Hugh McLelland


Mr. Hugh McClelland (known as Hughie) was a local character who lived in the Model Lodge in Burnbank, Hamilton, not far from Springwells.

He roamed around the Blantyre and Burnbank areas living on handouts from local inhabitants.

He was tall, had long unkept hair, wore a ragged coat, and the legs of his trousers were ragged and frayed, all of which gave him a wild appearance. When drunk, he would rant and rave at the top of his voice. Not knowing he was harmless, strangers would run away from him in terror, but it was claimed Hughie was a well-educated and knowledgeable man who had turned his back on the world and fallen on harder times.

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016

The Model Lodge in Burnbank was known in pre WW2 years as the Trades Hotel. It was bought over by Tool Hire company Noel Kegg in early 1975 and they traded there until 2010, for a while also known as Toolstop (the name of Noel’s sons company). Whilst the Trades Hotel/Hostel was in Hamilton, here it is pictured to illustrate this story, both before WW2 and again in 2010, just after Toolstop moved to larger location nearer the M74.

On social media:

James Stirling i can remember hughie, he used to walk out in front of the chieftain bus when it went up hill street and when it stopped he would comb his hair by looking in one of the windows,
Betty McLean I too remember Hughie one Friday night I was helping to scrub the floor in the Salvation Army in Forrest St. It was dark and the door opened, in came Hughie saying, “I’m Jesus the son of God” We girls screamed. He was a harmless soul but scared us that night. Lol
The Blantyre Project great stories
James Stirling in later years hughie worked with a farmer ,the farm was just by the little brig at newhousemill i believe it was the first cottage on the left hand side as you go into ek ,hughie lived in a hut on the farmers ground i am almost sure that hughie died up there

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