Blackout Lights Showing



As the 2nd World War got underway, blackouts fell upon the Nation, shutting out all light to potential overhead German bombers.

On 21st October 1939, The Blantyre Gazette reported, “There were many Blantyre people cited before the Sheriff Court at Hamilton this week in connection with lightening offences and fines, with an alternative of imprisonment, were imposed in each case. For failure to have the lights in their houses obscure, fines of 20/- were imposed upon the following.

Philip Lyons, 150 Auchinraith Road, High Blantyre,
Patrick Canning, 132 Calder Street, Blantyre.
James Hawthorne, 27 Birdsfield Crescent, High Blantyre.

Fines of 10/- were imposed on the following.

Edward Liddell 87 Broompark Road, High Blantyre.
Matthew Brown, 17 Springwells Crescent, Blantyre.
Vincas Alinsky, 41 Glasgow Road, Blantyre.
Richard Stewart. Springwells Housing Scheme, Blantyre.

The lesser fines were likely where a half hearted attempted had been made, but still failed. Blocking out light from rooms, involved not just dark, heavy curtains, but often also shutters, boards, black tape or changing the type of glass. Blackouts of towns ensured that towns did not become targets and caused loss of bearings and confusion of enemy aircraft overhead.

With towns so dark, road accidents were commonplace, as depicted in this little cartoon. Thank you to Wilma Bolton for the original newspaper report.

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