Limelight Lantern Christmas Show


A story now almost 103 years ago to the day. As was customary, the children of the Stonefield Parish Church Sunday School would often hold their annual Christmas concert, a couple of days before Christmas Day.

In 1916, that fell on Saturday 23rd December and children of that sabbath school were invited along that afternoon for their Christmas party along with parents to the former Masonic Hall on Glasgow Road.  The Rev. Thomas Pryde, M.A., presided over a large gathering of children and their families. After a splendid tea had been enjoyed in the decorated large hall, late afternoon darkness set in and this signalled the exciting time for a much anticipated lantern show!

The Blantyre families were entertained with the limelight lantern showing many beautiful slides in connection with the war, shown by Mr Win. Lockhart, Jun. Despite the harrowing subject, the tone was optimistic and the sheer thrill of sitting in the dark hall glued to the screen ensured the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

The customary votes of thanks brought one of the most entertaining soirees for some time to a close.

More information: Whilst lantern shows had been about for centuries, it was the Victorian invention of more powerful ‘limelight lamps’ that took this entertainment from homes to larger venues. Lantern shows in the 1910’s quickly gave way to the arrival of more popular cinema theatres.

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