“Mr. Andrew Edgar a miner of 67 Auchenraith Road, Blantyre, was convicted on evidence, at Hamilton J.P. Court on Saturday 19th September 1931 of stealing, in concert with others unknown, one ton of coals from a mineral train at Strathaven Junction, on the L.M.S. Railway line between Blantyre and High Blantyre. The Justices found the charge proven, and imposed a fine of 30s, with the alternative of fifteen days’ imprisonment.”
When I read this, I thought of two things:
1. How does a person steal a ton of coal? Presumably from a train at a standstill, near to your home, under the dead of night.
2. Blantyre people clearly don’t ‘grass up’ their friends. The sentence was passed without the identity of those working with him, ever being disclosed. I hope his friends rallied later to help pay the 30s.
Pictured that same year in some clarity in 1931, only yards from the crime, is the Auchenraith Colliery during its final months. The colliery actually closed just 19 days before Andrew’s misdemeanour, and I suspect it was this reason and the prospect of winter arriving that the coal sitting around this area, likely proved tempting.