facebook Page. I intended to write about Hamilton and pack it with facts and stories about the town. I thought that I might get a couple of hundred likes, but after  4-5 weeks, the page rocketed and I was getting between 60-150 likes per day!

Stats.
The first screen shot of Historic Hamilton showing the Stats for the page.

The page went in a totally different direction as to what I had planned out in my head, all of the group members started to send us their family photos and stories and before I knew it I was inundated with photos and requests.

As of now, when I write this, the page has  8,986 likes and when I do a story it generates between 2000 & 20,000 views. This is all down to all of you – the members of Historic Hamilton!

We have people in the group from all over the world and frequent contributors from Canada, USA, Dubai (UAE) & Australia. One thing that really makes me happy, is that the page has reunited families and old friends that lost touch many years ago. Please keep sending us your pictures and stories and they will be shared across Hamilton, the UK and the rest of the world.

One thing that I would like to see  before the end of 2015 is the page hitting 9000 likes!! All we need is 14 more people to like the page, so tell your friends and family about Historic Hamilton and ask them to stop by and give us a like.

Looking towards the future I will be planning to put Historic Hamilton on paper and write a book about Hamilton and it’s people, so you never know, you or your family might just appear in it.

I hope that Historic Hamilton continues to take you on a nostalgic journey and  bring you happiness when you stop by and visit our page.

As the end of 2015 approaches from my family to yours, we would like to wish you all a very happy, healthy & prosperous New Year.

Aw the best for 2016.

Garry, Emma,Daniel, Ryan & Caiden McCallum.