Raiders of the Boathouse Orchard

On Saturday 30th September 1950, three bellshill boys were caught raiding a Blantyre orchard. Their raid was orchestrated and planned meticulously with the three of them coming to Blantyre with sacks specifically to steal as many pears as they could. They were caught red handed with 28 pounds of the ripest pears. The boys were aged from 16 to 19. The fiscal sentenced them to 30 days imprisonment or alternatively £2 each, which was promptly paid by each of their parents.


The orchard, as it is today

The Boathouse Orchard area was on the Blantyre banks of the River Clyde about 200 yards upstream of the Haughhead Bridge. A small ferry would take passengers from Blantyre over to Uddingston and back. Some people may know that area as “Boat Jock” or being part of Blantyre Ferme. This is slightly misleading, as Boat Jock was not the area, but was the call that passengers would shout across the river when they wanted Jock to come over with his ferry! The orchard was well known in the area and had existed since 1866. I strongly suspect it was open to raids of a similar nature on many other occasions.

Today, nothing much of an orchard remains, but the area does have some fruit trees, more overgrown now, than the well kept plantation of decades gone by. It is strangely serene and quiet.

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