Forrest Place – Further Incidents

Following the tale of neglect at Forrest Place, High Blantyre told yesterday, I have a couple more incidents at the same property which also happened in June 1907. This may give an indication of some of the troubled lives attached to some residents in that property.

A Hungry Man’s an Angry man.

This is the story of James Connor, a miner at Forrest Place, who, in the first Friday of June 1907 allowed his wrath to develop in the wrong way. James came home tipsy and demanded his supper. He was asked quietly by his wife to wait a little whilst it was prepared. But James got angry and seized a poker throwing it as his wife striking her on the head.

He next picked up a fire iron and struck his daughter with it on her arm as she tried to intervene. He briefly left the house but returned a short time later to break six panes of glass in the window. In court the week later, he pled guilty to assaulting his wife and daughter. James had four times previously been in trouble and his wife was in the process of finding another home for herself and for her own protection. For that latest act, James spent 2 months in prison.

Now, it wasn’t just men at this property getting into trouble.

That same week, Margaret Haley and her mother Jane Haley also of Forrest Place committed and were charged with a breach of the peace by calling on a Mrs Bell. They had turned up to correct some stories which they had heard Mrs Bell had (apparently) said. A quarrel then happened as Margaret argued with Mrs Bell. Jane intervened pulling her daughter away, but not before striking Mrs Bell on the face repeatedly. In court, the daughter admitted putting her hand through Mrs Bell’s window pane before leaving. Unable to prove anything, without witnesses and one word against another the judge dismissed Jane and Mrs Bell, but had no choice other than to fine Margaret for her admission in destroying the window.

I can only imagine the Blantyre police being kept “on their toes” at this property, which was also known as the “Barracks”. Forrest Place is pictured in this 1910 map, just off Main Street, opposite its junction with Broompark Road.

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