Alarming Funeral Accident, 1901

Blantyre residents witnessed an alarming accident on the Newton Road on the afternoon of Monday 14th January 1901. Made all the more concerning that it involved a hearse carriage.

The funeral party had left Blantyre down Blantyre Ferme Road taking a left on to the Calder (Newton) Road. The destination was to be Dalbeth Cemetery. All went according to plan, with the body delivered to the funeral.

However, upon the return journey the black horse attached to the vehicle took fright at some steam from a nearby steam engine. It bolted drawing the other horse and the cab a considerable distance, in an uncontrolled manner.

The driver and those beside him were thrown to the road, but fortunately were only shocked with no real serious injury. The vehicle on the other hand, was smashed to atoms. The horses appeared to be uninjured. The animals and the vehicle belonged to J&A Smith of Broompark Road, the carriage normally stored in the garage at that location. Today, this would be where Ally Bally Bee nursery is. The young horse had only been with the firm a short time and was likely still “Settling into work”.

Thankfully, this all happened on the way BACK from the funeral. The alternative, if this had happened going there, doesn’t bear thinking about!

Photo illustration: Courtesy Blantyre Project AI Generated.

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