Sad Fatality at Shuttle Row, 1903

A tragic little known story next, but one put up here to remember a particular little Blantyre girl.

On the afternoon of Saturday 21st November 1903, three year old Robina Wilson was playing at Shuttle Row, at the Village, Low Blantyre. She was the adopted child of Patrick McInlay, who lived in one of the houses at Shuttle Row.

Whilst Patrick was at work, little Robina and some friends of similar age were playing in one of the terraced homes, at Flat 3 in Shuttle Row, which just happened to be empty, unoccupied. With thanks to my friends Phyllis C and Alex R, I was able to recently determine that would be the lower house pictured on the far right of this photo of the same era.

Playing at the window, Robina suddenly fell from that upper window, down headfirst on to the hard ground outside adjacent to the stairs. Her scream and the panic of the other youngsters soon had adults on the scene who quickly alerted and summoned Dr Gregor. On his arrival, sadly he found the little girl had a serious fracture to the apex of her skull and after attending to her injuries arranged for her to be taken to the Royal Infirmary Hospital in Glasgow. However, she passed away shortly after admission.

Two things hit me about this 120 year old story. The fact that Patrick took on the role of father to an adopted child only to lose her at such an early age, must have been very difficult and sad, especially if he continued to live in the same building afterwards. Another thing I noticed was in this postcard photo of Shuttle Row of the same era, a little girl is in the foreground. Whilst I realise there would have been many children living at Shuttle Row at this time, I did wonder if this could have actually been Robina?

Robina Wilson is remembered here in this article. May she rest in peace.

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  1. What a sad story Paul, and yes, may the poor wee soul rest in peace and how uncanny that the wee girl in the picture of a similar era could possibly be her! My second child also fell out of our window, luckily, we were only a metre up from the ground and he says he landed on his feet!! When I went to the door to answer the knock he made to get back into our flat I almost died with shock, he was 16 months old!!

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