PHILIP’S FACTORY TO CLOSE THIS THURSDAY. END OF AN ERA.

On Thursday the 7th of November 2019 Philip’s factory which has employed thousands of people from Hamilton will close its doors for the final time. This iconic building and world known company will be trading from Wellhall Road for four final day’s and has employed men and women from Hamilton for the past 72 years.

Philips 1950s..PNG

Hamilton used to be a manufacturing hub after the coal mines closed and we prided ourselves on having a world known brand based on our town. The last seventy employees will down their tools next week and the building will fall silent.
The amazing Christmas display that has been enjoyed by many generations will no longer be switched on and soon we will have a new housing estate built on its land.

Philips 1962 Map..PNG

This powerful company once stretched across the Wellhall Road and today there is still an underpass going under the road which transported goods to the lorry depot which was sold off in the late eighties to have the Barratt housing estate built.

In its heyday, Philip’s factory once employed over 2,000 people and over the past thirty years the business has downgraded in size before being taken over by Signify and many of the former workforce were all highly skilled people.

Today, I have gathered some pictures from my archive at Historic Hamilton and would like to share some of your stories of working at the factory. I would however like to document even more and If you have any pictures of Philips factory that you can send, then please send them to HistoricHamilton@icloud.com and we will host these on our website which is viewed in Many countries around the world.

In 2016 Historic Hamilton reader Glancy Clark sent us a newsletter from Philips and was printed in June 1969. These letters were called “The Philham Newsletter”. In the letter was a list of activities & events which included School trips to the factory, they followed Employees and told of people visiting the factory. In Glancy’s 1969 letter there was also a note of one special employee who was leaving.

Philip’s very first operator was leaving in June 1969. Her name was Mrs Emily Glancy and she first started with the company in November 1945. Mrs Glancy had worked at Philips for 24 years and in this time, she only worked in two departments. She was one of the very first select bodies to be still working at the factory since it opened. When she started at Philips, she wasn’t married and was called Emily Green and in 1969 she was still known to her colleagues by this name. When Emily first started, she worked at the transformer department and then moved over to miniature lamps in 1950. In October 1963 Emily married her mobile crane driver husband and she was leaving because they were planning on adopting a baby boy on the 28th of June that year. Her friends and co-workers wished her well and hoped that this was the start of a much larger family.

 

Philips Bill Hunter WM..PNG

In 2016 Bill Hunter sent this picture of his late Father in Law, who was called George Service. Bill told us: “This is my late father-in-law George Service worked at Phillips for many years. He developed MS. This is him leaving the factory.”

Charlie Dunsmore added, I worked at Philips ‘K’ building from 1969-1977, first in the ballast gear and then the press shop.

Anne McCarroll also worked at the same part in this tear.
Ann Leach told us “I never worked there but went to many of the Philips Christmas parties. My uncle worked at Philips, best known as Big Bobby Leckenby”.

Debbie McLean told us that her mum worked there in the late 1960’s to the early 1970’s.

Margaret Hewitt said “My auntie, Rene Cunningham worked in the canteen. My uncle, Arthur rafferty worked for London Carriers and our very good friend, Rene Whitehouse did the wages, I think.” “I worked in Phillips during the holidays from Hamilton College – 1968 – 1970. I packed lightbulbs for two years and then made shavers during my last year. Have many hilarious memories of my time there. Poor Grant McKinnon didn’t know what to do with me!!!”

Karen McDade said: “Worked in Philips from 2000 till took redundancy in 2012. Lorna, Tracey, the newsletter looked slightly better by the time we were leaving xx”

Barbara Seaton told us: “My Dad worked at Philips Hamilton from about 1949. Before that he was glass blower at either Philips or Stella in Middlesex. He was the Union Rep at Hamilton in the late 1950’s early 60’s.”

Catherine Patterson told us: “I worked there first i was in A building then moved to M building John C Dunsmore was Charge Hand Jackie Wilson was Supervisor. In Packing. Jean Copland. Linda Charmer’s happy day’s”

Janette Bouette said: “I worked in Phillips as a apprentice in the tool room, from 1951 until 1956. I served two years of national service and returned for 4 more years. My father R.A.F Bouette worked for Phillips in England and transferred to Scotland when Phillips opened. My father was in charge of the test lab.
The time spent as an apprentice was one of the best years of my life and the training, I received served me very well when I emigrated to the United States in 1967.”

Elizabeth Tennant told us: “Worked in Phillips from 1959 to 1966. Bookkeeper/ comptometer operator ….that was in the days before computers !”

 

The pictures above were sent to us in April 2015 by Angela Seagreave and her dad is in the picture. The first one on the left is Angela’s dad who is out in the yard of Philips enjoying a break and in the second picture are in Angela’s words, “The three Stooges! Angela told us: “The three stooges right to left jimmy Madden (Alfie) Tommy Seagrave and Gibby McConville in Philips Factory”.

 

Philips football team Date un known Frank Sweeny.PNG

In May 2019 the late Frank Sweeny sent us this picture of Philips Football team. Frank, who is no longer with us, told me at the time:

“”It was taken over 35 years ago at the Philips Factory on Wellhall road – the team won the Philips European cup in Eindhoven where they played the tournament every 5 years – we beat Philips Blackburn in the final and all the guys in the photo worked at Philips Hamilton.”

In the picture we have: Left to right, Mr Greenwood (director), Tam Bain, Dougie Stewart, Tam Goodwin, Davy Pollock, Wullie McGrorty, Ronnie Stewart, Wullie Glass, Andy Scott, Bob McCallum (team manager), John Barr, Will Carroll,Andy o’ Halloran, Wullie Halbert, Danny Cunning & Frank Sweeney.

Aileen Henderson told us: “Christmas parties were amazing; my two daughters went to them. My husband, Willie Henderson worked there for 44years also my brother, Colin Hunter and my father Jack Hunter…….happy days.”
Audrey Carlin said: “I remember feeding a few of these guys lol. Good memories. This was taken about two years before I started in Philips Factory.”

Philips outing Harry Evans..PNG

This picture was sent to us back on the 24th of August 2019 and it was a Philips outing. The picture was sent by Harry Paton Evans and he told us: “”A Philips outing in the late 1940’s, very early 1950’s to Blackpool. My Dad, Harry Evans was a Works Superintendent and ran one of the main production lines after his War, around late 1949 early 1950’s.” Harry I believe that this could have been either the very first Philips summer outing, or one of the first, so thanks for sending this.

Mags Gillan Wrote: “My Uncle Steve, (John Stevenson) worked for Philips and travelled all over the world. Sadly, he was taken from us too soon. X”

Donald Orr said, “The woman standing to the right of the man in the very dark suit, is my auntie, Betty Orr, a longtime employee at Philips. Worked there till she retired!”

Ann Docherty said: “My mums next door neighbour fae fleming court used to work in there yrs ago..john dyet.. dont no what dept though. Would have been the early 70s….”

 

Tom Sorbie1212.png

In December 2015 Tom Sorbie sent this picture of him standing on the roof of the Philips factory. Tom Told us: “”The photo was taken in 1984, I think. Certainly, no later than 1985 as the photographer got paid off that year. We had been painting the gantry that used to run between H and G buildings and I climbed up beside the clock. No health and safety in those days!

I worked at Philips for many years although I was never actually employed by Philips as it was sub-contractors I worked for (Falcon Contracts and latterly MITIE). I was the factory painter. Attached is an old photo of me posing by the clock which stood on the roof of G building.
Keep up the good work with your great FB site.”

Paul Kane told us: “Worked in the fluorescent tubes building for six weeks summer 1973. Not the five foot line that had just had installed a mechanical rotating piece of kit with a grab arm that would always stick. Health and Safety aye right you just took cover as Jimmy (the line manager) would girl the tubes along the line like javelins. Poor man took a breakdoon that none of the fitters could sort. Happy days.”

Tom Sorbie also told us: “When I finished up at Philips in February this year the painting side of my job had mostly ceased (I’d painted everything there was to paint) and I was mostly helping out with general labouring.
One of my last jobs was to assist in clearing out junk from various rooms/old offices which had to be thrown in a skip. Tons of stuff which lived in the archive room was also taken away for shredding. You have no idea the amount of old Philips photos contained in that room. These photos were of course not for the shredder/skip but were kept. They have a great photographic record and we spent a good hour or two going through them.”

Linda Thomson told us: “I was made redundant from philips after 20 yrs…worked in sodium…best place av ever worked..”

Philips Bob Baird WM

Bob Baird also sent us a picture of his dad at work in Philips and Bob wrote: “My Dad, John Baird worked in the factory for 34 years til 1987. Started in lamps, then boiler house for long time then “the plant” /maintenance. Got a few pictures somewhere.”

Philips.......PNG

Below are the pictures attached to these words. Please share your memories of Philips and if you do have any pictures, then we would like to see them.

Philips....jpg

PHILIPS FACTORY WORKERS 1970.

Allister Hutton Philips Factory 1970..PNG

Above is a very rare colour picture of workers in Block ‘K’, taken in 1970. This picture was sent to us by Allister Hutton (Front Left) and I am sure that you will all agree that this very rare picture is a real snapshot in time.

 
DO YOU HAVE A PICTURE OF PHILIPS FACTORY THAT YOU CAN SEND? IF YOU DO, THEN WE WOULD LOVE TO SEE IT.
 
Allister told us the following information, but if you see yourself, then please get in touch.
 
From Allister:
 
“Hi Garry, as requested I have attached a colour photograph of Philips Hamilton Toolroom personnel in ‘K’ building during 1970. I served my time in the Toolroom as a Mechanical Engineer with Philips Hamilton from 1966 to 1971, leaving in 1974 to join Martin Black wire Ropes in Coatbridge. I left Martin Black in 1978 to join Shell Exploration and Production in Aberdeen where I stayed for the next 37 years before retiring in 2005 in Banchory.
 
I have tried to identify as many of my ex colleagues as possible in a structured manner, perhaps your viewers could identify the missing names. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
 
Back Row – Left to Right
 
Person with cap and glasses peering over Bob Letham’s shoulder – unknown cleaner.
Bob McCallum ( broad smile in a white coat, shirt and tie ).
John Phillips ( Partially hidden with shirt and tie ).
Danny Creechan ( Smiling with thick black eyebrows ).
Ian Hamilton ( highest person in photo with white tee shirt showing ).
 
Second Back Row – Left to Right
 
Bob Letham of Letham’s buses Blantyre ( tall person in white coat, shirt and tie ).
Person with grey coat and sun on his face and chest – unknown.
Jimmy Gibson ( grey coat, broad smile with Mexican style moustache ).
Alan Lockhart ( roundish face with shirt and tie ).
Person with face partially covered – unknown.
Bert Russell (grey coat, glasses, shirt and tie ).
John Dunse ( big guy with glasses and blue shirt ).
 
Middle Row – Left to Right
 
Jock Richardson ( Short person in white coat, shirt and tie ).
Person with sun on his face with long hair – unknown.
Ian Cuthbertson ( glasses and Mexican moustache and beard ).
Second Front Row – Left to Right
Person with long hair – unknown.
Barry Brown ( grey coat with yellow note book, crew neck sweater, holding onto Philips sign ).
Robert McCartney ( long side burns, moustache, both hands on knees ).
 
Front Row – Left to Right
Allister Hutton ( kneeling with grey coat, blue shirt and hand on vice ).
John Baird ( arms folded next to Philips sign ).
Brian Marshall ( long shoulder length hair, right arm touching Philips sign ).
 
If anyone knows Bob Letham’s contact details I would to speak to him again. Would like to hear from anyone in the photograph.
Regards, “
 
If you would like to be put in touch with Allister, then please send me a PM and i will pass on his contact details.

Famous Voice records a video for Historic Hamilton.

One of our readers is none other than Davie Hutton who is a local business man based in Glasgow, he owns the company Quick Sale and he buys and sells houses.

For our overseas readers and you haven’t heard of him, Davie does his own American style adverts and his voice is heard on the radio every day and he brings comedy to the radio airwaves.


https://www.facebook.com/QuicksaleProperty/?epa=SEARCH_BOX

Historic Hamilton featured on the Daily record’s website today.

Hi Folks,

Today, the Hamilton Advertisers story has featured on the Daily Records website. We are trying to keep the focus on the Mausoleum and keep people talking about it. For our readers here and overseas, can you please click the link and have a read.

Mausoleum..PNG

 

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/history-buff-behind-historic-hamilton-20713049?fbclid=IwAR0y4N7eF2vNzgXome0Sct6Q4t_vM2I-__9mvTZ7VHE3V1JOSGwi2Rc3XJA

SAVE OUR MAUSOLEUM.

Hi folks,

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Following on from our pictures of the Mausoleum & Mausoleum Cottage last Sunday, the Hamilton Advertiser contacted Historic Hamilton to help continue their support to save the Mausoleum.

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Tomorrow I will be appearing on page 4 of the Advertiser to keep the momentum going and tell everyone what the Mausoleum means to me. I’m sure that the readers of Historic Hamilton who live all around the world will back us and join the fight to stop the Mausoleum fall in to more disrepair.

To become a member of saving the Mausoleum, please visit the groups Facebook page and fill out a membership form. Or get in touch with the man who started the focus on the Mausoleum, Bob Reid. He can be reached on rangerbobreid@gmail.com.

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HAMILTON POETRY FROM 1895.

Published on Friday the 7th June 1895.

This poem which I recently discovered was written by a lady named Lizzy Smith. Lizzy lived in Meikle Earnock village in 1895 and I get the feeling that she was quite the character. I also must admit that in this period, Lizzy’s poem is the first which I have stumbled across which was written by a woman, as most poems seem to have been written and sent to the local newspaper by men. So, she was probably quite a head strong woman.

For me, this poem is a real gem and I am so happy that I found it, because Lizzy not only tells us of what life was like in 1895 but she tells us in the language of the day, how the old Hamiltonian’s spoke and of the people who were alive in this period and we hear old family names being mentioned. So, here is Lizzie Smith’s poem, in her own words.
THE PLOOMANS BALL.

By Lizzy Smith 1895.

In Meikle Earnock’s ancient toon,
Leaves Wullie Smith a cairter loon,
And a bonny day in June,
He met a lass,
Wha, search the country side aroun,
Nae coo’d surpass.

Her beauty, elegance, and grace,
Her bonnie lauchin, winsome face,
Garr’d ither chiels join in the chase,
Her he’rt to win,
But Willie did them a’ ootrace,
And steppit in.

At least he thocht that first he’d been,
But he like plenty mair, I ween,
Was sae in love wi Bonnie Jean,
He couldna’ see,
What ithers a’ alang hsd seen,
She’d twa or three.

He geid her presents o’ the best,
And day nor night he couldna rest,
But thocht himsel uncommon blest,
That thus had got,
His bonnie dear to answer yes,
To share his lot.

And thus wore by the summer time,
And trees and floers were past their prime,
And autumn wi’ its days sae fine,
Had bid adiew,
And grass was wat wi hoary rime,
Instead o’ dew.

Twas then took place the ploomen ball,
Whan fully fifteen couples all,
Were gathered in the spacious hall,
At Chapel Farm,
Which as ye ken, baith young and auld,
Is just the barn.

Twa just to pas the time a wee,
Or else a wee but fun tae see,
Or something else that prompted me,
That night tae gang,
But this is hoo, without a lee,
They got alang.

Gibb Berry, wia lass ca’d Nell,
Thocht nane were as guid’s himsel,
But the truth I was to tell,
I’d say that he,
Doon in the dirt had aften fell,
At mony a spree.

Jock Watson, in his Sunday claes,
As fresh as daises on the braes,
And een as black as ony slaes,
Was there on’ a’,
And aye himsel he tried to rise,
An inch or twa.

For he was swalled wi conscious pride,
And that’s a fact he couldna hide,
And Maggie Rankin by his side,
Was unco mim,
And blushed as sweet as only bride,
And looked at him,

And next a chap, they ca’ him Will,
He’s servin’ up at Cornhill,
He danced and jumped aboot until,
His heid grew dizzy,
And teen joined in wi’ right guid Will,
That winsome hizzy.

But by my sang, he didna think,
As he wi’ Teen that nicht did link,
Pair chap, that he was on the brink,
O’ being jookit;
The stallion man gied her the wink,
And aff they hookit.

Frae Craigenhill there next cam Dan,
An honest and a manly man,
Wi a hizzy o’ the Fifer Clan,
Tho’ somewhat soor,
I think she had made up a plan,
To look aye dour.

Of course for me it widna dae,
To name them a’ in sie a way,
For the truth to tell, its hard to say,
They’d tak’t amiss,
My very life they’d swear to hae,
For writin this.

O’ this discourse I’ve lost the threed,
Bur then it is a lengthy screed,
And sie a Jumble’s in my heid,
O’ mirth and fun,
And then that glorious midnicht feed,
It took the bun.

The time gaed by wi’ mirth and glee,
A’ things were there to catch the e’e,
There was rowth o’ pastries, cakes and tea,
Pankakes and bannocks,
And some they ate sae greedily,
They fyled their stammacks.

A chap who happened to be there,
Got up on tae the barn flair,
And wi’ a voice baith sweet and rare,
Made echoes ring,
Wi’ Norah’s pride o’ sweet Kildare,
Feth he could sing.

But quately speaking, tween me and you,
Twas chappies in the royal blue,
Could shift a pickle mountain dew,
Doon ower their neck,
And everything that cam’ in view,
They took their wheck,

The man wi’ feet was there an ‘,
I’m shair they’re onything but sma,
Twelve inches lang and ither twa,
I’m shair they’d be,
Sis feet as them I never saw,
At ony spree.

And Jean, she sang a sang sae sweet,
To hear her was a perfect treat,
There’s na compeers,
She finished and then took her seat,
Mid deefenin cheers.

And thus, wi mony a dance and sang,
The lightsome hoors they sped aland,
The guid Scotch drink was dealt amang,
The ploomen chiels,
And aye their sturdy legs they flang,
At jigs and reels.

But everything maun hae en end,
And sae maun balls, as well ye ken,
Oor several ways we a’ did wend,
Just as daybreak,
For fear oor maisters we’d offend,
And get the seck.

Then here’s a health to guid John Mackie,
He did his best tae mak; us happy,
He was sae droll and aye sae crackie,
He cheered us on,
When I gang up I’ll tak’ a drappie,
And drink’t wi John.
Meikle Earnock Lizzie Smith.

This poem was probably written just after the party in the barn ended. The barn dance could have been a once a year event that took place in the summer, where the hard working ploughmen had a chance to go out and meet some nice girls and also in turn, the young girls some allowed to go and by the sound of the poem, some that went without their parents knowing.

The barn dance sounded like a community event where old and young enjoyed each other’s company and it could have been a bit like a gala day. So, a day and night out, that all looked forward to.

I wanted to find out more about Lizzy Smith, so I decided to do some research and luckily for me, there was only one person called Elizabeth Smith who lived in Meikle Earnock in 1895 and here is what I found.

Lizzie, or Elizabeth Smith was only nineteen when she wrote this poem. She was born in Glasgow on the 7th of August 1876 to parents Hugh Smith & Mary Sweeny. The family lived at Haggshouse Farm in Kinning Park, Glasgow where Lizzie’s father was working as a ploughman. Her father then moved the family to Blantyre, where he was now working as a greengrocer.

In Blantyre, Lizzie and her family lived at Aitkenhead Buildings and Lizzie worked along with her father as a green grocer’s assistant, but the their time at Blantyre was short lived as they then moved to Meikle Earnock, where Lizzie’s dad was now working back on a farm and working as a cow feeder.

When the family lived at Meikle Earnock, there was another family that went by the name of Cuthbertson and I will come to this soon and let you know why I have mentioned this.
Lizzie Smith was now working most likely at the same farm as her father. Her farther was the cow feeder on this farm and Lizzie, just like she did at the green grocers in Blantyre worked side by side with her father and she was working as a dairy maid. I get the feeling that Lizzie and Hugh had a close father daughter relationship.

On the 9th of December 1898 Lizzie married a Cambusnethan man who went by the name of James Gilchrist. James who was a coal miner worked in various places including Muirkirk in Ayrshire, Ormiston in East Lothian, Tranent, East Lothian and then back to Hamilton. This man’s father was a coal miner just like him and it is unknown why the family lived in mining communities scattered all over Scotland, perhaps his father was blacklisted by the colliery owners, but this is just a guess.

Lizzie Smith Divorce..PNG

The marriage with James produced seven children and sadly two died in infancy, but this was not a happy marriage. On the 11th of June 1913 James files for divorce from Lizzie, now there was probably more to this, but the reason given was that Lizzie was talking of another man while she slept and when confronted by James, she confessed to have been unfaithful.
By the time of the divorce, James was living in Hamilton at 9 Windsor Terrace on Bothwell Street and Lizzie was living at Whitecraighead in Cleland. I found a newspaper report printed in the Motherwell Times on Friday the 13th of June 1913 which stated:

“MOTHERWELL DIVORCE CASE. Betrayed by Talking- in Sleep.

The story of how a woman betrayed herself in her sleep was narrated in the Court of Session on Saturday last. James Gilchrist, miner, Orchard Cottage, Bellshill, sought divorce from wife, Elizabeth Horne Smith or Gilchrist, Whitecraighead, Cleland, by Motherwell, and Thomas Lindsay, mason, ’station Cottage, Muirkirk, was called as the co-defender.

Divorce in Paper..PNG

The pursuer said the marriage was solemnized in 1898, and there were five surviving children. The co-defender had been a lodger in the house. One Sunday in
April 1912, when they were then living at Strathaven, the pursuer heard his wife talking in her sleep.

She was carrying a conversation with someone to whom’ she was heard to say: “This would have to be their last meeting and that it would be better to separate.”

The preceding week had found a letter sent by Lindsay to his wife, in which he said that he was uneasy in his mind. When he taxed his wife, whom he awoke, she admitted having had relations with the co-defender. She subsequently signed an admission, of misconduct. After some further evidence, decree was granted to the pursuer on the ground of the defender’s infidelity”.

After the divorce, Lizzie moved back to Meikle Earnock in Hamilton. Her dad Hugh had died on the 16th of March 1910 at his house in Hollandbush Cottage. If I were to take a guess about one of the reasons as to why Lizzie was not happy in her marriage, then it could have been a lack of compassion from her husband, or perhaps she was so close to her dad that she may possibly of had a bit of depression after his death, however, this is only what could have happened and I do not have any evidence to back this up.

After Lizzie moved back to Meikle Earnock, she met a man named Robert Cuthbertson, who was a widower. It appears that Lizzie and Robert were old acquaintances and they knew each other in their younger years, and it appears that they were childhood sweethearts. Robert lived at Meikle Earnock at the same time as Lizzie when she was living in the village.
They married on the 21st of June 1913 in St. Rollox in Glasgow, the reason as to why they married here is unclear, however, they did continue to live at Meikle Earnock after the wedding. They lived at Croft Cottage right up to May 1921, where they decided to leave Meikle Earnock and indeed Scotland forever.

Passanger list WM..PNG
On the 21st of May 1921 the couple boarded a passenger ship and left for Sydney, Australia. Travelling with them are Robert’s sons James, Malcolm and his daughter’s Mary & Nancy and Lizzie’s son Hugh. They saw out the rest of their days in Australia and Robert lived to the ripe old age of 89 where he died in Nowra, New South Wales on the 18th of June 1962.

Lizzie died only seven months after her husband passed away. She died at the same place on the 12th of January 1963.

What started of a poem written in a local news paper turned into a story of a strong lady who had her ups and downs in life. Lizzie Smith from Meikle Earnock emigrated to Australia and she now has family connections on each side of the world. I wonder if what we write today will have someone reading about it in another 125 years. Also, I would love to go to a party in a big barn, I wonder if the local farmers around Hamilton still have parties like this? Below is a picture of Lizzie Smith.

Lizzie Smith.Lizzie Smith & James Gilchrist..PNG
Written by Garry McCallum
Historic Hamilton.

WW2 ID Cards.

Tom Kelly sent us an I.D. Card that was issued during the war.

Tom Kelly ID Card

The government introduced National Registration Identity Cards in World War II. Everyone, including children, had to carry an identity (ID) card at all times to show who they were and where they lived. The identity card gave the owner’s name and address, including changes of address. Each person was allocated a National Registration number and this was written in the top right hand corner on the inside of the card. The local registration office stamped the card to make it valid.

Tom Kelly ID Card1

The identity card belonged to Thomas W Kelly who lived in 60 Beckford Street in Hamilton. Further information on the card stated that Thomas had recently moved to 56 Eskdale Terrace in Bonnyrigg (Perhaps due to the war?) and later to 80 Elmbank Crescent. It was issued in 1948 when the blue card was introduced for adults. The card had an expiry date of 23rd of September 1964. Until then, adult identity cards had been brown, the same colour as children’s cards. (Government officials had green ID cards with a photograph.)

Tom Kelly ID Card2

On the back of cards for children and young people under 16 was space for the parent or guardian to sign. The parent or guardian was responsible for looking after the child’s identity card, and producing it when required.

Thank you Tom for sending this in, Perhaps you could tell us more about it. Garry,

 

RICHARDSON FAMILY TREE.

Richardson Family Tree..JPG
RICHARDSON FAMILY TREE.
 
I was contacted by Kevin Cunning at the start of the month and Kevin asked if any of the readers on Historic Hamilton knew any of his family. Kevin asked us: “Hi there, I was hoping that maybe, some of my family will be members of this page? John Richardson was on my Gran’s side and he was known for walking about with his sheepdogs’ Whiston cap”.
 
I put out a post and unfortunately, we couldn’t confirm if any of Kevin’s family were on the page. We did find that there were Richardson’s who lived around the Eddlewood area, so I then asked Kevin what he knew about his family so that I could dig a little deeper and Kevin could only tell me a few small details about who his grandparents were and that he wasn’t too sure about who his great-grandparents were.
 
Kevin also asked a family member who told him that there was a John & Susan Richardson (Nee Lawson) and that there was also the name Frew, so wanting to help Kevin, I decided to have a look at Kevin’s Ancestry. Kevin, here’s what I found.
 
Like many families in Hamilton, yours came from a strong coal mining community and I found that your most of your great grandfathers came to the town for employment and all from different areas in Scotland.
 
I started with the Cunning side of your family and in this family line, unfortunately, I could only trace your Grandfather, who as you know was called Andrew Cunning. He was born in Glasgow in 1925 at Garnagadhill (An old name, but now known as Royston or Roystonhill). I believe that your Great Grandfather on the Cunning side was also called Andrew, but now I can’t confirm this.
 
In 1945 Andrew married your Grandmother at Provan and your Grandmother was called Isabella Davies Richardson.
Isabella Davies Richardson was born in Hamilton in 1926 and on this side of the family, your Great Grandparents were called John Richardson & Susan Lawson.
 
They were married on the 22nd of February 1923 at the Bent hall on Glebe Street in Hamilton and when your great-grandfather was married, he was working as a Colliery Lamp Lighter. Staying with this family, your great grandfather was born in 1898 at Shotts and his parents (Your 2x Great Grandparents) were called John Irving Richardson & Agnes Frew.
 
John & Agnes Married at 95 Bent Road in Hamilton on the 4th of June 1897. John was a coal miner and he married Agnes, who was a Hamilton girl and Your 2 x Great Grandparents settled in Hamilton. John Irving Richardson was born on the 20th of October 1872 at Johnsfield, Drysdale, Dumfriesshire and this is where your Richardson family originated from.
 
I managed to trace this side of your family back to your 3 x Great Grandparents who were called John Richardson & Marion Irving. I found that John had various jobs as I traced him through the years. He was a Ploughman, a Farm Servant and then a Road Surfaceman. He married Marion Irving on the 5th of December 1865 at Closeburn, Dumfriesshire.
Drysdale, Dumfriesshire.
As I traced this side of your family, again I discovered that your 4 X Great Grandparents were called Joseph Richardson & Margaret Rogerson. They lived around the Lochmaben area, however, as we were venturing too far out of Hamilton, I then decided to concentrate on other members of your family tree.
 
Going back to your 2 x Great Grandmother Agnes Frew, as I stated, she was a Hamilton Girl. She was born at Hamilton in 1879 and her parents (Your 3x Great Grandparents) were called Alexander Frew & Agnes McGregor. They all lived in a part of Hamilton which I have never heard of, It was Called ‘New Mill’ and I believe that this area was between Eddlewood & Meikle Earnock. Alexander was born in Kilsyth c1850 and Agnes was born c1855 at Hamilton.
 
If we stay with Agnes, we then move on to your 4x Great Grandparents, who were also Hamiltonians and their names were Alexander McGregor & Ann McAdam. Alexander & Ann had at least nine children. Alexander was a Corn Miller and his farm & home at New Mill were owned by the Duke of Hamilton.
 
Alexander was born at the tiny hamlet of Dalserf in c1801 and he married your 4 x Great Grandmother Ann McAdam at Killearn on the 26th of January 1833. Kevin, I did manage to go back another generation in this family line and that was your 5x Great Grandparents, who were called Robert McGregor & Agnes Flint. Robert born at Stirling c1769 & Agnes born at Uphall, West Lothian c1768. Your 5 x Great Grandfather seems to have moved around quite a lot as he had kids born in places like Glasgow, Bothwell, Hamilton, Dalserf and Denny. I would assume that this was because of his occupation.
 
Kevin, if we can go back to your Great Grandmother Susan Lawson, I can now tell you about this side of the family. So, Susan was born in Hamilton c1901 and her parents (your 2 x Great Grandparents) were called William Lawson & Isabella Davies.
 
William was born at Stevenson in Ayrshire and he worked as a Coal Miner. Your 2 x Great Grandmother Isabella Davies was born in 1875 at Kilbirnie and before she met William, she was previously married to a man named Alexander Kerr whom she had three sons.
 
Her first husband died of TB on the 5th of January 1900 at 1 Glebe Street and as I told you earlier, she remarried your 2 X Great Grandfather William in December 1901. I also have a picture of your 2 x Great Grandmother Isabella, please see below.
Isabella Kerr..JPG
In the picture are: (Isabella young widow of Alexander Kerr. Sitting on her knee Alexander Kerr. Hugh Kerr standing. William Kerr sitting.) None of the kids is your Great Grandfather, they are all Alexanders sons.
 
Your 3 x Great Grandparents were called Hugh Davies & Isabella McMenemie and again, they lived out with Hamilton at Kilbirnie. Hugh & Isabella married at Kilbirnie on the 30th of April 1872. Again, Hugh was a Coal Miner and moved from Kilbirnie to Hamilton between 1881 & 1891. Between them, they had at least ten children. Your 3 X Great Grandmother Isabella died in Hamilton in 1898, she was 45 years old.
 
Keeping with this side of your family, your 4 X great Grandparents were called James Davies & Mary Shields. James was a Tailor. Again, I also found that your 5 X Great grandparents were called William Davies (1792-186) & Susana Wylie (1794-1872). Again, this is as far as my research will stretch as the families are not connected with Hamilton.
 
Kevin, I started this by telling you that your ancestors came to Hamilton mainly because of the coal mines. This is what brought thousands of families to the town! I hope that what I have provided has given you a good insight into your roots and no doubt I have left you with more questions than answers!
 
The research that I have done on your family is just the basics and as I tell everyone, taking up genealogy is a fantastic hobby and if you do decide to take up this hobby, then you will uncover much more about your family.

25579 Michael Tonner McNamee (MM) (Private) – Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) 17th Battalion.

Michael McNamee WM.

25579 Michael Tonner McNamee (MM) (Private) – Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) 17th Battalion.

My relative Michael McNamee died of wounds on the 19th of October 1918 at No 2 Canadian Casualty Clearance Station, while his division was engaged in the Battle of Ypres (28th September – 2nd October).

Michael was 22 years of age and was born and raised in Hamilton. He also enlisted in Hamilton and was part of the 106th Brigade 35th Division. Prior to enlisting he was employed as a Coal Miner at Ferniegair Colliery.

During his army service Michael had been awarded the Military Medal (MM). He was five feet four inches tall and weighed 98 pounds and was the son of Thomas McNamee and Jane Rankin Adams and their home address was 35 Church Street.

Michael is interred in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot XXX Row H, Grave 3.

WORLD WAR 2 1939-1945.

WORLD WAR 2 1939-1945
Written by Wilma Bolton.

Despite the carnage of World War 1, the 1930’s brought war clouds gathering again over Europe and on the 3rd September, 1939, Britain once more declared war on Germany.

As the country mobilised for war, notices appeared in the Hamilton Advertiser informing the civilian population on issues such as gas masks, the blackout, evacuees, rationing and registering for National Service. The intimations page also underwent a change in content when the headings, Deaths on Active Service, Missing in Action and Prisoner of War were added.

May and June 1940 saw 338,226 troops rescued from the beaches of Dunkirk. Many Lanarkshire soldiers were killed or captured during this evacuation of the British Expeditionary Forces, or when fighting with the rear guard protecting the troops on the beaches. Among the soldiers being evacuated were Eddlewood brothers Owen and Charlie Lawless. Owen was killed in action. Charlie survived and fought throughout the duration of the war.

Two High Blantyre brothers, Robert and Jim McCulloch of Stonefield Crescent were also among the survivors. Unable to re-embark at Dunkirk the brothers who were in different units, both managed to reach Brest where they were picked up by one of the hundreds of vessels involved in the rescue. They were overjoyed when they met on board. Robert was lucky to be there, a wallet tucked into in his breast pocket had stopped a piece of shrapnel which undoubtedly would have killed him.

During the nights of the 13th-14th and 14th-15th March 1941, German bombers flew over Hamilton heading for Clydeside. The sky was lit up by searchlights and the town echoed with the noise from the local anti-aircraft guns firing at the planes, as they flew overhead. Aided by the light of a full moon, the bombers discharged a cargo of 105,300 incendiary bombs, bringing death and destruction to Clydebank.

Within two hours of the air raid starting, a large convoy of Hamilton first-aid ambulance and rescue vehicles, fire engines and mobile canteens left for the blazing town. Among the rescue teams were highly trained First Aid Party (F.A.P.) personnel including John Anderson, house factor; Andrew Adams, Portland Place; Gus Le Blonde, Scott Street; John Henderson, lorry driver, Portland Park; Paddy King winding engineman, Arden Road; Guy Lang, newsagent, Morgan Street; Johnny Logan, Alness Street and Bob Roxburgh, optician. It was to be four days before they returned home. Three men from the rescue teams were injured; Samuel Wright and Frank Bebbington received crushing injuries when bombed buildings collapsed on top of them and John Paul received a serious knee injury.

Blantyre also sent a substantial number of rescue personnel in a convoy of eighteen vehicles, nine of which were destroyed during the bombing. Among the rescue teams was Thomas Limerick a former miner and trained first aider from Bairds Rows. Two of the Blantyre rescue team were injured. Vincent McInerney suffered a compound fracture of his arm and David Paterson sustained serious back injuries.

On the 16th March, seven hundred Clydebank refugees arrived at Hamilton and were transported to sixteen previously earmarked rest centres at churches and halls throughout the town. Most of them had lost everything they owned and arrived with only the clothes they stood in.

Among the many families to take refugees into their homes were the McCrums of 54 Mill Road, Hamilton. Mrs Isabella McCrum had been helping with the refugees at Low Waters School where she worked as a cleaner. On returning home, she informed her husband Robert that all the refugees had been found accommodation with the exception of one family of five adults; a mother, three daughters and a son who did not want to be split up. Feeling sorry for them, they went to the school and brought the family back to their home. This family, the Langs, were to stay with the McCrums for the duration of the war. They were living in two bedrooms; one of them normally used by the McCrum girls who were hastily moved down into the living room to sleep. The other bedroom had been used by the four McCrum sons who were away fighting with the British army. One of them John; a Gordon Highlander fought at El Alamein and was wounded by shrapnel in Sicily but survived his injuries. George, a paratrooper also survived the war as did Robert, who fought with Wingate’s Chindits in Burma, but William, a Royal Scot, was killed fighting in Burma.

There were many local soldiers engaged fighting the grim battle against the Japanese in Burma. Another one was Cameronian, James Spiers one of three Earnock brothers, all of whom were regular soldiers fighting for their country. James was killed in Burma and has no known grave, Alexander, a Seaforth Highlander was captured at St Valerie while defending the soldiers being evacuated from Dunkirk. The third brother John, fought in Europe with the Cameronians. Both men rose through the ranks, Alex to become a Major and John a Captain.

Burnbank Blitz.WM

On May 5th a bomb fell on the railway sidings behind Whitehill Road, Burnbank. Luckily there were no casualties.

The country was stunned when on 24th May; H.M.S. Hood was sunk with the loss of 1,417 men. Three young Hamilton sailors, William Pennycook, John Mullen and John Kirkland were among the dead.

William PennycookWM.

In October,May Baillie a young Hamilton nurse, survived 8 days in an open raft after her ship was torpedoed 700 miles from land. She married two weeks after returning home.

Also in October, Lance-Corporal Jimmy Welsh, 6 Neilsland Drive, Meikle Earnock found himself in the thick of the fighting at El Alamein. During the bombardment he heard a sound which brought a lump to his throat. Rising and falling above the thunder of the guns he could hear the pipes of the gallant 51st Highland Division playing the soldiers into battle. The battle of El Alamein was won, resulting in the retreat of Rommel’s Afrika Korps and eventually the surrender of 250,000 German and Italian troops in North Africa.

By November the Government was calling on all “patriots” to give up disused articles of copper, pewter, zinc, lead, brass, bronze, aluminium to make munitions. Collection points were arranged and the people started clearing out their unwanted ferrous metal. The children of Russell Street, Hamilton helped, by having a door to door collection for scrap. Every piece of scrap paper was also collected and recycled.

All over Lanarkshire, people organised back door concerts, whist drives and other forms of entertainment to collect money for the war effort. Prisoners of war were not forgotten. Weekly lists appeared in the Hamilton Advertiser naming contributors to the Red Cross Prisoner of War Fund for food parcels and clothing.

Many local men were decorated for outstanding bravery and among them was Second Officer John Inglis of Burnbank who was awarded the George Medal in December 1942 for his courage when his ship was attacked by enemy aircraft.

1943 saw a turning point in the war and the country was now on the offensive instead of the defensive and winning major victories.

Sunday 26th October was designated “Battle of Britain” day and ceremonial parades and thanksgiving services were held all over the county. The same week saw the repatriation of 790 prisoners of war and civilian internees. Among the men repatriated were James Steel and Matthew McDonald from Burnbank and George Hall, Graham Avenue Eddlewood. Welcome home parties were held for all three men.

In February 1944 there was great excitement in Burnbank when Mrs Lily McGauchie proprietrix of a newsagents shop telephoned the police about a suspicious customer. It was just as well she did; he turned out to be an escaped German prisoner of war.

Among the mighty armada crossing the channel on D-Day June 6th were many of Lanarkshire’s sons. The Death on Active Service columns in the Hamilton Advertiser told of the high price of freedom being paid by local families. Among the dead were Earnock man Brian Cameron and Arthur Russell from Blantyre.

September saw the lights go on again after blackout restrictions were relaxed. This delighted the local children, many of whom had never seen the streets lights on.

In December the Home Guard held a “Stand Down” parade in Hamilton, three months later on May 7th 1945 the war in Europe ended and Hamilton celebrated with flags of all shapes and sizes flying from buildings and windows. Banners were thrown across streets, fairy lights were connected up and by nightfall the town was a mass of colour. Thousands of people danced in the streets and fires were lit on the top of Earnock and Neilsland bings.

At Larkhall there was cheering and singing around a bonfire at the “Old Cross,” after the official announcement that the war in Europe was over. Music was provided by Larkhall Home Guard Pipe Band and reels were danced at Charing Cross. In Blantyre the celebrations lasted three days, with bonfires, music and dancing.

The war with Japan continued for three months after V.E. Day but at midnight on August 15th, Larkhall folk were wakened by the sound of Trinity Church bells ringing out the news that the war with Japan was over. The bells were soon joined by hooters and sirens all loudly announcing the welcome news. By half past twelve bonfires were blazing all over town and spontaneous street parties were being held in Hamilton Road, Hareleeshill, Old Cross, Raploch Cross and Strutherhill.

Thirty minutes after the midnight announcement of the Japanese surrender, victory fires were lit all over Hamilton. The Old Cross was thronged with delighted citizens who danced eightsome reels to the music of pipers. Eventually most of the crowd made their way to the Council’s open air dance floor and danced the night away to the music of Tommy McLaren’s dance band.

In Blantyre’s Morris Crescent, there was a fireworks display using fireworks formerly employed in A.R.P. exercises. In High Blantyre, an effigy of the Japanese Emperor was burnt on one of the celebration bonfires after it was paraded throughout the village by children shouting “we want Togo” and all over the village, street parties were held to celebrate the end of the war.
Ⓒ Wilma S. Bolton. 2018.

“SEARCHLIGHT”

A pencil of light hovered over the sky,
The moonlight revealed each passer-by,
Slowly the beam travelled westward, then
south;
Clear-cut as crystal, compelling as youth,
Between two tall houses, then over the
trees.
Roaming the skies with a careless ease,
Touching as lightly as the wind on the
heath,
Who would have thought it was searching
for death!

ALYSON LUNN.
Strathaven.
Ref. Hamilton Advertiser. 27/4/1940. Page 4.