You may recall reading about Neil Douglas, the Dixon’s colliery cashier who influenced many factors of late 1800’s Blantyre life. You can read our article about Neil here http://blantyreproject.com/2012/10/28/neil-douglas-colliery-cashier/
In January 2014, Mrs Wilma S Bolton contacted me with lots more information about Neil’s life. With permissions, Wilma wrote:
NEIL DOUGLAS. J.P.
CASHIER BLANTYRE COLLIERIES.
During the year 1912 Lanarkshire was deprived by death of one of its most gifted sons in the person of Mr Neil Douglas, J.P. The parish of Blantyre felt the loss most keenly for it was there that his usefulness was most apparent. For fully forty years he was one of the most outstanding men in the David Livingstone village, and his influence was felt in a very marked degree both in parochial and educational activities. His working life began in the office at Earnockmuir Colliery belonging to Messrs Wm. Dixon Ltd and from that humble position he rose to be cashier at the Blantyre Collieries of the same firm. That responsible position, calling as it did for the exercise of carefulness, discretion and good judgment, he filled with great acceptance for nearly forty years. He was returned as a member of the old Parochial Board in Blantyre in 1874, and when, in 1894, the Parish Council Act came into operation, he was unanimously elected as chairman of the reconstituted body. That was a post to which he was admirable suited, and that his colleagues appreciated his fitness is shown by the fact that he continued in office until the time of his death.. Mr Douglas was an enthusiast in the matter of educational administration and for fully a quarter of a century he continued to be one of the most zealous and useful members of the Blantyre School Board. Of a certainty he was one of the stalwarts—in a public sense—of Blantyre, and his death left a gap in the parish which was difficult to fill. Ref. Stothers’s Xmas and New Year Annual. 1911-1912. Page. 363
PRESENTATION TO DR. D. G. DOUGLAS.
On the occasion of his marriage to Miss Mason (sister of Dr. William Mason, Strathaven,) which took place on Thursday, Dr. D. C. Douglas, Burnbank, was made the recipient of a handsome testimonial from the officials and workmen of Earnock Colliery on Tuesday evening. The presentation took place at a social gathering held in the Douglas Café, old Cross, the comfortably arranged dining rooms of Mrs McNish, and the company which numbered over thirty, was composed representatives of the officials and workmen at the colliery, including Mr Thomas Stevenson, Manager, (chairman of the meeting) Mr John D. Thomson, mining engineer; Mr William Rodgers, cashier; Mr James Hutton, underground manager, etc/ after a dainty tea, which was very much enjoyed, the Chairman said it afforded him great pleasure to preside over their gathering that night. When the proposal to give Dr Douglas a marriage presentation was first brought forward, it received his most cordial support. Dr Douglas had been the latest addition to the list of medical practitioners for the colliery workmen, and he was sure that he spoke the mind of all present when he said that no one was more highly respected than Dr Douglas, his local connection—the son of the public-spirited Mr Douglas of Blantyre—appealed to them to a certain degree, and he voiced the mind of them all when he hoped that in his married career, Dr Douglas would have a like prosperity and happiness as he had had, and will continue to have from the Earnock Colliery Workmen. Mr Stevenson concluded by calling upon Mr M. Kelly to make the presentation. Mr Kelly, in handing over a beautiful and massive chiming mantle clock, together with side ornaments to Dr Douglas, re-echoed the sentiments expressed by the Chairman for their guest’s future career, and in the course of his remarks, said that the very fact of the workmen recognising Dr Douglas at this important step in his life was a sufficient assurance that his services as one of the colliery doctors were appreciated to a very large extent. The clock bore the inscription:– “Presented to Dr. D. C. Douglas by the officials and workmen at Earnock Colliery, on the occasion of his marriage, 1st June 19065.” Dr Douglas briefly acknowledged the kind remarks made by the chairman and Mr Kelly, and thanked them most heartily for the tangible token which expressed these sentiments in a practical form. His connection had at all times been of the pleasantest description and for this state of matters the workmen and their wives, by their forbearance and sympathy, had in great measure been responsible. Complimentary remarks were also made by Mr Dowgray, in proposing the health of “Our Guest” while in the course of the evening, the enjoyable proceedings were greatly enhanced by songs from Messrs A. Kay, G. Mackie, W. Clark, Jas Robertson, W. McFarlane, J. Tierney, E. Hawke, J. MacCaulay, J. Dowgray and Mr Kelly the latter also giving a humorous reading. At the close the services of the entertainers and the Chairman were duly recognised on the call of Messrs Hutton and W. Rodgers. Ref. Hamilton Advertiser. 3/6/1905 page 4
PROMOTED ON THE FIELD.— We are pleased to state that intimation was received in this week in Hamilton that Second-Lieut. Archie Douglas, Cameron Highlanders, had been promoted on the field to the rank of Captain. In his 21st year Captain Douglas is the youngest son of the late Mr Neil Douglas, J.P. Blantyre, and has been on active service since early in the war, joining up from Hutchesontown Grammar School Glasgow. He enlisted into the Glasgow Highlanders, and was wounded while serving in the ranks. It was while on home on furlough in 1916 that he was given his commission and posted to the Camerons, and he has seen much service with that regiment in the interval. He was back up again in Hamilton last week for a brief furlough, and returned to the front on Thursday evening last, Captain Douglas, it may be added, has lost three brothers in the war, viz.—- Arthur, in the Persian Gulf in January of 1915; Neil, missing in France since July of 1916;and Lance-Corporal George Douglas, killed in France in September of 1917. Ref. Hamilton Advertiser. 9/11/1918 page 4.
MILITARY MEDAL has been awarded to Corpl, J. Douglas McNish, of the Canadian Engineers for keeping up communications during the Cambrai push in October. Corpl. McNish is the son of the late Mr J. McNish, headmaster of Auchinraith School, Blantyre, and of Mrs McNish, late Keith Street Hamilton, and grandson of the late Mr Neil Douglas, Blantyre. Ref. Hamilton Advertiser,.28/12/1918 page 4.