Stealing from Village Gardens

This is a story kindly told to me by Gordon Cook, shared here.

“John Ness, as school master of the Village School once told a story about a Blantyre boy who was stealing from a garden in the mill village.

During the 19th Century, the wife of one of the officials in the mills was in her garden when she heard some rustling from the bushes. She turned and caught sight of a wee boy taking off in terror, but she managed to catch hold of him and get his name.

When the boy was let go, the woman found he had left his bonnet, which was full of blackcurrants, which she handed in to Mr Ness at the school. Next day the boy was ‘chastised’ by Mr Ness and he then lectured all the boys on the subject of stealing from the gardens. Meanwhile, Mr Millar, the manager of the mills, summoned the boy’s father from his workplace and told him in no uncertain terms that “over and above the flogging which Mr Ness would give the boy, he (the father) had also to do the same, adding that if the same thing occurred again, he would give the father a week at home.”

1900 Waterloo Row & Mill Gardens wm

The attached previously unseen online photo from around 1900 or just before, shows some of the gardens quite clearly in front of the former buildings of Waterloo Row.


Leave a Reply