Battle of Bonnymuir

Battle of Bonnymuir – 1820s – Local horseback militia put down 50 Radicals, after riding through the Pend under the Canal. I did not know about this until recently. This was potentially the first general strike with 60,000 workers threatening to down tools in Glasgow, alone.


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Burke and Hare

Doctor’s Wood – John McColl explained the association with Burk & Hare leaving bodies in the wood while travelling back from Glasgow to Edinburgh

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Greenhill Railway Train Types

Lower railway line was associated with the old LMS company and used steam engines designed by Fowler and Stanier – Jubillee, Patriot, Princess “Black 5” class.

Higher railway line was associated with the old LNER company and used steam engines designed by Sir Herbert Nigel Gresley – A1,2,3 & 4 Pacific. Classes A4 streamlined shape – Mallard famous engine, A3 famous engine the Flying Scotsman.

Latterly, Deltic Diesel Electric engines – I reversed Ballymoss into Haymarket Engine Shed – all of about 20 feet, but the most powerful thing I have driven – 3300bhp, I believe!

Lines cross near Allandale, before the Castlecary Viaduct.

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Sheep Rescue!

My Dad worked for Smith & Wellstood’s and one morning, walking along the Canal Bank from Barley Hill to the Bridge, was part of the rescue of a sheep which had fallen in and was struggling to get out, having a water-logged fleece. My Dad grabbed hold of a horn which promptly fell off! Several men got hold of different parts of the animal to eventually pull it out of the water!

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I fell in the canal

Forth & Clyde Canal – I was certainly someone who fell in! My friend Jack Swan and I were firing stones from catapults at bottles and other debris floating by. I leaned out to try and get a cardboard box out and fell in!

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Smith & Wellstood and Shackleton

Smith and Wellstood provided cookers/ heaters for Shackleton’s doomed Antarctic Expedition. I am sure I saw one in pictures from their base in South Georgia (nr. Falklands)

I understand the ESSE brand and designs continue from a foundry in Lancashire, ironically.


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Smith & Wellstood’s

Smith & Wellstood’s Foundry. We moved to Bonnybridge in 1957 when S & W closed their Liverpool Office. As shipping moved from coal power to oil, with associated lesser crew numbers, on-board cooking ranges changed to the detriment of S & W.

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