Ice Fatality on River Clyde

Winter 1927 claimed the life of a young Blantyre deaf man, named John Cook. John, who resided at 51 Glasgow Road, Blantyre was accidentally drowned in the River Clyde directly opposite the East Lodge of Craighead House.

2010 Winter craigheadThe River, owing to the intense cold was partly frozen and Shoemaker John (age 20) was enjoying himself on the ice. However, he ventured too near the thin portion of the ice near the middle of the River and the ice gave way under him. He clutched at the side of the ice for several minutes, most of him submerged in the freezing cold water. A brave young man called Richard Wright attempted a rescue, venturing out and holding out the branch of a tree for John to grasp. However, his hands fell short, John slipped under the hole in the ice and away with the current. At daybreak, Mr William McCall, who was then a well known Blantyre swimming expert was on the scene and procuring a boat, along with others, set about in grappling operations and recovered the body at midday.

Pictured in 2010 by photographer Jim Brown, and some 83 years later is the scene of the tragedy. The frozen Winter sets on the River at Craighead and i’m sure this modern scene would have looked almost identical back then.

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