1908 Quoiting Team at the Hermitage

1908 Part of Auchenitbber Quoiting team at Hermitage.

1908 Part of Auchenitbber Quoiting team at Hermitage.

These photographs were taken by High Blantyre photographer David Ritchie round about 1908 or so. It is my belief that this is the Auchentibber Quoiting Team, whom would go on to be very accomplished in the sport. I’ve seen in other photos these exact faces practising at Broompark and at Auchentibber.

The men are standing on and below the bridge crossing the river calder, at the Hermitage building in Calderwood Glen. Indeed one man is leaning near the hermitage stonework itself. Finely dressed, as I was surprised at this, as its not exactly attire for tramping through the High Calder. However, what Im forgetting is that the whole area back then was maintained, with paths leading to these locations, rather than cutting through undergrowth of today!

I think the men were dressed for the purpose of getting their photo taken. Finely turned out with their pocket watches on display, a similar pose in each , hands in pockets. There is such character in these photos and I can imagine them setting off from the nearby Auchentibber Inn and their sporting ground, off to these beautiful gardens and woods to get a commemorative photo taken. Incredible to think this was 107 years ago. The photos David Ritchie took are exceptionally clear and rival a resolution and clarity of any modern camera, even when zooming in like I have done here. It is with thanks to Alex Bowie, a distant relation of both myself, and David Ritchie that these amazing photos can be seen again in public.

On social media:

  • Caroline Rundell The faces of blantyre x
  • Marion Anderson It never ceases to amaze me just how important photos are, without these images, of past generations our links with them would be all but lost.
    • The Blantyre Project Absolutely Marion. Printed photos are SO important. We’re entering a digital “dark age”, where tens of millions of photos will just simply be lost, from generation to generation on damaged or disused hard drives, on cameras, disks and devices that in future may not play or be accessed. Stored on “cloud” storage than future generations don’t know about or can’t access. I always make a point of printing out family photos of any special event, so my wee one will have something to look back on.
    • Marion Anderson Thanks Paul, I totally agree ! as a happy snapper from way back,I am on a mission to spread that very message to the younger members of my very large extended family.
  • Brian Weaver Their dress was maybe not specifically for the camera. My earliest memories of my grandpa in the 1950s are of a man who came home from the pit black, but immediately he was home he got washed and changed. Whenever I saw him on the street he was in a suit. He went to the bowling green in a suit, went to the whist in a suit. These men would never have worn casual clothes as we know them.
    • The Blantyre Project Good point Brian. People did make an effort when they went out anywhere to dress. Your point is demonstrated well in this 1934 photo of my great Uncle, Archie Danskin, at the crossroads at the top of Stonefield Road, off out on his bicycle……in a suit!

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