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.