Sheilding his friend


1930-high-blantyre-station-wmAlfred Burnett, a miner, residing at 11 Sydes Brae, High Blantyre, was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment at Hamilton Sheriff Court on Friday 10th February 1928 for stealing a quantity of coal from the railway siding at High Blantyre. Whilst being sentenced, he also attempted to shield his friend from any sentence.

Charles McGill, another Blantyre miner of 395 Main Street, High Blantyre was then charged with acting in concert with Burnett.

Alfred Burnett, who had several previous convictions, had asked M‘Gill to help him take away some coal from the railway siding, which they said had been given to them by a railway guardsman.

The Fiscal said that Burnett had a black record, and only wanted to take the full responsibility for the offence. McGill was fined £3 with the option of fifteen days, imprisonment.

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

Pictured in the same era as this story in 1930, is High Blantyre Station’s eastern platform. The waiting rooms were segregated into separate men and women’s rooms. The station is no longer there and is today, a modern housing estate.


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  1. Thanks. Its good to read all this added detail and the real social history from families.

  2. My late mother loved her Uncle Alf she said he had a great heart and wouldn’t hurt a soul.
    During the war years the local chippy, don’t know which one, ran out of potatoes so couldn’t open up so Alf rectified this by stealing a sack of potatoes from a local farm.
    Alf was accused of rape a crime he denied but got sent down anyway, his family believe he was incapable of this, petty crime yes but this? Never!
    My late Papa Sergeant Allan Pollock once arrested him, he put Alf in the van and by the time my Papa got round the other side Alf had jumped out which happened several times much to Alf’s amusement and very much to my Papa’s annoyance.
    My mum described him as the village idiot.

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