As Blantyre settled from the shock of World War II breaking out, life had to continue for our town, and that included children trying to enjoy themselves as best as they could.
The Hamilton Advertiser told the story on 21st September 1940. A group of local children formed “The Thornhill Gang.” The boys and girls styled themselves and using this name, held concerts in aid of the war fund of the women’s section of the Community Service on 13th Institute in the Centre Hall.
The sum of £13 3/- was handed over by Mrs Kelly and Mrs Braidwood, who acted as treasurers for the young artists. Mrs Kelly of Thornhill perhaps having a hand in the name of the children’s entertainment group. Mrs Robb was president, and her position included thanking the children and their mothers for the handsome sums raised. Those taking part in the concerts were Misses J. and M. Kelly, J. Walker, McFarlane. R. Pender, E. Braidwood, G. Dall and Masters A. Braidwood (accordion) J. Dall, C. Todd, A. Kelly, R. Craig, S. Graham, J. McQuade, F. McBride and P. McQuade.
Reference to the Centre Hall, could be the Co-op Hall at Herbertson Street but I think it was more likely the Community Centre on Glasgow Road, which had opened only 2 or 3 years previous to the report. I’d love to hear from any Blantyre wartime children as to how you all kept yourselves entertained and occupied during those troublesome times.
Pictured are Blantyre children lining Glasgow Road , pictured in 1942 during the war years.
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Trisha Mcginty My mum was only 3yrs old then, so she wouldn’t know about this amazing story xx
Anne Mackie My husband born in 1945 tells of picking rosehips from hedges etc to be made into Rosehip Syrup for babies to make them strong xx
Elaine Petriat That’s a really interesting story. My dad’s family grew up in thornhill and I wonder if J. McQuade was my uncle John and P McQuade my aunt Patricia. I’ll need to do some investigating of my own here!