From the hills of Donegal to the mines of Lanarkshire, then a new Paradise

Charlie and the Bhoys: A step back in time with two unsung Celtic heroes

Horse-powered! Charlie Doherty cutting the grass at Celtic Park with the Jungle in the background

Part 8: From the hills of Donegal to the mines of Lanarkshire…then a new Paradise!

At some point after 1905, Dominick and Mary Doherty decide to move from the family home in Carrickyscanlan in Donegal to commence a new life in Scotland. We pick them up on the Census of Scotland of 2 April 1911, living in a miner’s cottage at 26 Bothwell Park Rows, Tannochside, Bellshill, albeit their surname is recorded as Docherty rather than Doherty.

There is a noticeable omission though, as daughter Bridget Doherty does not appear on the record, suggesting she has passed away since the Census taken in Ireland a decade earlier, at which point she was seven years old, having been born on 28 September 1893. I can find no trace of young Bridget’s death in Ireland or Scotland during this period.

Dominick and Mary are living in Bellshill with their remaining two children, Charles and Annie Doherty plus two Boarders, John Corran and John McKay, both Coal Miner Hewers from Donegal. The full Census entry for the premises is as follows.

1911 Census Scotland: 26 Bothwell Park Rows, Tannochside, Bellshill

Dominic Docherty (Head, 43, born in Donegal) Mine Labourer (above ground).
Mary Docherty (Wife, 43, born in Donegal)
Charles Docherty (Son, 22, born in Donegal) Mine Labourer (above ground).
Annie Docherty (Daughter, 15, born in Donegal)
John Corran (Boarder, 22, born in Donegal) Coal Miner Hewer.
John McKay (Boarder, 22, born in Donegal) Coal Miner Hewer.
Note that the ages listed for Dominick and Mary on the Census records are inconsistent, as their death certificates would later place those as around 57 and 54 respectively.

The 1911 Census also records that Dominic and Mary Doherty have been married for 23 years – they wed in Donegal in February 1888, so that is correct – and that they had four children born alive, of which only two (Charles and Annie) are still living. This would appear to confirm that daughter Bridget has died. You may recall that the couple’s second son, John, was born in January 1890 and passed away just six months later.

By 1915, as another Donegal export, Patsy Gallacher – born the year after John Doherty in Ramelton, eight miles north-east of Letterkenny on 16 March 1891 – had replaced the Mighty Jimmy Quinn as the darling of the Celtic support, the family have moved to a new home at the Colliery, 110 Bothwell Park Rows.

Gallacher and Quinn have left their mark. The two great Celts Patsy and Jimmy in action against Hearts at Ibrox.

All four Dohertys are living there at the time of the next Census, taken on 19 June 1921, once again with two boarders from back home in Donegal, one of whom – Patrick Doherty from Carrickyscanlan – is most likely a relative. The full record is as follows.

1921 Census Scotland: 110 Bothwell Park Rows, Tannochside, Bellshill

Dominick Docherty (Head, 61, born in Fahykeen, Donegal) Caretaker with William Baird Co, Coalmasters.
Mary Docherty (Wife, 67, born in Drumnashammer, Donegal)
Charles Docherty (Son, 32 years/7 months, born in Carrickascanlan, Donegal) Boiler fireman with Robert Addie & sons, Coalmasters.
Annie Docherty (Daughter, 26, born in Carrickascanlan, Donegal)
Patrick Docherty (Boarder, 45, born in Carrickascanlan, Donegal) Miner Brusher with William Baird Co, Coalmasters.
James McDaid (Boarder, 24, born in Drumnashammer, Donegal) Miner Hewer with Robert Addie & sons, Coalmasters.
Note again that the ages listed for Dominick and Mary on the Census records are inconsistent, as their death certificates would later place those as around 67 and 64 respectively.

There was a happy and ultimately a very significant occasion for the family within a few weeks, as eldest child Charles Doherty walked down the aisle. He married Margaret Quinn, the daughter of Celtic Football Club’s trainer Will Quinn, at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, Tollcross, Glasgow on 14 July 1921.

Will had recently returned from the club’s successful three-game tour of France, where the Hoops had beaten the select team Lions de Flandres, club side Cercle Athletique de Paris and English First Division outfit Newcastle United – scoring 13 goals and conceding none – whilst taking the opportunity to visit some of the war graves in the area.

By the end of the decade, Charles Doherty would be working with his new father-in-law Will Quinn at the place we call Paradise.

The Celtic team ahead of the match against Cercle Athletique de Paris in May 1921
Celtic v Newcastle United, Paris, May 1921. Willie McStay in action with Alec McNair in the background.

Charles was 32 and is listed on the marriage certificate as a Boiler Fireman, residing at 110 Bothwell Park Row, Bellshill. His parents are Dominick Doherty, a Colliery Watchman, and Mary Doherty, nee Gallagher.

Margaret was shown as being 26 but she had actually turned 27 just two days earlier, having been born in Newton-on-Ayr on 12 July 1894. The bride is listed as a Grocery Saleswoman, residing at 331 Wellshot Road, Tollcross, Glasgow and her parents are William Quinn, a Joiner, and Catherine (Kate) Quinn, nee Dalton, who had sadly passed away at the age of 29 just three months after her daughter’s birth, in October 1894.

Charles and Margaret Doherty would be blessed with three children, the eldest Dominick Doherty – named after Charles’ father – born on 8 June 1922 at 1357 Duke Street, Parkhead Cross, Glasgow. I’m not certain what that address was – it appears to be an old gospel hall in 1908 – or, if a domestic household, who lived there.

Charles’ occupation is listed on the birth certificate as Colliery Boiler Fireman at that point, suggesting that he would still be living in the vicinity of the Bothwell Park Colliery. And the couple’s first daughter, Catherine Dalton Doherty – named after Margaret’s late mum Catherine (Kate) Dalton, the first wife of Will Quinn as mentioned above – was born in Bothwell almost two years later, on 22 March 1924.

I suspect that Charles, Margaret and their two infant children were living with his parents at Bothwell Park Rows until at least 1925, but by 1930 they had relocated to a new family home at 15 Delburn Street, ironically on the site of the first Celtic Park in the east end of Glasgow.

I believe that may also be the time frame for Charles Doherty starting his career as a groundsman at the second Celtic Park, as father-in-law Will Quinn had resumed his First Team Trainer duties there in the summer of 1930, having moved from that role six years earlier to work on the pitch, thus leaving a vacancy for a groundsman.

The stadium itself had undergone a huge transformation the previous summer, with the opening of a new main stand on London Road, and the rebuild of the enclosure on the opposite side – which would be later known as The Jungle. The new-look Celtic Park vista was completed, rather sadly, with the destruction of the iconic corner Pavilion on Janefield Street following a fire in late March 1929.

New main stand at Celtic Park
Celtic Park looking east from the new stand enclosure

The 1930s was a hugely emotional time for Celtic, with the loss of several young stars in tragic circumstances, and the new man at Paradise Charles Doherty would also experience a few highs and lows in his own personal life in the first part of that decade.

A happy group of Celts at training in 1930, with the Delburn Street tenements where Charlie Doherty lived in the background. Three of these Celts would tragically die within seven years.

His mum Mary Doherty (nee Gallagher) passed away on 30 December 1930 at 108 Bothwell Park Rows, Bellshill, aged 74, which would place her year of birth as c1856. She is listed as being married to Dominick Doherty, a Scavenger, and her parents are given as John Gallagher, a Farmer, and Mary Gallagher, nee Brown, both deceased.

Note that Scavenging is a defined role in the mining process, rather than any modern and perhaps derogatory definition of that term. Causes of death for Mary are Bronchitis, Gastro Enteritis and Cardiac Failure and the death is registered by her son, Charles Doherty, of 15 Delburn Street, Parkhead, Glasgow.

Within two months of losing his mum, Charles would gain a daughter. The Doherty family was complete on 19 February 1931 following the arrival of a third child, Mary Doherty, later to be known by the Irish version of that name, Moira.

Charles would then suffer the loss of his dad, Dominick Doherty, who passed away on 16 November 1935 at 16 Shawburn Crescent, Hamilton, aged 82, which would place his year of birth as c1853. He is described as a Scavenger and the widower of Mary Gallagher and his parents are recorded as Charles Doherty, a Farmer, and Bridget Doherty, nee Harkin, both deceased. Cause of death for Dominick is listed as Senile Decay and the death is again registered by his son, Charles Doherty, now living at 8 Delburn Street, Parkhead, Glasgow.

To be continued.

Hail, hail!

Matt Corr

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Having retired from his day job Matt Corr can usually be found working as a Tour Guide at Celtic Park, or if there is a Marathon on anywhere in the world from as far away as Tokyo or New York, Matt will be running for the Celtic Foundation. On a European away-day, he's there writing his Diary for The Celtic Star and he's currently completing his first Celtic book with another two planned.

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