One of the hardest things that I find, is for people to share their pictures with me, however, Christine Dodd got in contact with me on the Historic Hamilton Facebook page as she found a box of old family photos that were of no sentimental value. She had asked if I would be interested in them as they would most likely get thrown in the bin and as always, I collect anything that’s Hamilton related, including old family pictures.
When any of my readers sends me anything that is Hamilton related, whether it be a book, an object or picture, then I am more than happy to take it and look after it. I have quite a large Hamilton collection which consists of books, objects and of course old pictures of Hamilton and its people. I received Christine’s pictures a few weeks later and they are now safely stored away with my collection and over the next few days, I will post these on my website, so that they will be kept for future generations to see; Christine wrote:
“Hi Garry,
I have been sorting through some of my mum’s belongings and have found a lot of photos mostly from the 1930’s and 40’s which belonged to her cousin who lived in Hamilton. I have scanned some of them and attached them here. There’s quite a lot and I didn’t want to start posting them all on the Historic Hamilton Facebook page so thought you might want to have a look & just post what you think would be of interest. I’d also be happy to pass on originals if you know anyone who would be interested as most are of no sentimental value to me, there are only a couple I want to keep. I just hate throwing photos out as I always think they are of interest to someone so I’ve been scanning them all and contacting people who might like to have them (have already posted some in Low Waters school page and sent some to the Young Farmers group too. My husband thinks I’m mad and thinks I should’ve stuck them all in the recycling 🙂
Where there is information on the back, I have put this as the photo’s name. My gran’s maiden name was Massey and the photo of Harry Massey is my great uncle, William & Mary Massey are my great grandparents but beyond that I don’t know who most of the people are.
The ones of High Park Crescent I have put a question mark against as only one of them says this on the back. Another of them says Eddlewood Place but it is clearly the same houses, so I don’t really know which is correct.
Please let me know if you would like the others sent on to you. There are only another 10 or so.
Eddlewood Place WM1
So, Christine, I did quite a lot of studying of your old pictures and also looked over the old maps of Hamilton and I believe that I have found where the confusion lies with the name Eddlewood Place & High Parks Crescent.
To start, what the photographer was doing was taking pictures around their house where they lived, as most of your pictures seemed to be around this part of Hamilton, including Eddlewood, Strathaven Road and also in the fields overlooking Hamilton.
Now, Eddlewood Place no longer exists, and it was a row of houses which around 1915 was owned by a spirit merchant who was called James Bryson and its location was immediately behind High Parks Crescent and also the row of houses were just down the road from where William Massey lived at 156 Strathaven Road.
So, in one of your pictures you have supplied a great picture of Eddlewood Place and possibly could be the only one in existence and the picture was taken from the wall at Eddlewood House. If you could see further to the right of this picture, then High Parks Crescent would be just behind it.
Eddlewood Place map 1913..WMPNG
So, to give some justice to your pictures, I looked at your great grandparents William & Mary Massey, who as you know lived up at Thornyhill Cottage on Strathaven Road, the address was later given a door number and from the 1930’s it was known 156 Strathaven Road.
I had a look at your family’s history, and I found that you great gran was called Mary Brown, her parents were called James Brown & Flora Kinlock She was brought up in Quarter and she lived at 71 Darngaber Rows. When she married, she was working as a domestic servant. Your great, great grandfather James was working as a Colliery engineman. James brown was born at Dalserf around 1838. Your great, great grandmother Flora was born at Bonhill in Dumbarton around 1831. Mary had eight other siblings who were called James, Thomas, Alice, Alexander, Ellen, Janet, Agnes & Flora.
William & Mary Massey-Date Unknown.
Your Great grandfather William Massey was born in Ireland around 1863 and his parents were called John Massey & Martha Davidson. William was living down at 201 Low waters Road when he married. He had six other siblings called Mary, Elizabeth, Martha, Agnes, John & David. William and his parents moved from Ireland and over to Hamilton between 1863 & 1866. His father was also a miner, so it is likely that they moved to Hamilton to gain work in the col mines.
William & Mary married on the 11th of March 1892 at Mary’s house 71 Darngaber Rows. They were married by the Rev George Blair, minister for Quarter and their witnesses were William’s brother John & Mary’s sister Janet.
After your great grandparents married, they got their own house in 1895 and they moved to a flat above the public house in Limekilnburn. I have to note that this flat and the pub were both owned by James Bryson ,the spirit dealer who also owned Eddlewood Place in 1915, so it’s possible that William may have did some work for the spirit dealer, there certainly seem to have known each other. William was still working as a coal miner and he was paying a yearly rent of £5.
Massey Family.
In most cases coal miners did not earn a lot of money but this was not the case for your great grandfather as he bought Thornyhill Cottage and in 1905, he is recorded as the owner. He did have a tenant living here with him, a man named Thomas Gold, so perhaps this was how he earned an additional income. The man Thomas Gold could have been a friend of the family, as he lodged with your great grandparents right up to at least 1925, so quite a long time for a lodger to be living with a family. The cottage would have been really cramped, as Thomas Gold lived here with his daughter Mary and two sons Thomas & Arthur, he was a widow.
Your great grandparents had eight children, who were called Flora, John, James, Martha, William, Harry, Alexander & Mary. Below is another one of your pictures that shows Harry Massey, your great uncle with a Clydesdale horse, this picture was taken at Eddlewood Farm (previously Hasites Farm)
Harry Massey.
Christine, in some of your pictures that you sent, you had the family Bryson in them and I have looked at this and there could possibly be a marriage between one of the Massey family or if this was not the case, I found that in 1940 there was a widow called Jeanie Bryson, who lived at 221A Strathaven Road, perhaps if there was not a marriage connection, then they were certainly close neighbors.
The Bryson & Massey family were close enough to be going on outings with each other. I also have to note that the Bryson family lived at Eddlewood Place and on the 12th of April 1917 a James Bryson aged 76 died here, could this be the same Jim Bryson that you have in your picture? I get the feeling that the Massey family were very close one, and your pictures are fantastic, I will post the rest of your pictures with no names attached below. I feel that I have given you a small insight into the early tears of your family and I want to speak about another picture that you have sent.
The picture showing a half-built house, I believe is the construction of 53-59 High Parks Crescent I have compared the picture to a recent image of Google street view and the doors and windows match up. If you look at the picture further down the street you can see Eddlewood Place. Again, I believe that this may be the only picture in existence showing the construction of High Parks Crescent.
Cponstruction of High Parks crescentWM
Another picture we have Agnes Ballantyne, now the name Ballantyne has been a long-established family of Dairymen and you have once again supplied me with a great piece of family history.
Agnes Ballantyne was the daughter of Andrew Ballantyne Janet Lindsay and she married William Brown in 1907, do you know if the William Brown is a relation to your family? At the time when they married Agnes was living with her parents at 19 Glebe Street.
Agnes Ballantyne-Bent Farm-From Christine Dodd.
This picture of Agnes would have been taken approximately around 1903 and she looks roughly about the age of fifteen or sixteen. She looks as if she is about to go milking the cows with a bucket in one hand and her stool in the other a bygone tradition that was used all over Hamilton in her era.
Once again Christine, thanks for taking the time to send your pictures to me, they will be looked after for many years to come.


Pats icecream van picture from Billy Berekis


In this picture we have L-R, Andy Anderson, Morris Anderson and Billy Berekis.

The man in the Ice Cream van is called Pat and from what i have heard is very well liked. David Cairns wrote on the Meikle Earnock Facebook page ” That he’d sometimes get oot the van and play Fitba with us and throw out a big bag of sweeties as he took off in the van. Just a good man”.

What are your memories of Pat’s Ice cream van?



Eddlewood Boating Pond from Billy Berekis on the Meikle Earnock pageWM.1.

Billy Berekis kindly shared these pictures of the Eddlewood boating pond and yes, that’s correct folks, Eddlewood did have one.

Eddlewood Boating Pond from Billy Berekis on the Meikle Earnock pageWM.

In the picture we have Billy Berekis himself along with his friend Steven Forrest. The pictures were taken in 1970 and the boating pond closed around 1973/4.

Do you have any pictures of the Eddlewood boating pond that you would like to share with us? If not, why not share your memories of it.

Eddlewood Gala Day 1985.

Eddlewood Gala Day 1985.

The Eddlewood Gala Day June 1985. On Saturday the 8th of June, the people of Eddlewood enjoyed their Gala Day.

Although the weather was a bit disappointing it did not dampen the spirits of the hundreds of people who gathered at Hollandbush Park. The Gala Queen was Andrea McSkimming and her maids of honour were Andrea Shepherd and Jane McGowan.

Eddlewood Gala Day 1985.1

The Rutherglen Pipe band were in attendance as were the Chapelhall Majorettes. There was also a gymnastic display and a wide selection of stalls, which all added to a happy Gala atmosphere.

Eddlewood Gala Day 1985.2

To round off the 1985 Eddlewood Gala Day many people also attended the dance at the Eddlewood hall that same night.

Eddlewood Gala Day 1985.3

Can you see any familiar faces in the pictures? Please feel free to tag anyone that you know. Did you attend the Eddlewood Gala Day in 1985? Tell us about your day, or even better, send us your pictures.

Eddlewood Gala Day 1985.4



Transcribed by Wilma Bolton.

The Ranche1.JPG

Hamilton’s last drinking haven for men wanting to avoid wives, girlfriends or mothers is to go.

The Ranche Bar in Strathaven Road, famed for its sloping floor and no women-in-the-bar-rule is the victim of the 20th century progress.

Those responsible for the demise of The Ranche are not women’s libbers but planners.
A lot of men will be homeless” joked one of the lunchtime drinkers at the bar this week.
According to Hamilton’s chief planning officer Crawford Russell, what will happen, though plans have still to be firmed up, is that The Ranche and adjoining shops will be demolished to make way for 40-50 council homes.

These proposals are contained in the district council’s five-year plan, a report which outlines what changes Hamilton can expect over the next few years.

Wind of the proposed demolition reached shop-keepers in Strathaven Road last week.
They rejected immediately, organising a petition which has the support from tenants living in the nearby Eddlewood Housing scheme.

Miss Gwen Richards has one of those small shops which sells everything from cigarettes to Jaffa-cakes, and she is incensed at the idea that her shop could be demolished with no replacement.
This shop was opened by my grandmother when my grandfather died, she said “it will be sadly missed.” A pile of petition forms lie on her counter next to the Jaffa-cakes, and already Miss Richards has gathered more than 100 signatures.

Next door there is a chip-shop which has been there as long as Miss Richards can remember. They are collecting signatures. And at the bookies, two doors up, punters are putting their names to the petition after filling in their betting-slips. The Pakistani mini-store- also as a pile of petition forms for shoppers.

“A lot of people from Eddlewood shop here and there’s a lay-by outside, so we get a lot of passing trade.” Explained Miss Richards, adding “we are going to put forward our petition to the council. It’s up to the people now to sign it.”

The Ranche2.JPG

There’s no petition nestling next to the pints in The Ranche.
Last year, in an interview with the Advertiser the manager of The Ranche, Mr Alex Allison,, said the publican would rather see the bar closed than admit ladies. Ref Hamilton Advertiser. 30/4/1982. Page 1


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.

Kids at Eddlewood Rows..png

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 story below was sent to Historic Hamilton by David Cairns.
My brother Scott had a wine coloured Hillman Avenger, and in one fell swoop, he doubled the value of the car by paying aboot forty quid tae have a CB Radio fitted tae the car fae a wee shoap next tae the Santa Lucia just aff Gateside Street.
Smokey and the Bandit was no’ long oot, Convoy the movie, and CW McCall was in the charts wi’ the theme song… #Pig-pen this here’s a Rubber Duck#…and all that..
CB’s were illegal. I don’t think the Polis could be arsed though, as every car fitted with a CB had a 6 foot tall antenna bolted tae the roof of your car…so it really wouldnae have been too difficult for the ‘Smokies’ to work it oot…never heard of anyone getting caught wi’ wan though…
‘Smokies’ were the Polis. Hamilton was ‘Circle City’…it had a language of it’s ain, all designed tae confuse the ‘Smokies’ in case they were listening in…
An ‘eyeball’ was a meeting in person…kind of like an Eighties version of ‘Tinder’…safe sex was hiding roon’ the corner and up a street in case your ‘eyeball’ was a ‘baikey’…and worse than that , was if she was a baikey, and you were hiding up a street …’just in case’…there would be another 5 folk hiding up the same street waiting to see whit she looked like…cos everybody could listen in..
A wee hoose by Dunn’s the Butcher on Meikle Earnock Road selt ‘Eyeball Cards’… they were aboot £2-00 for a hundred, and ye were meant tae hand over yer ‘Eyeball Card’ if ye met somebody and you were supposed tae collect them.
Loads of folk were oot on the ‘wind-up’…me and my mate Alan Hinshalwood Hinshy sat in my brothers car at the top of Balmore Drive talking to ‘Spyo-Gyra’…there was some racket coming fae his end…claimed he was in a helicopter flying ower Strathy Park,,,we were believing it, cos it sounded like a helicopter…until we realised we could SEE fucking Strathy Park fae Balmore Drive…cunt must have taped ‘Airwolf’…and ye were such a fanny if ye ever fell for a wind-up.
Hinshy had some irate big brother oan wan night, saying he was gaunnae gie him a doin’ for no’ turnin’ up tae eyeball his sister…she went hame and wiz greetin’ all night. Hinshy and me really couldnae mind but the guy was threatening to ‘twist yer ba’s aroon’ yer neck” we decided, for Hinshy’s future children’s sake, that we should attend this ‘eyeball’ which was to take place at the Chippy roon’ the corner fae the Ranch, in Eddlewood.
When we walked roon’ the corner, there was aboot 8 guys fae Eddlewood that we were at the Grammar wi’ (one was Jim McDowell)…all burst intae applause and started bellowing with laughter…oor faces went rid…but we pretended it wisnae us …and we just fancied a stroll oot tae the Eddlewood chippy for a bag of chips…then we had nae money…and hud tae leave withoot chips, wi’ mair laughter following us doon the street…we were arguin’ like a married couple..”fucking dick..telt ye it was a wind-up”..” Did ye fuck, you said we better in case the guy came up tae Meiky lookin’ fur us”, ” Naw ah never”…and so it went oan…
Jim Broon in my year at the Grammar, and his pal, bolted a car battery and a CB tae a Bogey and wheeled it aboot Fairhill cos they didnae have a motor…or IS that a motor in Fairhill…I don’t know…
My handle was FrizzleChip…anybody else mind the days…what was your handle….” Pick a Channel”…
What was your Handle? Don’t be shy now!


Neilsland Colliery1.JPG

On Wednesday the 26th of April 1916, a tragic incident occurred at Neilsland Colliery, owned by John Watson and sadly five men were killed. The coal miners went to work not knowing what tragic events were about to happen that day. A party of men were selected to work in one of the old shafts, when one of the worst pit accidents that had occurred in the district for many years took place about midday, when an old shaft at Eddlewood collapsed and entombed the workmen.

The shaft was formerly Eddlewood No. 3, but some five or six years previous, it was filled up, and the coal to which it gave entrance, was worked from Neilsland. On Wednesday five men were employed in driving roads into the Eddlewood ell coal, take out the pillars which still remained in the workings around the old shaft. Their names were:
Hugh Scott, in charge of the party, married, 30 Low-waters;

Robert Robertson, married, 229 Low-waters;

John Shaw, single, 136 Eddlewood Rowe;

Robert Leadbetter, married, 103 Beckford Street;

George Stewart, married, 187 Low-waters.

Robert Brownlie, a shaftsman, who was giving Hugh Scott a hand, had finished his shift and was leaving for the surface. When he got some distance off, he heard a loud rumbling noise, and fearing an accident he sent word to the officials. Mr James Cook, the resident manager, and Mr James Houston, under-manager, who were in another portion of the pit, immediately proceeded to the scene, but found their course barred by an irresistible river of soft glutty debris flowing like a stream of lava through the workings and filling up every available space.

Acting with commendable promptitude Mr Cook and Mr Houston got the men in the other sections warned, to make their escape and they all succeeded in doing so. The five men employed in the old Eddlewood Ell coal were cut off, and from the first, no hope was entertained of finding them alive.

When the flow of material had subsided, every possible effort to reach the missing men was made by the management and many willing hands. About ten o’clock the body of Robert Robertson was recovered. He had apparently been swept forward by the rush of the incoming debris and was well within reach. The body, embedded in mud, bore no injuries death having resulted from suffocation.

When the serious nature of the accident was revealed, Mr Robert McLaren, H.M. Inspection of Mines, and Mr J. B. Thomson, the manager for Messrs John Watson (Ltd.) were communicated with, and were quickly at the scene of the calamity, bringing their experience and knowledge to bear on the work of rescue.
A rescue brigade from Coatbridge was summoned, but owing to the hopelessness of the situation, their services were not used. Mr John Robertson, miners’ agent also visited the scene.

The next day on The Thursday, the huge cavity caused on the surface by the falling in, of the loose filling-up material was several fathoms deep, (12.8 Meters) and the management had it fenced round. Vigorous efforts were maintained both on the Thursday and Friday to discover a trace of the other four men, but without success.

Public Enquiry

On Wednesday, the 7th June 1916 a public enquiry was held and it was stated that the body of Robert Robertson was recovered late on the same day, but the others have not yet been found, though the efforts of the management have been unsparing, and are still being prosecuted vigorously to reach the place where the four workers were caught in the irresistible inflow of washer sludge.

Mr Robert McLaren and Mr McElhanney represented His Majesty’s Inspectorate; Mr Craig, writer, Glasgow, appeared for the coal masters; and Mr Robert Smillie represented the interests of the miners. Duplicate plans of the workings and of the section where the accident occurred were shown during the evidence, followed by all the parties, including his Lordship and the jury.
The first witness was Robert Brownlie, shaftsman, Eddlewood, the last of those who escaped to see the deceased alive.

He had been commissioned to assist the five men now deceased who were employed driving mine through the Ell coal in the vicinity of the old shaft. The men were working in accordance with the regulations that is believing that they were nearing the old shank they were boring the strata to a depth fifteen feet straight ahead and on both flanks, in order locate the shaft and keep clear of it.

Nothing in these bores, as Robert Brownlie said, indicated conditions beyond the normal, the little water issuing from the holes being, in their opinion, but the expected accumulation in the rock. Besides assisting in the bores, witness putting up brattice cloth deflect the air current. His shift being finished about midday, he left the party to proceed to the pithead, the others coming out of their working place to take their “piece.”

He had gone some distance on his way when heard a terrific noise accompanied by the crashing of wood and the overturning of hutches. He realised what had happened, and fled, pushing forward a workman (Penman), whom he met, but to whom he had no time to make an explanation, and shouting on others. Mr Robert McLaren. H.M. Inspector, said it was to Robert Brownie’s coolness that Penman’s life was saved.

In reply to the Inspector, the witness said that he was satisfied there was at least 15 feet of coal between the workmen and the old shaft, but as the roof was soft thought the bursting in may have come from that quarter.

A few other witnesses were examined, including representatives of the management, Mr Robert Smillie said the jury could see their way to add to their verdict that considered it very dangerous practice to fill disused shafts with liquid sludge from the washers, and that the matter should be further looked into, he believed they would doing a service to the mining community by at least making the Government give this matter their attention.

When Mr Craig had set out address the Jury, his Lordship made a suggestion for a rider which met the views of all parties. The, jury thereafter unanimously found that the men had met their death by the sludge from the disused shaft bursting into the workings and overwhelming them, but there was not Sufficient evidence to enable them make a finding the precise cause of the accident.

In accordance with Lordship’s suggestion, added a rider to the effect that there was sufficient evidence to warrant them calling attention the danger which might arise when disused shafts were filled with liquid sludge and the approach thereto of mineral workings.