Hammy Ad Cake

For me, it was the end of an era for Campbell Street -when I heard that the Hamilton Advertiser were moving premises after reporting the local news from its old building for more than 150 years. The old press building was at the heart of the town and in its heyday, not only did the reporters all work from the newsroom they also printed and distributed the newspapers from here.

They finally closed its doors to the public on Wednesday the 13th of December and just before it closed, the last customer walked in – this customer was me! Me being the sentimental guy that I am, was quick to tell everybody that I was the very last customer in over 150 years publishing to use the Hamilton Advertisers services in the Campbell Street building. I love nostalgia and it got me thinking of who was the very first customer to pay for the Hamilton Advertisers services. So, a wee trip to the Hamilton Reference library will be on the cards to see if I can find out.

I have met with the staff at the Hamilton Advertiser before, including the Editor and big chief Robert Mitchel or Bob as he is better known to his staff.

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Bob’s teamwork great together and when I first met them I was a bit apprehensive walking through the doors of the old press building as I had in my head that the editor was going to be like the one in Spiderman shouting at all of his staff. But no, they are all very nice people and very approachable, and always if you have a story, then they are more that willing for you to come and have a chat with them.

So, as I had mentioned, I was the very last person to use the Hamilton Advertiser in Campbell Street, I was placing an advert in the paper for Historic Hamilton which you will all see in next weeks edition. I spoke to two lovely ladies called who were called Lorna Marshall who is the receptionist and Carole Mathers, who is the Multi-Media Sales Executive.

We ended up chatting about the History of the building and Carole had mixed emotions as she has worked at the old Campbell Street office for 30 years. We got chatting about the strange goings on and apparently, the old Campbell Street building has its very own Ghost.

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So, it was sad times for Carole too as this building has played a very big part in her life, but as they say you have to move with the times. I only hope that this Historic building does not get torn down and become another car-park, lets watch this space – pardon the pun.

The new Hamilton Advertiser premises are now located on the ground floor of the Brandon House business centre and they have an open plan office that looks out over Duke Street and the building is also right at the bus station, so bear in mind, Bob’s reporters are watching you as you walk in and out from the bus station and they will see everything that’s going on. This is also an excellent vantage point for the ‘Reader of the Week’ section, so if you’re up this way, then you may just be lucky enough to make Page 3 and get a free box of chocolates.

I paid a visit yesterday (Friday the 15th) and as usual, Bob was still in the office arranging next weeks stories, I had a wee chat with Bob and Carole and they were showing me around. I managed to get a wee bit of the Tunnocks Cake and Carole was showing me my advert for Historic Hamilton. So maybe I can also be classed as the first customer in the New building?

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Times are indeed changing as more of the younger generation are turning to news in the digital format, The Hamilton Advertiser’s Facebook page now has a massive 17,314 followers but I’m sure that most of you will agree that it’s just not the same as sitting down with a cup of tea at the table and having a read of the local news.

We still turn to the Advertiser to either do the crossword or to see what is happening in the town or to find the local guy who will give you a free quote to fix your fence. With Bob’s team working all week to get you the best stories I’m sure that the newspaper will still be here for many decades to come. So, to all the staff, good luck in your new home and we hope that you have many happy working years at the Brandon House building.

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Brandon Street mind 1980s.

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Brandon Street mind 1980s.

In this picture, we have Brandon Street and the photo was taken during the mid-1980s. As well as the old bus, you will notice the old Hamilton rent office.

There was also the old dentist called Borland & Rankin where I believe the kids used to be terrified of going. And not to forget the Doctors which were very well known by families in this part of Hamilton.

This part of Brandon Street was thriving with small business at one time, but this was long before the buildings were knocked down to make way for the new ones.



Gavin Buchanan was born to parents William & Catherine, (Catherine’s maiden name Cowan) Gavin’s dad William was a master draper who was born in Airdrie. The family started their lives living in Victorian Glasgow, and in the year 1851 they lived at 91 North Hanover Street. William Buchanan was doing well for himself Woking as a draper and had servants living with him right up through his retirement.

In 1871 business was going great as Gavin’s dad was now employing two people, the family continued to work in Glasgow up until 1881 where they later move to Hamilton. The family moved to 9 Union Street where they rented a house from Robert Summers and Gavin Buchanan has got a job working as a clerk at the Gasworks.

When they move to 9 Union Street William employed a servant girl called Mary Kelly, who was born to parents Edward & Margaret (Margaret’s maiden name is Surgeon) Gavin Buchanan falls in love with the servant Girl and 4 years later, on the 24th of September 1884 they get married at Cambuslang. They later have 3 children.

After Gavin gets married, he sets out in a new venture and in 1885 he opens a shop in 12 Brandon Street he is now working as a Stationer. The family move to their own house at 111 Quarry Street and in this time sadly Mary’s mum dies. Mary’s dad Edward moves in with the Family and he is working as a Night Watchman. Their first daughter Catherine is born in 1886, Edward is born in 1888 and Albert is born in 1892.

Gavin & his family stay at Quarry Street up until 1905 where they move to Claire Innes 54 South Park Road, a lovely sandstone house, They may have also owned the house next door at number 52 ( Ellan Innes) Mary’s dad is still living with them in 1911.


Gavin & Mary live at 54 South Park Road right up until the end of their lives, Gavin died of influenza at his house at the age of 80 in the year 1933 and Mary died in 1947, 14 years later at the same house.

The picture above is Gavin Buchanan’s shop on Brandon Street. The man in the picture may very well be Gavin himself.

Brandon Street and the old Town Hall

The old town hall with it’s steeple still attached.
Wilma Bolton sent us a picture of Brandon Street and the old Town Hall with it’s steeple still attached.
Wilma told us:
“I remember the old town hall well. When I was young my father Jimmy Russell got a job as the caretaker because he was unable to work any longer in the pits.
His chest was really bad and he died age 52 some years later. By then, it was the Hamilton Burgh Police Station and it was literally falling apart from subsidence due to the underground workings.
I used to put a ball on the billiard table and it ran down the table. The floorboards were so rotten that a policeman fell through them and was half in one floor and half in the other. He had to be hauled out.
There were two cells and one of them held Peter Manuel the notorious murderer when he was arrested.. Regards Wilma”
Wilma, you are a true legend and I have enjoyed speaking with you over the last 5 or 6 months. Your knowledge of Hamilton is absolutely priceless. I love the way that you can tell me a story about almost anything that I ask you about, Keep the story’s coming!