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DavidMcD316

Old Bellshill...

Grainy link hope this works....

https://archive.org/stream/OldBel...res/OldBellshill#page/n0/mode/2up
cybers

Cracking wee link that    Loved the Tarry House photo there is one very similar just outside Crainlarich on the old backroad to Killin.
Ruchazie Rat

Well, at least there wasn`t any mention of Sheena (L.A.) Easton!
   
DavidMcD316

will need to look at old maps etc of the area. lived here since 2007 and know next to heehaw about the town!
DavidMcD316

DavidMcD316 wrote:
will need to look at old maps etc of the area. lived here since 2007 and know next to heehaw about the town!


Nah, spent hours trying but no luck. late 19th century, early 20th, WWII and the 60s sort of era.
cybers

DavidMcD316 wrote:
DavidMcD316 wrote:
will need to look at old maps etc of the area. lived here since 2007 and know next to heehaw about the town!


Nah, spent hours trying but no luck. late 19th century, early 20th, WWII and the 60s sort of era.


Yi can get help with that....
Not the Bellshill thing .... The talking to yirself  
DavidMcD316

cybers wrote:
DavidMcD316 wrote:
DavidMcD316 wrote:
will need to look at old maps etc of the area. lived here since 2007 and know next to heehaw about the town!


Nah, spent hours trying but no luck. late 19th century, early 20th, WWII and the 60s sort of era.


Yi can get help with that....
Not the Bellshill thing .... The talking to yirself  


Yes i should have just edited my first post
IBrown

I'm pleased the booklet has gone on line. I purchased it a few years back as I lived in Mossend until 1967 and even by that time most of the older photo locations in it were unrecognisable.  Then again, I'd a walk along main street Mossend to Bellshill a few years back and I'd say was unrecognisable in places since that bypass was put in, aye bypass Bellshill cross & main street and funnel all the traffic along Mossend main street towards oor cross..
Alycidon

Shame there isn't a photo of the old GBH&C/NB/LNER station, seems to have escaped the camera lens completely.
DavidMcD316

Alycidon wrote:
Shame there isn't a photo of the old GBH&C/NB/LNER station, seems to have escaped the camera lens completely.

Where was this?

The booklet is fab, but there seems to be hardly any photos of bellshill online at all.
Marblez

DavidMcD316 wrote:
Alycidon wrote:
Shame there isn't a photo of the old GBH&C/NB/LNER station, seems to have escaped the camera lens completely.

Where was this?

The booklet is fab, but there seems to be hardly any photos of bellshill online at all.


The station was where Kelbourne Crescent is nowadays, behind Graham's builders yard. The line came up from Bothwell, there isn't much trace of it left today. It continued up to Coatbridge and passed under the North Road where the Expressway now passes under it just down from Shawhead.
DavidMcD316

Marblez wrote:
DavidMcD316 wrote:
Alycidon wrote:
Shame there isn't a photo of the old GBH&C/NB/LNER station, seems to have escaped the camera lens completely.

Where was this?

The booklet is fab, but there seems to be hardly any photos of bellshill online at all.


The station was where Kelbourne Crescent is nowadays, behind Graham's builders yard. The line came up from Bothwell, there isn't much trace of it left today. It continued up to Coatbridge and passed under the North Road where the Expressway now passes under it just down from Shawhead.


http://maps.nls.uk/view/82892436

not sure if its on here, still searching.
Marblez

DavidMcD316 wrote:
Marblez wrote:
DavidMcD316 wrote:
Alycidon wrote:
Shame there isn't a photo of the old GBH&C/NB/LNER station, seems to have escaped the camera lens completely.

Where was this?

The booklet is fab, but there seems to be hardly any photos of bellshill online at all.


The station was where Kelbourne Crescent is nowadays, behind Graham's builders yard. The line came up from Bothwell, there isn't much trace of it left today. It continued up to Coatbridge and passed under the North Road where the Expressway now passes under it just down from Shawhead.

not sure if its on here, still searching.

About three inches above where it says BELLSHILL it is just above the road which comes in from Viewpark. This map shows it very clearly along with it's proximity to the current (Caley) station.
Alycidon

For the record the station opened on 01.05.1879 and closed completely 10.09.1951.  In common with many lightly used stations in Scotland, it had been closed as a wartime economy measure except for workmen’s trains a.m. and p.m.between 01.01.1917 and 02.06.1919.  Unfortunately my Lowland Locomotives site is down for the forseeable future or I could have provided more info.
Marblez

From 1922 the trains ran to Coatbridge then into Glasgow Queen St low-level on the NB line from Airdrie. The line from Bothwell to Hamilton closed 15/09/1952 due to the Craighead viaduct becoming unsafe and the rest of the line from Bothwell to Shettleston was finally closed on 04/07/1955.
DavidMcD316

thanks for all the info guys. some parts of the town looking at the maps there was railways, and youd never have guessed there was nowadays.
IBrown

It was only after I started on the Railway at the current Bellshill station that I learned from them of the 'other' one down the West End. All the old photos seem to stop just short of that area, but the track bed from there towards Bothwell was visible for many, many years. It ran right on the Cross side of the Baths and the only bit blocked then was a petrol station's tanks in the cutting at the main road. I walked it from where it went under the Caley just down from the present station. It ran all the way in deep cutting between present Cardinal Newman school and the Orbiston Estate before emerging and crossing the WCML at the site of what was Bothwell Colliery Branch Junction. It then ran on embankment to Bothwell (didn't walk that). Bothwell NB and Bothwell Caley stations were right across the main road from each other, Caley station building survived as Belmos [mining switchgear] well into the 1970's, the NB down in the cutting was turned into a footpath. The piers of the bridge across the Clyde were visible from a train on the Caley running between Blantyre & Hamilton. I saw the tunnel roof lifted after the yard closed. The only other bit I saw was where NB crossed Caley again between Hamilton West and Central stations. During demolition for new roads though, the Hamilton NB station building was revealed for a while and visible from Bothwell Road.

The cuttings at Bellshill were infilled for level access to Cardinal Newman from Orbiston side, and the building of the Bellshill Bypass. Never did walk Bellshill to Whifflet, but saw a stump at Carnbroe (whifflet) many years earlier and could have walked back to Bellshill but didn't, basically had lost my bearings and wasn't sure where I'd end up. Around the same period I walked from Uddingston (NB) to Mount Vernon, stopping there because I didn't fancy walking alone into Shettleston. Knew it was Glasgow, but hadn't a scoobie wherabouts.
DavidMcD316

IBrown wrote:
It was only after I started on the Railway at the current Bellshill station that I learned from them of the 'other' one down the West End. All the old photos seem to stop just short of that area, but the track bed from there towards Bothwell was visible for many, many years. It ran right on the Cross side of the Baths and the only bit blocked then was a petrol station's tanks in the cutting at the main road. I walked it from where it went under the Caley just down from the present station. It ran all the way in deep cutting between present Cardinal Newman school and the Orbiston Estate before emerging and crossing the WCML at the site of what was Bothwell Colliery Branch Junction. It then ran on embankment to Bothwell (didn't walk that). Bothwell NB and Bothwell Caley stations were right across the main road from each other, Caley station building survived as Belmos [mining switchgear] well into the 1970's, the NB down in the cutting was turned into a footpath. The piers of the bridge across the Clyde were visible from a train on the Caley running between Blantyre & Hamilton. I saw the tunnel roof lifted after the yard closed. The only other bit I saw was where NB crossed Caley again between Hamilton West and Central stations. During demolition for new roads though, the Hamilton NB station building was revealed for a while and visible from Bothwell Road.

The cuttings at Bellshill were infilled for level access to Cardinal Newman from Orbiston side, and the building of the Bellshill Bypass. Never did walk Bellshill to Whifflet, but saw a stump at Carnbroe (whifflet) many years earlier and could have walked back to Bellshill but didn't, basically had lost my bearings and wasn't sure where I'd end up. Around the same period I walked from Uddingston (NB) to Mount Vernon, stopping there because I didn't fancy walking alone into Shettleston. Knew it was Glasgow, but hadn't a scoobie wherabouts.



Excellent info there. Thanks for that :)
DavidMcD316

Is there anywhere online that has detailed street atlas or map of Bellshill from the past? searched for hours.
Marblez

DavidMcD316 wrote:
Is there anywhere online that has detailed street atlas or map of Bellshill from the past? searched for hours.

Depends what year you are looking for. The link I put on has various overlays and you move the slider to "see" the current satellite view. It should cover most eventualities especially for locating old photos etc.
DavidMcD316

Marblez wrote:
DavidMcD316 wrote:
Is there anywhere online that has detailed street atlas or map of Bellshill from the past? searched for hours.

Depends what year you are looking for. The link I put on has various overlays and you move the slider to "see" the current satellite view. It should cover most eventualities especially for locating old photos etc.


thanks ill have another wee look. must have missed the slider bit!
DavidMcD316

interesting stuff. a good change in the area and a few streets gone for good.
Hattonrigg terrace is a new one on me. As well as an Ice Factory!?
IBrown

Hattonrigg Terrace was still there when I started at Bellshill Academy in 1960. I think by then it was just the one two-storey row with back stairs that faced the school, or should I say the prefab annexes to the school. Guy in my old pigeon club had his loft down there before moving to Orbiston Estate, which was new build then. Some comical stories came out of the time he lived in the Terrace, like the woman neighbour that always hung out her washing on the line on Saturdays, just before his pigeons were due to arrive from the race. Guy was peeved and mentioned it to her, which usually ended up with a shouting match with Josey always having the last word e.g. ‘aye missus, yer washin might fright ma pigeons, but it’ll no dazzle them’.

Today’s Reema Road was a dirt track then that ran behind the school grounds, and it passed the old Hattonrigg pit bing a bit further west, behind the parks. The pit closed back in the 1930’s and was once served by a branch from Mossend yard direction, and also another from the NB line at Bellshill, which crossed the North Road by bridge, near the old Co-op. Never saw that bridge but the track bed west of the North Road was turned into a Public park, and the remaining abutment was altered to be a stairway access off North Road, up to the park.

The bit I’ve never been able to ‘square’ was the Thankerton pit village on the Holytown side of Mossend yard, or more correctly where ‘Thankerton Square’ was. Some pit villages had a square, and I thought I had found it (between the North end of the up yard and the old pit bing) but maps show a triangular rail junction in there and it seems more likely these were the pithead buildings, although the ‘pit lane’ from the Holytown Road at old Woodend Hotel / Shieling pub gave access to the site for as long as I remember, although probably long gone now with Eurocentral. The words ‘Thankerton Square” covers a large part of the map, so still unsure to this day if it was a part of Holytown, or Mossend. Thankerton was the last pit working in Mossend / Bellshill area, it closed in 1955.
DavidMcD316

IBrown wrote:
Hattonrigg Terrace was still there when I started at Bellshill Academy in 1960. I think by then it was just the one two-storey row with back stairs that faced the school, or should I say the prefab annexes to the school. Guy in my old pigeon club had his loft down there before moving to Orbiston Estate, which was new build then. Some comical stories came out of the time he lived in the Terrace, like the woman neighbour that always hung out her washing on the line on Saturdays, just before his pigeons were due to arrive from the race. Guy was peeved and mentioned it to her, which usually ended up with a shouting match with Josey always having the last word e.g. ‘aye missus, yer washin might fright ma pigeons, but it’ll no dazzle them’.

Today’s Reema Road was a dirt track then that ran behind the school grounds, and it passed the old Hattonrigg pit bing a bit further west, behind the parks. The pit closed back in the 1930’s and was once served by a branch from Mossend yard direction, and also another from the NB line at Bellshill, which crossed the North Road by bridge, near the old Co-op. Never saw that bridge but the track bed west of the North Road was turned into a Public park, and the remaining abutment was altered to be a stairway access off North Road, up to the park.

The bit I’ve never been able to ‘square’ was the Thankerton pit village on the Holytown side of Mossend yard, or more correctly where ‘Thankerton Square’ was. Some pit villages had a square, and I thought I had found it (between the North end of the up yard and the old pit bing) but maps show a triangular rail junction in there and it seems more likely these were the pithead buildings, although the ‘pit lane’ from the Holytown Road at old Woodend Hotel / Shieling pub gave access to the site for as long as I remember, although probably long gone now with Eurocentral. The words ‘Thankerton Square” covers a large part of the map, so still unsure to this day if it was a part of Holytown, or Mossend. Thankerton was the last pit working in Mossend / Bellshill area, it closed in 1955.


Thanks so much for the info. Great stuff :)
DavidMcD316



anyone have a clue what these pillars were for ?

all the trees and bushes have been removed in prep for the new M8.
cybers

Is that not the gates to the old Douglas Support Estate ? The mansion house that used to be in what is now Viewpark's Douglas Park have vague memories of reading about pits in the area and there was a mention of Douglas Support Cottage that once stood just off the A8 before the main house.
DavidMcD316

cybers wrote:
Is that not the gates to the old Douglas Support Estate ? The mansion house that used to be in what is now Viewpark's Douglas Park have vague memories of reading about pits in the area and there was a mention of Douglas Support Cottage that once stood just off the A8 before the main house.


Never knew about that estate.

Originally thought it was to do with the old maternity hospital, but seems to far up the north road for that.
cybers

pretty sure the old hospital was where Caldwell grove is just before the join at the lights.
Marblez

cybers wrote:
Is that not the gates to the old Douglas Support Estate ? The mansion house that used to be in what is now Viewpark's Douglas Park have vague memories of reading about pits in the area and there was a mention of Douglas Support Cottage that once stood just off the A8 before the main house.

Going by the old maps it was the road to the Douglas Support
Bellshill Maternity was on the site off the roundabout on the North Road where it meets Hattonrigg Road, The old Bellshill Hospital (infectious diseases) was within the same grounds. All the houses on Bramley Drive etc are on the site now.
DavidMcD316

Marblez wrote:
cybers wrote:
Is that not the gates to the old Douglas Support Estate ? The mansion house that used to be in what is now Viewpark's Douglas Park have vague memories of reading about pits in the area and there was a mention of Douglas Support Cottage that once stood just off the A8 before the main house.

Going by the old maps it was the road to the Douglas Support
Bellshill Maternity was on the site off the roundabout on the North Road where it meets Hattonrigg Road, The old Bellshill Hospital (infectious diseases) was within the same grounds. All the houses on Bramley Drive etc are on the site now.



Alycidon

Couple of photos on the "Britain from Above" website, one shows the old LNER station in the top LH corner.
http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/sar023836

You may have to log in (free) to zoom in
DavidMcD316

Alycidon wrote:
Couple of photos on the "Britain from Above" website, one shows the old LNER station in the top LH corner.
http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/sar023836

You may have to log in (free) to zoom in


Fantastic find there mate! Thought there was zero more old Bellshill photos online.
DavidMcD316


taken by our very own Norrie if im not mistaken.

from 1993.

now a chippy and an indian takeaway
RDR

DavidMcD316 wrote:

taken by our very own Norrie if im not mistaken.

from 1993.

now a chippy and an indian takeaway


An award winning chip shop, no less, the Alhambra.
DavidMcD316

RDR wrote:
DavidMcD316 wrote:

taken by our very own Norrie if im not mistaken.

from 1993.

now a chippy and an indian takeaway


An award winning chip shop, no less, the Alhambra.


Its a nice chippy
The Bellshillian

Some interesting memories from posters.

I remember the cutting for the old Coatbridge - Bothwell line being filled in when Cardinal Newman was being built. I guess I would have been about ten so the cutting was probably not as deep as I remember it. Used to cut under the bridge on the way to the baths. Used to have many adventures over the Canyon (or Eagles Canyon as West End folk called it) the tip was like another world nearly came a cropper a few times walking into rubbish covered ponds. a few old pit buildings still stood.

I just remember the gas works across from the baths and Glebe Street being taken down, (had lots of wood for bonfire night out of there) My gran lived at John Street from 1928 until they came down about 1976. Someone mentioned the Ice factory that was on John Street on the opposite side before the dentists. Alladins was the council depot. John Street was a dead end in those days with the swing park at the end flanked by the Belmos and Clinic. I was actually led to this site looking for photos of the building in John Street after visiting the Britain from Air site. As has been mentioned too few pictures of Bellshill on the net. I have a little photo of my brother looking out on to Baptist Church from my parents flat in Hunter Street shortly after they where married. My mum didn't venture far from her home in John Street after she was married! I also have a couple of negatives of my Grandad inside John Street which I need to get printed. At one point my grandparents, mother and uncle and also my grans sister, husband and two children lived in that two room flat with the smallest kitchenette imaginable and outside loo.

It was a shame so many tenements where lost in Bellshill.
DavidMcD316

The Bellshillian wrote:
Some interesting memories from posters.

I remember the cutting for the old Coatbridge - Bothwell line being filled in when Cardinal Newman was being built. I guess I would have been about ten so the cutting was probably not as deep as I remember it. Used to cut under the bridge on the way to the baths. Used to have many adventures over the Canyon (or Eagles Canyon as West End folk called it) the tip was like another world nearly came a cropper a few times walking into rubbish covered ponds. a few old pit buildings still stood.

I just remember the gas works across from the baths and Glebe Street being taken down, (had lots of wood for bonfire night out of there) My gran lived at John Street from 1928 until they came down about 1976. Someone mentioned the Ice factory that was on John Street on the opposite side before the dentists. Alladins was the council depot. John Street was a dead end in those days with the swing park at the end flanked by the Belmos and Clinic. I was actually led to this site looking for photos of the building in John Street after visiting the Britain from Air site. As has been mentioned too few pictures of Bellshill on the net. I have a little photo of my brother looking out on to Baptist Church from my parents flat in Hunter Street shortly after they where married. My mum didn't venture far from her home in John Street after she was married! I also have a couple of negatives of my Grandad inside John Street which I need to get printed. At one point my grandparents, mother and uncle and also my grans sister, husband and two children lived in that two room flat with the smallest kitchenette imaginable and outside loo.

It was a shame so many tenements where lost in Bellshill.


Some great info there!

Wish there was more old photos of Bellshill online, especially 50s - early 90s
IBrown

DavidMcD316 wrote:

taken by our very own Norrie if im not mistaken.

from 1993.

now a chippy and an indian takeaway


I thought I recognised the place, but had the single story building on the Bellshill side of the two story one, and if I have it right you've committed sacrilege by calling Mossend Bellshill.

That's the old Alhambra picture house on Main Street Mossend. Went there every Saturday morning with scores of others to the 'Matinee' my initial ticket was purchased by one clean 'jeelie jar' (jam jar to youse) also my uncle worked in the ticket booth. Closed down in the 1960s and turned into the ubiquitous Bingo Hall which my mum went to most nights.

That left just 'The George' on Main Street, Bellshill as the only cinema, the Odeon in Motherwell was the next nearest - but in those days it was dangerous to go outside your own patch because of the gangs and the high likelihood of being jumped because you were a stranger - Viewpark, Holytown, New Stevenson, Coatbridge, Airdrie - all 'no-go' areas.
The Bellshillian

"Viewpark, Holytown, New Stevenson, Coatbridge, Airdrie - all 'no-go' areas"
Even Parts of Bellshill! I remember the first time I ventured down the North Road when I was a teenager to meet some school friends. I tried to pass the shops and got a smack in the mouth for my trouble. I also remember the first time I ventured into the Joker again to meet some friends, it was something out a movie, it was an early summer evening going from the light into the dark Joker going through the door and the place went silent couldn't make anyone out luckily someone at the bar new me from school and started talking to me and the buzz resumed. My only previous memory of the joker was when I was at primary I went nesting with this other lad and we ended up going into the woods behind the Joker as it was turning dark I just remember lots of camp fires either side of the Calder it was like something out of a medieval battle scene.  

Ibrown do you remember the Snug my Dad was a regular in there before it got pulled down?
IBrown

It's such a long time ago, there were 24 pubs within a square mile between Mossend & Bellshill I could tell you where most of them were but they all had at least two names, I know the Joker on the Calder Road near where I lived, it was probably the newest one, (not counting the Iron Maiden). I also know the Snug but damned if I can place it - was it across the road from the Academy?

The photo of the Alhambra picture house brought it all back - my local under-age pub was diagonally across the road from it - also the Alhambra (not to be confused with the later one on Main Street Bellshill on the Corner of Motherwell Road) Harp Lager at 1 shilling and 11 old pence (less than 10 pence a pint). If we weren't getting drunk fast enough then we'd switch to shorts - think they were dearer than a pint - but the guys behind the bar knew you were under-age and kept an eye on you, any trouble and you were all out and all barred, so if you valued your mates and wanted them to run about with you, then you behaved or you were on your own the next weekend. On that front I think the arrangement helped you to drink responsibly, and I always felt I was a bit of a failure as I was 33 year old before I managed to get barred from my first pub - not my fault guv, I asked for 2 lager and 1 heavy, and 3 pints (Whitbread) that all looked the same to me were put on bar. So I said 'I asked for 2 lager and 1 heavy', and she says 'that is  2 lager and 1 heavy' so I asks what one is the heavy? and she points to the end one, and us 3 guys turn and look at each other, and I pays up. When I next go to the bar they won't serve me.. some mates, they stayed in when I walked out!

On one side of the picture house was the chip shop and on the other the café. I still remember to this day the song playing on the juke box when I first walked into that café  - Frankie Valli singing Rag Doll. Mushy peas and one armed bandits ruled!

You're right about being from Bellshill and still getting jumped there - Orbiston was famous for it, and my late young brother and his mates got caught there by a team who chased them through all the closes and back gardens. They nearly got away by hiding behind one of the blocks of houses - until one warmer amongst his pals happened to look up the close at the same time as one of the team chasing them was looking down it, so nothing left but to get tore in!
The Bellshillian

The Snug from memory would have been across from the Brandon.

The Alhambra and the George where mentioned but did you know there where another two picture houses the Rex and the Theatre?

I am from Orbiston (not the Jewel scheme) it was pretty quiet where I lived?
IBrown

The Bellshillian wrote:
The Snug from memory would have been across from the Brandon.

The Alhambra and the George where mentioned but did you know there where another two picture houses the Rex and the Theatre?

I am from Orbiston (not the Jewel scheme) it was pretty quiet where I lived?


This part of Orbiston was on the right of the Hamilton Road looking towards the Bogs Brae, opposite the Orb pub - part of the street right at the back of the scheme there was a bit rough. Mind we are talking about 1960/70.

I know there was a cinema at Mossend Cross on the corner of Calder Road and Holytown Road but it was long gone when I moved there in 1950s, I didn't know about the other one.

Sorry, can't place the Brandon or the Snug. Brandon I should know it as it sounds familiar and might be what I knew as Mary Skelton's on Main Street (first pub on the Mossend side of the Co-operative buildings and same side of the road) but I can't remember anything on the other side of the road from it; I think the football park behind Skeltons was called Brandon park , Bellshill Athletic's ground, but there was another pub - the Spanish Lounge or Bar? - on the corner of the Main Street and the road into the ground (Bowling Green Street?).
The Bellshillian

The area to the right of Hamilton Road as you come from the cross I would class as the West End rather than Orbiston, I lived in the scheme to the left after the Orb. In my opinion this area is an example of post War Council housing at its best. Wide, well laid out streets with plenty of grassed open spaces. Long crescents like Crofthead Crescent and the long straight streets like Community Road broken up with small cul-de-sacs. This is in contrast to the West end which I have images of long narrow tightly packed houses. Mansfield Road, Caledonian Avenue, West End Drive and Bellevue Drive all ran parallel with each other with the furthest from Hamilton being Bellevue which was anything but as it backed on to the Coatbridge – Bothwell cutting which we spoke about above and then Cardinal Newman. I have images of this being a dark foreboding place, so yes it probably was quite rough. I suppose evidence of this was when the council planted saplings all the way up Hamilton Road about twenty years ago. The trees where not touched on the Viewfield Road side or the Mansfield Road side up to Queen’s Crescent. After Queens Crescent they where all destroyed I’m blaming the neds from the West End as they came out the scheme on to Hamilton Road as they went towards the Main Street however I suppose it could just as easily have been Orbiston kids making there way back from Cardinal Newman.    
I have probably got this the wrong way round, the cinema at Mossend Cross was the Rex, there was a car sales place there for years but is now houses. Across from the George on the corner of Main Street and Thorne Road there used to be a petrol station next to that there was the Theatre Cinema, the building is still there and converted to an indoor market.
I used to tell people that Bellshill/Mossend had more pubs and bookmakers per head of population than anywhere else in the UK not sure where I got that information from or how true it was. There where certainly loads of them. I have always known the pub across from the Academy as the Burns Bar although it may have previously been called something else. Skelton’s was just in front of Bellshill and Mossend Bowling Green (now the Royal mail sorting office/houses). My Grandad was a regular in Skelton’s as he was a member of the Bowling Green as well as being club secretary of Bellshill Athletic for a while. The Spanish Lounge does not mean anything to me. In the stretch from the Brandon towards Bowling Green Street I remember there was a bicyle shop we used to go to for bike stuff as well as the Bothwell Constituency Conservative and Unionist offices which always confused me. The Brandon Arms was at the football ground. When thinking about this the old away end at Tynecastle came to mind. You entered the ground behind the goals between two tenement buildings, The Brandon Arms was on the left hand side. I could be wrong about the Snug but I think it was further up perhaps where the Iron Maiden is. It was a small pub (which you could have guessed by the name) and was on the ground floor of a tenement building.
IBrown

Well, you've woken a long forgotten memory on the cinema front. Yes I now remember the cinema diagonally across Main Street from the George, I used to go it. My only memory of it is taking my late younger brother there for a Saturday morning showing of Disney's Bambi, and us being so wrapped up in the film (magic) that we decided to stay put to see it again. We were well into the second showing when the Usher and my dad shone a torch on the two of us, so we only got to see it wan and hauf times on the same ticket! Think that was demolished and the garage across from the George built on the ground, with YMCA next to it?

I think I've seen an old photo of the other one at Mossend Cross, it had a square shaped tower at each corner each topped by a pyramid shaped roof? I'm sure it was a cleared site then, and lay empty until mid-1960s when a new single storey Mossend Branch of the local Co-op  was built on part of it, near the bus stop. That might be your car showroom

The West end to us was that bit that lay on the Viewpark side of Bellshill Cross - was the Church there not called West End? - up to and including the (then)new baths? When they spoke of the old railway station, they said it was 'down the West End'.

Agree with what you say about the houses around the old Orbiston pit bing, Holy Cross & Lawmuir Primary. We called that Liberty Road, and I used to live there, my gran and lots of aunts too.

The pubs are a bit of a blur. Starting on the Calder Road with the Joker (=1)then going to Bellshill via Mossend Cross : another 2 on Clydesdale Road; between the railway bridge and Mossend Cross there were another 3; turn right another 3 on Holytown Road; turn left 5 on Main Street between Mossend Cross and the George; 5 on Main Street between George and the baths; turn left at Bellshill Cross onto Hamilton Road: 1 at Crossgates , the Orb (1) and last 2 were down the Motherwell Road near the Angle.

I have not included social clubs like ICI, Bowling Clubs or the Miners ('Stute)
The Bellshillian

www.scottishcinemas.org.uk/scotland/bellshill

Don't know if you have seen the above website. It has a great history of George Palmer who managed the Alhambra, before going on to own the Rex and the George as well as many other cinemas. I didn't realise Tony Verrechia part owned the Alhambra. My parents knew Verrichias probably Tony's son and I knew a couple of his granddaughters, a little bit (I presume they where). Coincidently  I was talking to my mother about Bellshill Athletic and how the chap McGhee who owned the New Brandon land was trying to sell it for £2.5 million, and she asked if it was any relation to the McGhee that managed the George (I doubt it is). As if I would know but in that article it mentions Mr. McGhee who was George Palmers right hand man.  

Of course you are right about the area to the west of the cross up to the West Church being the original West End. The area around West End Drive has acquired that name as well. It is only really separated from the old west end by the railway.

The National Library of Scotland has some old maps of Bellshill online. I think one is from 1931 the same year as the Britain from Above photos which have great clarity both together give a great insight into pre war Bellshill.
IBrown

Terrific link; I knew George Palmer and more specifically Mrs Palmer who was in the ticket booth. They knew me too as although I was useless at getting barred from Pubs I was great at getting barred from the George.

I still have no minds-eye image of the Picture House, even after seeing the photo, but I obviously correctly remembered where it was as the Bellshill link captions show it was the building that stood on the land next to the garage across from the George which had a car showroom on the Bellshill Cross side of it.

Sacrilege: Bleeding Alahambra under Bellshill instead of M for Mossend which has a photo of the old cinema at Mossend Cross. I see it was more of a pagoda, my first thought, than a pyramid sat on top of the towers.

http://www.scottishcinemas.org.uk/scotland/mossend.html

And confirmation that it didn't sit right on the corner - that Accolade goes to the famous Tin Hut we called 'the Pole Hall' where a live band belted it out at Sunday night dances every week - inside a hut made from tin sheeting so you know what the noise and heat in there was like. Mossend and Bellshill had a large Lithuanian population which us ignorant folks called Poles - they weren't Polish and the Lithuanian Cultural Centre sat on the opposite side of the Calder Road near the Pole Hall. I lived next door to an old Mrs Lescicz (spelling) (said 'lessicks') and I used to run errands for her to the local shops and get 6d for doing so. My mum used to look out for her, she was a good age and had a great command of Scots and English sweary words

As a child I used to play with Sylvia Verrechia and continued to know her and she me into our teenage years, the last I remember she was working in a Café on Hamilton Road, Bellshill. An absolute stunner.

Not quite as many Italians as Lithuanians, and not as many cafes and chip shops as pubs, but there were still a lot of Italians, and the best special fish supper anywhere ever was a shop on Clydesdale Road, Mossend, not far from Kirklee Road. Nothing I tasted since comes near. There was an old style Italian Café on Calder Road on corner of School? Road (RC Primary), I've been in it but it closed quite early.  The next was Alhambra, then one next to Bowling Green Street - it had outdoor toilets round the back and we used to taunt the life oot the Polis when we had the key off the old guy (his names gone) run round the back making as much noise as possible looking like we were going there to have a piss up the close closely followed by said Polis who were really disappointed to discover the lavvy door open and 6 guys crowded round the bowl.

Think I'll need to watch I don't identify myself here through divulging these State Secrets, except to say like a lot of others I was not known by my real name.
The Bellshillian

I think your favourite chippy was always the one you remember from your childhood. As we spent a lot of time at my Grans on John Street, (I went to my gran's every lunch time as I went to Belvidere and the Academy), we liked Cosimini's on Motherwell Road. Pacitis (13a Café) was the best for Ice Cream and it was the end of an era when it closed. I was also friendly with the son of Mr. Zambinini who had the chippy next to the Co-op on Hamilton Road.  The Verrichias are still about in Bellshill, I believe.

The Lithuanian Social Club is still on Calder Road. Did you know the first President of Post Czarist Lithuania was previously exiled in Bellshill! Also Edith McDonald the English Language voice of the Spanish Civil War was born on Calder Road. It's a shame we have such a rich local history which is ignored in our schools.
IBrown

History! Had this recent conversation with my dentist, an ethic Indian, on history after he said he never got the Tudors (incidently his assistant is Polish, aye a real one, not those other ones from Bellshill!).

He’s a real character, his dad had an Indian Restaurant in Rutherglen, and he used to work there. He really loved it and as background music his dad played western rock music rather than the more usual Indian music. He picked up on that and it shows big time in the music he plays in his surgery. The Restaurant is now a bookies and oddly enough I’ve been in that as we ended up in it on a bookies & pub crawl that had started in the City Centre after a day-shift -  our ‘playtime’ week. He says he would like to open another one, and there’s a bit of a continuing themes we’ve already spoken about in this in that yonks ago I was in an Indian Restaurant in Motherwell (I think) with some of the guys and we struck up a conversation with the owner during which we told him we didn’t have one in Bellshill and it would be a good place to open – and that happened about a year later, on Main Street, Bellshill, can’t remember exact location though, although us guys were amongst its first customers.

Anyways, history: I asked my dentist where he was educated and when he said Glasgow, I told him he would now know that that Education was English and mostly about England and pish like the Tudors with very little about Scotland, and what little there was belittled us. We were forbidden to use Scots language or our local dialect in school and when we did we were told to speak ‘propa’ BBC English and then given the belt - State prejudice against us Scots in our own country. So if they couldn’t get the National Curriculum right what chance has Local History?

How must 1st generation Lithuanians felt when they arrived here? I’ve been reading snippets on the web about that, and intend to buy that book. I was given another take a good while back on their being forced to take Scots names – I was told it was because Scots couldn’t pronounce Lithuanian names so they were ‘given’ new names more familiar to the Scots. Not prejudice as such, but wrong just the same. I see the Cultural Centre has faced closure because there are so few ethnic Scots Lithuanians left in the area and of those left few can speak Lithuanian. Well who of us can now speak Scots? Tragic, but is that not a result of integration into a community?

I think its adults who are responsible for prejudice. As children we were all mostly ‘just pals’ and I never heard any child  refer to anyone by their ethnic origin. I didn’t know what ethnic prejudice was but living bang in the middle between a Protestant and a Catholic primary, I sure knew about religious prejudice and although for children it usually was never more than childish rhymes and name calling, I was jumped at least once when a gang of 4 or 5 caught me alone in the Pit Lane just because I was from the ‘other’ primary. There was a Chapel on Calder Road, and back then the ‘adults’ in the annual Orange Parade used to take their time, and the flute bands played louder and the big drum banged louder when going past it.

It was only 15/20 years ago that I started taking a real interest in the local history of where I grew up, especially the pits, and found out the Pit Lane was just that (as my mum had told me) the lane the miners used to walk to their work at the Milnwood Pit. I was born in Raith Drive and the Milnwood bing was the first I’d ever seen, my mum saw me staring at it going home one day and when I finally asked her what it was, she told me it was a pit bing.  I didn’t recognise the Orbiston bing at first as I thought it was a hill, but again my mum told me that it once was a huge bing but that the top had been taken off leaving just the grassy flat topped hill we now see. There were once two football parks up there, and ‘the Shows’ (fairground) came there a couple of times every year. There’s even a mention in Hansard about this work on Orbiston bing when a question was asked in Parliament about confirmation that machines would not be used to do the work of reducing the bing and that wholly manual labour would be used as there was mass unemployment in the Bellshill area at that time. And that’s exactly what happened – men, barrows and shovels, and carted away, as I think the Orbiston pits branch railway that crossed Hamilton Road from the old Goods & Mineral station woud have been gone then. The bridge and embankment were gone by my time anyway, although there are photos of them in one of the Old Bellshill books, which is available on-line as a pdf.

And the single storey rows of houses that my pals lived in on the gushet of Calder Road and Clydesdale Road that backed onto the railway line were in fact old miners’ rows, as were the same rows on Holytown Road, just after the entrance to Colvilles, Mossend, that backed onto the Steel Works.

John Street wouldn’t be the one I know – going up Hamilton Road towards Bellshill, after passing under the railway bridge, it was the first street on the right, short and a dead end. I think that’s where Bellshill Cultural Centre & Library is now. I visited there once looking for info on local pits, but had to go over to Motherwell Heritage Centre for that – it’s built on the site of the old baths that we used to go to for years, before our own opened down the West End.

My mate and I ended up in John Street one night (he lived across Hamilton Road from it, after he married his wee boy went to Belvidere, its one of the few that used the phonetic sounds system to teach reading, saw one of the readers, couldn't understand it). He was having a smoke before he went in for the night. The street  was already derelict, the tenements had all been pulled down and we wandered up to the end where I got the shock of my life when I recognised the old play area and the old children’s nursery there – a single storey prefab building with metal windows that opened into bottom hoppers. This all lay behind the old Library and Health Centre building on Main Street, and I think that would be the official way in, as that is the way I remember being taken to it . I had a completely wrong interpretation of my memories of it that were again awakened that night though, as I thought I was a resident there and this had caused me a lot of personal problems for years until I spoke to my mum about what I’d seen that night and what I’d remembered again, waking up in a cot and a nurse putting a wooden tab on my tongue; being collected and taken ‘out’.

This place was a day centre used by working parents. My mum worked at this time and she would take me there in the morning before going to work in Tannochside. She was a seamstress in a factory there – I remember she took me there once as a child. Her younger sister, my aunt, would collect me in the afternoon on her way home from Hamilton College, and take me home to Raith Drive. My aunt confirmed this when I met her just a few years ago when she came up to visit my sister. She’d moved to England  in the late 1960’s. I cannot believe I could have memories of this – from 2 y-o or so - but my mum confirmed them even the incident with the nurse - I had mumps. Speaking to my sister, she says she can remember being pushed about in her pram!

Yet I can't remember where 13A was, or the name of the Café on Hamilton Road at Crossgates - was in there once only when my girlfriend asked me to take her to Pats? - just a wee bit too rough and too near bandit country for me!
The Bellshillian

If I can work out how to and have the time I will try and upload some photos. I think one of my brothers may have had a shared experience with you. I have a photograph of some mothers with young babies and suitcases at the back of the clinic as you describe I have never asked what the photo was about but what you describe it could have been that they had a stay at the clinic for some reason. I will ask my mother. John Street is where the cultural centre is and was a dead end, it is off Motherwell Road not Hamilton Road.

I must have been at school with your friends son if he was at Belvidere when the building at John Street was being demolished ('75ish)    

The Indian restaurant you remember would be the one in the old Co-op next to the Academy.

I have a terrible memory but I do remember going to the dentists in the clinic (now a solicitors) and getting gas, the feeling of going under lives with you for ever and I just have this vision of coming round with the nurse and dentist having me under the arms taking me to the sink with lots of blood coming out my mouth. these traumatic things stay with you for ever.

Being an Orbiston kid I regularly played football on the Orbiston bing (our BB played there) Primary played at the Sandy so we had permanently  scabbed knees. None of this carpet smooth 3G stuff! Have you seen this great website www.scottishmining.co.uk My great grandfather worked at Hamilton Palace Colliery, my mother worked at the offices at Thankerton and other relatives worked at Tannochside. The Canyon I mentioned in my first post was a massive series of bings to the left of the Bogs Brae attached to Viewpark Colliery I guess.

I just noticed on the mining website that it mentions as well as the Bellshill Public School (at the top of the North road which is the only one ever mentioned in books) there was a school in the West end and two schools in Mossend in 1885.

Also on that website about cinemas a Mossend train station was mentioned where was that? The Gazeteer says Mossend was 7 furlongs from Bellshill (The Cross I presume) so that is about a mile. So where do you think Mossend starts? After the Academy?

Mossend, a town in Bothwell parish, Lanarkshire, 7 furlongs E by N of Bellshill, 1 1/4 mile W of Holytown, and 4 1/4 miles S by E of Coatbridge. Of recent origin, it has a station on the Caledonian railway, a post and telegraph office, extensive iron and steel works, public and Roman Catholic schools, and a fine new Roman Catholic church, erected in 1883-84 from designs by Messrs Pugin. Pop. (1871) 1501, (1881) 3030, of whom 1701 were males. Houses (1881) 531 inhabited, 23 vacant. [Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, Francis H Groome, 1885]
IBrown

Apologies – Hamilton Road should have read Motherwell Road, with John Street off it and when speaking about my ‘finding’ the Day Care Centre in John Street, my mate and I were teenagers and single then so I might be confusing the street’s demolition with a later memory – I worked beside Ossie Armstrong in Glasgow in the early 1970s. He was Irish and had just moved into John Street, he loved it. I left Bellshill in October 1967 and was married by 1969 and my mate wasn’t far behind that. I moved to Larkhall around Christmas 1969 and although we tried to keep in touch it was difficult after my first boy was born, and nearly impossible after I started shift work in Glasgow at the end of 1970. He lived in the new houses in the West End that were put up after Glebe Street etc scheme was demolished, right next to the baths. On my last visit to his home he had a wee boy at Belvidere school and his wife showed me his reading book which was all symbols, she sat with him going through the sounds that the symbols meant. By around 1975 I went back to Helensburgh and we lost touch after that. I can’t remember the wee boy’s first name, his second name was Walker, and his dad worked in Colvilles, Mossend.

Yes, I know the Sandy. 2 ash pitches lying on the Bellshill side of the path that runs under the railway bridge into Unthank Road (and the Pit Lane). For many years another rectangle of ground was fenced off there with spiked palisade fencing and a ‘do not enter’ sign put up in the middle of the ground. Just more encouragement to go in! The ground in there was sinking for many years. Every so often a lorry appeared and tipped ‘earth’ there to restore levels. I learned a few years ago that that’s where the Milnwood pit’s two shafts lay. If I knew that back then I’d not be as keen to climb that fence.

But there was a also a grass pitch on the Mossend side of the same path that lay in the triangle of ground bounded by the path, the railway line, and the back gardens of the houses on Garfield Drive / Garfield Avenue. You went up a rise to get to it and there was always ‘a fight’ to claim that one to play on. It was part of the pit branch railway that connected the main line with the pit head buildings which lay on the ash pitch nearest Bellshill. The nearer the main line you got, the more trace of it there was, eventually ending in sleeper indented ground on both sides of the railway boundary fence.

I’ll leave the Bellshill pits to another post – I’ve a lot on them, so it is likely to be long even after trimming. Thankerton is the one I know least about. I was up there a lot, but still not sure to this day if the demolished ruins there belonged to the pit head buildings, or the village.

Yes, I know Mossend station, I used to hang about it watching the trains until I got into the signal boxes which was a better place to see them from and better understand what they were doing. Looking towards Holytown, the second Mossend station (the one you are talking about) lay on the left side of the Holytown Road where it crossed the railway near the Woodend Pub - or the Shieling as it was called later on. There were two bridges over the railway there. The first crossed a freight only branch line. The second crossed the main line – the present day Motherwell / Whifflet / Coatbridge line. Between the two bridges lay a wide access road, the one on the left went down to the Coatbridge-bound platform, the one on the right went down to Mossend Goods & Mineral station – the same kind of freight depot as the one on the right side of Hamilton Road, Bellshill (looking towards Bogs Brae) that lay between the railway bridge and Crossgates.  

The passenger train services were mainly Glasgow Buchanan Street to Motherwell and Coalburn - not a regular service, and steam hauled to the end, at least I don’t remember any DMUs – there were certainly plenty DMUs on Glasgow Central services through Bellshill  to Hamilton and Shotts.

The first station was unhelpfully called Holytown. It lay on the right side of the second railway bridge and access would have been by the right side access road, which would still go down to the Coatbridge-bound platform. Mossend Goods & Mineral station didn’t exist at this time.

The Mossend / Bellshill boundary on Main Street in my day would be about Bruce Street - looking towards Mossend it was first on the right after the main Co-op building. The Motherwell Road - a rough guide looking towards Motherwell - Mossend lay on the left, Bellshill on the right. But the nearer Bellshill it got the boundary became wavy. I’d say as soon as you got to the Angle, both sides of the road were Bellshill.
IBrown

I started researching the pits in and around the Bellshill and Mossend area around 2011. I couldn’t complete it because The Coal Authority wanted £80 an hour for technical information I needed on Orbiston Pits (see below) that it might have held, and I couldn’t find it elsewhere. Here is a summary, as short as I can get it!

The Local pits (ordered furthest east to furthest west) were:-

1. Mossend – Thankerton, Milnwood.

Thankerton: was on the Holytown side of the present day Coatbridge Central to Motherwell railway line, at the Coatbridge end of Mossend Marshalling Yard, and connected to it by the old Woodend branch. It had its own Row at the pit and was connected by a pit lane to Holytown Road at the Holytown side of old Mossend railway station.

Milnwood: was on the present day Bellshill to Holytown railway line, at the site of present day ‘Sandy’ playing fields. Miners lived in Coltness Row on Calder Road opposite Mossend Public School, and another Row on Holytown Road near Mossend Cross.  

2. In or near Bellshill - Hattonrigg, Orbiston, East Parkhead, Bothwell Park, Douglas Park and  Bothwell Palace (Pailis).

Hattonrigg: was off Hattonrigg Road, behind Bellshill Academy’s old Playing Fields. It was connected by two branch lines: one running east to the Motherwell end of Mossend Marshalling Yard on the present day Motherwell to Coatbridge Central railway line, and one running west to the old NB Bothwell Branch at old Bellshill station (NB), crossing the North Road by bridge. It had its own Row at the pit, which lay just beyond the Academy’s old Annexes off Hattonrigg Road. Hattonrigg Terrace was only demolished in the 1960s.

Orbiston: was actually 3 pits, connected by a branch line crossing the Hamilton Road near Crossgates by bridge to the present day Bellshill to Uddingston railway line just west of Bellshill station, and also to the present day Motherwell to Uddingston railway line near where Bothwellhaugh Road crosses it by bridge. The 3 pits formed one colliery complex. Miners lived in a pit village* on Hamilton Road, Bellshill near Crossgates. Orbiston pits closed in the 1930s.

East Parkhead: was at the top of the Bogs Brae (now A725 / Hamilton Road) on the left looking towards Bellshill. It was connected by short branch lines to both the present day Motherwell to Uddingston railway line, and the old NB Bothwell Branch. Miners lived in a pit village* on Hamilton Road, Bellshill near Crossgates.

Bothwell Park: was also on the left looking towards Bellshill, but sat near the bottom of the Bogs Brae (now A725) just on the Bellshill side of the present day Motherwell to Uddingston railway line. It was connected by short branch lines to both it and the old NB Bothwell Branch. Miners could travel to it by train on the NB line - a special platform was provided for them.

There were two other pits near the bottom of the Bogs Brae (now A725) both were on the right looking towards Bellshill, and sat on the Hamilton side of the present day Motherwell to Uddingston line:-

Bothwell Palace: was on a branch originally connected to both the old NB Bothwell Branch and the present day Motherwell to Uddingston line, laterally the Motherwell to Uddingston line only. It had its own pit village at Bothwellhaugh (The Pailis).

Douglas Park: was rail connected to the present day Motherwell to Uddingston railway line. Miners lived in a pit village* on Hamilton Road Bellshill, near Crossgates.

*Mine Owners housed their workforce in Rows called New Orbiston, East Parkhead, and Douglas Park Rows. These were laid out as a small village which lay between the top of the Bogs Brae and the Orbiston Pits Branch line embankment at Crossgates, on what later became the present day Hamilton Road.

http://maps.nls.uk/view/82892430

The 1899 map shows all the pits in the Bellshill and Mossend area were working at the turn of the 20th century. A serious decline followed - the 1914 map depicts a lot of dereliction. Official statistics show by 1920’s, 25% of the male workforce in the area was unemployed.
DavidMcD316

Wow. Fantastic info there!!
The Bellshillian

I could look at old maps for hours, I have the 1939 Bellshill edition and combined with the Britain from above website it gives a fantastic window into the past. I need to get some of the older maps as I prefer paper copies. It’s interesting all the names of farms and areas which have been kept alive with street names in the town although there are a few I do not recognise at all.  

The amount of times I walked down the path from Hamilton Road to the Jewel Scheme/Liberty Road by the tennis courts not realising it was the line of the old railway. I often wondered about the cottage that sat behind the wall with the very long drive from Hamilton Road, as it seemed totally out of place. Did not realise it was called Gardenreach Cottage which is curious as the senior citizens centre across the way is Gardenside. It must have been a very long time ago when there were gardens there. Next to Gardenside running parallel to Strachan street was a row of garages for part of Strachan Street backing on to the Bowling club. Behind the garages running down to the Orb was a high wall I believe this was part of the Parkhead Rows houses. As kids we would climb up on the garages and walk the length of Strachan Street on the wall, which was pretty high to a twelve year old and at the end slide down the light pole, the top of which was just higher than the wall.

I had a chat with my mother about your post. Her father served his time at Knackerty Pit in Birkenshaw, her grandfather worked at Hamilton Palace Colliery (the Pailis) from at least 1901 (he is on the census there) until it closed, and my mother worked for a short time (in the offices not at coalface!) at Bothwell Castle before moving to Thankerton and when it closed to Blantyre Ferme. I always thought of Thankerton as where you described but my mother says it was further into Holytown, where the football pitches are now and behind the Whitehouse Pub. Looking at the old maps though this was Thankerton No6 where as the pit at Mossend was Thankerton No4, there seems to have been a few Thankerton shafts around Holytown. I do not know if you are interested in genealogy, even if you are not the Rootchat site is worth a look there is a few threads with photos of Napier Square and Blair Square which I believe where the Thankerton Rows.
IBrown

On Thankerton – yes, you are right, there was more than one Thankerton pit; we once walked the pit lane from Holytown Road onto the old Woodend Branch trackbed which ran east along the southern edge of Thankerton Forest towards Holytown before it split one line going ‘left’ under the then A8 to Calderbank, and the other swung back ‘right’ towards Holytown – we went left under the A8 towards Calderbank, ended getting caught in a cloud-burst in open country alongside the A8.

Long before my time, but that line swinging back went into a tunnel under Holytown Road near the ‘White Hoose Pub’ and ran to 2 or 3 pits that lay in the ground bounded by Holytown Road and the Bellshill / Holytown railway between Fullwood Foundry (originally a pit, maybes one of the Thankertons?) and Holytown station.

I can just remember just the one pit bing that sat on the Holytown Road side of Holytown station, with a steam pug sat on top of it. Not sure what pit that was, or where the railway line went to from it, but that bing was cleared in what seemed very short time afterwards because as a teenager I delivered milk to the houses built on the cleared ground. Coming down the road from the White House Pub towards New Stevenson, there were the derelict remains of Rows on the left hand side, my mum’s pal lived in one of them for while, before she eventually moved to a house in Mossend.

Yes, I like maps and can spend hours on them, and Britainfromabove is brilliant, pity the zoom is so poor though. I took a long time finding out where Nackerty was. Again, ‘the wandering child’ took me in what turned out to be an awfy big circle, walking north along the closed NB line from Uddingston – the rails were still there – to Broomhouse and Mount Vernon, then down onto and east along the live railway to Baillieston till I came to a place called Tannochside Junction, in the middle of nowhere, where I went up to the signal box and asked for a drink of water. I stayed there for a bit – no trains - then asked how far it was to Mossend. From memory, 10 miles, and when he told me that my face must have dropped, because the signalman then asked me if I knew where the Caterpillar was (Tannochside) and yes I did because my mum had worked in a factory there, and still visited old workmates. So I was given 2 shillings (10p) for my bus fare home and told to follow ‘the middle road’ through the yard which was a branch line that would take me out at the back of the Caterpillar Factory.

Aye, but what I wasn’t told was I’d to cross a wooden trestle viaduct without handrails or footpath, just the sleepers between the rails to walk on – and me terrified of heights.  But I obviously made it –“ just look straight ahead “ - and sure enough once across the viaduct the back of the Caterpillar lay straight ahead over ash ground. The line veered hard right (west) and split into 3 roads, and I headed hard left (west), first stop wee shop for a sweet, then the bus stop for the 43/44 bus home to Mossend, cost 6d (2 and half new pence).

That must have been about 1959/60 and I didn’t go back until 2000, when I visited my cousin in Viewpark who’d worked in the Caterpillar up until it closed. But in between times I’d worked on the railway and learned I’d walked the Nackerty branch all those years ago, and from maps had seen that the line had originally continued east on the Viewpark side of the valley before swinging through Kirkwood to the Monkland Canal. In 2000 in Viewpark, I was still able to find part of the original railway to the Monkland Canal, but everything else had gone, including the Caterpillar. After that I learned Nackerty wasn’t somewhere out in the middle of nowhere, as the railway lines heading west inferred,  it lay on the New Edinburgh Road at Birkenshaw, maybes just opposite the Bredisholm & Tannochside Miner’s Institute (?)

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