Auchentibber Memoirs Part 9

Continuing our look at a just a few more articles remaining from Flora Dickson Potter’s memoirs and research about Auchentibber. Flora is no longer alive but committed these words to paper during her lifetime. Speaking this time of the Italian Gardens, Quoiting Green and Patriotism.

“During the Summer months, the gardens were the scene of open air dancing, which became very popular in the “twenties”, the nominal change for an evenings entertainment being sixpence. Open days were organised when brass and silver bands and choirs brought large crowds into Auchentibber, the venue being the field behind the gardens where a large boiler was set up to make them warm. The monies that were made went to keep the Cottage Hospital.

Another feature at the gardens were the exotic fish which swam in the ornamental lake or pond and included trout. Hercules was depicted by one of the statues. The creation of the Auchentibber Gardens and Quoiting Green had been a Herculean task but it was well worth while and in their heydey they brought people from far and near.

Patrionism – When war broke out in August 1914, the export trade in coal on which many of the Lanarkshire pits depended was immediately affected and there was a severe curtailment in the amount of coal extracted. Many of the miners in Auchentibber elected to join the armed forces rather than face unemployment in their occupation. Alas, some of these men used to danger, failed to survive the carnage of the battlefield. In all, 14 men from the village made the supreme sacrifice. The names were:

Thomas Brown, Gunner, R.G.A
Robert Brown, Corporal R.H
Robert Duncan, Gunner, R.G.A
William Dickson, Pte A.S.C.M.T,
James Boyle Pte R.S,
Hugh Boyle Pte, R.H
John McFarlane, Corporal A&S.H.,
William Neilson, L/Corporal R.H,
Kenneth McLeod, Driver R.F.A,
Robert Nimmo, Pte R.S,
Alexander Gillespie, Pte G.H,
Thomas Potter, Pte, A.I.F,
William Holmes, Scottish Rifles,
Robert Hayburn, Pte R.H,

While the men were serving, the women folk at home knitted socks, mittens, helmets and scarves and periodically parcels of food were sent. These items were sent off to the soldiers. Unusually each parcel included a bar of chocolate, donated by Mr Struthers of the Inn. The work party which despatched the parcels from the Welfare Hall was organised by an energetic lady, Miss Margaret Wallace. Some of the villagers had their own plots where they grew vegetables and these along with animal meat supplied by the local farmers went to a soup kitchen which was set up in the washhouse in Brownsland. Dependants of the serving soldiers were helped in this way. “

auchentibber-welfarePictured is a modern aerial photo overlaid with an old map showing the location of the Auchentibber Welfare Building. Janet Cochrane told me, “Maggie Wallace was living in what was an old farmhouse with plenty of room. She was right next door to J.BH Struthers.” This was the likely location of the former Auchentibber Welfare Building.

(c) Blantyre Project

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