I’ve previously shown this photo of one of the many Quoiting teams in Blantyre taken in 1908, and thought it to have been the Quoiting Green at Broompark Road, where Smiths Garage was, near Causeystones. However, I’ve been forced recently to change my opinion on this, following the discovery of many more quoiting greens and locations in Blantyre , other than Auchentibber and Broompark.
This, I think instead, is actually the Barnhill Quoiting Club, known to exist at that time. Whats more, I think the photo taken by Mr. David Ritchie, is a rare photo of Barnhill. I was in the beer garden of the Hoolets recently, and was thinking about this photo, and when i checked the old map back home, everything tied up!
This could be the Barnhill quoiting green, which is now the Hoolets Beer Garden, although there is a small field adjacent to this location, actually on Broompark Road which looks a more likely candidate. It was once connected directly to this location by a small path. What you’re seeing in the photo may simply have been the men posing for a photo at the nearby pub grounds or having a few throws there.
Beyond the men is the high wall at the lane, still there today. To the left, over 100 years ago was a ruined building, the lesser ruins of which can still be seen amongst very heavy undergrowth in the beer garden today. The thatched cottage in good condition in the background is Brownlie Cottage (Aggie Bains), prior to the addition of chimneys or a slate roof. The tenement in the background is Dixon’s Tenement at Bardykes Road, which is now where the Hoolets car park is. Further buildings on Bardykes Road can be seen on the right. To the far right is a double storey tenement, which is now no longer there. I have marked up a map of the era to put these features into context and I’m 99% certain the area highlighted in green is now the identified location of the photo.
Barnhill Quoiting Club is noted in 1900 as doing well financially, being well supported by local gentlemen. They had a tea in a room in the Barnhill Tavern, provided by Mrs Stoddart, and some of their prizewinners were, J. Dick. J. Craig, J. Campbell, W. Ford, D. Morrison, R. Ford, J. Allan, and D. Craig, and Mr Alexander Davidson chaired the proceedings.
According to McDonald’s 1909 Directory, the club was certainly still there at that time. The Directory confirms that the club was based at Broompark Road and that the President was Mr. James Allan; Vice-President: James Dick; Treasurer: Mr. Matt McGovern; Secretary: Mr. Andrew Forrest. The Handicapping Committee: — James Dick; James Allan; and John McGuigan.
The club may have been short lived, for no other trace of its existence can be found and may have fallen by the wayside due to the establishment and success of Auchenitbber’s team.