Alarming Motor Accident

Summer excursions during war years offered a chance for families to get away and still provide their children with a day out, despite fathers, brothers and uncles not being there.

One such day happened in Blantyre on 30th August 1915. A motor Char-a-banc was loaded up with 23 women and children from the Village, with every one on board looking forward to the prospect of day out in Portobello.

The char-a-banc would have been around the similar style and size of the one photographed. The actual char-a-banc belonging to Mr James Baxter, motor- hirer, Airdrie and Coatbridge.

The picnic party set off from Glasgow Road, Blantyre on their journey that Monday morning in fine weather. However, they soon had their outing marred by an alarming mishap!

Shortly after when they arrived into Hamilton’s Cadzow Street, just about fifty yards from Hamilton Old Cross (pictured), suddenly the front axle of the char-a-bans snapped, and the huge vehicle swung around on to the pavement, throwing out the back of the car, smashing two plate-glass windows in a draper’s shop before coming to a stand.

Several pedestrians on the pavement got out of the way just in the nick of time, and happily the large party aboard the char-a-banc, though momentarily greatly alarmed, were in no way seriously injured. One or two women complained of bruises, due to the vehicle coming in contact with the wall.

It was a sudden realisation that they would have to board a Hamilton tram to get back to Blantyre, their day out, well and truly scuppered!

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