September 1946 and fortune smiles down on Logan Street, Blantyre.
At his home at 55 Logan Street, Blantyre, Mr Joseph M’Graw, 42-year-old steelworker, won £2239 18s 8d in Strang’s Twopenny Points Pools! He told a reporter the money would be a godsend, as there was no pay coming into the home from that following week. Mr M’Graw, ex-R.A.F. flight mechanic, was made redundant at the steelworks on account of the bricklayers’ strike in Lanarkshire. Mr M’Graw was five years in the R.A.F. during the 2nd World War, and was demobbed the year before in 1945. He has family of three children. Trying his luck on Strang’s Twopenny Points Pool was a weekly feature of his for a good number of years.
To put this into a modern context. This was the equivalent of having a go on the pools, by spending 30p, only to find at the end of the week, you won £80,000 !! You can bet your bottom Blantyre dollar, that Joseph would have been a happy man.
Interesting sidenote: Pictured is a 1946 One Penny. To enter the pools in that year, cost two of these. (about 30p today). Pictured on the penny is Britannia, a name derived from the Roman name for Britain. Latterly, a feature of British Imperial power, she featured on British coins until as recent as 2008. In 1672 when this well known image appeared on coins, the model was Frances Teresa Stuart, the daughter of Walter Stuart, son of the first Lord Blantyre. Frances was just one year old when her father died in 1649. Contrary to other historical reports you may have read, Frances did not live in Blantyre, nor have any other association with it. She was born long after her grandfather died on 3rd August 1617 and may never have ever visited Blantyre, being born herself in Paris. 50 years earlier, Walter Stuart Snr, (her grandfather) was not only the first Lord Blantyre, but resided at Blantyre Priory, being a prior himself. He is now buried in High Blantyre kirkyard.