John Christie, d1916


At the start of December 1916, it was reported that Mr John Christie, jobbing gardener, there has passed away in the Peacock Cross district Hamilton.

John, was however a native of Blantyre, where he was born more than eighty years earlier. He used to say that the only formal schooling he received was a quarter or two (of a year) at a dame’s school kept by an old woman in the neighbourhood (most likely Elizabeth Lyon’s former school across from the Barnhill Tavern on Bardykes Road)

After that, he was forced to enter the ‘stern world’ and earn his own living. He got his initiation into the gardening craft at Crossbasket (I think working for the Clark family), but could lend his hand not merely to gardening but to all descriptions of field work.

He was, for a good many years gardener with the late Mr Watt of Almada Hill, and on Mr Watt’s removal to the property which he acquired at Carmunnock, John went with him.

He did not remain there long, but returned to his old neighbourhood in Hamilton, finding there, ample employment as a jobbing gardener in the expanding town. All who employed him liked him.

His obituary is interesting commenting, “He was not only a most faithful and efficient workman, but he was possessed of vein of quiet pawky Scotch humour, and used the vernacular with a richness and purity of phrase and idiom which in these days of universal schooling are rare.

His Scotch was markedly the Scotch of Burns. The years as they wore by seemed to tell on him but little; his sight did not wax dim, nor was his natural force abated.

Still, it occurred to some of his friends that John had done his life well, and was a fit subject for old age pension, and overtures were made to him with this object. John, however, would have none of it.

The old Scotch spirit sturdy independence was strong within him, and that he would work to the end, and he literally did so.

The modest wants of every day
The toil of every day sufficed.

To sit in an armchair by the ingle cheek a semi-invalid, away from the caller air and the smell of the good brown earth, would, always he said, kill him.

The end came with tragic suddenness. He had been work through the week, and Saturday morning he rose and dressed himself as usual go a garden which he, specially loved. Before he could set out, however, kind of spasm came over him, and he passed away in a moment.

Thus with no fiery, throbbing pain.
No cold gradations to decay.
Death broke at once the vital chain,
freed his soul the nearest way.

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

Brian Weaver A contented man. Worked in a job he obviously enjoyed and never gave a thought to retiring… a good example to follow.
Bob Giulianotti Polly just say no
Jim Cochrane This man may have been a brother or Father of My Great great grandmother Lilias Main {nee Christie).
Janet Cochrane He was a nephew of Lilias Christie Main

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