Donald Mathieson of Glasgow Road, Blantyre wrote in to the Sunday Post on 22nd December 1935, telling this heart warming story.
“The other day at the spot where the Lanarkshire County Authorities are erecting a new bridge to replace the old one, I witnessed remarkable little drama. An anxious-faced woman and her little girl, who was crying quietly, kept glancing up to a tall tree, which towered beside the new bridge. I looked up, too, and saw a fluffy kitten perched far the tree on a branch which was too slender to support anyone who might attempt to rescue it.
While I stood looking on, a young man employed on the bridge spoke to the foreman, and apparently getting permission, went to the rescue. He stepped into the sheet-iron box used for conveying rubble about the work and, signing to the craneman, was hauled up almost to the top of the crane tall jib. Then he swung the jib gently around till it was almost in line with the kitten, which he lifted into his arms. As the box touched the ground, the little girl (now all smiles) ran and received her beloved kitten. The mother thanked the young man and tried to slip something into his hand, but he smilingly backed away. A trifling incident, perhaps, but I don’t remember having witnessed a happier reunion.”
During the early 1930’s the many iron railway bridges in Blantyre were removed and upgraded with new, stronger more modern bridges. Designed to last, little did the authorities know that Blantyre’s railway spurs at Auchinraith and High Blantyre would not stand the test of time or feel required for many more decades.
Pictured here in September 1931, is one of the railway bridges at the Northern end of Blantyre being replaced by William Arroll Contractors. Perhaps the same crew who later rescued the kitty?