Next, an accident which took place near the West End of Blantyre on Friday 7th February 1908.
That morning around 9 o’clock, County Councillor John Jackson left his home at Bardykes House to drive to Blantyre Station. By ‘drive’ in this era before many motorcars, I mean he was travelling by horse and trap which would have looked similar to the one pictured.
Upon turning right on to the Glasgow Road, near the corner of the Blantyre Ferme Road, the pony suddenly became startled at the noise of a nearby steam road roller and jumped over the hedge of an adjoining field, taking the trap with it!
Mr Jackson was thrown from the trap violently to the road as the shafts below the trap broke. The unfortunate gentleman was taken back the short distance to his home and the doctor was summoned. Dr Wilson of nearby Parkville quickly arrived and concluded that Mr Jackson had suffered a concussion to the head and was quite in shock. He did recover quickly afterwards in the following week.
A horse and cart is pictured around this era outside the West End Bar to illustrate. A trap would have been slightly more substantial with an elevated seat for a person or two to sit on. Plenty of miners look on in curiosity at the photographer.
I think this was a particularly notable event for Mr Jackson. His injury made him do something about the condition of Blantyre’s streets. In the immediate fortnight after his accident, his next two county council meetings were dominated by him raising motions vowing to improve various Blantyre streets, the condition of which was noted as being deplorable at the time. We’ve explored this subject recently on Blantyre Project.
Now this story got me thinking. What infrastructure was in place for when somebody arrived at Blantyre Station on their horse and trap. If they weren’t picking up others, and intended to go on to the train, who looked after the trap and horse? There must have been stabling nearby on Station Road perhaps specifically for this purpose.