Finmeoot Railway Accident, 1909

In late October 1909, several residents of Caldervale, (Fin me Oot) were involved in a railway accident whilst out walking. A warning this post contains some upsetting content.

The accident occurred at Newton, in Cambuslang Parish. Margaret McKerney or McAllister, aged fifty-one, residing at 34 Caldervale Rows, Blantyre, and Robert McAllister, her husband, along with Janet Govan or Nisbet, a widow, aged sixty-five, residing at 10 Caldervale Rows, Blantyre, were walking along the branch line which led from the main line to Newton No. 1 Colliery, belonging Messrs James Dunlop & Co. The trio were on the railway taking a shortcut home.

Suddenly, an engine with a waggon attached came up the siding for a rake of coal. The driver had not proceeded very far when he felt his engine give a lurch. He immediately alighted, and was horrified to find three bodies lying on the line in different directions. Mrs McAllister was discovered on the embankment with her head severed from the body. The man and the other woman were still alive but had evidently fallen forward on the four-foot way.

The unfortunate people had been to the Halfway district in Cambuslang, and had been proceeding up the railway siding to Newton Colliery, which was a shortcut home to Caldervale, when they were overtaken by the engine. They were all taken to Hallside Police Station, where the dead woman was later and quickly identified. The injured man was found to be suffering from slight bruises, and the woman Nisbet from severe shock. The driver’s statement was he was going uphill at a very slow rate, and that the three persons had apparently been walking directly in front when they were struck. The woman M’Allister had evidently been knocked across the rails, but the others had a marvellous escape, being thrown clear of the rails.

The incident however, was enough to put the small community of Caldervale into deep shock for some time afterwards. Caldervale is pictured in the 1920s.

1923 Caldervale

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  1. The people named in the railway accident above are my maternal great grandparents. Robert& Margaret McAllister. I knew of Margaret death but did not know the full story. Thank you

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