Trouble over a Billygoat, 1921



A curious if not somewhat amusing story next.

In 1921, Robert Meldrum was an asphalt worker, a tenant living at “Rosebank” at Rosebank Avenue, Blantyre. Now, Robert had a small stable at the back of his home and he kept a collection of goats, tending to them, his hobby.

One weekend in November that year, Robert was having a get together at his home with family and he got a little drunk, suggesting to his guests it would be ‘a laugh’ to bring in one of the goats from the stable and let it roam around the interior of the house.

Mrs Meldrum was immediately anxious that the billygoat in question being brought in during all the merriment, was the most bad tempered goat they had. She at once fretted about it ‘doing its toilet business’ anywhere other that the hearth.  She was apprehensive also hat the animal would turn on her ‘show off’ husband and gore him badly!

Inevitably, in a strange environment, things got out of hand when the goat started running wild inside the house crashing into furniture. It really was the worst tempered. Police were called to get rid of the troublesome ‘billy’. Robert Meldrum however, was most upset that the police had been called and tried to assure constables that he could handle the situation. However, as the Constables tried to guide the goat out the house, Robert Meldrum assaulted them with a punch or two.

In court a week later, the case caused some laughter. Constables James Brown and William Jenkins had been struck when they volunteered to remove the goat from the house, but it was the courtroom dialogue that caused some sniggering.

In court sobered up, Robert said to the judge, “My Lord, I’m very sorry this has happened.”
Sheriff Shennan replied, “Then, sir, you must stop the drink. It looks here as if the bad temper of your billygoat had been transferred to you.” (Laughter.)

Robert was fined £2 or ten days’ imprisonment, and was asked politely to ‘rethink exactly who or what he invited into his weekend parties.’

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2019

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

Helen Henderson Mclaughlin Derek Trevethan show this to wee rab lol. Any relation lol
Kenny Weir Scott Weir, Elaine McGuire Veitch, need tae ask mam about this as well 
Elaine McGuire Veitch Kenny Weir oor jean will luv this x
Kenny Weir ElaineMcGuireVeitch all her uncles must’ve been original Peaky Blinders lol

Leave a Reply