Runaway Rail Tanker in Village


An eight-ton steam waggon, left unattended at Blantyre railway station on Monday 14th October 1929, just one week after the Livingstone Centre opened caused considerable alarm when it ran amock in the Village. It all started, when it is alleged, by two boys who tampered with the oil tanker and it ran backwards across the road and through a fence, and crashed against the wall of a cottage.

The wall was broken, and the bedroom badly damaged. The waggon—a large steam oil tanker, belonging to the Anglo American Oil Co., Ltd. (pictured), had been run into the enclosure at the Blantyre railway station. It was left unattended for a few minutes, and it is alleged that the two boys tampered with the engine, with the result that the eight-ton waggon moved rapidly backwards. It glanced off the entrance gate of the station, careered across the road, and crashed through the fencing on the outside of Gate Cottage. Continuing its career, it ran heavily into the house, which was then occupied by Mrs Martha Lyon, a widow and wife of the late John Lyon.

The house, which was one storey, was burst through from the top to the bottom, and the slates were also dislodged. The window of a bedroom was knocked in and huge stones were lying all over the room. The lath and plaster work of one wall was completely dislodged. Mrs Lyon had gone out, and her sister, Mrs Fairgrieve, had just placed her coat and hat in the room before the crash. The accident was seen by a large crowd.

Gate cottage was one of the entrance properties to the Village Works and is no longer there today. Pictured earlier in 1903, on the right hand side is the rather unusual, and almost circular, Gate Cottage.


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