During the first week of August 1928, the nearby village of Bothwellhaugh was extremely alarmed to find a young resident, Annie McWhinney, aged 15 had gone missing.
She was the daughter of Hugh mcWhinney (a coalminer) and Mary Forsyth. The girl lived at 47 Calder place with parents and was described as tall and beautiful.
She was employed at Roxburgh Villa in Bothwell as a domestic servant and on Saturday the 4th August 1928 she left that service with no explanation but did not return home. Her frantic father put out an alarm to police and nearby residents as this was most unusual. Almost a week went by before they learned any news. The girl had been spotted that evening in question at 8.45pm on the Craighead Viaduct over the Clyde at Blantyre. As 2 trains passed by, the girl vanished from the walkway, but the signalman merely through she had crossed to the other side and ran off. Enquiries were made with relatives and where she had spent a recent holiday at Prestwick but to no avail. Miss McWhinney was of slight build, pale skin, and black bobbed hair. She was dressed in a white dress, pink coat with a blue shawl.
So ended the news reports for this girl. However, as she was last seen in Blantyre, this had suddenly become an interesting BLANTYRE story! What had happened to her? Was she found? Did she go on to have a family? Had something sinister happened? I wanted to know more and decided I would explore death records to try to piece together a conclusion for this story.
To my sadness, I found a death certificate for this girl. The mystery was tragically solved though when it was proven she had indeed fallen from the viaduct or at very least ended up drowned in the River Clyde for an unknown reason.
On August 12th, her lifeless body was found at 7.15am at the Sluice gates of Blantyre works having been washed downstream.
Blantyre remembers Annie McWhinney. RIP. Picture for illustration only.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016