Here’s a little known story about the Village, Blantyre. On this 1898 map, I’ve highlighted the position of former ‘Fore Row’. Once called Glasgow Row, this building is long gone, demolished in March 1908. However, whilst it was being demolished, a sad accident occurred which sadly took the life of a child.
Fore Row was demolished during the first two weeks of March 1908. On Monday 9th March after contractors had left, a number of village children entered the ruins of the two storey building between five and six o’clock to continue their play. As a number of boys and girls amused themselves amongst the ruin, suddenly the roof and walls collapsed in on them, burying a number of them in rubble. The children then frantically scrambled to free themselves, and patted themselves down with minor injuries getting away from the scene before anybody noticed, having given themselves a scare. However all was far from being well.
On Tuesday morning, the mother of nine year old Hugh Mullen went to his bedroom in the Cross Row to wake him for school and to her surprise he wasn’t there. A search was put on immediately around the area where it was soon learned that he had been one of the children playing in the building. Adults went to the ruin and police quickly took over the matter, conducting a brief search, which soon revealed the lifeless, dead body of the boy. He had tragically been hit by the collapsing rubble. Mrs Mullen, of 19 Cross Row was a widow at the time and had expected Hugh to be in bed the night before not noticing he wasn’t at home that night. The whole matter caused quite a sensation in the village for some time after.
Little Hugh Mullen is remembered here. The former location of Fore Row is pictured on Station Road below in modern times.