On 11th April 2014, I was asked by Jimmy Whelan if i knew anything else on the little ruin that sits on the railway line behind Calderglen Avenue, behind the modern number 46 home. The ruin actually sits on the side of the railway. I now have the full story about the railway halt, behind this house which i’d like to share.
The origins of the buildings started with a tragedy. Pelham Maitland Cochrane was the 21 year old son of John Richard Cochrane who both lived at nearby Calderglen House. During 1884, as their house was closer to Newton Station, than Low Blantyre, the family were in the bad habit of getting off at Newton Station and walking along the line (no paths) back to Calderglen Estate. On Monday 14th July 1884 army officer Pelham alighted at Newton as normal accompanied by friend, also an officer. Fifty metres from Newton Station as they walked back to Blantyre they observed a ballast train coming towards them from Blantyre. Pelham’s friend stepped to the left of the line on to the verge, and Pelham stepped to the right, sadly on to the adjacent downline. With all eyes on the ballast train ahead, they both failed to see the rapidly approaching Hamilton Express from behind which cut him to pieces.
His father built a beautiful chapel (near modern Jura Drive) in 1884. A private chapel, where Pelhams body was interred. 4 other family members eventually ended up buried in there too. In April 2014, Blantyre man Alex Rochead cleaned up the memorial stones at the chapel, which helped correct this story. The late Neil Gordon said the accident happened in 1883, but the gravestone says 1884 as confirmed by newspapers of the time. In 1884, the Caldeonian Railway were sued and in 1884 erected a timber platform adjacent to Calderglen Estate for the use of the family along with this little building. It was always known as “Cochrane’s Halt” but not likely used by the railway from the early 1900’s. The picture is an aerial photo from 1946 which clearly shows the railway halt near the middle of the photo. Today, it’s nothing more than a ruin.
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Such an unfortunate story. I came across your article because I have a prize book given to Richard Pelham Maitland Cochrane by Craigmont House School in Edinburgh in 1875. it has a small note from a relative noting his death at Calderglen (in 1887 which could be a simple error.) Let me know if you would like a photo of the book (which is for sale)