Four Blantyre families were in a pitiful plight in mid September 1923, having been evicted from their houses in Springwells, which were said to be uninhabitable, and being unable to find any accommodation.
The houses, were situated in Dalziel Place, just off Glasgow Road, in a location opposite the Robertsons Aerated Water Factory. The homes had been condemned for some time, and the people were warned out.
The householders searched high and low for houses without success, even applications for dwellings in the new housing scheme nearby being in vain. One of the families was understood to have made a request to be received into the Hamilton Combination Poorhouse, but, it was said, they could not be accommodated.
At the Police Office, too, a request for shelter was refused. The result was that four sheriff officers arrived and evicted the families and their goods into the street. The evicted tenants were: —Joseph Barr, widower, and his two daughters; Mrs Cleland and family; David M‘Kinnon, his wife, and two children; William Smith, his wife, and five children, the youngest of whom is two months old.
Slept in Washhouse.
It was a wet, stormy night that September evening, and the Smiths and M’Kinnons sought shelter in a nearby outbuilding, a washhouse, The washhouse, however, was without windows, and the tenants had to use coats and waxcloth to keep out the rain. In order that the younger children might get to sleep. Mr Smith nursed two of them on his knees ail night, while Mrs Smith and Mrs M‘Kinnon cuddled others in their laps. The bedding of the families was stored overnight in the stables of Mr M’Dougall, but the furniture had to remain in the street all night soaked with rain.
These homes were demolished in 1929 and no known photos have been unearthed (yet), so I have drawn how Dalziel Place (formerly called Semple’s Land) once looked like.
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