Continued from Part 1
The family had a strong pull to Canada. Jeanie Nimmo left Glasgow on a passenger ship on 19th November 1921 and arrived at St John, in New Brunswick, Canada 9 days later on the 28th. She had emigrated, away from family at the age of 24.
Margaret Nimmo married James McKechnie on 1st January 1923. She moved from Auchentibber to Motherwell and they had 11 children.
James Nimmo Sr. died on 19 Oct 1954 at Auchinraith Road H.B. (home of his daughter Annie Nimmo Crichton). They are pictured here at Auchinraith, just 3 years before his death. To investigate the continuation of the name Nimmo in this area, I decided to look into the stories of his sons, James, Robert, Samuel and John. Little John was sadly stillborn in 1912. Robert died, aged 24 in action during WW1 at Archangel, Russia. His story is told by me separately here on Blantyre Project if you search the term “robert nimmo”.
Samuel Nimmo married a woman named Margaret Little in 1930 and had 2 children. James (Scotty) Nimmo born in 1931 who would go on to live in Canada. Margaret Nimmo Lehmann told me, “He was always known as Big Jim, back in the 1970’s my brother Jim stopped at a gas station on a major highway in Canada for a coffee and he recognized a voice, it was Big Jim Nimmo, Sammy’s son. They hadn’t seen each other in many years, but my brother knew him right away!) Samuel also had a daughter little Margaret Nimmo who died aged 12 in 1947. Samuel died in East Kilbride, on 28th December 1979, aged 71. Margaret went on to tell me, “Samuel and Annie were the only two that I knew personally, Uncle Sammy was a lot of Fun and Aunt Annie was like the Granny I never had.”
However, it is the son of James Snr, James Jnr’s story I found most interesting, for he lived in the local area and was a well known and liked character. Born 17th July 1891, he lived until he was 71, passing away on his own birthday on 17th July 1962 in Blantyre.
James (Jim) Nimmo Jnr
James Nimmo Jnr (known as Jim) worked as a miner in Dixon’s Collieries in High Blantyre about a mile away down the hill. An easy walk to work, but a struggle back up such a steep hill every night after the shift! Auchentibber at its elevated heights often saw snow in the Winter’s when it could still raining down the hill in Blantyre.
Not far from James’s home was the Auchentibber Inn. As a young man, I’m sure he enjoyed a drink or two in there and it is known he had many friends and colleagues with whom he enjoyed the sport of Quoiting in the back gardens of the Inn. As a miner, Jim may also have been one of those men who gave up some spare time to enhance the gardens, creating beautiful terraces overlooking the sports ground. This came as no surprise to Margaret Nimmo Lehmann who told me that Jim used to work extensively in the garden at Auchinraith where he lived with his sister in the 1960s.
During 1918, it must have been terrible for him when he turned 27 and lost his younger brother in the war. I’m unsure as to why James never was called up for service, but at 27, he may have been considered too old or may have been to do with miners exception to keep the collieries working to support the British war effort. He most likely would have been exempted through his colliery work, the pits occasionally held ballots among the men of age to see who would go to war and who would stay behind. However, there came a point when a mass meeting was held in Blantyre at the Blantyre Vics’ Football Park (August 1915) and a resolution passed that they would strike if any more men were removed from the Blantyre pits. They also felt it was about time to get round the table and try an end the war.
It is known Jim Nimmo became an accomplished Quoiting player and was amongst the stars of the Auchentibber Quoting team, winning medals in local matches as early as 1910. He went on with the team to take part in National competitions, Auchentibber won the Scottish Cup in 1928 and Jim went on to play for Rutherglen’s team winning the Scottish Jubilee cup in 1930/1931. Margaret has kindly shown me the photo of that actual medal.
The Auchentibber Team during the 1914 included, Jim Nimmo, R. Borland, D Gallacher, R.McLean, W. Innes, R.Nimmo, W.Gillespie, D.Nimmo, T. Gallacher, J. Owens., R. Stewart, J. Hogg, J Borland, A. Borland. Mr. James Neil of Parknuek was secretary.
To be continued on Part 3 of 3