1926 Bloody Escape at Baird’s Rows


1955 Bairds Rows3

1955 Bairds Rows, Low Blantyre

Kaziners Skudauckan was a Lithuanian miner living at 40 Craighead Rows Blantyre during the 1920’s. He went locally by the name of Charles Smith, far easier for people who knew him.

Shortly after midnight on Thursday 2nd September 1926, William Cullen,  a neighbour who resided next door to Kaziners, heard terrifying female screams and like others in the former miner’s row in Low Blantyre, he looked out his window to see what the commotion was.

However, what William saw, gave him a fright, for there was Mrs Skudauckan attempting to leave the house by a window, her blood curdling screams suggesting something clearly was amiss.

Mr Cullen, quickly called another neighbour, Mr James McGuire, and “manned up”, they together rushed to the help of the woman, tried to get in via a door but found the door locked. They both then gained access to the house via another window, assisting the woman from out of the window and back into her home, shocked to find that she was bleeding profusely and fighting against them at the thought of being back into the house.

William and James then went into the kitchen for water to clean the injured woman and there observed her husband Kaziners, in a corner of the small kitchen with a nasty gash on the left side of his throat. In his hands, he was holding a razor, which they took from him.

The police and a doctor were called, when it was found that the woman had been viciously stabbed in six or seven places, Kaziners, clearly her attacker. Later to police, although it was not revealed what prompted the attack, the woman, known locally as Mrs Smith, admitted that her husband had been acting strange in his manner for many weeks.

Mass unemployment and the prolonged miners strike of many months in 1926 made life in Blantyre very difficult for people, especially miners. Dozens of families left, some abroad seeking employment and opportunity elsewhere. There’s no indication in the story that unemployment is behind the outburst of this man, but the timing is more than coincidental and should never have been any reason for violence of this nature.

Pictured some time later in 1955, are Bairds Rows (Craighead Rows), the scene of this crime, which is now the Carpark of Parks of Hamilton.

On social media:

Margaret Stewart My fathers family (stewart) came from bairds row and moved to stonefield rd
Rosalind Elliott Maureen McGilligan Downie.. think it was ‘bairds raws’.. your Di lived in.x
Maureen McGilligan Downie I was thinking that xx
Jason Henderson My 2x great-grandfather was a Lithuanian miner, who also may have been living in Craighead Rows albeit around 20 years earlier. I’ve managed to trace back to my great-grandfather Joseph Mitchell, whose parents are listed as Annie/Mary Brown and Michael Mitchell. The accepted family story is that both Joseph’s parents were from Lithuania (and, naturally, had different names), but I’ve struggled to find any real documentation on this. I did find a Michael Mitchell, originally from Lithuania, living in Craighead Rows in 1901, but sadly I’ve been unable to prove if that was him! There was another lodger in the house named Mary Brown, but she’s listed as being married to one of the other chaps in the house (all the lodgers were Lithuanian, including her). Now, it could be that Michael and Mary had a wee fling, of course…
Ann Justice Mary Falco – was Bairds Row where our gran ne granpa Sweeney lived?
The Blantyre Project Please see comment below Mary’s thanks.
Mary Falco Yes then in the 1930s they moved to springwell the children had a lot of Lithuania friends hope you are both well of to Italy next month
The Blantyre Project Mary…. James Sweeney and family lived at 52 Craighead Rows from just before the First World War right through until the early 1930s and is noted in both 1915 and 1930 valuation rolls.
Mary Falco Yes Paul there first daughter was born there in 1905
Maggie Anderson The Blantyre Project …My grandparents lived at #48 where my Mother was born….they were Lithuanian too and my Grandfather was a miner….his Lithuanian name was Valonis…..changed to Wilson
Maggie Anderson Also some people may remember my uncle Bill Wilson who drove the electric milk float delivering the milk..i think it was for the co-op and he used to give me a ride on it to the end of the row when i was a child..this would be early 50’s
Claire Danahay Maggie Anderson was James McGuire my grandfather? (Mum’s side?) I’m sure mum and dad either lived next door to or near each other? I’m still trying to find out my grandmother’s name. I think in might have been Gowran. This is all very interesting!
Maggie Anderson I’m not sure Claire but maybe some one will come up with an answer if you pose the question as in did James Mcguire have a daughter named Isa yes ?…..Another question….could your brother be named after him ( James ) ?
Marcia Bryson My father was raised in Bairds Rows his name was Thomas Clark ge had a sister Bridie later know as Bridie McManus and a brother John who was also known as blackie due to his hair . He was an amateur boxer but died during the war at El Alemain
Marcia Bryson This is the first time that I have seen a picture of Bairds Rows although my father spoke of it often .thank you for posting it .
Marcia Bryson Oops just noticed that I wrote my father’s brother’s name was John meant to write Jim
Maggie Anderson I’m just wondering if Vera and Ellen Smith were his daughters ? ( Kaziners Skudauckan ) aka Charles Smith


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  1. My dad would have been 8 years & 8 months old Grandad James Mcguire lived there before moving to Hawthorn place

  2. My grandfather and grandmother Isabella Watson and Gavin McNaughtan were married at 83 Bairds Row on 4th December 1896

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