Jimmy Brunton 1919-2014. Jimmy’s father originally came from Peebles. Jimmy was a proud Old Town man and lived in Hamilton all of his life. He was one of Hamilton’s Last Cattle Walkers. He used to walk the Cattle from the Slaughter House (Next to the current Lightbodys on Bothwell Road) down Muir Street and in to the Market. Jimmy was once gored by a bull during his work but kept on working. He was also well-known in Hamilton, along with his friends for having a sing-song in the middle of Cadzow Street when the pubs had closed, another one of Hamilton’s finest characters.
Today we are posting the second picture that was sent in by David Rams. In the picture is an aerial photograph, looking over the old town and also features the construction of the M74 motorway c1965.
The land at the far left of this picture was part of Hamilton Palace’s Farm Estates, where they grew vegetables for the Duke. Local man Wullie Gardner (also known as Watery Wull) had a farm on this ssection of land. The houses at Mote Hill now occupies the land where his farm was.
At the top of the picture you can see the large football parks where the annual fair used to put on a show twice a year and is now called the Palace Grounds where the retail park and fitness club are today.
If you would like to share some old photos of the town then send them to us on a PM or by email at HistoricHamilton@icloud.com
Neil has lived in Hamilton his whole life & Christine (nee Gardner) is originally from Blantyre. The couple have lived in Hamilton all of their married life.
They met when they both worked in the Water Department in the old Lanark County Council in 1958 and were asked to go out one night in a foursome with some friends, they got engaged 6 months later.
The couple then got married at Blantyre Old Parish Church on the 18th of March 1961.They have 2 sons and 1 daughter who are all married and they have 11 grandchildren.
I had the pleasure of meeting Neil & Christine yesterday when they invited me to their home. The charming couple were telling me about their time in Hamilton and we also spoke about local & family history.
Neil’s mother Agnes R Scott (1901-1987) was a local Hamilton historian and she documented stories & wrote about the town’s history, these stories were published in the Hamilton Advertiser in 1966. Neil has kindly donated his mothers Journals to Historic Hamilton and will be republished on the page in due course, so look out for the monuments of memories of Agnes R Scott.
David Rams sent us this fantastic picture of the outdoor Regent Way Shopping Centre from c1981.
In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990’s you can see why people travelled from all over Lanarkshire to visit Hamilton to do their shopping! Hamilton in my eyes had the best choice of shops to choose from where you could buy anything from sweets & cakes to all the latest fashionable clothes.
In the Regent, before going to get your messages you would go in to Radio Rentals to pay your rent on your TV & video and then you would head across the precinct to the large Woolworths to buy anything from Pick & Mix to birthday presents. You would then possibly go over to Auld’s the bakers to get a cup of tea & a sausage roll and then, as you walked down the hill you would browse through the great choice of shops before heading into the local supermarket Safeway.
What was your memories of the Regent Shopping Centre? Did you work in any of the shops here, and if you did, why not send us your pictures & stories.
You can contact us by sending a PM or by email at HistoricHamilton@icloud.com
Not so long ago you could drive for five minutes in any direction and you would be able to buy petrol!
Garages, petrol stations & petrol pumps were everywhere in the town.
In the picture is a Chieftain bus stopping at a petrol pump at High Blantyre road in Burnbank, it is ready for it’s journey up to East Kilbride probably via the Blantyre back roads. You can see the parish church in the background and the buildings to the right are still standing, however the land where the bus depot and pump are situated are now landscaped, Picture courtesy of David Laurie.
Purdie Street in Burnbank.
Like many areas around Hamilton Purdie Street was a typical Victorian tenement street. It was thriving and most of these tenements in the late 1800s would have been occupied by Coal Miners.
When the Coal masters started to sink their pits, places like Burnbank (which at the time was a quiet little village on the outskirts of Hamilton) started to massively grow and houses were quickly built to cope with the amount of people moving to the area for work.
One family that lived in Purdie Street in 1916 were the Kidlay Family. It was reported in the Hamilton Advertiser on Saturday the 15th of July 1916 that Matthew Kilday, pony driver, residing with his parents at 4 Purdie Street Burnbank, met with an accident while at work in the Kiltongue seam of No 3 Pit, Earnock Colliery.
He received a severe kick from a pony in the lower part of the stomach which rendered him unconscious for several hours. After being attended to on the surface by Dr Brownlie he was removed home. A brother of Kilday’s was killed in Bent Pit two years ago. [Hamilton Advertiser 15 July 1916]
The tenements were demolished in the mid 60s partly due subsidence from the underground coal mines and also to make way for the new Burnbank shopping centre.
Below is a picture of Purdie Street and a more recent photo of how it looks now! The street is now a car park and entrance to the shops. Maybe one day we will see Purdie Street a thriving street with houses.
It was reported in the Aberdeen Journal on Thursday the 21st of September 1933 that pedestrians passing a railway bridge, near Hamilton, around eleven o’clock at night heard moans coming from thirty feet below.
On investigating they discovered a man who was obviously in a very serious condition. They carried him to a nearby hall and then communicated with the police and a doctor. The man who was found to be David Crookston (43) a miner from Eddlewood Rows, Cadzow in Hamilton.
He was later moved to the Glasgow royal infirmary suffering from severe bodily injures. While cause of the accident is unknown, it is believed that crookston mistook his road in the darkness and fell over the bridge.
After reading this article I wanted to do some research on David to see if he managed to survive the fall. It turned out that he did survive and after he recovered he was sent back home.
The story ends not a happy one, as four years later David was found dead at his home at 63 Eddlewood Rows. He was found at his house at 12:00 midnight on the 6th August 1937. On his death certificate it stated that “The body had appearances consistent with gas poisoning” David was the son of Robert Crookston & Janet Scott, he left his wife S Crookston (Maiden name Kelly) and at least one son. His son Robert of 17 Annsfield Road in Eddlewood was the informant of his death.
THE NETHERTON CROSS OF HAMILTON.
The oldest symbol of Christianity in Hamilton is the Netherton cross. The cross originally stood on a settlement at Netherton approximately 60 yards to the north of the motte hill which later became part of the Duke of Hamilton’s estate.
This part of the estate was later called Low Parks and would have been known as this up until the construction of M74 Motorway in the mid 1960s and then Strathclyde country park and the early 1970s . The land where the cross stood is situated alongside where the now M74 motorway is and it was just across from the Hamilton services, there is now a marker stone in its place.
The cross dates back to the eleventh or possibly the tenth century which meant that it was carved around the year c950 -1100 and it would have been influenced by other known Pictish sculptures.
In 1857 the town council appointed a committee to confer with the Duke of Hamilton’s manager about plans to conserve the cross and ten years later 1867 the provost of Hamilton was requested to communicate with the Duke’s manager to have a railing erected around it to protect the tracing & carving as the local farmers at the time would have used the cross for tethering their livestock to it.
The cross was moved from low parks to the Hamilton Library at some point between the late 1800s and the early 1900s and In 1925 the town council agreed that Netherton Cross should be moved again and erected at the front of the old parish church. The cross was moved at a price of £30, this would have been £1,628.38 in today’s money.
The cross has been under the protection of the Historic Monuments Commission since 1933. Further efforts were made to protect the cross during the second world war when the cross was bricked around and filled with sand so it would be safe from the danger of bomb blasts and air raids.
In 1972 the cross underwent a three-week face-lift to establish if it would have to be moved indoors due to weather damage, an expert from the Historic Monuments Commission stated that cross could remain outside as long as it receives regular attention.
Today the cross is a reminder of the origins of Christianity in Hamilton and also provides a link to our Celtic church of the past, to the old parish church of Hamilton. If you would like to come and see this amazing relic then is can be viewed at the entrance of the old parish at Cadzow Lane.
Historic Hamilton would like to thank Scott at the Hamilton Reference library for taking time to look out and donate the old pictures of the Netherton Cross.