A few months ago, I received an interesting email from ex pat Archie Simm who wrote, “In your Blantyre Project Book, Volume 2, you have an interesting wee story about Richard Houldsworth emigrating from Springwell to Hawaii. It interested me and my brother Hugh.
Just to recap, in December 1947, Richard Houldsworth gave up his job as fireman at Priory Colliery Blantyre, moving from Springwells to the sunny climate of Honolulu!!
Archie continued, “You see Richard (Dick to the Simm family), was a friend of my father and I believed they worked together in the Priory Pit. I know Dad worked there for 59 years. Dick emigrated the year I was born. Dick came to see my Dad and I remember meeting him in our house in Beech Place. I believe that was in the early/mid 1960s. Dick presented my Dad with a gift of a wrist watch, unusual in its design for that era and of course it was a major event given it came from a good friend and also not just from USA, but HAWAII! When Dad passed in 1983, my brother Hugh took custody of that watch and wore it only on special occasions. 13 years later, he decided I should have custody and during one if his many trips to Texas, brought it with him in 1996.
I kept the watch for a number of years and wore it each Hogmanay with my dress kilt outfit. I also wore it on the occasion of my 3 daughter’s weddings. After a trip to Canada in 2010 together with Hugh, I had the watch professionally cleaned and returned to him for its safe keeping. So the “Houldsworth” watch is back in Scotland. It is well traveled.”
With thanks to Archie for sharing the photos, taking time out to email me and for this wonderful insight into this little treasure.
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