High Jinks Until Midnight

Have things really changed? As a resident of High Blantyre, i can thankfully enjoy some peaceful night’s sleeping set back off the Main Street, and occasionally hear the odd rumble as the pubs close. This amusing article though told a different story on the evening of Saturday 14th February 1920.

A light hearted attitude was adopted by all in the Hamilton Court this week where the sidelights of midnight life in High Blantyre were touched upon by the judges. Stood in the dock was 20 year old miner Alfred Burnett of School Lane, alone and up for a ‘breach of the peace’ charge. Neighbours in the courtroom told that during the Saturday night in question, Alfred drunkhad returned back from a dance and although in the company of several other youths, was heard to be singing at the top of his voice and in full pitch. Normally tolerable, but the hour was midnight and complaint was to be made.

The police confirmed Alfred was in the close signing with all his might and when approached, was found alone, his friends previously set off to bed. Ex Provost Pollock created some laughter in the courtroom, when he asked the policeman “Do you mean to say he was singing to himself? Was it his birthday?” Then, on the back of further chuckles in the room , went on to say “He must have been in good humour , or perchance he was serenading?” Again, some laughter.

Ridiculed, Alfred hung his head in shame and stood quietly. Although found not guilty and not proven, the judge did conclude that should Alfred appear again in court or the residents of High Blantyre subjected to singing as such an ungodly hour again, he would not be in such a tolerable mood.

Source: The Sunday Post 22 February 1920

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