Teenage Midnight Prowl

In April 1914, four Blantyre teenage boys met up in the middle of the night to go on a rampage through a local business.

James Ryan (15) of Semple’s Buildings, William Docherty (15) of Allison Place, William Johnstone Jnr (14) of Glasgow Road and Robert Sim (13) of Glasgow Road, all Springwell boys met up on the night of 5th April 1914 at an Ice Cream Shop at 15 Glasgow Road (near the old Miller’s Fireplace buildings).

Breaking in they helped themselves to 12 bars of chocolate, 4lbs of sweets, 2lbs of caramels, 1.5 lbs of cubes, 12 bottles of aerated water and 34 cigarettes.

All four boys found themselves in Hamilton Sheriff Court 3 weeks later. The boys admitted the charge and Johnstone and Sim added the charge to their previous convictions. Considering their ages, the Sheriff gave Ryan and Docherty six stripes of the birch rod each. The other two receiving 8 stripes on account of previous convictions. At each lashing, it was statutory that the boys fathers attended. Robert Sim’s stepfather had failed to attend court, so his “sentence” was deferred until the following Monday.

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