On Saturday 2nd January 1904, the New Year was welcomed in around Blantyre with kindness from the Salvation Army Corps.
That evening, 200 poor local children from “backgrounds of poverty” were invited along to the Salvation Army HQ, where through the kindness of local people they were treated to oranges and sweets in abundance. Tea and buns were equally in evidence.
The Auchinraith and Craighead branches of the Miners’ Union each gave a donation of £1 towards the cost. (a sum equal to around £130 today). All the arrangements were made by Mr Robertson of the Salvation Army.
This got me thinking of how the community gels together in modern times, with local businesses donating to help those most in need. Those were simpler times indeed in 1904, children happy to receive oranges, but the generosity of the people of Blantyre has never changed.