An Adventurous Pair, 1905

Bernard Callaghan and James Gormley, two Blantyre boys from Craighead Rows had a little adventure on 30th December 1905, which was abruptly terminated.

First, they each had a half penny ride on the tramcars, then fortified with chocolate bars, varied their method of travel by jumping on a train from Blantyre to Hamilton West. Then the adventurous duo sampled contents from an automatic vending machine in the station and later took another train to Kirkhill, arriving just in time to board another train back to Blantyre.

On alighting at Blantyre, they proceeded to the automatic vending machine at that station and were in the act of “enticing it with copper coin” when a passing police officer stopped to enquire where they got their money from. When pressed further about coming off the train, both boys “folded” and confessed to their misdeeds.

A month later they stood in Hamilton J.P Court as the story was retold and the boys were charged with the theft of 6s from a dairy in Stonefield and 4s from the till of another store. Both lads pled guilty. Callaghan who had previous convictions and had been thrashed for theft before, was ordered to be detained in the poorhouse for the best part of a week, where no doubt he would have been put to work. Gormley, having a first conviction was sentenced to be thrashed to 10 stripes of the birth rod. During the proceedings, Callaghan’s parents admitted they had lost control of their boy.

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