Laughs at the Hamilton Baths.

Hamilton Baths WM.

Hamilton Baths

By Kit Duddy.

I remember the baths of

old you queued outside

to pay your your fee, maybe to swim or wash your knees.

In through the turnstile left for a bath, straight

on for a swim and plenty of laughs.

The changing stalls had stable doors you could look over the top or underneath for drawers.

When they were full we had little choice especially when you were boys. Up on the balcony up the stairs trying to get changed with everyone there.

Worst was still yet to come when even the balcony was done, they took you through the wash house doors into the stalls through the wash house floors.

The women there were drying their washing

and dirty comments

they didn’t mind tossing. “Dinnae be shy we’ve seen it all before you’re

no in the changing rooms noo son there isnae any doors”.

It’s then you suddenly realise you hired some swimming pants they were medium size. Not like the speedos you might have now just a nappy tied any old how.

The whistles followed you through the door as you walked with a swagger

( or not very sure). Into a noisy swimming baths while all of your mates pointed and laughed.

You knew what was coming it was now your turn, dared to dive and show your bum. Those nappies they hired I am sure it is true were a test of your manhood-

I promise

It’s true.

Up on the dails tying it tight you stood there knees knocking and

dying with fright. Two steps to the edge diving right in everyone laughing it’s a bloody sin.

Those nappies triangles of cloth now in two were left on the dails and nothing is covering you. A swim to the side with danger was fraught God help any wee man if you were caught.

Ha Ha Hamilton

On a Saturday mornin, we awe went tae the baths,
Com’on let’s go tae the toon, hiv oorsels some laughs,
We awe mingled at the bottom cross,havin a carry on,
Dayin’ a Harry Worth in Burtons windae, decidin where wir gawn,

Their buildin that new regent thingy, let’s go fur a wander,
Wee alec says ‘climb up the scaffold, n’ end up right roon yonder,
We wir sittin on the edge, a Lightbody’s man came wae a big tray on his heed,
As he walked by we leaned ower, a got a load o’ cream cakes, doughnuts n’breed

We were sittin there scoffin cakes, yum” then we came a cropper,
Standin there shoutin’ ‘come on git aff’ wis Hamiltons new copper,,
Ye cannae catch us wis the cry, as we splattered him wae cream n’breed,
He wis screamin at us, called us all sorts, n’ jist going aff his heed,

We ran roon the scaffold, he kept on chasin, he wis never gonna stop,
It wis realy funny, runnin hawdin he’s helmit, wae cream awe ower ls top,
The only problem wis, that we forgot, there wis only wan way doon,
”Big Wully,” the other polis’ even he wis laughin’ before he went to toon’

If Wully” tells you tae dae somethin, ye better dae it or yir’ dead,,
His favourite trick wis tae kick yir’ arse, or smack ye roon the head,
But ok, it wisnae funny, I thought awe the memories they wir great,
Jist wait tae the next time, I’ll tell ye whit happend wae the Majestrate,,,,,

Written by Hugh Haney for Historic Hamilton.