The 1930’s global recession had an effect almost everywhere. In 1934, fifty six year old unemployed miner Robert Kerr lived at 56 Maxwell Crescent, High Blantyre. Sadly, the downturn in work also affected him severely.
With Christmas 1934 been and gone, depression had set in and between Christmas and New Year 1934/35 he left home suddenly and without warning. His family thought he had perhaps gone to friends. But days went past, and he did not return. Then his wife turned ill, and was removed to the County Hospital at Motherwell suffering from pneumonia in addition to the stress and worry she was experiencing about the whereabouts of her man. The search for the missing husband was intensified. But it was vain whilst his wife was dying in hospital.
Eager to know more, I picked up the final part of this story from the Sunday Post, which was very telling. Robert came back home as suddenly as he had vanished. In he walked on the morning of Saturday 12th January 1935 and was immediately told by a son of his wife’s passing in Hospital whilst he had been away. Naturally, he was very upset on arriving home to hear the tragic news of his wife’s death. There was nothing reported as to where he had been for 2 weeks. In modern times we know a lot more about the illness that is depression. If this was indeed the cause for his leave, I can only imagine what the news did to his future well being. Pictured is 56 Maxwell Crescent in modern times.