‘My Own Penny Fare’ by Peg o’ the Caur

A charming, forgotten Blantyre poem from 1924. It’s about a Blantyre lady (Peg) with a motor(caur) spying a wee lad on his way to the Pit to start work for his first time. The location is perhaps Station Road, the boy heading to a pit in Bothwell and having to cross the suspension bridge. The lady’s hopes and wishes that he did well. Love this!!


It was the early workmen’s
And nearing Blantyre Rows,
We picked up a smallish lad,
Dressed in the collier clothes.

There was something in his look,
That made me think and ponder,
Surely he was new start,
on the road to ‘down under.’

I gaed him his penny fare,
And quizzed him just a wee;
He gave me his story frank,
And a thrill it brought to me.

The wee pit lamp he carried
Had hung on the kitchen wa’
Since four years past and mair,
His faither was ta’en awa’.

Bearing thus his faither’s lamp
As he cam’ o’ collier age,
Bound was he for yon pit-bank,
In time for the early cage.

Wearing too his faither’s claes,
Newly made doon and suiting;
He ready wis for ony wark
That was at a’ befitting.

But if he had his laddie’s wish,
A pony he’d be driving,
He wad feed it wi’ his piece,
And the pony wad be thriving.

Fu’ cheery at the prospect
Having a pony to drive;
The pony was aye to be neat,
And merry, happy and blythe.

He spoke o’ the old coal road,
His faither had driven in;
To him it was the royal road,
And himself the happy king.

The car had reached the pit road
And he rose to gae awa’;
I gi’ed back his penny fare,
Wished him quid luck and a’.

I thought he should travel free,
In the spirits he was in;
For I was queen o’ the car
On the journey o’ the king.

Fu’ was he o’ morning promise,
This my own, my penny fare,
God grant him a clear noon-day,
And answer a lassie’s prayer.


Picture: Illustration only


Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said,

Barbara Aitkenhead Fantastic photograph – what style !

Blantyre Project picture is of course only for illustration but it seemed to fit the style and poem. 😉
Anne Mosley Love it ! X

Helen Lawson Taylor Loved the poem .

Anne Irvine Brilliant.

Jack Bethel Maybe Peg was a tram or bus conductress?

Blantyre Project Jack. Thanks for that! Your suggestion puts this poem in a whole new light and fits very well to it being a Caur ,Tram Caur! I never even thought of that. Women were certainly driving Blantyre trams by 1915. The line “The car had reached the pit road” could only have been Spittal/Bardykes or Craighead collieries. “I thought he should travel free”, much more lends itself to a tram and staffing decision, than the penny fare on the bridge. I think you’ve nailed it sir! I’m convinced.

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