THE END OF THE WORLD. (LARKHALL STYLE.) 1871.
Wilma Bolton 2005
THEN AND NOW.
DALSERF AND LARKHALL SCHOOLS A HUNDRED YEARS AGO. 1839
|MACHAN’S CHURCH CLOCK. 1938.
The clock in St Machan’s was not known to be the best of timekeepers, prompting the following article in the Hamilton Advertiser.:----
To quote my old and dear departed frien’ Willie Stewart, the clock on the steeple at St Machan’s has been a bit ravelt this wheen o’ days or mair. At the beginning of the week the various clock faces appeared to be as united in their indication of time’s fleeting hours as the members of St. Stephen’s discussing the Cabinet crisis, while to continue in Parliamentary phraseology, though north and south made a brave show of hands, the west dial with bare-faced affrontery stared at the world with a look that was both vacant and meaningless. That same evening, curiously enough, St. Machan’s cantrips enabled me to do a bit of fast travelling, a bus which left Charing Cross at six thirty-five landing me at Hamilton Cross at twenty-five minutes to seven. “Lilts and Larks” verses on St. Machan’s clock written nearly fifty years ago, should prove of particular interest to members of the younger generation.
The folk in auld Larkie are angry the noo
An’ a roon about there’s a hullabaloo;
They swear Daddy Time has got donnert or fu’,
For the clock on their steeple is ravelt.
So auld Daddy Time o’ yer daeins’ think shame,
An’ strive in the future your fame to reclaim.
Min’ steady gaun Larkie can ne’er be thehame,
O’ onything squinty or ravelt.
Put a haun on the dial that airts where I bide*
Put a haun on the face on the “Buffy’s” blin side,
Gar the ither twa donnert anes sink a’ their pride,
An’ let nane o’ the fow’r mair get ravelt.
Ref. Hamilton Advertiser. 5/3/1938. Page 7. Wilma Bolton. 2005.
| MIDNIGHT NEWS. JAPAN’S CAPITULATION. THE END OF THE WAR. 1945.
BONFIRES AND DANCING AT LARKHALL.
Though many citizens were unaware of the midnight radio intimation that the war had ended, the glad tidings soon spread rapidly. The bells of Trinity Church rang out the joyous news just after midnight; and hooters and sirens added their quota to the announcement of peace. At the Police Station “Wailing Minnie,” the A.R.P. siren, soon cleared its throat after the initial effort, and struck a rich, clear note in sounding the long-awaited last “all clear.”
Citizens were soon about in the streets, quite a number of them with pyjama trousers showing beneath hastily donned overcoats. By half-past twelve many bonfires were already ablaze. “Bonfires watching” was the chief peace celebration with the older folks, though the younger elements engaged heartily in singing and dancing.
The principal celebration points included Hamilton Road, Harleeshill, Old Cross, Raploch Cross and Strutherhill.
Many groups held victory parties, one at Burnhead parading a V.J. dumpling with musical honours. At the Welfare Hall on Wednesday night a victory dance was sponsored by the C.W.C.F. Entertainments Committee, while the evening’s successful functions also included a concert, relayed by loud-speaker apparatus, at Hamilton Road Housing Scheme. Many districts also arranged parties for the children to celebrate the victory. Ref. Hamilton Advertiser. 18/8/1945. Page 4.
Wilma Bolton. 2005.
| LARKHALL 1884. FEVER AND SANITARY REFORM.
A very serious outbreak of typhoid fever has occurred in John Street, here, there being somewhere about fourteen or sixteen cases just now. In one instance it has proved fatal, while several are still in a very serious state. All the cases have occurred since the beginning of the year. Being resident with my family in its midst I feel naturally interested in this matter, and have good reason for asking what has the Local Authority been doing to stay its ravages? I am sorry to say I hear of nothing. No extra precautions being insisted upon; no disinfectants being used. The privies and ashpits during this rainy season, are filled to overflowing, and, coupled with the extra mildness of the season, filling the atmosphere with the germs of the disease. All the evacuations from the body are thrown into these receptacles. It was only yesterday I saw taken to the street several carts of manure taken from a pig’s sty, which much have been impregnating the atmosphere and the ground around it with deadly gases for several months, and that, too, within twelve or fifteen yards of a street well that is being used daily by many in the neighbourhood, in fact by all who have been infected. I make no apology for this letter. Such a state of things deserves the severest condemnation. I would suggest that all the ashpits and privies be properly cleaned and the excrements carted away and all such places properly disinfected by our sanitary inspector every day till the epidemic is stamped out. Trusting that they will apply the remedied thorough, and in no second way, to try and ameliorate the present state of things, is the earnest desire of yours, &c., HYGIENIST. Ref. Hamilton Advertiser. 19/1/1884. Page 6.
Wilma Bolton. 2006.
| 1942. HOLIDAYS AT HOME.A HISTORICAL RAMBLE.
The second ramble of the holidays-at-home week was again under the guidance of Mr William McPheat, M.A. and Mr Matthew Y. McWhirter, J.P. The ramble embraced a walk along historical surroundings. A start was made at the “auld toon” which undoubtedly was the foundation of Larkhall. From 1744 to 1800 marked the rise and progress of the population to the proportion of a village.
The reason why Larkhall had an influx of families at this period could be attributed to several factors. The great trunk road between the Western Highlands and England, via Glasgow passed here, and it was the changing place for the stage coaches plying between Carlisle and Glasgow, while the coaches from Lanark and Strathaven passed along the highway if the auld toon. The introduction of the improved system of agriculture, with the extension of farm boundaries, rendered the lesser or crofter allotments non-existent, and those unfortunate people had to adapt themselves to other trades for a livelihood, Handloom weaving being the staple industry at this period, it was natural that families resident in the outlying parts of the parish should move to a convenient, busy centre. The old school-house situated in the “spaur” with the new school known as Duke Street, called for mention, and the schoolmasters such as Fisher, Caldwell, Stevenson, Herbert, Paterson, Frame and McPheat were worthily noted.
The next halting place was at the Pleasance, where the early venture in building societies had its origin. The first meeting took place at Martinmas, 1914, and the Pleasance Park was secured as a building site on March 1 a815, consisting of 4 acres 2 roods.
The fue charter was entered into by Mr John Burns, Auld Machan and John Scott, Jasper Davidson, Thomas Teesdale and John Robb, weavers in Larkhall Building Society. The houses were all erected within twenty years, when each tacksman was granted a fue charter. This early venture formed the early beginning of the building society movement, and within the next three-quarters of a century other sixteen societies had completed building operations—thus the designation of the bonnet lards of Larkha’.
The party walked down Gallowhill and entered the avenue leading to Broomhill House, where the belt of trees on either side of the carriageway called for special comment. A wealth of information on the characteristics and peculiarities of the growth, foliage and flowering arrangements proved an entertaining subject of the wonderful work of nature. On reaching the entrance of Broomhill House the traditional story of the commencement of this branch of the Hamilton family was recounted. The date of entry to the estate by John Hamilton was February 16, 1473, and the Hamiltons had an uninterrupted succession for 220 years till 1693. The last John Hamilton was tossed between creditors and William Duke of Hamilton until his brother-in-law paid his debts and relieved the estates. It is recorded of John Hamilton that he was a hearty comrade at the bottle and a searcher for coal sheughs that brought him an advantage.
The first John Birnie of Broomhouse was educated for the ministry and presented to the Church at Carluke. Hr took up his residence at Broomhill after having acquiring considerable wealth. He made a successful country laird, and for many years before his death allotted the tenth part of his yearly income for the needs of the poor. The Birnies occupied Broomhill in succession for over 180 years James Bruce occupied Broomhill towards the end of 1817. He was a native of the “auld toon” who set sail for Calcutta when a young man. Successful in business he returned to his native soil, bought Broomhill estate and settled down as a country laird. He married a Glasgow Merchant’s daughter and had issue of one daughter names Jessie Bruce. James Bruce died on January 26, 1835, and his will led to extensive litigation up to 1847. James Bruce had three brothers and six sisters, so locally there are many families within the district who claim kinsman ship with the laird of Broomhill.
The concluding part of the ramble was a journey to Braehead Park the history of which was related from 1709. Forrest, McMillan, Burns Grier, Cooper, Hamilton and Lambie were owners in succession. The outstanding owner was the Rev. John McMillan (1734-1753) who occupied Braehead during the last nineteen years of his life. He was known as the great Macmillan and ministered to the Cameronians as a “lone scout” during the major part of his ministry. Braehead House was demolished by the County Council when they took over the estate for refuse purposes. It is now laid out as a pleasant park, where the present park ranger from time to time introduces a touch or originality to attract the attention of the public. Ref. Hamilton Advertiser. 1/8/1942. Page 6.
Wilma Bolton. 2005.