1878 Auchinraith House Mystery

1878 Auchinraith House

You may have seen this photo of former Auchinrath House before, but perhaps not in this clarity. Pictured in 1878 by Thomas Annan, the house was on the site of the proposed Incinerator, (which only recently has been stopped).

In the foreground above the gardens next to the Parkburn, is the existing bridge, which leads over into Whitehill and Burnbank. A crossing from the Blantyre side to Hamilton, the Parkburn forming Parish boundaries.

If you look closely, there’s a figure sitting with arms folded on the bridge. Now, I always thought that was a man with fair hair. However, when zooming in on a good scan, there’s a bit of a mystery. The figure looks youthful and bizarrely seems to have white cloth covering his head. A woman stands nearby holding something like cloth, bandages or paper, as if to help him. Any ideas what on earth is going on here?!

It’s 1878, so i don’t think this is a wounded soldier. Is he a beekeeper perhaps? Or a childish prank for the photographer aided by a nanny? George Alston Junior that year was 13 or 14 years old. Could this be young master George entertaining a visiting photographer on his fathers’ estate?

1878 Bridge figure in Bandages

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

Jamie Nisbet Where exactly is theis bridge
Blantyre Project if you go down Whistleberry Road right to the end (before the oncoming slip), take a right into a single track road just beyond the CAT/JCB factory, you’ll go over the bridge around 100 yards down the track. Its extremely overgrown now on either side.
Liz Allan Jamie Nisbet I think it looks like a young soldier
Catherine McLachlan Love this photo and agree it’s a strange picture of the boy.
Chris Ladds The photo will be no later than 1868 Paul for the reasons stated before. Just looks like a hat to me with some shade below It, and a woman holding a newspaper or something.
Mary Kane Scary sitting on the bridge like that. Looks a long way down!!
Kirsty Coyle Could this possibly be October time and the boy is dressed for Halloween?

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