A Place Now Gone

Blantyre's Ain Website

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Other Poems by Blantyre Folk

A Place Now Gone

I have had these two poems shut away in a folder for some time now, which is a waste when they could be up for all to see and share.

One of the poems is about Bedlay, the other the Campsie Hills.  I’m not sure if these two places are of interest to you or not.  My aunt sent me these as my g grandfather James Cairns was a miner and lived in one of the mining villages.  I’m not sure if it was Glenboig, Bedlay or Annithill, but I have no doubt that the spirit of one was equally matched in the others

My aunt mentions, that Jock Carmichael, who owned the buses, was a VC winner in the First World War, something that should be remembered if nothing else.

I hope you enjoy them

All the best

Gordon Steele


A Place Now Gone

Bedway Colliery No 9 now to be seen at Summerlee.

Are these green fields we see today,
The village of our yesterday.
Where once there stood three red brick rows,
Now the only life, the circling crows.
The swing park there, the swings now gone,
No more the sound of childish throng.
Weeds now grow high and unpruned ever-green,
Where youth played tennis and old men the bowling green,
The old school it has gone now,
Where once as kids we played,
The old church hall, a scrapyard now, where once people prayed.

There’s no Carmichael Bus now now Jock has gone,
And no longer from the bullie can you hear the sound of song,
Who ever comes here now?
No bus comes through the place,
The final touch, the pit has closed,
The final coup de grace.

But people lived and loved here,
There was happiness and tears,
For the Miner’s life was often hard
In the passing of the years,
The pleasures often were football, dogs and doos,
Or just standing at the corner to hear the local news.
Many were rough diamonds with no polished word or dress,
But the hand went in their pockets for the neighbour in distress.
And if death, the widow-maker, came knocking at the door,
There was no lack of friendly hands to help those that were left.
So when I look around this place, its hard to hide a sigh,
No more to see a well-kent face, or someone walking by,
The old pit-pad where once we walked you still can see today,
It seems so sad, a lonely path, no one to walk its way.
So strangers if you come some day to this place where our village lay,
You’ll find nobody you can ask,
You’ll find no sign to ease your task,

William Redgrift

p.s. Gordon’s GG Grandfather, David Logan and later by his daughter Mary Logan Steele, owned the Pub at Kirkton Cross. The Pub was known as Steele’s Pub and is now the Cornerstone. see more here.

Photo by kind permission of Andy Kirkham of Railscot is of Bedlay No 9 resting at Bedlay Colliery and was out of use when photo was taken c1980. The Loco can now be seen at Summerlee.


Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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