We covered this elsewhere, so maybe need to add something in here for anyone that doesn't kow it.
It was a small miner's village more properly called Caldervale, as it was on the banks of the Rotten Calder.
The name came about as it wasn't that easy to find for anyone that hadn't already been there. There's only a few fragments of buildings surviving, as the place has been largely eliminated. The entrance from Blantyr Farm Road is quite easy to spot, near the railway bridge and Clydeway Golf Range. There's a public right of way signpost next to agate, and a sign warning of a dangerous bridge.
Seems the place is now being used as a compound by a Network Rail contractor carrying out repairs to the railway tunnel over the Rotten Calder. Expect they'll flatten the area, leave tracks cut into the ground, and trash anything tha was left standing around the edges.
Maybe I should have wandered over for a look sooner, but the thought of wandering up Blantyre Farm Road from my access side just wasn't inviting.
Caldervale is said to have consisted of two two-storey buildings, ground and upper storey houses, built to regulations (meaning they were of decent build) in the late 19th century on contract from the pit owner.
Each building consisted of 2 apartments with a scullery and a toilet, with an inside water supply.
Despite dire warnings of a hard winter this year, things are mild at the the moment, and for some time to come according to current forecasts. I think the useful dieback of vegetation is some way away.
Don't know what your patience is like, or if you'd make more than one trip, but I reckon the other side of year is more productive. Obviously the actual wather can shift this by weeks, but post chasing suggests February-ish is the start of the season, as the real chill is out the air, so you don't have to think abut freezing if you stand still. March onwards can mark the end of that veg-free time, as the thaw means you can find a lot of ground that will surprise you as you sink to your knees in what looks otherwise firm. I revisited one site in a place called Climpy (Forth), complete with wellies as the field had been a bog in March. In may June, when it should have been sodden after the rain, it was almost dry and solid.
Yes, I agree, and that's why the wording cites the mine owners's records as the source - the two locations are clearly distinct settlements when viewed on appropriate maps.
I'm mulling over either re-wording to make that source clearer, or change it entirely so the phrase is a quote in italics.
Since I first read the entry in the mining villages web site, I've convinced myself (at least) that it's just badly phrased, and the intent is to refer to BOTH settlements (even thought the slot is really about Caldervale), but can also be interpreted as dual-naming.
Gone for the re-wording, and revamped things so that Blantyreferme (in my ramblings at least) is clearly and distinctly a separate place from Caldervale. It is just badly formed English in the original, and easy to mis-interpret. Well, I think so
The dwelling at Blantyreferme is a bit further east than the unnatural mound at the side of the road which is the tree covered landscaped and disguised remains of the bing of Blantyreferme pit No 3.
It was turned into a kind of nature trail park, I think.
I didn't make it that far down the road, so I should go look too. Didn't even realise there was anything there.
I just noticed the text decription of the route doesn't really tie in with the location - going by the maps (not just the online stuff) Caldervale wasn't across the wee footbridge, it was on the same side of the river as the pit.
I suppose there could still have been miners heading across it to the pit, but Fin Me Oot or Caldervale doesn't seem to be across the bridge, compared to the pit.
Looks like I'll have to look... I'll never come back, as I'll go wandering for the guns site too
After the rainy start to the day, and pervious aborted thoughts of a trip to Fin Me Out, I decided it was time for a look.
The works are still well underway, but the path is clear for walkers. It's part of the Clyde Walkway. Except fot the purists, there's little real damage from the works - there's little to damage basically, and nature will recover the ground when they're gone.
All the Fin Me Oot signs and bench are still in place, undamaged (probably too popular with the boozers, given the cans lying around). It's only 100 m from the Blantyreferme Road, and then it's only a few metres from the seat to the rail underpass. Turn left and follow the path, you arrive in another 100 m or so at the Rotten Calder and the footbridge. Over this and there's the remains of a stone and brick bath up the banking, and you soon come out into a clearing, with the old bing in view.
Other than a few burnt-out bodyshells and other junk, there's nothing else of note nearby, and I assume this was the former site of the houses that formed Calderbank.
Now the fun...
As I was leaving, a car came down the road to the works and passed me as I was leaving. By the time I got to the road, it was coming up to the gate, and stopped. The driver got out and started to speak to me in, well, it might as well have been Serbo-Croat for all the good it did. He indicated the road, and I tried to explain it was a dead-end and just for works. After a while, I got enough out of him to learn that he was actually site security (so much for me telling him what the road was!) and was up at the gate to lock it up for the night, but he did try and help by making sure I knew where the pedestrian access around it was
There was a lovely piece of stainless steel chain lying on the ground, real heavy-duty stuff, 4-5 ft long and I was eyeing it up just before he arrived - just lying there, not padlocked to anything. After he shut the gate, he picked it up and used it to tie up and lock the gate! Ooops.
Seems the bing on the left bank of the Rotten Calder (a corruption of Rattan or similar, this Calder was in fact the cleanest of the 3 Calders as it had no polluting industry on or near its banks) north of the railway is the remnant of Newton Colliery. The Blantyreferme pit bing I was thinking is about a few hundred metres east - on the other side of the main road.
The accurate location of FMO is across the road from the bench, so its to the left as you reach the bench from the main road. From memory the track then leads you around a bend and under the railway then turning towards the river and over it.
I prefer and agree with the note that Caldervale/Fin Me Oot is/was located across from the bench, and is marked by the 'numberplate' sign, and I'll be doing a re-write of the notes to go with that. There is a B&W pic over there I should go swipe. It probably doesn't do much to set the location, but is indicative of the build.
Bear in mind the village must have been there before 1910 to be included in the report referenced in the mining villages link I give.
I'd also say that it can't pre-date by a terrific amount of years either, since it talks of proper lavvies rather than slopping out buckets in the scullery.
As for the mine, it's clearly shown across the road from the fMO access track in a map dating to the 60s or so - WHOOPS - I have it online already!!!
I'd clean forgotten about this until I dug the map out just now - no wonder I was wandering about feeling puzzled about the location - that map shows 2 blocks which must be the houses, and located exactly across from the bench. It also ties in with the shape of the road. The pic of the registration plate sign shows a pile of hardcore to the left, and this is on top of the road that would have led down to the houses.
Oh well, that's a pic to go get later. Really wants done after the works are away and winter, in case there is any evidence of foundations to catch.
I ASSUME you've looked at the spot with Google mapping (if not, why not! ) and you'll have been frustrated and dismayed to see that the hi-res images run out just before they reach the place.
Don't worry, things can get better:
Dead links removed
However, follow the next link to the Windows Live Local version, and you get to see it all properly, the whole road, the bench and the entrance off Blantyreferme Road, and of course, the road where the houses were located.
The URL on most mapping sites, like old-maps, doesn't change when you pan and zoom the map you start on, so when you copy it, even after finding the spot you want, you actually copy the link to the original map you started on.
It's a common problem, and I now test every link I post, just to make sure it point where I want it to (usually ).
I really should get round to putting a simple "Click here to get lat/lon" map as a service in this site one day. One day...
Until them, the pest is to use the IDELIX map I gave the link for. It DOES update the url every time you move the map, so when your point of interest is in the centre of the map, the url contains the actual lat/lon and the figures can be cut and pasted for use anywhere else.
I was passing and ran down to get a pic of the Fin Me Oot "street", but there was a guy in a mini JCB working there. Not digging it up, but shuffling the hardcore and stones that they are storing at that point. Did grab a pic, but couldn't really take a look, and it will be overgrown for the year soon, so not this year!
As a matter of historical interest here is part of the 1910 housing report on miner's living conditions that specifically mentioned Caldervale/Fin-me-oot
"Blantyreferme Mine - Situated near Uddingston Persons employed underground 386, above ground 70, total 456
The employees reside in the following localities:- In mine owners' houses, situated at Caldervale 56, Nackerty 32, Towie Place 35 In rented houses, situated at Uddingston 96, Newton, Cambuslang, Rutherglen and Glasgow 242
The mine-owners' houses in Blantyre Parish are situated at Blantyreferme or Caldervale and consist of:-
40 two-apartment houses with sculleries Rental �9 2s/weekly Erected under the Building By-Laws - Two blocks � two storeys in height - Walls hollow built- plastered on solid - Wood floors, ventilated - Internal surface of walls and ceilings good No overcrowding � apartments good size No garden, ground available but not fenced - no wash houses - have cellars 20 pail privies in 10 lots, about 26 feet from houses - at Caldervale a water closet has been provided in each house, placed inside the existing scullery, and pail privies have been abolished Two covered ash pits near foot of stairs Inside sinks, with gravitation water Drainage treated at a private purification installation Scavenged at owners' expense"
A figure roughly half of 56 could reasonably be deemed correct in relation to miners from that pit living at Caldervale then. In addition to that there were a further 10 men employed at Haughhead colliery - also nearby - north of the railway who lived at Caldervale. Its a good bet then that about 35-40 miners lived there in 1910 and this suggests [consider that many of these men would be of the same family, fathers' sons' brothers] a minimum of 20 two-storey houses were situated there.
That's a damn fine piece of spotting, I was so busy fighting with Virtual Earth and its crazy artificial perspective (and losing) while trying to match up the then and now pics, that I never even thought to look. Need to go back to that some time.
That looks like the row of house just north east of the 'top' of the gun site, above the GL mat area, with the row of house running upwards at about 15 degrees, left to right.
The old rows of houses over to the west of FMO seem to be gone as well, replaced by a handful of modern items. Seems to be quite a few detail items missing, and some new oddities. Big house on the left, across the railway track is gone, but the peculiar water feature has appeared at the side of the road, which is the empty foreground of the old pic.
There is the gun battery in its full glory, complete with accommodation camp and and GL (Gun Laying) radar mat - that large, almost circular area towards the north.
The railway is the best pointer to the true layout, as you no doubt noticed that the modern development of the land has added a road, almost parallel to the original road, that makes the modern aerial view just a bit more difficult to align than it really should be.
If only there wasn't so much greenery/trees, then there would be some interesting bits to be caught there.
I had a reasonably serious attempt at combining the WWII view with the VE aerial view of the same area this morning.
While it can be done, and with an extreme amount of effort since my ancient graphic prog isn't ideal for this, it comes up with mixed results.
The main problem seems to be the grey scale and colour range of the two images thanks to the sort of random effect of it being vegetation and countryside with few roads. The result is that making one of the images semi-transparent means that it just sort of merges into the other when you overlap them, so lining up is near impossible as the features, or points of reference are almost invisible as a result.
Next problem is that they are taken on different headings, and next that one is oblique, while the other is vertically overhead, so that means working on rotation, skew, distortion and scale. Given that each one started out relatively square, the shape of the one I chose to work on is closer to that of a skewed Concorde outline after stretching and skewing it to match the unchanged one.
It can be done, and there's probably some good info to be gained by peering at the result, but I'm not publishing the result here, it would be a waste of time as the overlaid images just merge into a blob of green and black & white goo.
The only way I can get any sense out of the result is to keep sliding the transparent VE version over the B&W oblique, then separating the two so I can spot the common points.
Sorry about that, but all I can suggest is that you prepare to waste an hour or two of juggling to get something useful.
If you can use .mic images you can have the file by email, as that will let you slide the separate images around, otherwise (as I noted) a jpg is relatively useless to show here. You can't make anything out.
Good shot, it shows the site well, and as you say, the single block is probably just a convention, and not a portrayal of the buildings themselves.
It's interesting to the spot with proper detail.
I haven't been to the spot since the last visit mentioned above, when I got 'our' pics, but I've seen some new aerial imagery that cover the site, and all the works are gone, and there's only the cleared site and tracks to be seen now.
There is a picture book from the Stenlake stable called "Lanarkshire's Mining Legacy" by Guthrie Hutton an author with a deep undestanding of the subject matter - it is actually one of the best from that company and has the following para beneath a photo of the entrance to Blantyrferme Colliery - which from the pic shows the pit as a drift mine slipping underground beneath the high banking of the railway, the entrance was on an angle not a vertical shaft.
"Close to Haughhead was the Blantyreferme Colliery sunk by the Ayrshire company A & G Moore in 1894. Caldervale, its associated pit village close to the Rotten Calder, was so well hidden from the road it was known locally as 'Fin Me Oot'. In the 1950's the NCB added to the Blantyreferme complex by building a brickworks close to 'Fin Me Oot'. This new mine was driven to dig a rich red clay. It did not last long and the parent colliery was closed in 1962."
Intriguing, and at least proves the tiny pic fragment I found that showed the housing row really is of the houses.
Although the pics are coloured, they are hand-tinted black & white original - not a criticism, just an observation, and the reason for the peculiar appearance of some parts.
We had this done to one or two pics for personal reasons many years ago, and the process is wholly dependent on the photographer, who is not usually an artist or retoucher, and doesn't admit it, which is a criticism.
Photo-manipulation is one of the gems of the digital era (even if a certain class of waster uses it to excess).
The map's a gem with that extra info, and none of the references (to my poor memory at least) mentioned anything else down there apart from the houses, so this indeed 'new' information.
The institute would clearly have lain on a piece of level ground which still lies to the west of the path down to the river, and was actually re-used by the contractors working down there a couple of years ago, when they set up their offices and yard on the same spot.
Any thoughts on the item shown on the ground to the west of the houses?
It seems to be marked as a "Tank", but is a most odd and irregular shape, and the tank description may apply to a smaller feature just to the east of that large one, which is just to the west of the slope depicted on the map to the west of the houses. It could be what the four damsels from the village are sitting on!
The tank is the small rectangular item at the foot of the slope. A second look at old-maps shows it appears post 1900 along with the houses of Caldervale. It's below the houses, so water seems unlikely for the houses. The might as well go to the river, however there is also a well shown to the south (on other maps), across the river and near the house marked Redlees.
Wonder if they cared enough about pollution by then to have installed a septic tank to treat the waste from the houses before it went into the river?
I doubt anyone cared, or had time, for a garden in the early 1900, unless the were a mine owner
Same shape is shown on ground to west in old-maps. Makes more sense now, and probably was cultivated for "free" food.
All lost and overgrown with trees now, wonder if a walk on the ground would show any outlines?
I see the recent aerial pics show the area of the institute/recent works has reverted to grass already.
In 1920 Caldervale had its own cricket team which played in the local league, looking at results from 1920 and 21 it would appear that they played all their matches away from home as every result starts with the other team first. Due to the result being printed at the foot of the column I never took an image of the Fin-Me-oot scorers as they were at the top of the next.
from Reiver Update on Caldervale nov 2011. Site deserted apart from large heap of manure near entrance.A former resident has cofirmed that when miners were rehoused in nearby Blantyre the empty houses were used in the early 1950s to house displaced refugees but had been demolished by 1957.Floor foundations and the remains of brick air raid shelters still remain under grass.Also remains of a wartime barrage balloon site in north west corner of site near river. Informant remembers when a child dances in nearby Miners Welfare Centre with WAAFs from balloon site dancin with gunners from Blantyre AA battery nearby and miners families.
Intriguing stuff on the wartime history - not something I had even really though about before.
I wonder where the 'entrance' referred to is...
Would it be the gated entrance that leads from public road (B758 Blantyre Farm Road) north west to the old site?
Funny story - I used to park there and walk down to the site. One day, I spotted something shining in the very long grass, and saw a nice length of heavy chain lying there, but as I went to pick it up, a car pulled into the roadside, so I casually walked past, intending to wander back for the piece of chain when 'The coast was clear'.
Boy, was I glad I did...
The chappie that had just arrived proceeded past me and had a ferret around in the grass, pulled out the piece of chain, produced a similarly chunky padlock... and proceeded to chain up and lock the gate on the road leading down to Fin Me Oot.
That was just too close, but then again it was just lying discarded in the grass as far as I could see, I'd never been there and actually seen that gate chained up during the day, so had no idea - but it would have been embarrassing if I had been there just a few seconds earlier.
We used to pronouce it as 'Finmoot'. It was an old miners row of two long building blocks. Can't remember how many units but certainly quite a few and a tight knit group of tenants. I have been in one which I remember as being very small rooms, probably kitchen/living room,two bedrooms layout type. One of the boiler/engine operators of the Newton Steelworks (Halton?) punphouse at the 'Red Brig" lived there and he taught me how to fire a coal boiler and run a steam beam engine/pump. I see the newer electric pumphouse is still there, what does it supply today? There were three/four shift operators, one very old when I was there as a boy. Known as 'Binnie', he used to walk up to Uddingston carrying his boots! Between Haughead farm and the railway there used to be an underground mine for clay to make bricks (red coloured, I forget the name of the brick type) Opposite this mine was our winter skating pond.
In regard to the 'tank' it was probably a sewage tank system with field drains and overflow to the Calder similar to what we had in our house and the farm houses at Haughhead. Even out tank for one house was quite large compared to what is used in rural NZ today. There were originally quite a few of these miner's buildings in the district as there had been small mines everywhere at one time. Most of the Blantyreferme miners walked across the railway bridge to Uddingston/Viewpark. I don't think Finmoot had refugees but a much larger set of buildings in the New Edinburgh Road area was used for refugees, (mostly Polish) during the war and later fifties. These were large buildings in a quadrangle plan so there must have been a fairly big mine there at some time. By 1955 they were in disrepair and partly collapsed. I used to deliver mail over Xmas (between school and starting college) and had to sign all their benifit chitties for them in English, so much for British security as no-one ever questioned it.