In June 1938 at a meeting of the Hamilton Town Council Mr Peter Aitken was unanimously appointed Inspector of Poor and Public Assistance Officer for the Burgh, in succession to Mr Alex Bryden, with the appointment taking effect from August 15.
Mr Aitken received his early training in Poor Law work in the Blantyre Parish Council office with the greater part of his experience attending to those classed as “poor” or in workhouses from Blantyre. In February, 1915, he was appointed Assistant Inspector of Poor of Dalziel Parish Council.
Public Assistance Committees were the bodies created after the abolition of Board of Guardians in 1930 when workhouses were also abolished. Public Assistance Committees inherited responsibility for the administration of poor relief in the U.K. This was a predecessor of social welfare reforms and benefits. I can only imagine the characters, hardships and stories that Peter would have encountered in his early days in Blantyre prior to the first world war.