The Runaway Horses, 1901

We’re into some real old stories now about Blantyre, which hopefully you haven’t heard before. On the evening of Saturday 10th August 1901, shortly after seven o’clock, an alarming carriage accident happened in Stonefield, Blantyre, causing considerable excitement.

A brake with three horses, which belongs to Mr George McLelland, carriage hirer of Burnbank, was plying between Hamilton and Blantyre. and was standing at the Blantyre terminus on the Glasgow Road (at Mr Craig’s Public House) when the horses suddenly bolted, drawing the brake with them.

They galloped madly eastwards far along the road, down the Toll Brae, and dashed into the pony and trap of Mr John McCaffrie, publican, which was standing in Stonefield. The concussion was so serious as to smash the trap shafts, and the pony in turn also bolted, with the shafts and harness still hanging on to it.

The runaway horses and broken apparatus being dragged, dashed for about 200 yards further along Stonefield, when the horse suddenly fell. However, before anybody could safely get to it, it got up, and, changed its course, deviating from Glasgow Road and rushed wildly down the new station road (John Street) where it soon after again fell, and was then eventually captured.

A young lady named Miss Burns, a cousin of Mr McCaffrie, was sitting in the trap at the time of the crash, and she was thrown heavily on to the pavement, but beyond receiving a severe shock, she did not seem to hare suffered further injury. The brake horses fell, and were pretty much cut and injured; and Mr McCaffrie’s pony was also cut and bruised. The trap was literally smashed to atoms, and the brake was also damaged.

By all accounts, this caused a lot of excitement and I note, wasn’t the first time this carriage hirer had an accident that particular month due to horses bolting. I’ve tried to suitably illustrate using my own AI generated unique image.

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