Another bite sized chunk of Blantyre History
Situated three quarters of the way down Church Street on the west side there was a small wooded area which ran from Church Street through to the next street west called Logan Street, this small wooded area was called St John’s Wood, why I do not know? In all my years living there I had maybe heard it called by this name a couple of times at the most, and yet the name has stuck in my memory.
At the corner of St John’s Woods, there was a small hut with some seats and a stove in it that various clubs from around Blantyre used as a meeting hall.
Next to the small hall was the local Doocet as we called it. This was a Racing Pigeon hall, this was upstairs above a part of the Priory Bar Properties. Just past the big green doors through which the beer was delivered.
Pigeon racing was a big part of the miners lives in the later years 1930-1960, for those that could afford it and had not drunk their money away. The miners and others kept their pigeons at home in their own Doocet, but at the week-ends they were brought to the Doocet to have them tagged for racing. This was done by a placing a round tag on one of the legs with a specific number which had been allocated to this owner. The Pigeons were usually loaded on to a train leaving for a specific destination where the local pigeon enthusiasts would time them when they were let loose to fly back to their Doocet. The Blantyre pigeon club would do like wise, All good clean fun except for the occasional droppings.
Continuing the conversation between Thomas Dunsmuir Hartman in Chicago (known as TDH or Drapadew) and originally from Logan Street, Blantyre and Margaret in Queensland Australia on TalkingScot.
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