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Spital Dovecot
Stonehouse (Eng)
James Hamilton

Robert Naismith
Waterloo Story
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Supernatural Newspapers References
Miscellaneous - Newspapers
Hamilton Advertiser

Hamilton Advertiser
First published in 1856, the Hamilton Advertiser has provided a comprehensive and informative news service to the communities throughout Lanarkshire, including Stonehouse.

The local reporters have provided a valuable source of historical research material on the social development, recreational pursuits and local organisations of the day. Stonehouse has been well represented by several local newspapers over the years, but only the Hamilton Advertiser has endured the test of time and ensured a balanced, fair and interesting account of village affairs.

In 1856, John Scott was the first Hamilton Advertisers agent for Stonehouse. Early articles were provided by residents, often under pseudonyms, providing information relating to the character of the inhabitants and giving general descriptions of the village. These correspondents were well versed and descriptive in their content and described a socially caring and recreationally active community, working in unison with one another for the benefit of all. The articles have also shown the rise and decline of changing industries, the development of education and influence of the church upon residents.

The following chapter reflects the issues, views, events and activities of residents and organisations within the village, from the
Hamilton Advertisers origins, to the end of the 19th century.

Despite the passage of time, some extracts indicate that many of the issues that affect Stonehouse today, also relate to local problems over a century past, such as alcohol abuse, vandalism of the graveyard and poverty. However, the newspaper articles of yester years, and present, also confirm the comradeship, charitable nature and rural identity of the people of Stonehouse.

September 1856
“We had occasion lately to take a stroll through the Parish of Stonehouse, and were more than astonished at the vast improvements which have of late taken place in that district, especially in agriculture; and to that, principally, we wish to refer. The staple trade of the village is weaving. The inhabitants, generally, are an intelligent and industrious class of people - many of them “wee lairds”. Chapels and schools are in abundance. And, we believe, that Strathaven and Stonehouse have supplied fewer men to the army, in proportion to their numbers, than any other town in Scotland. Thus much can be said of them, whatever inference our readers may feel disposed to draw.

Then, again, the field which in many places, but a few years ago, exhibited only water lochs, peat bogs, and desolate, barren, uncultivated wilderness, are now waving luxuriously with rich heavy corn, sending gladness into the heart of the industrious husbandman. With very rapid speed has all this been accomplished, and mainly owing to the kind and generous conduct of the proprietor, Jas. S. Lockhart, Esq. of Castlehill, who has distinguished himself as a kind and liberal gentleman, by affording every facility to his tenants for promoting improvement. He no sooner came to the possession of the estate, than he procured for them the advantages of the Drainage Act, and at the same time by granting new leases, some years previous to the expiration of the old ones, allowed them to proceed with their old improvements, thus saving the necessity of reducing their farms and preparing for a public contest for the new lease.

It may be said that much of this improvement is attributable to the enterprising spirit of the farmers. This is so far true, but it is also true, that without the co-operation of the proprietor, things would remain as they were. And we think that too high an encomium cannot be passed upon such gentlemen as Mr Lockhart, for the interest manifested in the welfare of those around them. The inhabitants of Stonehouse are not blind to the good things done in their midst, and so far as the good will and kindly feeling of a community are any recompense for generous conduct, we are convinced Mr Lockhart has all of these in no small degree. We may, in a future number advert to the moral aspect of affairs in Stonehouse, but in the meantime we would only say to all other proprietors similarly situated - “Go and do likewise”. The satisfaction we derive from the very consciousness of doing good is great. And surrounded as we are with every opportunity of doing something to better our fellows, in whatever sphere, it is a pity to see selfishness excluding this principle to the extent which it does, when we know that the giver and receiver are alike enriched.”

January 1857
Fire bell gave alarm, as despatch was sent to Hamilton for fire engine to extinguish fire at Black Bull Inn.

January 1857
Presentation to Robert King from Allan Barr for “faithful, zealous and unremitting labours in connection with the Total Abstinence Society”.

January 1857
Presentation in Subscription School to James Malcolm, teacher, by Robert Naismith for his work in the community.

“The ‘Lover of Home’ is much mistaken about Stonehouse. The long Derval looking street, that he describes, is not the only street. It contains many streets, wide and capacious, conducing, thereby, to the health of its inhabitants. Indeed, Stonehouse is a very salubrious place; fevers and other contagious diseases seldom prevail to any extent. Your correspondent has given an elaborate dissertation on witches, and how got rid of lang syne, but the Stonehouse folk are quite aware that witches never had a being, but in the imagination of the green and the credulous. Unless, indeed, in the sense of “Lanarkshire witches”, that is, the pretty girls of Lanarkshire. Stonehouse has fair supply of bewitching witches”.

February 1857
Letter to editor providing description of Stonehouse. “The people of Stonehouse have been reared from their infancy amid endless stories of witches, fairies, ghosts, and all that wonderful race of beings. The mind is carried back to those primitive times, when these gentle creatures roamed at will amid the briars and hazels which clothe the lofty braes that bound the Avon, or at even’tide mingled in the mazes of the dance, on the smooth grassy verdures of its holms. But such strange spectacles are never witnessed now, either to frighten the timid of heart, or delight the curious and adventurous spirit. Our fathers, in their wisdom, thought such neighbours, at the best, not very canny, so they resolved on their extirpation. After many a grave consult, they fell upon the right plan at last. Rowan trees were planted in every yard, that is, as much as lay at the back of every house, and, listen now, ye who are of sceptical mind, what is most remarkable, no witches have ever since been seen in the neighbourhood. We can vouch for the accuracy of this fact. As the rowan trees grew up and spread forth their branches, these mysterious beings came here no more; but we cannot tell whether the virtue lay in the wood of the tree or in the foliage, in the milk white blossoms, that in the summer days recall to our minds the idea of some wintry festoons of snow, or in the ripe ruddy fruit, so tempting to the school boy. No doubt, the Stonehouse rowan trees and witches have been, for a long time, a standing joke in the adjoining parishes. But, would those who laugh so loudly have acted differently in the same circumstances? They may feel happy that they did not need to plant rowan trees. But, we expect soon to see these things all perfectly cleared up - especially, would we like to know why such a place came to be so highly distinguished by the name - Stone House. A Lover of Home”

March 1857
Musical soiree for the Total Abstinence Society. Subscription school filled to overflowing as over 300 individuals are entertained by various musical artists including the Stonehouse Juvenile Flute Band.

April 1857
Sir Edward Colebrooke addressed electors in the Free Church.

August 1857
“On Friday the 14th, Dr. Mitchell favoured his workers at Glenburn Tile Work, with a pleasure trip to Rothesay. After a delightful sail during which all parties were gratified by the magnificent scenery on either side of the Clyde, they reached their destination. The day was spent in roaming along the coast, in bathing and boating. They returned on Saturday, and none of them having dipped too deep in ‘Bacchus’ bowl, the jaunt proved a pleasant and profitable one. It may be observed this is the third time they have thus been similarly favoured through the kindness of Dr. Mitchell. It is a pity that more do not follow his example, for sure we are, that nothing has a better tendency to gain the good will, and render pleasant and comfortable the relation of the employer and employed. In a pecuniary point of view, it is no loss. Servants have it in them all the time the power, to be either gainers or losers to their employers. And when kindness is shown on part of the master, that servant is cold and selfish, indeed, who does not strain every nerve to further his master’s interests in return. On all the above occasions, Dr. Mitchell, with laudable praise worthiness, paid the expenses of the trips.”

March 1858
General account of the villages geography. The writer states that the ‘holm’ was once seen as a magnificent natural setting for a
reservoir to supply Glasgow with water.

February 1858
“On Sabbath evening last, a very large audience was assembled in the Free Church here, to hear the Rev. Andrew Scott, of Bonkle, deliver a lecture under the auspices of the above society. The rev. gentleman caused a marked attention over the whole audience, from the very eloquent manner in which he extounded the subject, which was founded on these words, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging, and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise”. It would be impossible in a short space to give an outline of his many striking illustrations. In speaking of the moderate drinkers, he compared them to Jonah in a ship, tossed on a raging sea; and strong drink will continue to rage in society until the moderate drinkers, like Jonah, be thrown overboard. Mr Scott delivered an address on the same subject, and in the same church, about two years ago, which was the means of doing much good. Since that time, many have given up the use of intoxicating drinks, and become members of the society. We fondly hope that this last lecture may also have the same happy results. If ministers in general were as zealous in the cause of temperance as our worthy friend Mr Scott, might we not see those, “waste places of the land become fruitful fields, and many a one saved from ruin, and made useful members of society. It is true, that total abstinence from intoxicating drinks may not cure the depravity of the human heart, but, in order to get at the root of an evil, may it not be first necessary to cut off some of the offensive branches.”
• Andrew Brown was charged with desertion of his family under the Poor Law. The sheriff fined him £5 or failing payment 30 days imprisonment.

February 1858
Sir, - It strikes me very forcibly in reading the communication from Strathaven in the columns of your newspaper, That if our Strathaven friends have the talent they know it; if any cleverness - they know it; They puff themselves in a manner truly astonishing in this enlightened age. Verily, who is like us? We’ve cash we’ve had dons o’ ministers, and still have them - we’ve gingerbread far- famed we’ve calves, stots, and bulls, equal to none - we’ve lawyers, weavers, and dominies, a host of young students promising to outstrip their predecessors. All this, and not a word of the castle, the fine romantic scenery around, and the contemplated railway! Again, I say, who is like us? Sandy Bluff

We can take from this that there was a great competitiveness between Strathaven and Stonehouse, as there was with Carnwath in later articles. Each village in turn trying to outdo the other, but may it just be that people then were more proud of their village than they are today?

July 1858
• Indication of revival in weaving trade and expectation of mineral fields to be opened up in the parish.

July 1858
Floricultural and Horticultural Society exhibition in the Subscription School.

September 1858
Letter acknowledging the naming of streets and numbering of houses as well as raising issues such as the lack of street lighting, a proper sewage system and a new town clock. The proposition of a new town clock suggests that a clock was formerly present, within the village prior to the clock presently viewed on the Paterson Church.

• Eighteen players contested a pair of prize bowls at the Bowling Club. Mr James Ingram defeated Mr Weir (Strathaven) by three shots. The article indicates that the Bowling Club is only in existence for its second season.

September 1858
Robert Jeffrey (innkeeper) committed to prison for fraud and perjury.

December 1858
“On the 23d ult., a match came off between four young curlers of the Stonehouse Curling Club headed by Gavin Muter, and a crack old rink, skipped by Mr James Ingram, merchant. It being the first game in which the young ring had played together it was little expected by their opponents or by others that they should win, but after a keen contest of nearly four hours, the game stood thus - Mr Muter 31 shots ; Mr Ingram 14 shots. The ice was in capital order, and the play of the visitors was pronounced by onlookers, who were competent judges, to be first-rate.”

July 1859
“In days gone by when the superstitious was more readily believed than in these sober matter-of-fact days in which our lot has been cast, it was no unusual thing for workmen of various crafts, tailors, shoemakers, weavers etc, to leave a piece of work unfinished at night, and the next morning to find, by the kind aid of brownies, fairies, or some other of the elfin tribe, that the whole was completed in a style which far surpassed anything that could be done by the hand of man. Such a circumstance is now of rare occurrence, and if the affair which is the subject of the following particulars is to be attributed to the influence of any of these inhabitants of fairyland, it only goes to prove that now-a-days the brownies are a degenerate race, and perform their work in a very clumsy manner indeed.”

February 1859
“Stonehouse was not behind neighbouring towns in doing honour to the memory of Scotland’s Immortal Bard. No fewer than six public convivial parties were held in different parts of the town in which persons of all ranks met together, admiration of the great poet’s genius, being the only password for admittance. Of the above description, one party dined in Mr Jeffrey’s Hotel, over which Mr Alex Russell, mineralist, presided, supported right and left by Corporal P. Leiper, late of the Royal Artillery, add Mr Peter Syme of Newfield: Mr Wm. Gilmour officiating as croupier, supported right and left by Mr J. Fleming and Mr S. Jack. Mr Jeffrey, in his usual manner supplied an excellent substantial dinner, in which the haggis, with its honest sonsie face was not omitted, and a two-year old kibbock made upon the farm of Mossgiel. During the evening many excellent speeches were delivered; among others that of Mr J. Fleming, upon the genius and poetry of Burns, called forth rapturous applause from the speaker’s just appreciation of the poet’s power and eloquent exposition of his worth, as a man, a patriot and a poet. The evening was spent in the greatest harmony, proving that Scotchmen of all ranks can meet and mingle together, leaving pleasing associations, not soon to be forgotten. After drinking the health of Forbes McKenzie, a little before 11 o’clock the meeting broke up.”

Over 200 years since the death of Scotland’s immortal bard, Robert Burns, A’ the Airts Burns Club in Stonehouse keeps the tradition going in celebrating the life and works of Burns. Today they meet monthly in the Stonehouse Institute, and in growing numbers keep alive Burn’s songs and verse as well as other traditional Scottish music.

August 1859
Hay stacks belonging to Mr Pettigrew (carter) caught fire after children were seen playing with ‘lucifer’ matches in the area.

September 1859
Parochial Board meeting in Parish Church - James Mitchell, presiding.

February 1860
A correspondent sends the following - Sir, - By seeing the article headed “The Church and the sellers of strong drink”, in your last, I take courage from it to prove in some measure its truth. I attend the prayer meetings in the Free Church here sometimes. One night I heard a request read out for prayer, from a man who had experienced the evils of strong drink. “That the publicans might see the necessity of giving up their soul-destroying hell-filling trade” - (such were the words). Every church here has members connected with the trade, and the most of the ministers give encouragement to it by being non-abstainers. Now, nothing has been done yet by the churches to withdraw their support from, or discountenance the trade; and so long as that is the case, such prayers, to my thinking, are but a solemn mockery to the Most Highest God. By giving the above a place in your columns, you will much further the cause of truth, yours, & C., A lover of Consistency

February 1860
Two friendly encounters resulted in the following results in favour of the Stonehouse rink - Stonehouse 119 Glassford 110 and Stonehouse 129 Avondale 126. In a district medal competition Stonehouse defeated East Kilbride by 128 shots to 116, beating a team, which at the time, was said to be among the best in the country.

August 1860
Bowling Club Championship between John Hamilton (farmer from Millburn) and James Thomson (Grocer). The former won by 21 shots to 16. The appointed arbiters were thanked by the bowling club for mediating in disputed cases, and a Mr Muter was given a special commendation for the “assiduiry, intelligence, impartiality, candour and tact displayed as an arbiter”.

October 1860
We have been shown a white turnip, grown on the farm of Mr Allan Allison, Gozzelton, Stonehouse, weighing with shaw, 21 lb. and measuring 3 feet in circumference. In the same field there are many others equally large.

November 1860
Sudden deaths of Gavin Miller (weaver, Argyle Street) caused by an accident in his weaving shop and Christopher Breaton (mineral borer, Camnethan Street) of old age. Both deaths were attended by Dr. Rae.

June 1861
Dinner in honour of Mr James Hutchison (school master) who was leaving the parish to a new post in Kirkoswald. A tribute of gratitude went to Mrs Meikle (proprietor of the Black Bull Inn) for and excellent dinner attended by over 50 gentlemen.

June 1861
Disputed legal case by Alex Rae regarding the use of the east-bar toll to which he was prosecuted the year previous for illegally procuring a toll ticket.

August 1861
Stonehouse defeated Strathaven by 59 shots to 37.

September 1861
On Saturday last a game at Nine-Pins was played at Glassford betwixt Stonehouse and Glassford, when, after a few hours ‘keen contest, victory was declared in favour of Stonehouse’
William Shearer 6
Robert Frame
James Brown 9
John Park 7
James Barr 7
Henry Muir 9
George Ballantyne 9
David Frew 7
Alexander Sorbie 12
William Frame 1
Majority for Stonehouse, six

September 1861
Supper and presentation of clothes to employees of the bus service between Stonehouse and Hamilton run by Mr Walker of Hamilton.

November 1861
The effects which this unhappy disease produces on the mental system are in many cases exceedingly ridiculous. A short time since an individual was pointed out to us who, at certain seasons of the year, imagines himself, by some singular metamorphosis, transformed into a teapot - the left arm, curved inwards below the armpit being the handle, while the other extended, forms the spout!

But a more amusing instance was related to us the other day of a man who constantly labours under the impression that he is a barley-pile, and at sight of a hen becomes terrified, and immediately takes to his heels!

November 1861
Fire in the drapers shop of Mr Arthur Renwick, King Street causing £70 of damage to goods.

February 1862
“On Monday evening the inhabitants of Stonehouse had an opportunity of hearing a most interesting lecture on “Negro slavery” delivered by Mr Josiah Hughes, a fugitive slave from the city of Baltimore in the United States of America. Mr Hughes, who is a negro, was born in slavery, and continued to live for upwards of 40 years under its cruel bondage but within the last 4 years contrived to make his escape to Canada and then to Britain, the land of the free and the stay of the wretched. The chair was ably filled by the worthy Free Church minister of the place, the Rev. W. K. Hamilton to whom a hearty vote of thanks was given, by Mr Hughes, at the close of the meeting.”

May 1862
“The annual market, principally for the sale of cattle was held on Saturday last. There were fewer lots than in former years, but fair
prices were realised for the cattle disposed of. As the market seem to become “small by degrees and beautiful less” we fear it is doomed to distinction”

“On Friday night, last week the ‘bus from Hamilton to Stonehouse, with its complement of passengers, broke down when within a short distance of the village tavern Larkhall. One of the wheels went all to pieces, but it was fortunate the ‘bus was so near to stopping, otherwise the consequences might have been serious, no person was injured. The Lesmahagow coach was immediately sent for from Canderside Toll which conveyed the passengers thus far, and they had near 2 miles of a walk to the village”.

February 1863
Mitchell Curr killed in construction accident on the Caledonian Railway to Cot Castle, when a stone stuck his head from above in the building of the Cander Bridge. Dr Rae attended the incident to no avail.

June 1864
“The permanent rails now being laid all the way from the Lesmahagow Branch to Cot Castle, it was with no small pleasure that a number of its inhabitants noticed the iron horse coming snorting along during the week. Already bright dreams of abundance of labour are floating in the minds of some of the more sanguine, while others with longing eyes and gloomy foreboding are turning their attention to some foreign land, where ‘honest poverty’ will soon be changed to ‘honest ease and honour’.”

July 1864
“Thanks to its energetic and industrious inhabitants, to the road trustees, to the neighbouring farmers, and to others. Cam’nethan Street, concerning which poets have sung and scribers written, can at last boast of a substantially formed cart road by pine deals and a gutter. We congratulate its spirited inhabitants on this happy turn of events, and if they themselves are required to put a hand to the wheel, we feel certain that they, who may be said to have their motto “excelsior”, will never once think regretting what they have done, and the wealthy proprietor may now drive through it without being ashamed on account of the workmanship”.

December 1864
Presentation dinner in the Black Bull Inn in honour of James McNaughton of Southfield on the construction of the Stonehouse Branch of the Railway.

January 1865
“Last week, Mr James Smith, stonemason, his wife, Janet Craig, and their infant son, were all cut down by the hand of death. But a few weeks ago, Mr Smith, and his partner in life, were in the prime of life and bloom of health. Such is life”.

February 1865
Two ‘Shoemaker’ Curling rinks from Stonehouse defeated rinks from Wishaw at Skellyton Loch by 17 shots.

February 1865
The inhabitants of Stonehouse were shocked at the news of a new born baby boy by the name of Small, found dead at the bottom of a well, at the east end of the village. The body was removed by the boys father and Sergeant Roderick Munro of the County Constabulary. The boy was found to have been strangled with gingham cloth before being dropped into the well. After investigation, a 17 year old girl from Fernagair, by the name of Margaret Walker was apprehended after being identified as the childs mother.
Employed as a pirn winder, in Stonehouse, she was found to have recently delivered the baby and murdered it immediately. Margaret Walker was taken to prison to await sentence.

September 1865
“On Wednesday last, a man named Gavin Muirhead, residing at Glenburn, met with an accident which deprived him of three toes on his left foot. He was employed as a labourer at the Greenburn Tileworks, and had been wheeling clay with a hand barrow into the mill. On emptying the barrow into the millbox. He was in the act of trampling the clay down, with his foot, when one of the knifes came into contact with it and the result was as above stated. No blame was attached to anyone.”.

November 1865
Supper of the Quoiting Club, said not to have been defeated in 30 years of competing with neighbouring parishes. In the winter months the members resorted to Curling as their winter past-time. Quoits was still played in the village in 1945. In 1929 when William Plenderleith was the president of the club.

February 1866
“Sir, though residing at some distance, I felt considerable interest in the soiree and concert got up by the natives of Stonehouse in Glasgow. I was delighted to learn from the daily papers that the first meeting passed off with eclat. In the opening address by the chairman, I find it stated that the first iron plough comes from Stonehouse. Hoping this can be established on incontrovertible, grounds, I will take it as a great favour, if you, or any of your numerous readers, versant with the history of the plough, can inform me of the first iron plough, and the date of the invention; and whether it was only partially or entirely made of iron”. A native of Stonehouse.

July 1867
“On Wednesday last, Robert Semple a boy of eleven years of age, son of William Semple, miner, captured a trout in the Avon, of the following measurements; 28 inches long, 13 inches round and 61b in weight. Where are you now Carnwath?” This article was in response to the rivalry and boasting of the two villages of which the title of my last book was based.

September 1867
Intimation that the Post Office will be opened as a savings bank.

September 1867
“There is at present to be seen in the Black Bull Inn (Mr Meikles) a very remarkable sample of the cabbage species. It consists of a large, finely formed, and solid globe, and surrounding the principal are another seventeen equally fine and regularly formed. Mr Meikle will allow it to be for a few days for inspection of the curious and those interested in the cultivation of esculents. We are not aware whether Carnwath is famed for the cultivation of Cabbages”.

April 1868
“Sir, seventy eight people in every hundred in Ireland, are voluntaries, and pay every shilling that is raised for their religion. This they do side by side, with an overgrown and pompous Establishment. Will nobody in Stonehouse draw up a petition praying Parliament to rid Ireland of the Established Church? If neighbouring parishes are busily engaged praying and working for the opposite side, surely, the parish of Stonehouse ought also to move. I am, yours, & C. A. Gladstone. The writer of this article is most likely a relative of the British Statesman, William E. Gladstone (d. 1898) whose great-grandmother came from Stonehouse (The Tofts Farm).

November 1868
Parliamentary election for Southern Division of Lanarkshire resulted in victory for Liberal candidate, Major Hamilton who defeated Conservative Sir Norman Macdonald Lockhart by 1328 votes to 1107 votes. The residents of Stonehouse voted 81 in favour for the Liberals and 54 for the Conservative. A brass band led the celebrations of a Liberal victory through the village.

February 1869
“This organisation met and heard Mr W.S. Muir give an admirable essay: Subject, “Are the planets inhabited, or not?” Mr Thomas Tudhope, presiding. Mr Muir traced in various explorations into the bowels of the earth and most hidden corners of the globe. He then referred to the atmosphere, what is it? Where does it come from? Then to the question, is the moon inhabited &c. Much useful information was communicated and great interest was taken in the lecture. Those absent missed a treat. A very large and attentive audience accorded a hearty vote of thanks”.

May 1869
“On the forenoon of the Sabbath last, Mr Thomas Smith (64), Lockhart Street, was found in the outskirts of Stonehouse in a state of complete insensibility. Many years ago he had a suspected fracture of the skull; and of late he had complained very often of headaches, especially on Sabbath mornings. With a view to alleviate his distress he had occasionally gone for a short walk and on this occasion, which proved to be his last, he had to be carried home.”

November 1869
“Sir, Can any of your readers inform me how I can get the people of Stonehouse to believe that, it they are but willing, they can at present get a public library set in operation in Stonehouse for a mere nothing. The people of this place have all along, like myself, sat in darkness for the want of books; and now if I can now get them to lay their heads together we may soon all be ahead of our fellow countrymen, for we have only to apply to the Government in order to have a branch of the best library in the world.” A Stonehousonian.

July 1870
Annual sports races at Sodomhill. Foot racing appears to have been a popular past-time, of which James Buckley was a noted competitor of local standing. Betting on such races, as in most sports of the day was common.

August 1870
“On Wednesday a party consisting of three gentlemen, left Stonehouse for Logan Water, intending, after having inspected their stock of bees, to return in the evening. They, however, failed to do so, and the next morning a few men who started on a voyage of discovery, failed to obtain any news of their whereabouts, a second party set off for Logan; but during their absence our worthy travellers landed in Stonehouse, after a night’s wandering amongst the misty moors.

September 1870
“Fever of different sorts is and has been prevalent here for some time. Many cases of scarlatina have occurred, a numbers of which have proved fatal.

October 1870
“A boy named John Carrol, aged ten years, residing in Stonehouse, while working along with his father at the Swinhill Colliery, was
killed by a ton of stones falling from the roof. Dr. Rae attended.”

January 1871
The curling club joined the Royal Caledonian Curling Club in 1847. Since then they have contested 14 medals provided by the RCCC and Lanarkshire Curling Club. Of these, the Stonehouse Club won no less than 11, “a position perhaps not held by any other club of the same size in Scotland”. Curling was also played at the Blackwood Pond with neighbouring parishes.

July 1871
Stonehouse Bowling Club gifted Silver Cup by J.G.C. Hamilton MP.

August 1871
A postal telegraph office was opened in the village.

September 1871
“Mary McLachan an employee of Mr Wallace’s Brick and Tile works, was killed while doing her job feeding the clay into the clay mill. While so engaged, her clothes got entangled with the pinion-wheel of the rollers, and she was dragged between it and another pinion-wheel on the shaft, which takes its “boggie” with the clay from the clay hole to the mill. Both her feet and legs were torn off to within a few inches below the knees, and completely mangled.” She died some six hours later from her injuries.

March 1872
“The laborers in Overwood quarry have struck in consequence of not getting 20s per week for 57 hours. Hither to they have been getting 20s for 60 hours. We understand that lately the proprietor, Mr Stevenson, gave the quarriers an advance of 2s 6d per week unasked.”
• A petition was submitted from the inhabitants of Stonehouse in favour of certain alterations in the Scottish Education Bill, presented by Major Hamilton.

May 1873
“Many descriptions of weaving work are exceedingly dull, and many men and youths have betaken themselves to outdoor work, of
which there is an abundance at more remunerative rates.”

May 1873
William Archibald, a miner from Lockhart Street was murdered with a pickaxe by his wife. It is thought that the deceased had been drinking with his companions and that when he returned home an argument ensued. After investigation and autopsy, his wife was charged with his murder, after a pickaxe was found under her bed with blood on the tip. Mr Archibald for some unknown reason had his name changed from Wilson before coming to Stonehouse to work at Swinhill Colliery. He was said to be of a “quarrelsome disposition”, and a witness stated brawls were a frequent occurrence at their residence.

August 1873
A kyle match between Stonehouse and Glasgow at Hamilton Barrack Square, resulted in a draw of 48 games each. Stonehouse, which has headed the poll for the last 14 years was defeated in two games last year, and, being a tie this season, is still the challenging party. Apart from Glasgow, Stonehouse has defeated all the neighbouring parishes going back some years.

September 1873
Two cows belonging to Mr Robert Hamilton of Hamilton Farm died as a consequence of an overdose of clover. One was found dead and the other expired while efforts were being made to restore it by means of bleeding.

September 1873
A rail collision near Ferniegair, resulted in seven inhabitants of Stonehouse being injured.

March 1874
“The warehouse of Mr Gavin Muter, agent, was broken into on Wednesday night or Thursday morning, and 22 pieces of silk handkerchiefs (seven in each piece), and a piece of dress grenadine were stolen. The desk had been ransacked for money, but some coppers and stamps were all the burglars were able to secure. It is thought that the thieves had entered from a back window, and that they lit the gas, for it was found to be burning in the morning.”

July 1874
“On Tuesday morning, a widow, named Mrs Ballantyne, was found dead in bed. It is supposed that the death had been caused by an overdose of laudanum.”
• A public meeting was chaired by General Lockhart in Cam’nethan Street School to consider the present state of the churchyard and take steps to improve its appearance.

August 1874
Greenside School opened by Miss Mary Wilson for the infants under seven, to supply a lack of educational learning for children of that age in the village.

December 1874
“Mrs Lockhart of Cam’nethan House, has very considerately started a clothing society to help the deserving poor during the severe winter. A committee of ladies has been formed, and the good work will go on at once.

May 1875
“A Stonehouse miner got a large addition to his general stock last week, a retriever bitch giving birth to no less than 13 pups, all alive.

August 1875
Four men from Larkhall were charged and sent to prison for throwing a Stonehouse miner by the name of Stuart, over the Cander bridge. He is said to have survived with a broken collar bone.

October 1875
“On Saturday last, Murphy of Stonehouse, and Robertson of Larkhall, met on the quoiting ground here, to play their third match of this season, and, after a keen contest, Murphy was declared the winner by seven shots. Of the three matches, Murphy has been the victor in two. The games were the usual ones of 6l shots up, and the stake £5 a-side, each game.” A quoiting ground was situated behind the Royal Hotel in Argyle Street.

November 1875
Tonic Sol-Fa Association AGM. Coalmaster, John Gray presided over the meeting, to which the committee was re-elected and the membership numbered about forty.

December 1875
Fire at a stable, attached to a house in New Street, belonging to William Pettigrew (Carter).

January 1876
A meeting of the Stonehouse Gas Light Company shareholders was held to agree reducing the price of gas by 1s 8d per 1000 cubic feet.. The Gas company was dissolved in early 1929.

January 1876
Complimentary Supper in recognition of Alexander Smith of Birkenshaw and Skellyton Colliery at the Royal Hotel, on his moving to Stevenson.

February 1876
“Instantaneous death of the wife of Gavin Brown, Lockhart Street. Disease of the heart is thought to have been the cause”.

March 1876
Mr W. Borland presided. Rev. J. Dunn, Rev. W.K. Hamilton, Rev. H.A. Paterson, Mr Thomas Whyte of Tweedie, and Mr Robert Naismith were all nominated for re-election. Five new candidates were nominated including, General Lockhart, Dr. Rae, Mr Thomas Barrowman (coalmaster), Mr John Gray and Mrs Rae.

March 1876
“Sir, In your issue of last week, in the report of the temperance committee of Hamilton Presbytery, I observed the returns, from Stonehouse, of the number of licensed houses were incorrect. There are ten licensed houses here, which gives 1 to every 380 of the population. - An Observer. Today there are seven licensed houses (Cross Keys, Black Bull, Bucks Head, Thistle Inn, Stonehouse Violet Social Club, Bowling Club and the Masonic Hall) with a population of 5033 (1991 Census), which equates to 1 to every 720 persons approximately.”

April 1876
Rev. H.A. Paterson thanked everyone for their loyal support during his past three years as chairman before making a full report on Camnethan Street School and the Free Church School.

May 1876
Intimation noting a reduction in wages at neighbouring pits.

May 1876
First Annual General Meeting of Stonehouse Royal Cricket Club in the Royal Hotel. John Gray (Coalmaster) elected first president; James Donaldson, Vice President and club captain; Alex Dewar, Sub-captain; Gavin Brown, secretary; James Somerville, treasurer.

June 1876
Acknowledgement of thanks from Stonehouse Cricket Club to Sir W.G. Anstruther MP and Major Hamilton of Dalzell for donations of £1 each to club funds.
• Annual General Meeting of Public Library - Robert Naismith was elected chairman, J. Brown, treasurer, Alexander Mackintosh, secretary and R. Hamilton, librarian. It was reported that 142 readers had enrolled with books read, numbering 1838. The committee agreed to look for suitable premises for a new library, with a view to building a connecting reading room.

July 1876
Presentation to Mr Alexander Scrimingour (late clerk to Messers Millar & Roger Coke and Coal Company, Swinhill) in the Cross Keys (Mrs Reid, owner).

July 1876
• Report on the annual bowling contest between Stonehouse and Larkhall. Stonehouse defeated Larkhall 97 shots to 90.

July 1876
Annual quoiting handicap match attracting 29 competitors, resulting in Daniel McCulloch winning the competition.

August 1876
Stonehouse kirk Sabbath school excursion to Camnethan House. 200 participants marched to the railway station, headed by Stonehouse Flute Band, before being met by General Lockhart who entertained the party.

August 1876
Royal Cricket Club played Larkhall in Stonehouse. Stonehouse first innings 41, second innings 25; Larkhall first innings 28, second innings 50.
• Dispute at School Board Meeting (Rev. James Dunn presiding in absence of chairman). A debate took place when the old parochial teacher had fixed the school holidays without consulting the board. After much discussion the teacher agreed in future to consult with the school board first.
United Presbyterian Church children made haste to Blackwood House on their annual excursion, running the risk of a downpour en-route. As expected the rain arrived and the party took shelter at Tanhill. “Mr and Mrs Meikle had not ten minutes previous intimation of their arrival, they manifested such activity and kindness that it seemed that they could not have been better prepared, although they had been advertised of it days before. A shout of gladness rose up from the little ones when they saw how snug and cosy they were to be; and by the time they had finished their first repast, a lofty swing had been erected for the boys and another for the girls, and a large shed swept for dancing. In these and other amusements, quickly extemporized, the teachers as well as the scholars were soon so busily engaged that they heeded not, for they felt not the rain that continued to descend for hours, and were congratulating themselves on the happy day they had spent, despite their ducking at the start.” The party continued after the rain had abated to Blackwood House, before returning to the village.

August 1876
Mr R. L. Alston Esq. of Newfield provided transport and refreshment for servants and friends on a trip to Loudon Hill.

August 1876
A young man by the name of McDermid was severely injured at Overwood quarry when a large quantity of earth fell on him while boring was taking place. The man was attended to by Dr. Rae, surgeon to the quarry.
• An exhibition took place in the E.U. Church celebrating a model of the ancient city of Jerusalem by a Mr Dumbreck.

September 1876
Annual Sabbath school walk of the Free Church. 200 plus turned out to be entertained by Mr and Mrs Hamilton of Bogside Farm.

September 1876
Annual bowling match between Stonehouse and Strathaven resulted in Stonehouse being declared victors by 87 shots to 83 shots. Stonehouse’s team consisted of R. Millar, G. Lawrie, W. Miller and R. Thomson.

November 1876
Advertisement encouraging men of all denominations to “embrace the opportunity now afforded them” in attending the meetings of the Young Men’s Christian Association in the Greenside Public School, previously held in the vestry of the Free Church.

January 1877
A statistical account of Stonehouse during the past year registered 123 births, 70 deaths and 29 marriages. The average for the past five years has been 134 births, 86 deaths and 28 marriages.
• The second annual concert of the Tonic Sol-Fa Association took place in the Parish Church. The proceeds of the event were
distributed to the poor.

January 1877
“On Monday evening - Rev. James Dunn presiding - peremptory attendance at school was enforced on defaulting children. It was resolved to intimate to the pupil-teachers that on no account were they to be allowed to chastise the children under their care. The Board agreed to request the teacher in Camnethan Street School to afford facilities for instruction in Latin, Greek and mathematics, as specified in the Time Table. The treasurer, along with the Chairman, were empowered to procure the funds necessary to discharge all accounts due against the Board. Messrs Rae and Naismith were appointed to inspect the schedules prior to the forthcoming examination”
• A presentation at Greenside School was made by Rev. H.A. Paterson, on behalf of the Young Men’s Christian Association, to Robert Naismith. An inscribed writing desk was presented in recognition of his presidency of the organisation over the past four years.

January 1877
“The Kirk Session of Stonehouse per Rev. James Dunn, distributed this year fifty tons of coals to the deserving poor of the parish. To defray this expense, the congregation made a liberal collection to which were added three guineas from Robert Alston Esq. of Newfield; two pounds from His Grace the Duke of Hamilton; five pounds from General Lockhart, C.B., Camnethan House. A number of the farmers connected with the church kindly delivered them free of charge - a very great boon.”

April 1877
Information in relation to Stonehouse Angling Clubs first competition of the season at Abington. John Brown was successful in winning the event.

April 1877
Licensing applications for Stonehouse showed there were 3 Inns and Hotels, 5 Public Houses and three grocers in the village. The only application to be refused was that of James Miller, a grocer from Dalserf.

May 1877
Government inspection of Greenside School and Camnethan Street.

June 1887
Article by local ‘abstainer’ on the efforts to deter residents and travellers to desist from drinking and prevent local hotels from selling drink unlawfully on a Sunday.

July 1877
Stonehouse Cricket Club defeated Lesmahagow by 48 runs to 22 runs and the Stonehouse National Quoiting handicap resulted in a Mr Robert Cullen of Motherwell winning the contest with a prize of £4.

August 1877
Meeting of the Parochial Board reselected General Lockhart as chairman, with a committee of ten and appointed both General Lockhart and Robert Naismith as representatives to the Hamilton Combination Poorhouse.

August 1877
A short article notes that the weaving trade is brisk, especially with silk fabrics, further stating that demand for silk weavers is in excess of supply, with a fair remuneration for work undertaken.

August 1877
Four days of torrential rain caused widespread flooding resulting in severe damage to crops and in particular the potato crop.
• Bowling match between Stonehouse and Darvel resulted in the former winning by 106 shots to 88. The Stonehouse rink was skipped by W. Miller, accompanied by R. Millar, Stewart and Lawrie.

September 1877
“About midnight on Saturday, the inmates of the houses near Castle Terrace, on the turnpike road, occupied by John Steele, van driver, were alarmed with the report of firearms. It appears that a party of Orangemen were being conveyed from Strathaven to Stonehouse, and took this unusual mode of amusing themselves. A bullet fired from a pistol or revolver, struck a bedroom window in Steele’s house, penetrated through the window and curtains, and into the ceiling of the room. Fortunately, no one was sleeping in the room at the time. The police are making inquiries into the occurrence.”
• A presentation was made at the Royal Hotel to honour the services of Mr. A. Brown (late head engineer of Overwood quarry) by the Royal Cricket Club by president John Gray (coalmaster). As appreciation of his connection with the club, a silver mounted cricket bat was presented to Mr Brown.

October 1877
First seasonal meeting of the Clothing Society, presided by Mrs Lockhart. This society was established to organise support for the poor of the village.

November 1877
A presentation was made by friends, farmer and gentlemen in the Black Bull Hotel to Mr Hamilton of Hamilton Farm in recognition of his veterinary services to the community.
• Collection made by local churches in aid of Blantyre mining disaster fund in which 207 miners lost their lives.

December 1877
A report on the state of the handloom silk weaving trade raises concern at the slackness in trading and notes recent acquisitions of several Jacquard looms numbering as never before.

December 1877
“Wednesday was our usual Martinmas fair, once it was a large and important cattle market, but like all country fairs it has become
“small by degrees and beautifully less”, till it is now principally a day for the squaring up of half yearly accounts and the transaction of farm business.”
• Eighth annual festival of the Prince Consort Lodge of the Independent Order of the Good Templars, held in the United Presbyterian Church.

December 1877
AGM of Agricultural Society elected General Lockhart of Castlehill as president; George Meikle of Tanhill, vice-president; and William Wallace secretary and treasurer.

December 1877
“A large and influential meeting of the congregation was held on Monday night, when the committee submitted a plan of a new church to hold 530, with a hall capable of accommodating 130, together with a vestry and a ministers’ room, etc. The architects, Messrs Thomson, Stellie & Thomson, Edinburgh, gave the probable estimated cost at £2416. With the exception of a few alterations in minor details, which may raise the cost to £2500, the plan was unanimously adopted, and a building committee appointed to carry out the instructions of the congregation. After careful deliberation it has been decided to take down the old church and build the new one on the present site.”

January 1878
“A large number of marriages made the observance of Hogmanay rather livelier than usual. At midnight there was an assemblage at the Cross, and for some time there was a good deal of singing and shouting in the streets. During the day all was quiet and orderly.”.
• Death of Mr T. Hamilton (Publisher) - Born in 1783, at Langridge, Mr Hamilton learned the book selling trade in Edinburgh and moved to London at the age of 24 to join Adam & Co. Publishers. After making his fortune, Mr Hamilton funded, almost entirely the construction of the Free Church School and schoolmasters house, of which his nephew Rev. W.K. Hamilton was the pastor. Mr Hamiltons mother came from an Avondale family, and was said to have suffered in person and property from the incursions of the rebels (Jacobites) in 1745. He died at the ripe old age of 95.

February 1878
“The lovers of Scotia’s roaring game have had a few games during the present frost. On Saturday, a party played a bonspiel on Swinhill Pond, and on Tuesday another party had another match, and on Wednesday the medal was contested for by the two rinks; so that the final tie for the medal lies between Udster rink and Mr Gavin Laurie’s. As the day was very fine, a number of players threw off their coats and laid them on a hedge near at hand, but in the afternoon two or three coats were missing. Some tramps had been in the neighbourhood, and it is supposed they had picked them up.”

February 1878
Annual ploughing match took place at Corslet Farm, possessed by William Hamilton of North Kittymuir. A large number of spectators turned out to view the competition provided by the fifteen ploughs taking part.

March 1878
Notification of a 5% reduction in miners and other workmens wages at Swinhill colliery, Dalserf.
• Sudden Death - “A respectable old man, between 60 and 70 years of age, named Robert Brown, suddenly dropped down while employed at his usual work at Overwood quarry on Thursday forenoon. Medical aid was procured, but life was found to be extinct, and his death, which is supposed to have been caused by heart disease, must have been almost instantaneous”.
• Committee decision regarding accepted contracts for the building of the new United Presbyterian Church. Gavin Loudon & Co. from Stonehouse were the successful building contractor.

March 1878
A report on the current state of the brick and tile industry indicates that business is encouraging and a great number of “hills” have been cleared out. At the turn of the century John Borland owned the Tileworks in Union Street, which was said at the time to give off the only factory smoke in the village. A light bogey track carried the necessary materials across Union Street, where field drains and tiles were baked, then matured on open lattice shelving, built in proximity to the kilns. At its most productive seven men were employed. Despite the reputation of the quality of product produced, the business did not survive another generation and fell into disrepair. Other tileworks were present at Dykehead, Glenburn and near Low Kittymuir.

April 1878
“A branch of the Heritable Investment Bank (Limited) has been opened here under the management of Mr Robert Naismith. From the first-class character of the company of directors, the excellent rates of interest, and the ample security to depositors, this must unquestionably prove a valuable boon to all who have money to invest in this and the surrounding districts.”

April 1878
Indication that Overwood Quarry was in decline due to the slackness in building trade. Workmen were sent home to await news of upturn in trade.

April 1878
First competition of the Angling Club’s season at Abington. Matthew Stewart won first prize of the society’s medal and A. Millar won a silver mounted fishing rod for the four heaviest fish.

April 1878
Report on the weaving trade notes that the handloom weavers are now principally employed in making silk shawls and handkerchiefs for the home and foreign market. A slight reduction in wages is also reported.

May 1878
Notification that Mr Lamond of the Scottish Temperance League is to address a meeting of inhabitants of the village.

June 1878
A keenly contested challenge match at Kyles between A. Park, Glassford and G. Ballantyne, Stonehouse resulted in the former winning the overall contest by 15 to 11. Mr Park won £5 for his efforts.

June 1878
“Mrs James Cooper, upwards of 60 years of age, died almost instantaneously on Monday morning. She had been at church on Sabbath and retired to rest in her usual health, although she had been complaining slightly for a short time back. About four o’clock on Monday morning she awoke with a great feeling of oppression in the region of the heart, and rose, but immediately thereafter, when in the act of lying down, spoke to her husband of the oppression at the heart, and seemingly fainted. Her husband instantly got up and roused the family, who attended at her bedside at once, and Dr. Rae was sent for, but death seems to have been instantaneous, as she never uttered another word”. Born in Hamilton, Dr. Rae died in 1928, aged 92 years.
• Laying of U.P. Church Memorial Stone - Memorial stone laid in the new U.P. Church by Rev. David Croom, Moderator of the Synod of the United Presbyterian Church. Article provides information pertaining to the origins of the original church. Church records state that on the communion roll there are 301 members; in the session, 9 elders; in the Sabbath School, 18 teachers and 114 scholars; 35 in the bible class.

July 1878
A meeting of the Free Presbytery of Hamilton was held in Stonehouse with moderator Rev McLachlan. Over 200 names were appended to call Rev. James Laing to the vacancy.
• The Churchyard - A meeting was held in Cam’nethan Street Public School for the purpose of taking steps to improve the condition of the churchyard. A committee chaired by Rev. H. A. Paterson was appointed to investigate with the heritors what action could be taken.

November 1878
"The want of a public clock in Stonehouse having been much felt, the U.P. congregation, in building their new church, resolved to supply the want, and applied for aid to a gentleman born in Stonehouse, but now settled in London, who in the handsomest manner offered to make a present of a clock, estimated to cost £132, if the congregation would undertake to keep all the four dials lighted during the dark hours of the night. This they have undertaken to do, and the long-standing want will, therefore, be soon applied. This is not the only benefaction which Stonehouse owes to this same generous son, of whom, on other accounts as well, it has just cause to be proud. Years ago, he gave a very large subscription to found a public library, which has proved a mighty boon to the whole community, and especially to the younger portion of it. His name we would gladly publish, but that he would not allow”.

December 1878
The second annual show of the Ornithological Society was held in Cam’nethan Street School. There were over 300 entries of poultry, pigeons, canaries, cats and rabbits.

January 1879
“In the districts of the Middle and Upper Wards the long continued frost and snow have told the terrible effects on rabbits and hares, and wild animals in general. Many are dying of starvation, and great numbers are to be found roaming around at night in search of food far from their accustomed haunts. Upwards of a score of hares were observed lately on one side of a hedge, and the same number on the other side, in the dusk of evening, waiting to ravage a farmers garden, where anything in the shape of vegetables would be eagerly devoured”.
• Ice Accident -“A dangerous ice accident occurred on Friday night week to a farmer and his wife. They were proceeding to attend to the coffining of a child of a relative in a neighbouring parish, and to shorten the distance crossed the Avon, which was frozen over. Suddenly the ice gave way, and they were both plunged in deep water to the armpits, where they remained for a short time. The husband managed to extricate himself, and spreading his plaid on the ice, secured a footing, whereby he was enabled to recover his wife. They returned home, some considerable distance, in the keen frosty air and it is feared that the wife may be injuriously affected by the immersion”.

February 1879
“On Tuesday afternoon a miner named Thomas Brown, was employed in No.2 Pit, Woodside, taking down a block of coal by blasting, when suddenly the block, weighing some 30cwt, fell and crushed him to the ground. Fortunately, it caught him in the haunches, otherwise it might have proved fatal. He was extricated and taken to his home in Stonehouse, though suffering from internal injuries, it is considered he will recover”.

“Since the New Year the handloom weaving has been slack. The silk fabrics are neither so plentiful nor so well paid as they formerly were. Some sorts are in little or no demand, and there seems to be nothing new to take their place. Heddled work is extremely difficult to obtain, and consequently many hands are idle in this department. A silk manufacturing firm are sending a large portion of their pirns ready wound, and this is throwing the pirn winders out of employment”.

March 1879
“The Birkenshaw Coal Company have been fortunate in finding a seam of coal unexpectedly. They have been engaged in sinking a shaft for some time back and they have already passed through the Virtuewell and Upper Kiltongue coals, but now unexpectedly, though very fortunately, they have discovered the lower Kiltongue coal. They will proceed in sinking till they reach the lower seams of coal, which are considerably deeper. When once this enterprising company have completed their works, it is anticipated that they will prove a great benefit to the district”.

March 1879
“This board met on Tuesday evening in the Board room -Rev. James Dunn presiding. The committee appointed to confer with Mr Wotherspoon in reference to the registers of his school reported that they had met with him. He was asked if he had received the letter of the Board regarding the classification in standards. Mr Wotherspoon replied he had, but never thought of acting on so stupid an order. A list of several scholars, both in standard 1 and standard 2, was laid before him, and he was asked what explanation he had to give for presenting them in these standards, when by age and regularity of attendance they might have been expected to be farther advanced. He answered, “I classified my scholars according to my skill, and present them according to their ability.” The committee pointed out the large number of attendances they had made, and the fact that their former classmates in Greenside School were in a higher standard now in the Hill School. His answer was “All trees don’t grow with equal rapidity, and all scholars don’t make equal progress”. Being asked if he taught the pupil teachers an hour daily, he replied “I do”. It was asked at what time? He said “Don’t think to catch me. I give an hour’s teaching every day.”

April 1879
On 19th February one of Stonehouse’s most eminent gentlemen of his time, died at the age of 72. Mr Hamilton was connected with one of Stonehouses oldest families, cousin of Dr. James Hamilton, London and of the Rev.W.K.Hamilton. He was also the nephew of the renowned London bookseller, Thomas Hamilton. James Hamilton was said to be a great agriculturalist, Christian, Justice of Peace and long serving office bearer of the Free Church. An active member in the community and past chairman of the Parochial Board, his initiatives in agricultural improvements were said to be second to none in the district.

April 1879
At a meeting of the office bearers and congregation of the Free Church it was agreed that the cost of running the school in Hill Road over the past 28 years had been so costly, that they could not continue to maintain the premises. The meeting agreed to sell the building as an educational establishment and appeal to the General Assembly, in the event that they would be unable to sell the premises.

May 1879
Report of fire in the mill at Gill which left the building in ruin.

May 1879
“The Government Inspector’s report on this school is as follows: - This school, though somewhat insufficiently staffed, has passed a very good examination. The grammar and arithmetic of the fourth standard were, however, weak. Those presented in specific subjects did well. Average attendance for year, 183; grant, £171 3s 8d; amount per child in average attendance, £1 8s 8d”.
• The Parochial Board met, chaired by General Lockhart to discuss the financial state of the board and consider a communication from the board of Supervision which stated the ratios of paupers in the parish was 1 in 44 compared to 1 in 31 in the county. The Sanitary Board raised concerns regarding the Loch Well which was ordered to be actioned before the next meeting.

September 1879
A horse by the name of “Jolly” was sold by John Letham, Eastmains to a Mr Wyllie in Perthshire for a considerable price. The horse in question was said to have won eleven first prizes that year.

October 1879
Rev. Laing led an audience of 1500 in worship at a spot near the Watstone Burn to acknowledge the ‘disruption’ of the Church of Scotland 36 years previous.

October 1879
The committee of the Stonehouse Clothing Society met, presided by Mrs Lockhart of Cam’nethan House to discuss the finances of the society and to allocate the distribution of clothing, tea and sugar to the poor.
• Mining Dispute - “A dispute has arisen between the miners in the Gas Company of Draffin district and the masters, in reference to the propriety of the men joining the Miners’ Union. The result has been that a large number of the men have been dismissed, and consequently have had to leave the master’s houses and find work elsewhere. Hitherto this has been the steadiest description of mining employment to be found in the neighbourhood, and this rude interruption is deeply regretted”.

January 1880

“On Saturday, a master shoemaker, from Stonehouse, named Wm. Allan, was tried before Sheriff Birnie for theft or reset for the theft of the contents of two children’s banks, belonging to the children of Mr Stevenson, postmaster, Stonehouse, and amounting to about £3. The evidence whet to show that a servant girl, named Jane Wardrop, who had previously been with Mr Stevenson, stole the banks, her story being that it was at prisoner’s instigation, and she afterwards gave him the contents to buy food and liqueur and go a drive. After a lengthy trial and able defence by Mr Miller, writer, the Sheriff said the evidence was very suspicious, but keeping in view prisoner’s previous good character, his position as a master shoemaker, and that the evidence was so slim, he found the charge not proven”.

January 1880
An annual ploughing match took place at Holm Farm in the field belonging to Mr James Shearer. With a good turnout of ploughs, Mr Gavin Laurie of Tweedieside won the senior event and Henry Irvine won the junior class, with Mr John Allison of Goslington winning the best turned out plough of members of the society.

March 1880
Mr Robert Naismith delivered a lecture in the Free Church on “Scotland’s Hero Captain, the Laird of Stonehouse” as part of a series of lectures, to which the sum of £14 was achieved and devoted to improving the lighting.
• Mr Hamilton of Dalzell (Liberal) addressed electors and non-electors in Free Church seeking support for his candidature in forthcoming election again Conservative government. Stonehouse at this time was at the centre of Liberalism in Lanarkshire.

April 1880
The Parochial Board met in the Parish Church, with General Lockhart presiding to consider applications for the poorhouse test, as recommended by the Board of Supervision.

“The session (1879-1880) of the Young Men’s Christian and Mutual Improvement Association was brought to a close on the evening of Friday last, by a social meeting. In addition to the young men and their lady friends, the Revs, Messers Laing and Paterson were present, and for a time presided. After tea, singing and other amusements were kept up with great spirit for several hours. The treasurer’s report for the session showed a surplus of over £12, to be devoted to the lighting of part of the village.”

“It is matter of sincere regret to every right thinking person here that during the election disturbance that took place last Friday one of the gentlemen who was jostled and pushed and assailed with improper language was a native and heritor of the parish, Dr Mitchell of Dykehead, who has taken a kindly interest in the town and his father; the late Dr Mitchell, was a well-known benefactor. He has been long resident at Barnard Castle, England, and coming in the same train with some faggot voters, he was subjected to this disgraceful treatment on the supposition that he was a faggot voter.”

April 1880
“One of the oldest and most respected inhabitant of the parish has just been removed from our midst, by death, in the person of Mrs William Alston, relict of the late Bailie Alston, who for many years occupied an influential position in the district, and whom she survived over 33 years. She was the youngest daughter of William Lawrie of Tofts, and she was the last survivor of his large family, and in her passed away a link from the past, for her father was a boy of about ten years of age in 1745, and could tell of having climbed a tree at his father’s farm of Kittymuir to see the Highlanders marching along the Carlisle Road. Her ancestors, for many generations, were respectable farmers in this parish, and several of their descendants still occupy prominent positions as such to this day. She was endowed with a very retentive memory, and could relate minutely the events occurring in the parish from early youth. Her mental facilities remained clear to the last, and being a great reader, her mind was stored with the best thoughts of our favourite divines; but her special delight was her bible, which she used to say was the fountainhead of all comfort and delight. Some eight years ago she removed from the village to Newfield, the property of her youngest son, and there she continued to enjoy frequent intercourse with her surviving children and grand children, until last Sabbath, when after a short illness from bronchitis, and in the presence of some of those she loved, she peacefully passed into her rest, in the 89th year of her life. Of her large family only two survive her, viz., the eldest, Mr John Alston, of Greenock, and Mr R. L. Alston of Newfield and Tofts, who resides in Hamilton”.

May 1880
Mr Robert Naismith presented a silver baptismal font to the Free Church with the motto “Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven”.

May 1880
Mr John Gillies, a quarryman was crushed and killed at Overwood by a fall of earth.
• Mr John Walker, an octogenarian, and native of Stonehouse for the past half century provided entertainment in the Camnethan Street School with other performers. The program consisted of some of Mr Walkers own poetical verse, including “Cander Mill”.

June 1880
Annual General Meeting of subscribers to Public Library in Hill School. A report was made by the Chair Rev. Laing intimating that there were 60 members who had taken out 2360 books over the year. Mr Robert Naismith was elected chair for the coming year. A Mr Hamilton was the librarian.

June 1880
A meeting of the Parochial Board met and intimated that the pauper roll although increasing over the winter was much the same as the previous year, 55 with 31 dependants.
• Shareholders of the Stonehouse Gas Light Company held their Annual General Meeting to discuss the state of the works and the statistics in relation to coal consumption and cost to the customer.
• On the 201st anniversary of the Battle of Drumclog around 2000 persons were present at the old graveyard at a religious service to commemorate those who had sacrificed there lives for the religious freedom of their country.

July 1880
School Board met to discuss three options for a new school, namely Hill Road, Townhead Toll or Boghall Street. After consideration and debate Boghall Street won the day. Townhead Street was considered too far a journey for children to be travelling to school.

September 1880
“A meeting of the Board was held on Monday. In the absence of General Lockhart, Mr R. Naismith occupied the chair. A letter from the Board of Supervision was read calling for immediate attention to the state of Loch Well, washing house and green adjoining, with a certificate from Dr Lindsay, Lochan Bank, condemnatory of their condition as inimical to the public health. A petition of upwards of 29 persons had likewise been transmitted to the Board of Supervision on the subject. It was unanimously agreed to appoint a practical person to inspect and report in order to take such steps as will prevent any nuisance arising in that locality in time to come. Mr Watson, burgh surveyor, Hamilton, was accordingly appointed.”

November 1880
Installation of the New Town clock in the UP Church at a cost of £132, which was kindly donated by a former resident of Stonehouse living in London. The congregation raised £135, which was invested in the Clyde Trust for the clocks future maintenance and lighting needs.

November 1880
“Wednesday was the Martinmas Fair Day, but the crowds of cattle that used to assemble in the market-place, headed by the well known cattle dealers, are now conspicuous by their absence. Numbers of servants were changing their places, and the day is now principally observed for their settlement of half yearly accounts amongst farmers and tradesmen and the payment of rents.”

December 1880
Co-operative Society established in village with premises in Queen Street. Some 70 years later the Cooperative assimilated with Larkhall when the venture failed. The present Cooperative in King Street has served the village since 1905. The foundation stone can be seen above the shop window.
• Meeting of the Mutual Improvement Association - Rev. H.A. Paterson derived a speech on the subject of ‘impossibilities’. Among the topics of discussion were the penny postal system, the opening of the Suez canal, laying of the Atlantic cable, invention of the steam engine, telegraph and telephone.
• Siting of new school in Boghall Street abandoned. After further debate and a vote by the school board, an open site at Townhead Street was agreed for the construction of a new school.

February 1881
Intimation that Mr Scott of Hill Academy is prepared to provide private tuition in Latin, French, German, Greek and Mathematics. Concern was also expressed by the author of the article at the number of schools in the village with respects to the number of children in the parish and the drop in population according to the recent census.

March 1881
“The hand-loom silk weaving trade has been in a declining condition for some time back. Almost all classes of work have been subjected to a reduction of from 25 to 50 per cent on the price of weaving. Notwithstanding this heavy reduction, the work is not nearly so plentiful as it was, and considerable delay is experienced by weavers for want of weft after they have got webs in loom. All kinds of plain heddle work are very scare and low paid.”
• Our Board - Sir - Me thinks the actings of Stonehouse School Board clearly indicate that it has been pre-eminently cumbered and perplexed about trifles, but notably prominent for nothing save pain and bitterness. Spilt into factions, it has proved itself a veritable hot-bed of jealousy, wrangling and distrust. The letters “on School Board Affairs”, recently appearing in your columns, palpably reveal a state of temper substantially hostile, the writers seeking to have their pound of flesh, and that weighed scrupulously. It is sincerely to be hoped that this fierce blast of passion will cease to rage, that the troubled waters will subside, that peace and true nobility will characterise the different sections of the community, and ensure that Stonehouse School Board will notably set the example of genuine goodness by an earnest, undeviating, and conscientious discharge of its trust. Why court notoriety through discord and faction? A Country Observer”.

April 1881
The AGM was held in the Bowl House with President Alexander McIntosh presiding. Robert Thomson was elected president for the forthcoming year.

May 1881
“A Small Debt action between James Thomson, weaving agent, and James Curr, mason, both residing in Stonehouse came finally before the Sheriff yesterday It appeared that pursuer and defender has maliciously pulled down the wall on the 3rd January last, and he asked for 17s, the cost of restoring it. The defender answered that the wall was his own, and that the frost had done it. After a short proof, the Sheriff intimated his intention of visiting the site, which he recently did, and a result of that visit was that the wall was speedily re-erected, both pursuer and defender maintaining. Yesterday the Sheriff intimated that in his opinion the defender was entirely wrong, and might congratulate himself that he had not been the defender on an ordinary action. He found him liable in 28s 8d of expenses, for which he discerned accordingly Agents for pursuer - Mr David Miller. For defender -Mr Andrew W Lyon.”. It would appear from this article that time changes little, as a similar difference of opinion was of concern on the East Mains Estate regarding the erection of a fence by the council.

June 1881
“Sir, - I wish to call attention to the slaughterhouse in Union Street which has long been felt as a formidable nuisance to the inhabitants of that street especially. The sanitary law requires that all nuisances be removed to a respectful distance from human habitation and here we have one of the worst sort a few feet from the main street and a short distance from wells from which people are getting water. Within the last few weeks there has been a considerable number of calves killed in this slaughterhouse, the entrails of which have been deposited in this “dogs larder”. Now, with the heat of summer upon us the air must be contaminated all around. Surely it is not too much to ask that this nuisance be removed to such a distance as will be in unison with sanitary law and good health.”

September 1881
“On Monday last the grave closed over the remains of Mr John Walker. Though in a humble rank of life, deceased was possessed of good abilities, which he applied in various directions. For a long time he pursued the trade of a tailor. He also applied himself to photography, in which art he acquired a considerable degree of proficiency. For many years he repaired watches, clocks and jewellery. Some years ago he published a volume containing a variety of pieces of prose and verse. He contributed poetical effusions occasionally to the newspapers, and also had a few pieces printed and circulated in separate form. Some of his verse had considerable merit, but he modestly characterized as being only “descriptive rhyme”.” Examples of his work are contained in Robert Naismiths book of 1885.

September 1881
A quarry labourer named Hardy laid a wager with a chimney sweep on Saturday evening that he would ascend the two storey house of Mr Hamilton, Hamilton Farm, without a ladder and walk along the ledge of the roof. Although under the influence of liquor, he climbed up the water pipe, and after reaching the roof performed several gymnastic feats on the ridge of such a daring character that the people who had assembled at The Cross were terrified to look at him. He descended unhurt.

September 1881
“In pursuance of the intimation made in Hamilton Advertiser last Saturday by the Secretary of the Mutual Improvement Association according to their instructions, a meeting of the association was held in the Free Church on Wednesday evening, when the committee were authorised to proceed without delay in taking all the necessary steps for laying out the money raised by the society for the erection of street lamps in the village. Thereafter it was resolved to revert to the former designation, namely, “The Stonehouse Young Men’s Christian Association”

October 1881
Report by resident on the capture of vandals who were caught in the act of causing considerable damage to the public washing house in Green Street during the winter.

December 1881
Long outstanding boundary dispute between General Lockhart and Robert Thomson and six other feuars was finally resolved at court in favour of General Lockhart concerning the ownership of land in Green Street.

December 1881
Directors of the Stonehouse Gas Light Company met to turn on a new gasometer at an opening ceremony chaired by Mr Craig.

January 1882
“I do not know what kind of gas you have in Hamilton, but Stonehouse gas is famed for being bad, and this last month there has been no improvement, but the reverse. I had a call from our energetic manager, and he says the illuminating power is 28 candles, and the gas is as good as Glasgow gas, and in his wanderings through the town there have been only two or three complaints about the bad gas. But I could not believe it, as I heard some half a dozen complaints within an hour after he left me. Two gentlemen say they must have the gas right above them before they can see to read. I am no judge, but I thought it was near 14 candles, but I will leave it to your Stonehouse readers to judge. I am, yours, &c.”

January 1882
“The School Board of this parish met at Greenside on the morning of the 9th inst., and re-opened it as the Infant School, when Mrs Lockhart of Castlehill gave out the prizes to the children for diligence and good attendance. The Board afterwards opened Townhead School, when the children were addressed by General Lockhart, chairman of the Board, on their duties to their parents and teachers, and stated, that seeing the fine new school that had been provided them, with a large playground, they would take good care and keep everything in good order. The other members of the board also addressed a few words to the children, thereafter Mrs Lockhart gave out the prizes. The Townhead School is situated at the head of the village, is a very handsome building, well finished in every respect, both as to accommodation and appliances. It consists of one large and two small rooms, with rooms for male and female teachers, lavatories, large playground, and offices, the cost of which is expected not to exceed £1900, being the amount of the loan from the Public Works’ Loan Commissioners.”

January 1882
“Mr John Macfie, agent of the Union Bank here, who had been from home on Wednesday, returned with the late train in the evening, which arrives here about half-part seven, apparently in his usual health. A little after nine o’clock he was sitting in his chair, and the tea table prepared for him, when, without the slightest warning his chin was observed to quiver, and falling from his chair he almost immediately expired. Dr Rae, his medical attendant, was at once called in, but medical aid was to be of no avail, as life was extinct. Death was supposed to have been the result of heart disease, with which he is said to have been afflicted. Deceased was upwards of 30 years of age, and leaves a widow and three children.”

March 1882
Annual General Meeting of Angling Club met in Buckshead Inn and appointed Adam Sorbie as president, Andrew Hamilton, secretary and Matthew Stewart as Treasurer for the forthcoming year.

March 1882
“On Wednesdays it was discovered that some person had maliciously entered the graveyard and thrown down a tombstone erected sometime ago by Mr George Cuthbertson, Green Street. The coping was broken off and damaged, and the top ornament had been taken away. As no trace of it can be found, the case has been given into the hands of the police for investigation. It is supposed the depredators must have done the mischief between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.” Unfortunately this kind of vandalism is still evident today. This extract highlights the fact that it is not just ‘a sign of the times’ in todays society. In 1942 three boys, two of which twelve years of age were charged with malicious damage of tombstones in the old kirk cemetery. Vandalism has been present for centuries, but through today’s improved communications we are ever more aware of this social disease. By making the community more aware of their historical background they might learn to appreciate and protect their environment.
• A celebratory dinner and entertainment took place in the Hill School of gentlemen in Greenside Street. This gathering was to congratulate one another on the resolution of a recent court case regarding a disputed boundary in Green Street and past troubles, including the Caledonian Railway Companies attempt in 1865 to obtain land in this same area and a more recent dispute with General Lockhart of Castlehill. “All seemed highly pleased with their triumph of right over might”.

July 1882
Death of Andrew Miller, Land measurer at the age of 80 years old. Andrew Miller was the last of the Disruption elders of the Hamilton Memorial Church under Rev. Laing.

August 1882
“From our village has passed away a man who has seen more days, and has seen more in the eye of the community than any other of the male inhabitants. No person in the place beyond the years of infancy needed to be told his name as he passed. Everybody, young and old, was familiar with the form, the gait, the voice, the name of John Small as he walked about on common days, and everyone watched his movements on the Sabbath day, and if any Sabbath for more than half a century, he was not seen in church, numerous were the inquiries as to the cause of his absence. But not ten times, perhaps, in all that long period did he give occasion for these inquiries, and, whoever wearied of the service, he never wished it were over. Fifty-seven years ago he was appointed beadle of the United Secession, now the United Presbyterian Church, an office he retained to his dying day, and the duties of which he discharged in such a manner as to give entire satisfaction to the congregation and win the confidence of the three ministers under whom he served, all of whom had a high respect for him, as had also the ministers round and round who were accustomed to assist them on sacramental and other occasions. Of course he has seen the membership of the congregation all but entirely renewed since he entered on office, and he has left in it only one member of greater age then himself She has entered her 90th year; he had all but completed his 87th year. His partner, with whom he has lived three score and ten years, survives him, and so do ten of his eleven children; and these ten have so branched out that before his decease he had welcomed into the world no fewer than 139 grand and great grandchildren, of whom 111 are still alive, and 28 gone. A very large company met on Wednesday to carry him to the grave, and every mark of respect was paid him by the congregation he had served so long and so faithfully.”

August 1882
“As the 5pm train from Glasgow on Wednesday afternoon was proceeding to Stonehouse Station, when nearly opposite Shawsburn School house the body of a woman was seen lying on the line, her neck upon the rail and her head covered with a shawl. The result was that the wheels passed over her neck severing the head from the body. It appears that deceased was named Morrison, between thirty and forty years of age, about six weeks ago had been released from an asylum where she had been confined for sometime. The body was removed to her home at Ayr Road.”

This incident is one of the more gruesome deaths connected with the railway in Stonehouse. The suicide rate was high in Stonehouse especially within the farming community. The railway was the scene of many accidents over the years, but it was also the enjoyment and pleasure of many day trippers, on their travels through the village to the coast.

January 1883
Death of Thomas Blakeley of Boghall Street who was killed instantaneously by a rock fall at Overwood Quarry.

February 1883
Annual ploughing match took place at the Holm farm of James Shearar.

March 1883
Death of Mr James Thomson of Dykehead Farm. An elder of the Free Church Mr Thomson was a direct descendant of James Thomson the Covenanter who died of his wounds at the Battle of Drumclog in 1679.

April 1883
This week there was seen a singular freak of nature in the shape of a monster calf belonging to Mr John Muir, King Street, Stonehouse. It seems to be perfectly developed, with two comely formed distinct heads and necks that join the breast. The forelegs, from the joint, are in the shape of the hind legs. When killed it was also found to have two stomachs. This is considered one of the most singular cases of the kind known in this district.

April 1883
“A new cricket club has been formed in Stonehouse, designated the “Royal” and, as will be seen from our advertising columns, their first match comes off on their ground at Newfield on Saturday first.”

May 1883
“The Agricultural Society’s show takes place on Wednesday first, and, as on former years it will attract attention with its open classes for cattle, collie dogs, trotting matches and foot races. There is a valuable silver watch given by General Lockhart, which is looked forward to with much interest, as there are many competitors for it. All that is needed is a fine day for the occasion.”

June 1883
Meeting held in Hill Road School to discuss the formation of a Mutual Improvement Association. It was agreed the membership should include both ladies and gentlemen. Major-General Lockhart C.B. was elected Honorary president, and Robert Naismith appointed president.

August 1883
“On Tuesday evening, all the inhabitants of Stonehouse were invited to a meeting by the town-crier, to be held on the public bleaching green, at seven o’clock. At the appointed hour, a considerable multitude of men, women, boys and girls assembled on the green. After some delay Mr Barr was called to the chair. Thereafter, the meeting was addressed by Mr Hutchieson, Mr Barclay, Mr Loudon, and others. It turned out in the course of the speaking that the meeting was to be regarded as an indignation meeting against the policeman for his rough usage of a man last Sabbath at the Cross, about eleven o’clock at night. The speeches were very mild. The meeting manifested no angry feeling. A few admissions were made as to the ease with which drink could be obtained on the Sabbath day in Stonehouse both by bona-fide travellers, and also by people residing in the village. This state of matters is greatly to be deplored; nay, it is a shame. It is not one now and again that is to be seen drunk on our streets on the Sabbath day, but they are to be seen in companies. The Sabbath-keeping inhabitants of Stonehouse would take it very kind if these bona-fide travellers, who are seen creeping into the village from all quarters, manifestly hunting for drink, would stay at home from this time forth till the hotel licenses are withdrawn by Act of Parliament. Our present licensing authorities could easily do away with these temptations, and so prevent these poor weaklings being drawn thither by the smell of drink, and by the knowledge of a door open by law, where it might be had. But they seem no disposed to have respect for the sanctity of the Sabbath so far as its desecration through drink is concerned. Let us labour and hope that a change for the better will ere long take place. Meantime, let such men as he who got his head bruised last Sabbath night stay at home, and no danger of the police breaking any man’s head at his own fire-end.”

October 1883
Sheik Selim Hishmeh, an Arab Chief, Stanley’s guide and first discoverer of Dr. David Livingston in Africa, narrated his adventures to the United Presbyterian Church Y.M.C.A. (16th Oct. Yours Truly, Sheik Selim Hishmek. Guide of Stanley & first discoverer of Livingstone. Native Palestine)

October 1883
Closing game of the season between the President (Mr Hamilton) and the vice -president resulted in the latter winning by ten shots. The club had a very successful season winning all its matches with neighbouring clubs. The annual supper took place in the Black Bull Hotel. “With toast, song and sentiment, a happy and harmonious evening was spent”.

February 1884
“On Monday night a fire occurred in a weaving-shop belonging to Mr Wm. McLellan, employed picking the web behind the harnessing when the gas accidentally caught a thread and instantly the whole harnessing was in a blaze, melting the leads, and destroying the half of the silk web in the loom, which was a valuable one being a 26 hundred. The property was not insured.”

August 1884
“On Sunday evening, a man was heard moaning in a field, near Sandford, and John Mack went up to him and found the man at the front of a hayrick unconscious. Information was sent to the inspector of the poor, who, along with the sergeant of the police and Dr. Rae, attended to the man, and had him removed to a house in Sandford. He lingered on till 7 o’clock on Monday night, when he expired. His name is unknown. He was buried on Tuesday in Stonehouse churchyard. He was a man about 75 years of age, with grey hair and whiskers, shaved on upper lip, and about 5 feet ten inches high, fresh complexion, and blue eyes. Dressed in black corduroy trousers, black cloth vest, and dark grey tweed shooting coat; grey checked woollen shirt, swandown drawers, scarf with fringe, imitation sealskin cap with peak, and blucher boots well worn.”

September 1884
“The second annual exhibition of the Horticultural Society is being held today. The number of entries is 514, which is 130 more than was handed in last year. The vegetables are understood to be especially good, no fewer than 255 having been entered for exhibition. The pansy table is expected to present such a display as has not been seen in Stonehouse before. Altogether the exhibition will far surpass last years which gave much pleasure to the public.”

October 1884
Adam Bell, railway porter, met with a serious accident when engaged in the shunting of wagons at Stonehouse railway station. It appears he fell on the rails and a wagon passed over his legs, breaking them both between the ankle and knee. He was removed to Glasgow Infirmary on the next train from Stonehouse.

May 1885
Several valuable dogs have been poisoned in this district, and the police are making a thorough investigation into the matter, and it is hoped that some clue will be found to the depredators. Mr Gage, gamekeeper, has lost a valuable dog; Mr Hamilton of Bogside has got a fine dog poisoned; Mr Allan, Coplaw, and Mr Laurie, Tanhill, have both lost good dogs; and John Torrance, Deadwaters, has lost a very valuable prize dog, showing that the poisonous substance has been spread over a considerable area.

June 1885
The annual meeting of Stonehouse Gas Light Company was held on Thursday - Mr W Craig presiding. A dividend of 5% was unanimously agreed to, and it was resolved to discontinue the free lighting of the public lamps, leaving it in the hands of the directors. The price of gas was fixed as formerly at 3s per thousand feet. The following new directors were appointed:- Messrs W Craig, R Naismith, R Wilson and H D Burns.

July 1885
The annual merchants’ holiday was held at Stonehouse on Thursday. The principal shops and places of business were closed, and great numbers left the town to enjoy themselves - by rail, waggonette, brakes, and otherwise.

March 1886
Sir, - I am greatly astonished to find in our country village of Stonehouse the great cruelty of bird-catching carried on to such an extent. No wonder the larks are becoming fewer and fewer every year. It is not difficult to ascertain what is the reason of this, and I have no doubt that a little exertion on the part of the police authorities of Stonehouse might soon put a stop to this cruel practice. Sympathy.

April 1886
In your report regarding a site for a new place of worship at Bridgend, near Linlithgow, to be called the “Patrick Hamilton Memorial Church”, it is stated that the great Reformer was born in the vicinity of the new village of Bridgend. If your correspondent would read “Precursors of Knox” by Professor Lorimer, he would find that the only place in Scotland that can lay claim to be the birthplace of the first preacher and martyr of the Scottish Reformation is Stonehouse in Lanarkshire, where the Reformer’s father had an estate and mansion. As it would take up too much of your valuable space to adduce the whole of the information bearing on the subject by the learned Professor, I would merely refer to the footnote on page 5 and to note B in the appendix, where the matter is conclusively settled - I am &c Author of “Stonehouse, Historical and Traditional” - in Scotsman.

September 1886
Ordination of Rev. John Gray, of Stonehouse in the United Presbyterian Presbytery of Greenock. The service took place in Rothesay. Due to ill health he resigned his position before being inducted at Cathcart, Glasgow in 1889.

October 1886
An extraordinary heavy fall of rain occurred in Stonehouse district on Tuesday morning, rendering the roads in some quarters nearly impassable. Outdoor labourers have been thrown idle. The crop has suffered materially, as the most of it still in stook. The streams in the neighbourhood are in full flood, rolling from bank to brae.

December 1886
Meeting in the Royal Hotel to establish a Ploughing Society in the parish and organise forthcoming competitions. A Mr Peter Wilson was secretary of the said society.

February 1887
“Some weeks ago, a public meeting of the inhabitants was called together to consider the propriety of erecting a Town Hall. General Lockhart presided, and Rev. Dunn stated that Mr Gray of London, a native of Stonehouse, having been here on a visit, offered the sum of five hundred pounds towards a Town Hall and library, on the condition that another four hundred would be subscribed. Rev. Dunn had written to another gentleman, also a native, and residing in England, who had offered the sum of two hundred and fifty pounds. General Lockhart promised to give twenty pounds, and Mr James Hamilton, Glasgow, another twenty. Having heard Rev. Dunn’s very encouraging report, the meeting unanimously agreed to do their utmost to make the hall an accomplished fact.” A committee was appointed to pursue the building of a Town Hall and raise funds from the inhabitants. Work was completed around the beginning of 1889 and became a regular venue for meetings and social gatherings. A Mr James Rankin of Ardnakaig is said to have paid off the £200 debt on the buildings completion, already having donated £100 to its construction.

February 1887
“On Thursday night Mr T.C. Hedderwick, Bigger Park, delivered a political address in Cam’nethan Street Public School. Mr W. Gilmour, shoemaker, presided, and was supported by Rev. H.A. Paterson, Mr Miles, Mr James Brown, Mr A. Shearar, Mr W. Sorbie, Mr John Hamilton, D. Cuthbertson, and Mr John Brown. At the close of the address a resolution was proposed and carried expressing continued and unabated confidence in Mr Gladstone’s leadership of the Liberal Party, and that he may be spared to crown his labours by granting Home Rule to Ireland and to Scotland.”

April 1887
The farms of Hamilton, Bogside and Crumhaugh were all affected by an outbreak of Pleuro-pueumonia, resulting in the slaughter of many cattle, as order by the inspector from Glasgow.

May 1887
“Sir, For some years past it has been the practice of either our local J.P.’s or those in the district to grant midnight licences on the fair night. Last year our streets were in a perfect uproar during the whole night with people the worse of drink, fighting and blasphemous talk, enough to disgrace any civilised community. It is earnestly hoped that our local J. P.’s will refuse to give their signatures for a midnight licence this year, and if our local J.P.’s do refuse them, we hope that those outside the parish will not grant them.”

May 1887
The Annual General Meeting of the Royal Football Club met to appoint office bearers for the coming year. Mr Alexander McIntosh was elected captain. Mr Thomas Wilson of New Street was elected financial and match secretary. The opening match of the forthcoming season was to be played against the Royal Albert 2nd eleven.

July 1887
“During the past week a report has been prevalent in the village that a robin in the neighbouring woods had been surprising several persons by its strange conduct. Anxious to prove the truth of this statement, along with a few friends, I proceeded to the locality frequented by the bird, and seating myself on the ground, awaited the result with interest. I had not been in this position long until the robin, with cheery chirping, alighted on an adjoining bush, and looking carefully around, perched upon my shoulder, then proceeding to display similar familiarities with my friends. To divert its attention, I scooped out some earth at my foot, and exposed to the robin’s view some small insects suited to its taste. The bird instantly availed itself of the kindness shown, and swallowed the insects with great satisfaction. It continued to hop about until we rose to leave.”

August 1887
Another interesting feature of animal life has, during the present week, displayed itself in Stonehouse. A youth who had a litter of young rabbits eight days ago, curious to ascertain how one of the young ones would be treated by a cat, placed it under the care of that domestic pet, and watched the development of events with interest. The cat has proved more than worthy of the trust committed to its charge, and ministers the young rabbits wants with the attention of a mother. As rabbits, like birds, are the prey of cats, it is peculiar that the latter does not succumb to its natural instincts.

November 1887
“On Saturday last, while Mr Kennedy, grocer, Netherburn, and a boy were crossing Candermill Bridge in a gig, the horse shied, and, pressing on the sides of the bridge which are very low, jumped over, dragging machine and occupants with it, and fell with a crash into the Cander Water. Mr Kennedy leapt onto the bank of the river and escaped without injury; but the boy was imprisoned beneath the gig, which was lying bottom upwards in the middle of the water. The lad, who was rescued from the perilous position without delay, escaped with a thorough drenching and a few bruises. In the meantime, the horse, which was lying with its head towards the stream, ran a great risk of being drowned; but, by the timely and valuable assistance of Mr Baird of Canderside and Mr William Thomson of Candermill, that danger was averted. The horse received some severe bruises, but had no limbs broken, while the machine received comparatively slight damage. A goat also which was in the machine escaped without injury. It seems marvellous that an accident of such a serious nature has not been attended by disastrous consequences, and the occupants of the machine cannot be too thankful for their miraculous escape.”

November 1887
Sometime during Tuesday night the Station house at Stonehouse was broken into, and £20 stolen. The wildness of the night no doubt favoured the burglars, and as yet no clue has been found to their identification.”

January 1888
Dr. Wright of Overtown succeeded the retiring Dr, Rae as medical practitioner for Stonehouse.

March 1888
“An alarming fire occurred on Saturday night in the attic of the house belonging to Mr James Curr, mason, King Street. The house, being a thatched one, was speedily in flames. The next property, belonging to Mr James Thomson, weaver, caught fire, and in a very short time was completely gutted notwithstanding all the efforts made by the townspeople. A third property, Mr Thomson’s, also caught fire, but was partially dismantled in order to save the other adjoining properties. The Strathaven fire brigade was telegraphed for, and arrived just as the inhabitants had got the flames in a great measure subdued. The three properties are supposed to be insured.”

June 1888
A grand open air concert was held on the banks of the Avon Kittymuir braes, which were lined with crowds of between two and three thousand inhabitants from Stonehouse and the surrounding districts to hear a musical extravaganza of local bands and choirs performing to the enthusiastic audience. A choir of 150 was led by local conductor Andrew Gray and the Lesmahagow Brass band concluded the concert playing a selection of dance music to which local couples danced the night away under a large canopy erected for the occasion.

December 1888
“Sir, It has been a long felt want in our village, the want of light in our streets during the dark winter nights. Thanks to a large and influential committee, who have taken the matter in hand, and canvassed the villagers, who have contributed liberally, the committee have now been able to get 27 lamps lighted, and thereby caused a great improvement in some of the dark streets and corners. The committee still require six more to complete the work. Should any gentleman be inclined to assist in this laudable undertaking any member of the committee will be glad to receive their contribution. Yours Pro Bono Publico.”

December 1888
“General Lockhart C.B. of Castlehill, collected the rents on Saturday last, and he, considering the times, allowed the whole of his tenantry a handsome reduction on the year’s rent. This was given by the General unasked for, and it is believed the arrears on the whole estate are of the most trifling character.”

February 1889
Roderick McKenzie, grocer and spirit dealer was sent to prison for ‘wilful fire-raising’. It is said he deliberately set fire to his property in King Street using broken sticks covered in tar, which were later discovered in the ruins.

July 1889
“In the House of Commons on Wednesday, Mr Hozier presented a petition from the Stonehouse Parochial Board in favour of certain amendments in the Local Government (Scotland) Bill.”
August 1890
“After long-continued quietness in the handloom silk weaving trade, there is some stir and appearance of briskness here. Work is more plentiful, workers are in demand, and an advance in prices has, in some cases, been given, varying from 12 and a half to 15 per cent.”
• Volunteers Church Parade - “The members of Stonehouse detachment of D (Carluke) Company, 9th L.R.V, had their first church parade on Sunday last. Mustering in the Town Hall, under the command of Lieut. J.G. Smith, they were marched to the U.P. Church. The Rev. H.A. Paterson officiated, and delivered a very appropriate sermon, which was highly appreciated alike by volunteers and civilians. There was a large turnout, and the men presented a very smart appearance. They were afterwards marched back to the Town Hall and dismissed.”

August 1890
“A novel scene occurred here on Sunday forenoon in connection with the proclamation of banns (an announcement in church whereby individuals had the right to object). The Established Church being shut at present in consequence of its undergoing repairs, the session clerk, according to law, proclaimed certain parties at the outside door of the church in presence of witnesses, and thereafter affixed the proclamation to the church door. This is an old Scottish custom, and of rare occurrence.”

January 1891
Annual General Meeting of the Workmen’s Funeral and Friendly Society in the Town Hall, presided by Mr James Brown. The secretary, Mr Archibald Hamilton intimated that income for the year was £31 17s 3d with expenditure of £10 6s. The balance was to be divided amongst the members, each receiving 10s 4d.

June 1891
The annual church parade in connection with the above detachment took place on Sunday last. Mustering in the Public Hall, under command of Lieuts. Smith & Paterson, they marched to the Established Church, there to listen to a most eloquent address from Rev. J. W. Wilson. There were 47 present of all ranks. Major Gray (captain of the Coy.) and Lieut. Hobart from Carluke were also present.

August 1891
“The water question is engaging the attention of the Stonehouse people at present. Some time ago the well in Queen Street was considered unsatisfactory, and the sanitary authority having condemned the water, ordered a bore to be put down, in order to procure a better supply. After going down 70 feet, mostly through a clay bed, no increase of water has been got, and the operations have been suspended till the meeting of the County Council on Wednesday. It has been suggested that the strong spring of excellent water at the loch could be taken to the Cross, and therefore confer a great boon on the inhabitants.” The old Loch Well at loch park was temporarily reopened in 1942 by the local Invasion Committee as a precautionary measure. It is said to have been “a wood-cased contraption with the long handle which often went “aff the fang”. ” It was said that the boys drew the water for making slides resulting in many “beating a hasty retreat with an empty pail and sair rump”. The well was said to have stairs down to the well.

September 1891
“A Stonehouse family has dedicated five stalwart sons to the service of the Queen, all of them being in the constabulary in various parts of the kingdom. Each stands upwards of six feet in his stockings.”
• Public Meeting - At a meeting in the Public Hall, the Chairman announced great dissatisfaction that the parish of Stonehouse itself did not have a representative on the County Council, and that Stonehouse should be separated from Glassford and have a member itself. It was agreed to petition the Boundary Commission to resolve the matter. Today Stonehouse is represented by two councillors after recent changes proposed by South Lanarkshire Council and accepted by the Boundary Commission. This resulted in several streets including Camnethan Street and Townhead Street being split and represented by different councillors.

October 1891
An accident of an alarming character occurred in the morning this week in Birkinshaw Pit. Four men descended the pit to begin their work, when an explosion took place, severely scorching three of them - father and two sons of the name Muir, the youngest being dangerously hurt about the head. The other man escaped with some injury to his hands. With great difficulty, the men were rescued from their perilous position after the explosion. They were conveyed to their home, in Boghall Street, in a close carriage. A second explosion occurred sometime afterwards while five men were employed in endeavouring to ventilate the pit immediately after the first explosion. As they were fortunately at the time in a portion of the workings where the fire did not reach, they were extracted by an opening effected for their release in a difficult part of the pit.

November 1891
Death of Headteacher, Mr R.S. Wotherspoon, aged 55 years. A teacher for over 30 years in Stonehouse, primarily Cam’nethan Street School he was a great loss to the community. He was also an elder and past session clerk of the Parish Church. Mr Anderson was appointed his successor.

January 1892
“When it became known that the first ballot of this society was to be drawn early in February, much enthusiasm prevailed in the town. The Society has taken root very fast here, and it is to be hoped that it may be long in a flourishing condition and help the working man, as well as beautify the town, by the building of many nice cottages.”

March 1892
The circus came to town this month and the inhabitants were entertained by birds, lions, monkeys and an elephant, which was a favourite of the children.

May 1892
“On Monday the dealers of the town began to close their places of business at seven p.m. They will, however, remain open till eleven on Saturdays as usual. It is hoped that customers will make their purchases as early in the evening as possible, in order to enable this most useful class of people to enjoy a little relaxation from their labours.”

August 1892
“Unfortunately for the Stonehouse silk industry, it has been found impossible to start a co-operative manufacturing company here. Many hands are out of work, and it is feared that more will be thrown idle. The outlook for the weavers is at present very dark, and if time does not heal matters our handloom weaving will be destined to become a thing of the past.”

August 1892
Official opening of the new lawn tennis courts, by Mrs McLean. The first game was played between Mr James Thomson and Miss Naismith against Mr R. J. Naismith and Miss Sloan. Torrential rain stopped play. Mr James Thomson (secretary) is said to have been instrumental in the establishment of the club and the new courts.

October 1892
Intimation that Mr Robert Naismith (author of Stonehouse Historical and Traditional 1885) agreed to contest the seat for County Councillor for the combined parishes of Stonehouse and Glassford in December coming with Mr William Sym. December 1892

“Sir, As it is now drawing near Christmas and New Year, we hope that the people of Stonehouse will not forget the able and much respected letter-carrier, George Leggate. A few of the good folks have remembered George in the past with a “tip”, but the great majority, possibly for want of thought, have omitted that duty they ought to perform. George has been in the service for upwards of twenty years, and every person in the town will admit that a better man and one more attentive to duty could not be found. The busy time is about to commence, and it is customary in all towns to remember the hard wrought postman with a Christmas box or New Year gift. Shall Stonehouse folks allow themselves to be best by other and smaller towns - I am &c. - Christmas Box.”

December 1892
“On Saturday afternoon, one of the most daring highway robberies ever attempted in the county was committed between Stonehouse and Larkhall. Mr Cunningham, agent of the Union Bank at Larkhall, attends the Stonehouse branch of the bank on Saturdays. There was an extra amount of business on Saturday last, as that was the half yearly rent-day of General Lockhart’s tenants and feuars. Business being over, Mr Cunningham, along with one of the clerks, drove homeward in an open conveyance in which were three bags one of which contained money to the extent of £3000 and others a ledger, cheques, &c. When at the part of the bridge which spans the Cander water, and at the place known as “The Cut”, he was attacked by three men who came out of the wood, masked and armed with revolvers. One of them seized the horses head and presented a revolver at Mr Cunningham, while the other jumped onto the conveyance, also presenting a revolver, and exclaimed “The gold, the gold, or you are dead in a moment”. A struggle ensued in the course of which Mr Cunningham stuck to the bag with the gold, and bore the mask from the man’s face, but he managed to escape, carrying off one of the bags containing the documents. The banker immediately drove back to Stonehouse, and informed the police of the affair, which, on being noised abroad created a great sensation. The daring attack was noticed at no great distance by a number of miners on their way from their day’s work, but they do not appear to have taken in the unusual situation, although, their evidence is likely to be of invaluable use in bringing the desperados to justice. Sub-Inspector Rodger being about on duty at Ferniegair, Constable James was the man to whom the report of the occurrence was conveyed. On driving to the scene, he found about a dozen miners standing on the road and they accompanied him into the wood in search of the robbers and their booty but failed to find any trace of them. Meanwhile, information got mooted abroad, pointing strongly to two miners, Thomas Summers (27), residing in Camnethan Street, and Alexander Brown (24), Hill Road, as being likely suspects in connection with the robbery. During the afternoon, they had been in the hostelry where Mr Cunningham stabled, and the landlord recalled that one of them had been out about the back of the yard three or four times obviously to pick up information as to the bankers time of leaving. They are further alleged to have been seen on the road leading to the scene of the robbery, and after all was over one of them is said to have been noticed stalking behind a tree in the Lockhart plantation on Hamilton Farm. This circumstantial evidence led to their apprehension by Sub-Inspector Rodger in the course of the evening.

Superintendent Dods arrived later from Hamilton, several constables from Larkhall having previously come on the scene, and a search took place, when there were found a mask similar to those used at fancy balls, an old breech loaded horse pistol which could not have been loaded, waterproof capes and slouched hats, said to be similar to those worn by the accused after their return from America a couple of years ago. In this connection, it is asserted that their leaving for America was coincident with the Stonehouse Station being broken into, but in view of several unfounded stories abroad concerning them, this is probably no more than coincidence. They came back to this country together, and though Brown afterwards went to Australia he returned to Stonehouse some four months ago. The two men were companions and their neighbours and the police unite in describing them as “bad characters”. At the same time, they do not hitherto appear to have had any very serious accusations brought home to them. On Monday, the two accused were taken before Sheriff Davidson at Hamilton, and after being judicially examined were committed to prison pending enquiry. Since then, the Procurator Fiscal has been engaged in examining witnesses with the view to reporting to Crown Counsel. A search party was organised on Wednesday, with the result that the missing bag was found at the mouth of the Cander Water where it joins the Avon. It was buried in two feet of earth, and was found by Robert Millar, Boghall Street, and Constable Cameron, Strathaven. It was taken to the Bank, and after being examined by the clerk, was handed over to the police. Nothing seems to have been taken out of it. Much excitement has been caused by the daring attempt, and the trial of the two suspected men awaited with much interest”.

This story makes interesting reading. You get the impression these men while in America fancied themselves as ‘outlaws’ and so in returning decided to re-enact their fantasy, complete with cowboy hats and rob the banks payroll being transported by coach. The closest modern day Stonehouse came to highway robbery was in the mid-seventies when the West Mains estate was nearing
completion. One of Ginestri’s ice cream vans couped over near the entrance to the estate, shedding its load of sweets across the road, and before aid was on the scene children from nearby had escaped with most of the confectionery!

January 1893
“It is currently rumoured here that a large number of men - about 200 it is surmised - are about to be engaged at the quarry of which Messrs Baird & Stevenson, Glasgow have a lease. If this rumour is correct, as we hope it is, it will prove a very great benefit to the village.”

March 1893
“The members of the Parochial Board met with a deputation of the School Board on Wednesday night and resolved to call a meeting of the inhabitants to consider the inadvisability of erecting the fever hospital for the first division of the Middle Ward on the lands of Toft.”

April 1893
James Berry, the ex-hangman, gave one of his lectures on that gruesome subject in the Public Hall on Monday last to a small audience.

There are no recorded hangings in Stonehouse, nor does James Berry show up on the census information we have. The only recorded punishment of crime in Stonehouse was between the years 1760-1790 when a ‘delinquent’ was punished by public whipping. Usually you can trace where the hangings took place by looking for ‘Gallowhill’ on a map.

April 1893
“Boring operations have been going on for some time at Candermill. Coal has been got, and it is said to be about two and a half feet in thickness.”

May 1893
“The cuckoo was heard in the braes during the middle of last week. Can Carnwath match this?”

May 1893
“Messers Rankin & Co. broke ground on Monday for two new pits on the banks of the Cander Water. Coal is said to be plentiful in the district, and it only requires an energetic and persevering firm to put their shoulder to the wheel, and turn the village into an active centre of industry. The Swinhill Coal Co. resumed full work on Monday after numerous improvements which have been going on for some time.”

June 1893
One day last week a minorca hen, belonging to Mr Andrew Loudon, sen., Camnethan Street, laid an egg such has never been seen nor heard of either here or in eccentric places as Carnwath or Uddingston. The dimensions of this overgrown egg are 9in. by 7in., and on being put in the scales by a local grocer the weight was found to be 5 ounces. If all hens were to lay eggs like this there is no doubt but that butcher meat would come down in price.

August 1893
Intimation of the publication of a new book by Robert Naismith entitled ‘Robert and James Haldane; two worthy workers of bygone days’. Unfortunately I have been unable to locate a copy of this book.

September 1893
“The honey harvest, as well as the grain harvest, has now been secured for another year, and the beekeepers are jubilant over the
extraordinary quantity and quality of the honey at their disposal.”

October 1893
“The Stonehouse Colliery, recently carried on by Messers Waugh, Ross & Waugh, has been acquired by the above company, and was restarted on Monday last, with the object of carrying on the business of mining, quarrying, brick making, the manufacture of fire clay goods, and trading in minerals. The capital of the company is £3500, divided into 350 shares of £10 each.” The article goes on to list all the subscribers and directors of the company.

January 1894
“It is an unusual circumstance that three ministers of the same name should hold service in the same town and on the same day. Yet this was accomplished here last Sunday. The Rev. H.A. Paterson conducted services in his own church, the Rev. T.M.B. Paterson of Hamilton officiated in the Free Church and the Rev. W.R. Paterson of Glasgow preached in the Public Hall.”

March 1894
“Mr Mackay, one of the most popular lecturers of the Scottish Temperance League, delivered a lecture in Greenside School on Thursday last under the auspices of the “Prince consort” Lodge. There was a good attendance and the lecture was much appreciated.” This society was established in 1870.

March 1894
“For some weeks the town has been kept in a furore of excitement by the laying of the pipes for the new water supply. That work has all but completed now, after which peace will again reign supreme.”

March 1894
“A serious depression has settled down on the weaving industry. Work is scarce and prices are low.”

April 1894
“In common with other towns of any pretensions, a brigade was formed here on Tuesday under the command of Sergeant Dick, drill instructor G Company, 9th L.R.V. Sixty-eight boys have already been enrolled, and as the brigade is distinctly undenominational, it is hoped that there may be a large increase in the ranks. The honour of starting this new adventure is entirely due to the Rev. Mr Wilson, parish minister, who has the warmest interests of the children at heart, and will spare neither pains nor expense to establish it on a firm basis.” This article contradicts another source which stated James Curr was the first Boys’ Brigade Captain.

August 1894
A Parish Church excursion to Douglas numbered 380 persons, transported in 14 brakes supplied by Hugh Burns. After a journey of some three and a half hours, the company enjoyed a days races, rounders, football, swings, and skipping ropes before leaving for home.

January 1895
“Shortly after the stroke of twelve, a large crowd assembled at the Cross and sang “The sands of time are sinking”. A young man spoke a few words after which the Rev. Mr Smith, Congregational Church, pronounced the benediction and the gathering dispersed, many of them to engage in the old time custom of “first footing”.”
• Traders Ball - “Undoubtedly the ball of the season was that of the Traders’ Association in the Public Hall on Wednesday night. The hall was tastefully decorated for the occasion with evergreens and fairy lamps, and this, combined with the gay dresses and no end of merriment, made it a night long to remember.”

January 1895
A short historical account of weaving in Stonehouse indicates there were 131 weavers in a population numbering 596 inhabitants in the village in 1791, compared to between 700 to 800 in 1895.

February 1895
Further indication of the need for a new Parish Church is evident from a report stating that night services had to be cancelled due to Arctic conditions. The church was heated by gas, which was prone to the meter freezing in cold weather.

March 1895
“The new temperance ship “Advance” was floated on the floor of Greenside School on Tuesday last. The vessel is well manned, and we shall soon hear of it storming and completely annihilating the fortress of King Alcohol in Stonehouse. The crew is mostly composed of those who could not conscientiously cooperate with the laws and rules of the late “Prince Consort” Lodge, L.O.G.T. and no slight is thrown on the new society by calling it “The Temperance Ship”, “Advance” as that is the name by which they evidently wish to be known.”

May 1895
“It is expected that building operations in connection with the new Congregational Church will be commenced early in June. The managers met in the hall on Tuesday evening to consider the estimates submitted to them, and the following contracts were accepted: Mason - Messers Clarkson & Son (Lesmahagow), £701 7s 81/2d; Joiner - Messrs. J & T Hamilton (Stonehouse), £503 14s 1 1/2d; Slater - Mr Thomas Steele (Strathaven), £96 6s 9d; Plasterer - Mr John Taylor (Larkhall), $62 19s 3d; Plumber - Mr William Hart (Stonehouse), £64 15s 4d; Painter - Mr Archibald Wiseman (Strathaven), £28; Glazier - Messers Millar & Co. (Glasgow), £23 14s 9d. Estimates have not yet been taken for heating, upholstery etc., but it is calculated that the total cost of the building will be about £1600. Mr J. B. Wilson, A.R.I.B.A., Bath Street, Glasgow, is architect.”

January 1896
“Stonehouse Hospital is now completed and ready for occupancy, and has been open for public inspection during all this week. Large numbers of people took advantage of the opportunity thus afforded them, and after a most careful examination they expressed their unanimous satisfaction with the building and all its modern requirements. Everything which can possibly minister to the comfort of the patients seem to have been provided for. The hospital contains about twenty beds. Those who have not yet seen should do so today, Saturday, between the hours of 11 and 8.”

February 1896
“The second debate of the session came off on Monday evening, in Camnethan Street School. A debate on “Socialism” is always sure to draw a large meeting, and the largest room in the school was crowded to its utmost capacity, over two hundred being present. The chair was occupied by the President Mr Alex. Andrew, who, after the preliminary business was transacted, called upon Mr James Froude to advocate the Collectivist side of the question. Mr James Paterson took up the Individualist aspect of Socialism. The debaters were supported by Messers Gavin Hutchison and John Thomson respectively. The other members who took part in the discussion were the Rev. J. H. Deas, Messers Robert Hamilton and Robert Mather. After the leaders had replied to criticism, the vote was taken, and resulted as follows:- Collectivism, 43; Individualism 15 - being a majority of 28 in favour of Mr Froude. Only about half the members recorded their vote.” Formed in 1855 under the presidency of Andrew Thomson the M.I.A. was still flourishing in 1945.

March 1896
“Sir - Considerable indignation has been expressed here from time to time at the want of police cells. It is all very well for those who would like to draw attention to our village as a health resort to point out that the inhabitants are so well behaved that there is no need for cells. But the want of cells is not conducive with peace. It is granted by all that rowdyism is the exception and not the rule : but what restraint is there on those who are on malicious mischief bent? and there are such in every community. Why should drunk men and women be allowed to stagger about our streets on Saturday evening, and well into Sunday morning, shocking the ears of people with obscene language? Why are “haltlin” fellows allowed to do very much as they please, whether it be destruction to property or annoyance to villagers? Simply because there are no police cells. Not a word of disparagement is said against Sub-inspector Rodger or Constable James. These respected guardians do what they can to put down any cases that come to their knowledge, but their power of controlling turbulent spirits is very much weakened by the want of cells. A night in the cells would have a most salutary effect on some of the tormentors. Misconduct is allowed here which would not be tolerated in Larkhall or Strathaven where there are cells. Some of our rowdy fellows have gone to Larkhall at times, evidently thinking they would get as much rein there as here. But there fun was of short duration. The cells confined them and allowed them time to consider why they left the place of “no cells”, to their heart’s content. When occasion arises for a court case to be made from here, the police have to hire a machine to convey the delinquents to Larkhall, then when the case comes up at court they have to be removed again. It is quite natural to suppose that only very bad cases will thus be dealt with and small cases must be allowed to pass. Surely this is a clumsy and unsatisfactory state of matters indeed. Do the authorities imagine that Stonehouse is some “Sleepy Hollow”, and not worthy of their attention? It is a pure farce to have cells in places like Blackwood and Crossford, while a parish of somewhere about four thousand inhabitants is neglected. Now that Chief-constable Captain Despard has got fairly into duties, we would humbly suggest to him that he might consider the advisability of supplying a long felt want, and institute in our midst an office, the name of which would in itself be a sufficient terror to evil doers - I am, etc., NO CELLS.” It is recorded that the earliest known location for a police office stood on the ground where 12/14 Lawrie Street now rests (abandoned 1791). John Miller (joiner) was said to ring the bell in the old jail house, to which there was a clock also mounted at the top of the outside stair. Both the bell and clock were later removed to the new church in New Street some time after its erection.A replacement jail at 12 Kirk Street wasn’t erected until around 1897.

March 1896
A meeting of the parish council was present in the Parish Chambers to discuss the building of a new Parish Chambers, as they were due to be removed from using the schools the following Whitsunday. With the agreement of General Lockhart an area known as Cawfauld Bleaching Green (Wellbrae) was identified and work authorised to start immediately. Mr James Curr, architect, was instructed to make the necessary arrangements. In the construction of the building the erection of a lamp outside the chairman’s door was requested and installed. The lamp incorporated a glass centre piece in the form of a buckle, and on it were miniatures of the various trades and industries of the parish. They were as follows; a miner’s pick, a shuttle, a boot, a plane, an open bible, a loaf, an anvil, a plough and a mason’s mallet. A Latin motto was also inscribed with a thistle below (“To Protect to Maintain”). The other side of the lamp included “Stonehouse Parish Council” and “William Miller J.P.. Chairman”. At the turn of the century a Mr Alexander Anderson J. P. was the registrar of births, deaths and marriages here, as well as being clerk to the Parish Board. He died at his residence of Willowlea (Strathaven Road) in 1945, having served as registrar and clerk to the Parish Council for 49 years. His daughter Madge, worked with him in the office from about 1910-1922, and was said to have been the first lady assistant registrar appointed in Scotland. The building is today used as a Chapel Hall for the Roman Catholic community.

May 1896
“We understand Mr Meiklem, gamekeeper to Captain MacNeil Hamilton, was lucky enough last Monday morning to shoot a fox. It seems these “poultry fanciers” are rather plentiful round Glenavon way, as the same gentleman has destroyed over a score of them during the last two or three year. Thank the gamekeeper and mind your hens, guidwifes!” Mr Meiklem is said to have shot about thirty foxes over the previous two to three years in the Glenavon district.

May 1896
“Considerable dissatisfactions being expressed by the action of some person or persons in closing up a small opening which leads down by the side of Manse Burn. It is said by those who ought to know that this particular place is a right of way, and that therefore it ought not to be closed. The Parish Council would no doubt be only too glad to look into the matter if the grievance was placed before them in the proper manner.” This right of way refers to the pathway locally recognised as the back entrance of the park down through the woods to the Boggs at the Avon, which has of recent fallen into disrepair.

June 1896
“On Monday afternoon, about five o’clock, the inhabitants were surprised by the ringing of the Established Church bell. Various conjectures were arrived at as to its ringing at that time. Some thought it might be a fire; others, a heritor’s meeting for which the bell is rung. The majority came to the conclusion it was a meeting and pursued their work. In the past a difference was made in the ringing for a meeting and as a fire alarm, and it would be well if the same distinctions were made again. On enquiring it transpired that fire had broken out on the roof of a house at 6 Boghall Street. How the fire originated is not known, but it is supposed that a spark from a neighbouring chimney must have fallen on the thatch which, owing to a long continued drought, was very dry.

Fortunately, by the aid of a copious supply of water, it was kept from rising into a flame. If it had risen to a flame, the consequences might have been most disastrous as almost the whole of the street is composed of thatched buildings, and a fair wind was blowing. As it was, a considerable portion of the roof was destroyed and the interior much spoiled by water.”

June 1896
“The formation of a golf club in Stonehouse is now an accomplished fact, and considering the class of membership have joined or signified their intention to do so, it is evident that the club has come to stay. A suitable course has been found near West Town Farm. Several holes have already been got, and others are in formation. Good play has been got, and in course of time we may be proud of the position Stonehouse Golf Club will hold in golfing circles.” This Golf Club was only to survive until the following year. In my childhood I found an implement for making golf holes buried at the bottom of my parents garden in Townhead Street. I believe this may have been used at the above course or at the Holm Farm course on the Avon.

June 1896
“Our village has for many years been clear of the mean practice of house breaking, but the record was broken on Monday evening, when Newfield House, the residence of Rev. Mr Smith, was entered during the time the family were at the social meeting in connection with the opening of their new church. Some boys of the village, more no doubt from fun than from any designed purpose of burglary, had watched the house being closed up for the night, and thought they would have an examination of the contents. Once in, they appeared to be having a good time, and regaled their palates with various delicacies they had found there, and it is said they helped themselves to a little money in order to enjoy the treat a little further. One member of the family had seen them about the gate, and suspicion naturally fell upon them. One of the young ones, from terror, confessed all, and it is hoped that they have had a severe enough lesson, and that their parents may be saved the disgrace of exposure. It is, however, a warning to villagers to see that their doors and window are properly secured before they leave them, and in this respect many people are very lax, as a similar case of housebreaking has not occurred for many years.”

August 1896
A dinner party took place in the Black Bull Hotel for Mr William Burns, Mayor of Sunderland, native of Stonehouse. Mr Burns (brother of H. D. Burns, owner of Black Bull) is said to have left Stonehouse some 42 years previous to make his fortune in the North of England spending twenty years as a member of the Corporation of Sunderland.

September 1896
“A council of war has been held by the officers and all aboard are stirring at this season of the year the enemy are ever on the alert, and have scornfully observed the preparations made for the Winter’s fighting. King Alcohol is in command of his own ship ‘Destruction,’ and his crew by his direct inspiration are most zealous for his welfare. The captain of the ‘Advance’ has given the signal, by the flag ship ‘Conscience,’ that ‘Heaven expects for every man that he will do his duty!’ and already the life boats have been manned by the ‘blue ribbons’. King Alcohol has run up his fairest ensign, which reads thus; ‘Our service is voluntary; you can come and go’ - and many are deceived thereby. Both ships have guns, but the ‘Destruction’ does not care to reply to the ‘shots’ of the ‘Advance’. All its killing work is done on board. It carries ‘sirens’ who sing their very best to lure the weary to their decks. The ‘Advance’ has a strong band on board, and with its other attractions continues to draw men upon it. May it long continue to train recruits, and may the ‘Band of Hope’ fulfil our hopes by forming a training-ship to ride gallantly!”

October 1896
“A crowd is expected to the laying of the memorial stone of the new Parish Church today at 2.30. Distinguished clergymen of the church are to speak on the occasion.”

November 1896
“A movement is on with a view to getting a new bowling green. The present green is in a poor state of good play, and it has been found advisable to have a new one in a different part of the village. Negotiations are now in progress with General Lockhart regarding ground, and there is no doubt that an amicable arrangement will be come to.”

December 1896
“We are informed, and what would seem the best authority, that the first sod of the new railway is to be cut on or about the 1st of June next, and that the work is to be pushed on rapidly.” In June 1898 the contract for the new railway was secured by Mr Doyle of Glasgow, at an estimated cost of £200,000.

March 1897
“An exciting incident, fortunately unattended by loss of life, occurred on Wednesday evening. Mr Muir, butcher, had occasion to send a spring van to Burncrooks Farm in charge of his son and Mr Archibald Millar. On the homeward journey one of the shafts broke at “Nellies Brig”. This seems to have frightened the horse, which bolted and broke the other shaft, overturning the van and throwing out the occupants. The horse continued its mad career up Union Street, and made for its stable in King Street. The door, however, was closed, and it rushed on again. Its course was interrupted, and it tore furiously down Queen Street and back again into King Street, where it rushed into the warehouse of Messers Caldwell, Young & Co., the door of which was open. Here it was secured, where it was found to be badly lacerated in the front legs. Fortunately no one was hurt.”

May 1897
“A circular letter signed by three ladies read, asking the Council (Parish) to petition in favour of the bill. The request was received with divisive laughter, Mr Gillmour saying it should be on the table, and Mr Froude asking that it should be put in the fire. Ultimately, it was agreed by the majority of two not to petition, the only members in its favour being Messers Thomas Gray and James Hamilton.” Some thirty years later, Georgina Melvin is said to have been the first female to vote from Stonehouse in 1927.

May 1897
“These light -fingered gentry were in evidence at the show on Wednesday, and three of them were caught.”

May 1897
Strathaven led the way in this silly notion, and Stonehouse has been infected. Mr Buckley was determined that the neighbouring village would not have all its own way, and he decided to beat its champion. This he succeeded in doing on Saturday afternoon, when he pushed or drew a wheelbarrow to Shawsburn and back - a distance of six miles in less time than the Strathaven man did five miles. He is now prepared to meet his Stra’ven friend or any other competitor, and he hopes the challenge may be accepted on an early date.

June 1897
“Last week, while Mr Robert Small, King Street, was fishing in the Avon, under Cot Castle, he observed a full sized otter. Other anglers have from time to time seen an otter in the same locality, and the wonder is being expressed as to whether there is just one of these animals or whether there is a family of otters.” In the past few years several otters have been sighted at several locations on the Avon, of which I have witnessed two, on separate occasions.”

September 1897
“This celebrated American company paid Stonehouse a visit this week, and occupied the Public Hall on Wednesday and Thursday. The entertainment was of a very high order, the marvellous skill of Miss Lottie Ormonde on the violin perfectly delighting the people, but the most interesting part of the programme was the clairvoyant revelations of Miss Stella Ormonde, the precision and accuracy of which were truly astonishing. Numerous tests were made, all of which she came out of successfully. Another feature of the entertainment was Dr. Ormonde’s trick, “The Escaped Convict”.”

November 1897
Archibald Shearar (cow feeder) was killed returning from auction in Wishaw when he jumped on to a moving train. Losing his foothold he became entangled under the train, dragging him 200 yards before stopping. Well known and respected within the community he died shortly after the accident.

February 1898
“We would draw the attention of all interested in our little village to the entertainment to be given on Thursday 10th inst. This will consist of a magic lantern panorama of nearly 200 views of different parts of the parish and village, weaving in some different branches, and 25 groups of the children who were at school during the Diamond Jubilee year.” Some of these glass slides are shown within this publication, taken by a Mr Gray between 1897 and 1905. Another Stonehouse photographer, Mr Melvin (Angle Street) produced a series of photographs in the form of a booklet, sold in partnership with the post office. Many more of his slides were apparently broken up and buried in the back garden of George Wilson’s former house in Green Street.

March 1898
“The last meeting of the present Winter season was held on Thursday, 3rd inst. under the presidency of Mrs Lockhart, Cam’nethan House. This charitable society has been the means of affording much needed help to a large number of poor people, in the way of supplying them with clothing, tea, sugar, and other necessaries; and being quite unsectarian, is deservedly worthy of support. Much of the success of the society is due to the active management of the kind and generous lady who acts as president and who is ably assisted by an energetic acting committee of ladies.”

March 1898
“A daring attempt at robbery was made during Monday night on the ticket office of the railway station. The thieves had wrenched off a dozen boards of the back portion of the office, which is built of wood, and had thereby gained admission. Having forced open the money drawer, which fortunately was empty, they had evidently turned their attention to the safe, but were once more baulked, as it resisted all their efforts to force it. An attempt had then been made to get the safe outside, but the thieves being scared made off without getting anything in the shape of booty, money or otherwise, leaving behind them their tools, consisting of a saw and two crowbars. The police are actively engaged in investigating the matter.”

April 1898
Death of Rev. Thomas Millar, a native of Stonehouse, minister of St. Paul’s Parish Church, Leith.

April 1898
“Our embryonic Cycle Club had its first run on Saturday last, and the Echoist (reporter) was glad to hear that no untoward mishap had befallen it. It has not yet transpired who carries the bugle, and, although the club as individuals can be relied upon to sound their own horns, yet they will be better to appoint one ex-officio.” In May of this year Mr Robert Bruce was elected president of the club.

May 1898
“At Hamilton J.P. Court on Monday, John Morrison, a mason employed at the new railway works, and residing in Townhead Street, Stonehouse, was convicted and fined 35s or 21 days imprisonment for obtaining liquor in the Royal Hotel, Stonehouse on Sunday. Morrison was found by Sergeant Rodger on Sunday afternoon in the hotel, where by representing that he was a traveller from Strathaven and that he resided there, he was supplied with the drink.”

June 1898
“This well appointed circus visited the village on Tuesday. Two performances were given - that for children in the afternoon being fairly well attended, but the evening performance for adults was somewhat meagrely represented, the sixpenny seats only being well filled. Both performances were marked by a clever exhibition of well trained horses.”

June 1898
“Meadowside cottage (East Bar toll house), consisting of six apartments, kitchen and scullery, with washing house, stable, and garden, was exposed to sale in the Commercial Hotel, Hamilton, on Thursday, at the upset price of £150 and after keen competition was knocked down to Mr Burnside, Dennistoun, Glasgow at £245. L.S. Smellie & Sons acted as auctioneers.”

July 1898
“Stonehouse is one of those beautiful country villages lying halfway between Edinburgh and Ayr, which as a health resort has few rivals. Three of the leading essentials that contribute to health are to be found here, vis., pure air, a bountiful supply of spring and gravitational water, and drainage almost of the most complete form. The scenery in and around only requires to be seen by those in search of such a place, in order that they might arrive at the same conclusion as the writer of this epistle as regards the beauty.”

July 1898
“Notwithstanding the disadvantage of having a green which is only mediocre, our local bowlers have come out well of the Hozier cup competition, being placed second highest on the list of prize winners. The result is all the more creditable in that they have not the ideal velvety turf on which to draw the jack, their green resembles as it does an amateur landscape painters canvas.”

July 1898
“This grand collection of wild animals visited Stonehouse on Friday, 8th inst., and was well patronised during the evening. The performances amongst the lions, tigers, bears, leopards and wolves created much interest and no little excitement.”

July 1898
“On Wednesday, the shopkeepers and their friends had an excursion to Ayr. The party, numbering upwards of 500, were accommodated in thirteen railway carriages, drawn by one of Caledonian Railway Company’s most powerful locomotives, and left the village shortly before eight o’clock in the morning. Arriving at Ayr, all the places of interest were visited, including Burns’ monument, Brig o’ Doon, and the birth place of our immortal national poet, the ploughman bard. The day being beautifully fine, the various drives in and around auld Ayr were greatly enjoyed, and a glorious day having been spent, the excursionists reached home at nine p.m. all highly delighted with the day’s outing.”

August 1898
“This well known combination visited Stonehouse on Tuesday evening. The performance was somewhat unique. The feats of horsemanship were good, and the performing dogs, lions, elephant, and trapeze artists were well worth seeing. There was a large audience and their frequent applause testified to the excellence of the whole performance.”

September 1898
A meeting was held to discuss and establish a Brass Band in the village. A management committee was formed chaired by William Miller J.P. A code of laws for guidance and management of the band was drawn up, and one of the most important rules was that every member of the band should be pledged to total abstinence before being admitted. With a number of young men coming forward to join the band, fund raising was seen as a priority to purchase instruments for the band.

October 1898
“The County Council of Lanark have made arrangements for a week’s course of demonstrations in butter making, to be given in Greenside Street Public School, commencing on Friday first. Miss Margaret Fraser, F.H.A.S., county instructress, will conduct the class, and it is to be hoped that farmers and others interested in butter making will give every encouragement by attending. County Councillor Sym will preside at the opening demonstration.”

October 1898
“We would call attention to the grand entertainment which is to be given in the Public Hall on Thursday, 20th inst. The cinematograph and gramophone machines which will used on this occasion are of the newest type, and the proceeds, after paying expenses, go to the benefit of the brass band. We expect a crowded house for this unique entertainment.”
• At a meeting of the Parish Council the poor roll numbered 45, with 33 dependants, of which there are four in asylum, three in lunatic wards of poorhouse, four ordinary inmates of the poorhouse. 34 with 33 dependants received outdoor relief.

December 1898
“Mr William Sym has been returned by the narrow majority of 17 over his opponent, Mr John Borland, the figures being Mr Sym 364; Mr Borland 347.”

December 1898
“On Monday forenoon a man named Thomas Brown was severely injured by the falling of a large steam crane at the new railway works near Cotcastle, Stonehouse. It appears that Brown was engaged at the foundation of the new bridge, when, through some cause, the cutter pin of the crane came out, with the result that the whole crane collapsed, and the wire rope, swinging around, struck him violently on the left side, inflicting injuries about the thigh and back. He was removed to the hut, and attended by Dr. Fergus, Strathaven.”

February 1899


The village mourned the death of respected Stonehouse citizen John Frood who until his death was an active member of the community. An elected member of the Parish Council since the inception of the Local Government Bill, he spent two years as representative of the council on the Middle Ward Committee of the County Council and was elected chair of the Parish Council at its first meeting. He was also a member of the School Board and a director of the Public Hall and Strathaven Model Building Society. Survived by his widow and nine children, his funeral was largely attended by residents.

March 1899
The half yearly meeting of the Curling Club took place in the Town Hall, chaired by vice-president John Craig. Mr James Hamilton (contractor) was unanimously elected president after the death of James Muir. Treasurer, James Naismith read out the financial statement which showed the club was in a flourishing condition, both numerically and financially. Secretary W. Thomson made a presentation of curling stone handles, a walking stick and pipe to the treasurer for his commitment to the club.

April 1899
“A public meeting was held in the Public Hall on Tuesday night, for the purpose of protesting against the Sunday drink traffic in the village. Rev. J. Hay Deas, B.D., occupied the chair, and was supported on the platform by all the other ministers of the village and several gentlemen. The chairman in the in his opening remarks said that during the past winter the licensed houses had been closely watched by several men on whose word he could implicitly rely, and the result of their surveillance disclosed a state of matters which showed a gross corruption of the licensing laws, and he (the chairman) had no hesitation in saving that, from his own personal observation and that of others, the licensing laws were being shamefully abused in Stonehouse, especially on Sundays, when crowds of young men from other towns visited the village for no other purpose than to procure drink, thereby creating scenes of drunkenness and disorder on the streets which were painful to witness.” As a result of the meeting a petition was proposed to lodge a complaint with the License Court against the Royal Hotel which was agreed by those present.

April 1899
“On Thursday, 20th inst., within the Black Bull Hotel, the one storey thatched property in New Street, consisting of shop occupied by John Allan, shoemaker, and four kitchens, was exposed for sale. The upset price was £120, and after keen competition the property was sold for £196, Mr Thomas Wilson, joiner, being the purchaser.”

The oldest recording of a shop in the village appears to date back to 1798. Called ‘Home Stores’ the ‘wee shop’ was owned by Nannie Miller, who kept her own cow and sold milk and candy. The shop was carried on by her descendants and was still evident in 1925.

April 1899
Rev. James Scott Naismith, son of Robert Naismith J.P., was ordained to the charge of Rickerton.

June 1899
“Mr John Thomson, Camnethan Street, has been appointed postmaster for Stonehouse and district in room of Mr William Stevenson, resigned. Mr Minto, Edinburgh, has been acting as acting postmaster during the past six months. The change of the Post Office will be across the street.” Other ‘letter carriers’ of early note were George Leggate, ‘auld Nim’le, John Craig and Wullie Hutchison.

The first telephone in Stonehouse was installed in the local Post Office in July 1914. A call office and exchange were sited here, providing subscribers with the opportunity to communicate with the wider world. The introduction of this service was due to the enterprising work of the Town Improvement Association.

• Gas Company -“The annual general meeting of the shareholders of Stonehouse Gas-light Coy. was held on Wednesday last in the Black Bull Hotel. There was a small attendance of shareholders. The business having been disposed of in a satisfactory manner, the chairman in the course of his remarks referred to the rise in the price of coal and lime, already notified to them from the parties they dealt with. He feared a further rise in price, and regretted to have to ask shareholders to consider the price of gas for the ensuing year. After, discussion, it was agreed to raise the price to 4s 7d per 100 cubic feet, seeing the coal had already risen in proportion.” Meeting closed, the directors and friends were entertained to a dinner by Mrs Burns.

July 1899
“We are pleased to record the success of one of our local shots, Sergeant Sym, of the Glasgow Yeomanry, who, besides gaining other prizes, reached the final stage in the shooting for the Queen’s Prize at Bisley, and secured a prize of £8 in the competition.”

August 1899
“An accident of a somewhat serious nature occurred on Wednesday night to a boy named Robert Craig, residing with his parents at Union Street, Stonehouse. It is alleged that the boy, along with others, had been amusing himself by pulling the hair from a horse’s tail, when the animal kicked Craig on the forehead, inflicting a deep gash. Dr McLean was summoned and dressed the wound.”

My father was the victim of a horses wrath many years past, when a horse unseated its rider and fled at great speed, down Vicars Road, heading towards the busy A71 on Townhead Street. Concerned for the safety of the horse and children making their way to the annual Boys’ Brigade display, he stood in the centre of the road and guided the horse to the side of the street preventing a serious accident. Unfortunately, he received a painful kick in the nether region of his groin. Doubled up in pain he had to apologise for not staying to watch the BB display and made his way home rather slowly.

August 1899
Three miners charged and convicted at Hamilton Court of killing a hen at Millburn Farm, Dalserf by throwing stones at it. One of the miners was further charged with assaulting a servant from the farm in relation to the incident.

August 1899
On Saturday night last, between ten and eleven o’clock, while a number of navvies were returning to the huts, one of them being annoyed at the bellowing of a bull, went into the field with the intention, as he said, of fighting the bull. The enraged animal, rushed at the foolhardy man, and tossed him a distance of about ten yards. The man, whose name is Henry Bradley was rescued from the dangerous position and taken out to the road. Dr
. Taylor having been summoned, found that the man had received a wound in the right groin about three inches long and one inch deep, caused by the bull’s horn. His injuries having been attended to, he was removed to Hamilton Poorhouse Hospital.

September 1899
Parish Council appointed Robert Bruce as lamp lighter for the coming year. The villages first lamplighter was John Cooper who after interview by the Parish Council was successful in obtaining the position after a 5-2 vote in his favour over William Wood. His wage was set at 30/- annually.

Another ‘Bruce’ of worthy note was that of cooncil-man Johnnie Bruce (Roberts son). Renown as a jack-of-all trades, Johnnie undertook an extensive remit of duties. These included; caretaker of the Public Hall, lamplighter and extinguisher of all gas lighting in Stonehouse, property inspector, cemetery superintendent (picture page 250), drainage maintenance and gardener among others. Loved by young and old alike Johnnie Bruce was a true character and gentleman, and will long be remembered by those who knew him and others who recognise the qualities and talents he brought to the development of Stonehouse.

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