The explosive population growth of the 1870’s in Blantyre saw those same residents and incomers let their hair down and enjoy the New Year Festivities, stepping away from the mines for a couple of days. The Hamilton Advertiser newspaper account on 5th January 1878, (just a few months after that horrible tragedy in Dixon’s Pits 2 and 3), told of how Blantyre New Year 1877 into ’78, came and went.
This would have been a time when Blantyre didn’t have much to celebrate. So many families would have just spent an uncertain Christmas, without the father/brother/sons.
“NEW YEAR HOLIDAYS. .—1878 was ushered in throughout this district with dancing, band-playing, singing, quarrelling, drinking, and hand-shaking. On Tuesday, large numbers left by the trains for Glasgow. The school children connected with the U.P. Church were on New Year’s Day were handsomely treated to cake, sweets,etc. Although a few fiery spirits got quarters in the County Buildings (jail!), matters passed off quietly, and work was resumed at some of the pits on the Thursday.”
Thank you to Wilma Bolton for sharing this story. Attached is a popular New Year and Festive Greetings card from 1877 into 1878. Not wanting to dwell on difficult times, I wish you a Happy New Year to you all!