Christmas Morning in the Beer Cellar


It was the early, dark hours of Christmas Morning 1916. Everybody had gone to sleep after the festivities of Christmas Eve. Young children were fast asleep fuelled with excitement for what the morning had in store.

All was still in the streets of Blantyre, though around 3.00am, there was somebody out and about on Glasgow Road. Thomas Higgins, a miner of Baird’s Rows was determined to make it a Christmas to remember and he got his wish. In the dead of night, he entered a cellar illegally at the rear of 128 Glasgow Road and started helping himself to bottles of beer.

However, things did not go well. Around 4am, two patrolling policemen noticed what they thought was a light from the premises and upon inspection caught Higgins having a smoke alongside some open beers, all alone and still quite sober.

I cant imagine police letting Thomas go and fairly sure he would have woken up on Christmas morning in the Blantyre police station cell. A few days later he was up in court and told the judge he admitted stealing the beer, but not the break in, that the premises had been slightly open when he arrived. He was jailed for 14 days.

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