In January 1912, a Blantyre boy named Robert Anderson, 12 years of age, (the stepson of William Gilmour, who lived at 5 Dixon Street), met with an accident which proved a most serious matter for him.
Young Robert was standing watching some other boys throwing stones, but taking no part in it himself, when he was suddenly hit on the face with a stone. The object his his eye hard, square on and the doctor who attended found it advisable to remove him to the infirmary, unfortunately having to recommend the eye being removed.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, the unfortunate thing about this story is that the same boy, a few year’s earlier, actually was blinded in his other eye, through being hit with a stone!
Stone throwing seems to be a popular past-time for youngsters in those days. From competitive games trying to hit objects, to downright vandalism, there are many stories involving the throwing of stones at people, buildings and objects. One particular favourite past-time was trying to knock off and smash the little white porcelain electrical conductors high up on Telegraph poles. I have to wonder today how Robert Anderson’s life played out in darkness.