Some interesting correspondence from Blantyre Miners’ champion Andra McAnulty which shows how outspoken he could be. He wrote in 1903 to the editor of the Labour Leader Magazine:
“The following correspondence explains itself : Dear Comrade,—Enclosed you will find a printed circular inviting me, as a member of the District Committee of the County Council, to be present at the unveiling of the monument at Bothwell Bridge in memory of the Covenanters. I have also enclosed copy of my reply to said invitation, with the express wish that you will publish the whole correspondence in the first issue of LABOUR LEADER. ANDREW McANULTY. Pilot Acre, Blantyre, 10th June, 1903.”
Wanting to know more, I found the reply, which was a snub, with Andra NOT wishing to attend. His letter referred to above is in full below:
“Dear Sir,— l have yours of yesterday’s date, inviting me to be present at the unveiling of the monument at Bothwell Bridge in memory of the Covenanters, and beg to say in reply that nothing could have given me more pleasure and satisfaction than being present at such a sacred function, were it not for the fact that such a man as Lord Overton has been called upon to deliver the opening ceremony. Is it not enough that this man should be permitted to maim and kill our brothers in his works at Rutherglen without thus adding insult to injury by bringing him to Bothwell Brig to mock the loving memory of the men and women who died fighting for the fatherhood of God the brotherhood of man. Thanking you for your invitation, and trusting that the monument may keep fresh the work of our great sires.—l am, yours truly, A. McAnulty. Pilot Acre, Blantyre, 9th June, 1903”
I’m pretty confident Andra would never have imagined his letter and reply would be available throughout the world to tens of thousands of people, some 120 years later!
Andra is pictured, as is the memorial at Bothwell Bridge, which when this photo had been taken, had not long opened.