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Blantyre Project has been documenting various Road Accidents throughout the last 100 years or so. Featured in the forthcoming definitive Blantyre book, “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka, this exclusive and uniquely compiled list is added to frequently.
1935 – At New Year 1935, within an unfortunate period of just 24 hours, three little Blantyre children separately were involved in motor accidents. The reports were all matter of fact, even eluding to the children’s carelessness, but given that it was the first few days of the New Year, and the sheer lack of breath tests, it makes me wonder now how many of these incidents were related to drivers partially or fully under the influence. Although i should point out, the newspaper articles don’t mention that. Three-year-old William Wildman of 12 Cemetery Road, High Blantyre was playing on the road near High Blantyre Post Office, when he was knocked down by a motor car suffering a fractured thigh. He was taken to the Children’s hospital in Glasgow. Next a motor lorry belonging to a Blantyre fruit merchant knocked down a five-year-old girl named McGrory in small Crescent, near her home. Again, a bad thigh injury was sustained. Her condition was serious, so she was taken to Glasgow. Finally, a more serious accident befell Annie Limerick, the 9-year-old daughter of Thomas Limerick of 58 Bairds Rows. Whilst crossing Glasgow Road near the Co-op, she was knocked over by a passing car. She was carried into the nearby chemists and attended to by 2 doctors. She suffered two broken legs and the hospital at Glasgow received its third Blantyre patient in 24 hours.
1937 – in August 1937, a big holiday crowd in Glasgow Road, one Saturday night saw a three-year-old child run into the street to his death. James Allen, son of a miner, of Alpine Street, Blantyre, scampered off the pavement into the road and was knocked down by a double-decked bus.
1938 – Shortly after five o’clock on Friday 7th January 1938, a fatality occurred on Glasgow road at Blantyre, when Joseph Meechan (7), residing with his grandparents, Mr and Mrs John Meechan, 6 Alpine Street, Blantyre, was instantly killed. The boy darted across the road, and within 50 yards of his home was knocked down by a heavy motor lorry. The body was removed to the mortuary at Blantyre Police Office.
1940 – On Thursday 13th June 1940, The Evening Telegraph reported, “Jean Paterson, aged six, of John Street, Blantyre, was knocked down and killed by coal lorry on the main Glasgow Hamilton road while on her way to school.” The accident happened just after midday on Wed 12th June 1940. The accident happened when six-year-old Jean was leaving Ness’s (Low Blantyre Primary School) on her way back home to 6, John Street. Whilst crossing the main Glasgow road in front of the school, (immediately in front of where Blantyre library is today), she was knocked down by a heavily laden coal lorry, the rear wheels of which passed over her head. Death was instantaneous. Her little body was removed to the Police Mortuary and a Police enquiry opened up that same day, closing the road. Whilst this would have been too unbearable for her poor mother, the situation was even more difficult as Jean’s father was off fighting in the War, with the Royal Navy.
1964 – William O Connell died in a road accident on Bardykes Road on Christmas Day 1964 aged 84 years. He been to the local pub for a pensioners Christmas meal and was killed on the way home. An article in the Hamilton Advertiser named his friends Tarzan and Jake.
1967 – On Wednesday 18th January 1967, Mrs. Margaret Lavery (19) of Hamilton was knocked down in Main Street, High Blantyre. She was taken to hospital, but allowed out later that evening.
On the evening of Thursday 19th January 1967, Mr. Charles Russell (69) of the Trades Hotel, Burnbank was knocked down by a motorcar whilst walking on Whistleberry Road. Taken to hospital, his injuries were not severe.
1978 – Mr David Moore of 21 Atholl Gardens was taken to hospital with head injuries in May, after his car crashed whilst he swerved to avoid hitting a dog. That same week, a motorcyclist was injured when thrown from his bike when it hit a kerb on Glasgow Road. James Myles (22) was taken to hospital but released shortly after suffering a broken hand. That same week, Joyce McDougall (9) of 24 Iona Path was hit by a car in Glenfruin Road one Friday evening.
2017 – At 2.15pm on Sunday 22nd January 2017, a silver astra vehicle crashed through the plate glass window of the Newsagents (Mauchline’s) Shop on Glasgow Road, near the top of Station Road. Thankfully, the young man driving the car was uninjured and had recently passed his test. The shop staff were also uninjured but the incident was alarming as 2 fire brigades, 2 ambulance and 2 police cars arrived on the scene, closing the full Glasgow Road off, giving rise to considerable alarm amongst Blantyre residents before the outcome was announced.
At 10pm on Saturday 11th February 2017, a car ran through a fence and into the garden of a house at the corner of Stonefield Crescent, after failing to stop at the crossroads at the top of Stonefield Road.There were no injuries, but it accidents of this nature have happened in the past at this location, indicating it may be time for traffic lights at that crossroads.
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