Drunk Tram Driver? 1917

1920 Tram in Blantyre copyOne day at the end of February 1917, passenger got on the tram at Cambuslang and it set off heading to Blantyre. But this was to be an eventful short trip!

The tram stopped and started erratically, throwing the passengers left and right, almost continuously right into Blantyre. By the West End, somebody had investigated and was shocked to find the tram driver was drunk. Passengers quickly alerted two passing police officers and the car was stopped.

A court date was set in Hamilton for the following Monday, the driver employed by the Lanarkshire Tramways Company in attendance. He was charged with being drunk in charge of the car between Cambuslang and Blantyre.

Prosecution said Police had found the driver was leaning forward in the car, smelling strongly of drink. A telephone message was sent the Power House in Motherwell, and instructions given, to have the accused driver removed from oar, while another man was sent out in his place. For the defence, evidence was presented indicating that the driver had been discharged from the Army on account of his wounds which caused the slump, but was not drunk. After a lengthy trial, the Justices decided that, while the accused had consumed liquor to numb his pain, he was not drunk and accordingly found the charge not proven.

They also indicated their approval of the safe action by authorities in being responsible in giving the control of the car to another man that day.

From the book “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:

Eleanor Connor The area is so familiar, but I can’t remember exactly where it is …does anyone know
Blantyre Project This is a Blantyre tram, but its actually photographed in Hamilton
Eleanor Connor Blantyre Project ….Thanks …. I’ve seen that arch somewhere and I can’t place where it was!. 😂.. I’ll be up a’ Night
Rosie Law Eleanor Connor is it the door way to remenant kings
Sandy Wilkie Gaun yersel, the Blan’yr Trams!

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  1. Hi there a friend had this photo with the notation that this was taken in Hamilton. I’ve been trying for a few years to find out where. It’s not the doorway to Remanant Kings, That building is three stories high, the archway is different and the track goes straight on instead of turning left. I can’t find this arch in Cadzow Street. I think that from the brick work, the style of the chimney stacks and that it is a two storie building that it could be half way down Burnbank Road going towards Peacock Cross or maybe in Almada Street. I’m still looking!

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