Tragedy befalls the Cliffords 1932


Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 18.27.04Bellshill was the scene of a serious motor accident on Saturday 9th July 1932, where a young girl of two and half years was seriously injured and sadly later died, with several other people injured. The dead girl was Kathleen Clifford, of 40 Station Road, Blantyre the daughter of the man who would form the Blantyre Gazette.

The injured were: John Clifford (36), the girl’s father (who suffered severe head injuries); Mrs Clifford (36), his wife (head and shoulder injuries); their son John (head injuries); Robert Kennedy (25), 6 Rockburn Crescent, Bellshill; and Kathleen Kennedy (2), the same address. The Clifford family, who were on a business errand to Mossend, had only gone few hundred yards from the railway Station by foot, when they were run down by a car going in the same direction. Mrs Clifford was dragged under the car, and her husband was carried some distance. The four Cliffords were taken to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where Kathleen died shortly after admission. After treatment the Kennedys were allowed to go home. The driver of the car, an Airdrie man, was taken to the Bellshill Police Station and detained.

Young John Clifford would later go on to live at Station Road in the 1960s, his own daughter Kathleen, (named after little Kathleen), became a school teacher. Pictured is 40 Station Road, former home of the Cliffords.

On social media:

John Daly Kathleen Clifford taught me at St Blanes. Had my photo in the Gazette at one point, too.
Marion Robertson I lived next door to Kathleen and her dad John at no 38, for years, great neighbours but what a sad story.
Marianne Stark Aitken I wonder if the Kathleen mentioned in this post who was a local teacher, could’ve been Mrs McCartney a teacher at St Joseph’s ps throughout the 70’s now deceased ? Rosalind Elliott any thoughts?
Marianne Stark Aitken She also ( coincidentally ) lived on Station Road

Rosalind Elliott This would be Mrs . McCartney. . Her own name was Kathleen clifford and she lived in a cottage in station rd when she worked in st. Joseph’s. .. and was still there after she retired. Eileen ( miss asby/mrd. Burnett) and I went to visit her when she was ill a few years ago.. she had a brain tumour.. lovely lady. . X

Marianne Stark Aitken Rosalind Elliott she was strict but a nice lady always said hello to me in later years, she sang in the choir at the chapel, nice piece of history just lovely ☺️

Rosalind Elliott She was also involved in the scouts in Blantyre. . Often saw her at the front of asda raising money for them .. she was always in charge of the school choir too x

The Blantyre Project thanks Ladies. It’s always good to get some extra history on the people in these articles.

Mary Dunne what Memories

Catherine McGlynn My mum worked as a cleaner for Mr John Clifford both at his home and the Gazette office. He was a lovely gentleman. I often went with her to the Gazette office to help her cleaning.

James Connolly she was a teacher at st. blanes in the 60’s.

Ishbel McKinlay-Wilkie Beautiful cottages….wonder what they would sell for today….

Moyra Lindsay You could probably find them on Zoopla they are the first houses on right at top of Station Road.


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  1. I *think* that story has the generations mixed up a bit. (I’m Kenny McCartney, son of Kathleen Clifford/McCartney, and I remember mum telling me this story when I was a kid.)

    As I understand it, the John Clifford in the article was the son of the man who started the Blantyre Gazette. As the article says, he had two children: Kathleen (who died in the accident) and John. My mum was his 3rd child, born in 1935, 3 years after the fatal accident, and she was named after the child who died. Mum always found this slightly creepy (not surprisingly), but apparently this was quite common at the time. Sadly, his son John died when he was in his late teens/early twenties, and I don’t think his father ever really recovered.

    So the family tree is like this:
    – John Clifford (founder of the Gazette) was born in c.1867
    — John L. Clifford was born in c. 1896 (I think). He took over the Gazette from his father and ran it until it closed.
    — Kathleen Clifford (my mum) was born in 1935

    (Mum wrote a few articles for the Gazette when she was young. One of them was about a fire in High Blantyre, and it was a big article with comments from neighbours, firemen, etc. Never happened. It was a slow news week, so she made it up. Or maybe she made *that* story up to amuse me? Who knows!)

  2. Mrs McCartney or Kathleen Clifford was the most wonderful teacher and a true lady in every way. I am so incredibly sorry to hear she is no longer with us. I would have loved to meet with her again to chat and exchange experiences. She was my teacher at St Josephs and I can still hear her voice now. She had such a big influence over me then and till this day. I have never forgotten things that she taught me like balancing a book on my head whilst walking lol. Truly missed! Xxx

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