Motor Car Service, 1897

Continuing a little look at earliest motor cars in Blantyre.

On Monday 25th October 1897, an immense amount of interest was generated in Hamilton in connection with the inauguration of a regular service of motor cars to travel from Hamilton to nearby villages, including Blantyre.

At 8am, a large crowd assembled to witness the departure of the first car going to Larkhall. At 8.30am a fully loaded car left to go to Blantyre. One hour was allowed for the journey there and back, Larkhall being 4 miles away, Blantyre 3. It was expected that despite the cars being fully loaded, time would be adhered to.

The type of cars may have been similar to that pictured, being able to carry up to 8 people. Of Wagonette type, they were built by the Scottish Motor Omnibus and Car Company Ltd by Messrs. J&C Stirling of Hamilton. They were propelled by oil motor engines and exceedingly smart and serviceable vehicles. The reporter at the time commented, “The running of motor cars created a most favourable impression, the journey being accomplished in most case in half the time usually taken by horse drawn vehicles, but with all known mechanical engines prone to breaking at some time or other, it remains to be seen if such things will progress or last the course of time.”

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