William Lockhart was born in Airdrie in 1850, and as a boy of year of 10 years of age, he worked as a trapper in the pits. In July 1872, he joined the police force and served in various districts throughout Lanarkshire.
When the disaster occurred at Blantyre Collieries in October 1877 he was at Hillhead (then in the county of Lanark) and was ordered to take up duty at the colliery.
In May 1889, he was appointed to the rank of sub-inspector and was transferred to Blantyre, and he stationed there at the Glasgow Road Police station for over ten years. Mr Lockhart quickly recognised the need for an ambulance waggon in such a large mining district and in a few weeks raised £150 from public subscription and a waggon was bought and stationed in the district.
By 1903, his thoughts turned to retirement and he was the constructor of both Arden Cottage at 4 Rosebank and St Clair Cottage. He was married to and outlived wife Helen Sinclair. He took up residence in 1903 at St Clair Cottage at 2 Rosebank Avenue.
Mr Lockhart, who eventully retired from the police force in 1906, was the oldest police pensioner in Scotland. He was a keen Freemason and took a deep interest in the work of Stonefield Church of Scotland, Blantyre where he had been an elder and manager for forty years. Mrs Lockhart had died two months prior to their diamond wedding.
The retired police inspector died at his home at St Clair Cottage, at 2 Rosebank Avenue on 18th January 1939, aged 88. After debts and the sale off his home, he left £817 in his will; a sum comparable to £54,000 in today’s money. Without children, his nephew from Shotts, signed the death certificate.
Williams home “St Clair Cottage” is pictured in 2008 on the right hand side of this existing building on Rosebank Avenue.
Research from the forthcoming book “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2020