Thomas Whitehouse.

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.

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.

The Dowds & Monaghan Family of Eddlewood Rows.

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The Dowds & Monaghan Family of Eddlewood Rows.

Peter Dowds sent us this fantastic picture of children from the 1930s, who lived at Eddlewood Rows and asked Historic Hamilton to look at the family history of his grandparents.

Here is what we found:

In the middle of the photo is Peter’s auntie, Bridget Monaghan with her
arms around Peters mother Mary Monaghan. Peter told Historic Hamilton that he doesn’t know who the other children in the picture are.

Thomas Monagahan1

Peters mum Mary was born in 1920 and his auntie Bridget was born on the 23 July 1913, in the family home of 22 Eddlewood Rows at 5:00 am. Peter’s grandparents on his mum’s side were Thomas Monaghan & Nora Meaghan from Belmullet, Co, Mayo in Ireland and were married on the 8th February 1907, in their home town of Belmullet.

They emigrated to Scotland just after they were married and shortly after their first child Thomas, was born. Thomas, who was Peters uncle, was born on the 26th May 1908, at 11 Brown Street in Hamilton. Thomas’ father had gained employment and was working doing odd jobs as a general labourer. Peters auntie Sabina was born in 1910 also at the family home of 11 Brown Street.

Bridget & Mary (who are in the group picture) were 2 of 6 children. All the family & relatives settled in Eddlewood, Meikle Earnock and Quarter Road. Peter spent his younger years in Hamilton and he used to work for McKeon’s the “bookies”, he worked in Castle Street, Almada Street, Cadzow Street and in Paisley shops. He later joined the Lanarkshire Police and was posted to Baillieston.

He then moved to England for a few years and eventually left England and emigrated to Hong Kong where he joined Royal Hong Kong Police. After 9 years’ service, Peter emigrated once again, this time over to New Zealand and became a citizen of New Zealand on the 16th December 1974 where he now has settled with his family.

Going back to Hamilton, the houses in Eddlewood Rows consisted of two rooms with 2-bed recesses in each room which had drawers under them for storage. There was a coal range in one room and a fireplace in the other. The toilet was in the entrance way before the entry to the main part of the house. There was a copper and mangle in the communal wash house with communal clothes lines facilities. If you were the right height as a kid and you were running or walking in this area at night you were liable to get choked or nearly decapitated if someone had forgotten to take down their clothes line, Eddlewood Rows as all mining communities in the 1930s weren’t very well lit up at night! There was also a communal “midden” in the same area.

Thomas Mohanan2

Some of the family surnames that lived at Eddlewood in the 1930s are listed below, they would have more than likely been the parents of the children in this picture.

John Marshall, Robert McCrum, John Henry, James Haughim? Thomas Martin, James McInnes, Alexander Crookston, John Lindsay, Robert Rodger, Harry Gray, Archibald Craig, John Cadenhead, Archibald Kerr, James Addis, William McDowall, William Wilkie, Joseph Addis, Thomas Monaghan (Peters relative), Allan Wilkie, James O’Donnell, Robert Patterson, James Wilkie, Daniel McCarthy, Edward McKenna, William Maxwell, John Riddell, John O’Neill, Alexander Hodge, Michael Fowler, John Neill.

I asked Peter what he could tell me about his dad’s side of the family and Peter told us that the family were Dowd’s and lived in the road that run down the side of the old gasworks in Hamilton, he told me that they were the gas works on the left coming down from Eddlewood.

I did a bit of digging and I found that Peter’s dad (who was called John) was born in Glasgow and married his mum Mary on the 26th of October 1940 at St. Anne’s Chapel in Hamilton. At the time they married, Peter’s dad was living at 4 Burnside Lane across from the Gasworks, his mum was living at 62 Eddlewood Rows with her parents.

Peter also didn’t know his grandmother, as she had passed away when he was very young, however, I managed to find her. Peter, your grandmother died when you were 5 years old on the 7th of August 1948 at her house in 4 Burnside Lane. She died at 11:00 am and the cause of death was Myocardial Degeneration (Heart Disease). Your uncle James was the informant of her death. A strange coincidence, but at the time your uncle James was living at 15 Farm Terrace in Burnbank, my own grandparents lived at 17 Farm Terrace and may have possibly known your uncle James as they would have been neighbours.

Cecellia Dowds Death 1948 Hamilton.jpg

On his dad’s side, Peters grandparents were Peter Dowds & Cecilia McAtasney and his grandfather Peter was a Coal Hewer. In 1940, they were living at 4 Burnside Lane. His grandparents were a family from Maryhill in Glasgow and were married on the 18th of July 1908 at Maryhill. When they married, his grandfather was living at 46 Kelvin Street and his grandmother was living at 8 Park Place, she was a Paper Mill Worker in Glasgow.

When I looked back further I found that Peter’s great grandparents on his dad’s side, were John Dowds (also a Coal Miner who had died before 1908) and Elizabeth Donnelly. On his gran’s side, his great grandparents were called James McAtasney (a General Labourer) and Mary McGowan.

I also managed to track down another family member for Peter, I found a Helen Fitzpatrick Armstrong and I asked who she was, Peter told us: “My Uncle Peter Dowds married a lady called Helen Armstrong. After he died she sort of vanished from our lives. If it was the same person then she would have been a “good” age.”

Peter, I have found that your auntie Helen Armstrong died in Dunoon in 2008 aged 81. She was born in 1927. This connection has reference to Dowds & Fitzpatrick but as her death certificate will have to be ordered I can’t give you the full details. This Helen was also Born in Hamilton.

We would like to thank Peter for sending us his old family photos.

Do you have an old photo or want to find out what happened to a family member? Send us your pictures and requests and we will look into this for you.


The second annual gala day of the Eddlewood and Neilsland Collieries took place on Saturday last. It is a day in which young and old participate, and on this occasion the number of children was very much larger than last year owing to the fact that on Saturday the children of all the workmen in the collieries were included, instead of only those associated with the village.

Nearly 1000 young people turned out, and were marshalled in  procession at 11 o’clock in front of the Workmen’s Hall, Eddlewood. Headed by Auchinraith Brass Band, the children tidily dressed and carrying flags and bannerettes, and each fortified with the indispensable “tinny” marched to a field on Cornhills Farm, kindly granted by Mr Robert Frame. Here buns and milk were supplied and appeared to be greatly relished. The sports were afterwards commenced and continued throughout the rest of the day.

The boys and girls got their opportunity first, and the many substantial prizes were competed for with much zeal and uncommon energy. The sports for the youths and older people began later in the afternoon, during which the field presented a very animated appearance. For the amusement of the children a maypole and swings were erected on the filed, and they received a constant and vigorous patronage. So also did the dance programme, which was ably engineered by M.C’s Charles Rodger and Andrew Skewies, and kept going lively by the creative band strains. The weather, upon the whole was favourable, the few showers that fell during the afternoon creating little or no inconvenience.

When the programme was concluded the children were again formed in procession and, lead by the band, marched homewards, not just to spick and span as they were in the morning, but doubtless, deeming the day’s enjoyment all too brief. Mr John Blake Manager, presided over the proceedings, and among the officials who took an active part in arranging and supervising the details were:– Mr Hugh McFadyen. Convener of the general committee; Mr William Whitehouse, who performed a great deal of useful secretarial work. The following are the results of the sports.

BOYS AND GIRLS. Girls races:–Five years–1, Lizzie Rodney; 2, Lizzie Lyons; 3, Jeanie Hamilton; 4, Lizzie Thomson. Six years—1 Cissie Lyon; 2, Martha Campbell; 3, Janet Dykes; 4, Nellie Berry. Seven years–1. Mary Summers; Annie Reynolds; 3. Janet Corbett; 4. Maggie Thomson. Eight Years – 1, Janet Rankine; Minnie Ramsey; 3. Grace Earle; 4. Susan Collins; Nine years–1 Chrissie Lyons; 2. Barbara Brown; 3. Janet Flynn; 4. Mary Thomson;. 10 Years. 1. Kate Paterson; 2, Mary Collins; 3. Mary Sherry; 4. Maggie McGonigal; Eleven Years–:1. Maggie Brown; 2, Mary McGraw; 3. Janet Robertson; Janie McGuire. Twelve years–1 Nellie Burgoyne; 2, Lizzie McGraw; 3. Maggie Calder; 4. Madge Cook. Thirteen years–1. Annie Summers; 2 Annie Corbett; 3. Susan Wilkie; 4, Jeanie Baird. Fourteen years–1. Joan McKenzie; 2. Anne Paton; 3. Bella McGarry; 3. 4. Rose Ann Rodden. Girls skipping race;- Five, six and seven years— 1. Maggie Stewart; 2. Jeannie Clark; 3. Lizzie Thomson; 4. Lizzie Rodden. Eight to fourteen years—–1. Maggie Brown; 2. Lizzie McGraw; 3. Christina Lyons; 4 Annie Summers.

Boys Races—:—Five years–1, Hugh Lyons; 2. W. McManus; 3. Thomas Baird; 4. James McGregor; Six years–1, Archd, Rodden; 2. Jas. Ballantyne; 3. James Bain; 4, David Wilson. Seven years–1, Thomas Miller; Andrew Dunn; 3. James Wilkie; Dan Kerr; Eight years— 1, Joe Robertson;  2. Thomas Miller; William Baird; 4, Hugh McKay. Nine years—1. John Kerr; 2. John Rodger; 3. Nicol Jardine; 4. Thomas Whitton. Ten years. 1, Isaac McGill; 2. John Gillard; 3. Michael Cunningham; 4. Robert White; Eleven years—1.  David Symons; John Garrity; 3. James Rodden; 4. Robert Hamilton. Twelve years— 1. John Calder; 2. James Maxwell; 3. Patrick Robertson; 4. Thomas Rodden. Thirteen years 1. William Borland; 2. Sam Barclay; 3. John Cunningham; W. Connelly. Fourteen years –1. Matthew Grannochan; 2, Wm. Connelly; 3. Alex McKinven. Candy-Barrow races;_ Five, six, seven and eight years.—1. Francis Calder and A. Hamilton; 2 James Calder and Robert Orr; 3. Robert Hamilton and James Wilkie; Nine to fourteen years–1. David Symons and Robert Hamilton; 2. William Paterson and Sam Barclay; 3. Arthur Brown and John Gilmour. Sack Races;— Five, six, seven and eight years—1, William Clarke; 2. James Calder; 3. David Hendry. Nine to fourteen years—1, Alex McKinnon; 2. Robert Hamilton; 3. David Symons.

Boys high leap under fourteen years—1. John Kerr; 2. David Symons; Boys 100 yards handicap, under 15 years—1. John Forrest; 2. William Hepburn; 3. James Houston; 4. D. Symons. The racing in this event was very good, showing that the boys had been under careful training’ Boys five-aside football–Owing to the scarcity of time, only the first round of this was played off.

OTHER EVENTS.—-120 yards handicap—1. John Gillespie; 2. Dennis Brown; 3. Walter Baxter. Old man’s handicap (from 45 years upwards.)–1. Peter McLuskey; 2. Wm. Perris; 3, John McCarrol. The racing in this event was very good, the winner especially showing a good turn of speed.

Unmarried ladies race— 1. Annie Hughes; 2. Susan Burgoyne; 3, Janet Baxter. There was also a special prize for this race, which was won by Martha Wilson.

Married ladies races—. 1. Mrs Berry; 2. Mrs Cook; 3. Mrs Young. This race created considerable amusement to the spectators, and was perhaps the most enjoyable of the day. Men’s high leap—1, A. Hodge; 2 John McCarthy.

Men’s five-a-side football.—. A good many entries for this event were taken. The five prizes –handbags— were won by No 6 team, and the second prize –non magnetic watches–were won by No 10 team.

Half-mile handicap –1. James Haley; 2. William Hutton; 3. Patrick Quinn.

Five-a-side tug of war–This event created the most excitement of the day. Teams representing each pit, and one from the surface competed. The surfacemen carried of premier honours, second place being taken by John Callison’s team representing No. 1 Pit Neilsland.

Ref. Hamilton Advertiser 11/8/1906 page 4. 


PRESENTATION. A number of the workmen of Eddlewood and Neilsland Collieries met in Eddlewood Workmen’s Hall on Monday evening to do honour to Mr Charles Walker, under manager, who has laboured amongst them for the past six years, and who having obtained a situation abroad leaves the Old Country on Thursday first. After tea had been partaken of (which was provided by Mr William Kyle in really first class style, Mr Blake manager, who presided, gave a very minute and interesting account of Mr Walker’s abilities, and also of the interest he took in everything pertaining to the village, and said that he was quite sure in wishing Mr Walker God-speed, he did so in the name of every workman in the works. He then called on Mr Joseph McGowan to make the presentation (which consisted of a gold hunter watch and albert for Mr Walker, and for Mrs Walker a handsome gold chain), which he did in a very simple and pleasing manner, wishing in the name of the workmen, both Mr and Mrs Walker long life and happiness, Mr Walker, on behalf of Mrs Walker and himself, thanked the workmen of Eddlewood and Neilsland Collieries for their handsome presents, and also for the kindness that they had always been shown towards them while amongst them. A very pleasant evening was afterwards spent with songs and readings. The singing of “Auld Lang Syne” and “He’s a Jolly Good Fellow,” brought a very happy meeting to a close. The presents were supplied by Mr David Calder, Quarry Street. Ref. Hamilton Advertiser. 15/8/1906 page 4.

This story was kindly donated to Historic Hamilton by local author & Historian Wilma Bolton, Wilma has published two books Black Faces & Tackety Boots and Pit Props & Poines. The above documentation is only available at the to view at the Hamilton Reference library.

Please visit Wilma’s site if you would like to purchase one of her books.