At a time before 1856 and the circulation of the then newly formed Hamilton Advertiser newspaper, the Beadle of Blantyre was known to let people know what was going on by “crying the news” at the Church door on Sundays.
The Church at the time was at Kirkton within the current cemetery and kirkyard. The Beadle would stand at the gates and not only reiterate the good impressions produced in the minister’s sermon, but also add in the news of the week, some of which certainly proved very strange indeed.
The Annals of Blantyre book commented some of these news readings, shouted at the top of his voice in the early 1800’s, included hay stacks or fields of beans to be sold. On other occasions it was the hind quarter of a cow to be disposed of, or what Lord Blantyre’s factor was up to , to ensure the gathering of rents. One such strange news event was cried out exactly to the people as:
“This is to give notice that there was found on the Sides (Sydes Brae) an empty sack, with a cheese at the bottom of it. Whoever has lost the same, by applying to me will get it back!”