FREEDOM FOR SCOTLAND
SCOTLAND'S MA HAME
Motherwell History 1
1883-1889
(Taken from the Motherwell Times In 1983)
Over the years many important personages have visited Motherwell and many news items that made the headlines in days gone by might scarcely merit a mention in these (so called) sophisticated days.
In 1886 for instance, John Bryson who was a postman in Motherwell retired after 33 years? service, during which time in delivering mail he covered 219,648 miles - nine times the circumference of the earth
Two years earlier, the formation of four crossings at Motherwell Cross cost 600. The old Town Hall at the corner of High Road was once a plebiscite! In October 1885 206 rate-payers voted for it in becoming the headquarters of the local authority. Motherwell Railway Station was opened just two months earlier.
The plan for the Town Hall was accepted by commissioners in 1886 and later in May that year the Alpha F.C. in Motherwell was dissolved and then combined with Glencairn F.C. to form Motherwell F.C.
In July 1886 Mr J.G. Hamilton, Dalziel House, was raised to the Peerage, Six months or sow later, rate-payers petitioned for a bridge to be built between Park Street and Melville Drive, and the new Post Office was opened in Clyde Street. Lord Hamilton later opened the Knowtop Reading Rooms which remained in use near to the entrance gates to Dalziel Estate until the 40's.
A bazaar in aid of the South Dalziel Parish Church Manse Fund raised the incredible sum of 654 and, on matters of drink or not to drink, 2178 householders voted to close public houses at 10 o'clock with only 116 being against the proposal
The prince and Princess of Wales opened the Glasgow Exhibition and visited Dalziel House afterwards. Another personality of the day- none other than William Ewart Gladstone, Prime Minister- stopped at Motherwell and was given a warm reception Parkneuk Works (2001 now a housing estate across from Muir Street School) opened by Alexander Findlay (later Provest of Motherwell) in October 1880 and in November that year, the first Burgh Election under the ward system took place.
February and March were important for Motherwell F.C. because the club firstly secured a new site in Airbles Street for the football field which was opened in March. Factory Act holidays came into being as did the miners eight-hour day. Later in May, the miners began their agitation for a five-day week. In June that year (1889) Industry and learning went along hand in hand with Hurst Nelson leasing ground for their works and plans being passed at Dean of Guild Court for the erection of Merry Street School.
The Burgh valuation in October was 45,807, an increase on 4,554. In the same month plans were passed for the erection of the Silk Factory of Airbles Street - In the street that became Factory Road.
Operations commenced for the Lanarkshire Steelworks in January 1890, and in Februay, Lord Hamilton was elected vice-chairman of Lanark County Council. April saw the Burgh of Motherwell celebrating the semi-jubilee, and the Dalziel Co-op Bakery premises being destroyed by fire at an estimated cost of
1,800.
The National Society to Children was formed in the town in April 1890, and one month later ? again with the emphasis on children ? the Knowtop Savings Bank was opened.
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