Archiver > SCOTTISH-MINING > 2003-04 > 1049264916

From: "Jim Rouse" <>
Subject: [McPitz] Re: which colliery (part 1)
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2003 16:28:36 +1000
References: <>


As a general rule, most miners' housing in Scotland was owned by the collieries, but this varied
from town to town.
Regarding Rosehall, there was some posting regarding this area on the Lanark list a couple of years
>From that thread, here's my two-bob's worth!

"In his Book, "The Lanarkshire Miners" Alan Campbell, makes several references to the village of
Apparently in 1864, the local newspaper (Airdrie, Coatbridge, Bathgate & Wishaw Advertiser) ran the
headline "The Filthiest Puddle in the World" regarding an open cesspit near Rosehall.

"This drain on both sides of the public road receives all the filth from Rosehall Colliery houses &
from other houses in that direction, and in that state it is allowed to lie & stagnate, and
decompose... till the stench is absolutely intollerable (sic); while there are a great many familes
immediately above it's brink who, during the day, while obliged to look upon its odious & unsightly
appearance, must have their bedrooms filled with its miasma during the night"...

10 years before this report, in 1854 there was an outbreak of Cholera in Rosehall, the bad
sanitation & poor water supply providing a fertile breeding ground for the disease. At this time
Rosehall had no piped water & 27 died in the overcrowded village.

Other comments on the village are hardly complimentary, relating to the riots over religious bigotry
& drunkeness! In the same year as the Cholera outbreak a miner was killed in a drunken brawl of
which it was reported: "This village is one that has sprung into existence in the course of the last
few years, from the many pits around, and has, from its beginning, been one of the most unruly"...
(Glasgow Sentinel, 28th Oct 1854)
The area was very much a "frontier society" in character, this was referred to in a Mining
Commission Report in 1844.

A local poet at the time, Janet Hamilton from Langloan recalled the area from her childhood in the
early decades of the 1800's..
"On thy green banks I loved to lie
When high the sun & blue the sky-
Thy silver waters gushing by-
Watching the trout & minnow fry
O'er pearly pebbles gleam
By Fair Rosehall, through greenwood glades
Thou glid'st through rose & hawthorn shades."

& then she wrote of the same area as it became industrialised:...

"A hunner funnels bleezin', reekin',
Coal an' ironstone, charrin', smeekin';
Navvies, miners, keepers, fillers,
Puddlers, rollers, iron millers;
Resstit, reekit, raggit laddies,
Firemen, enginemen an' Paddies;
Boatsmen, banksmen, rough an' rattlin',
'Bout the wecht wi' colliers battlin',
Sweatin', swearin', fechtin', drinkin'."

Quite a contrast!


Jim Rouse

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