Garthamlock - Extract from Truck Report 1871

Information was received in reference to two pits at Garthamlock, belonging to Mr. 'Panton, lately deceased, at which about 100 men were employed. Poundage at these works was charged during Mr. Panton's lifetime on all advances given in actual cash. But there was also a store, upon which lines were given by the pit-head man, which were deducted from the wages on pay day.

"Mr. Panton," we were told by the then store manager, "would say, 'come to the store, please,' but that was the amount of it." The men, the witness added, knew the rules of the work when they come to it, and used not to resist this intimation. There was, however, another store manager alleged "no compulsion," though Mr. Panton used to give the men "a hint."

Two of the late store managers at these works were examined as to the quality and prices of the goods. The first stated that the goods were dear, and the men did not get the worth of their money. The bread was good and of a fair price.

Q What about the sugar? - I consider the sugar to be about 1/2d. per pound dearer than it was in Glasgow, and not so good.

Q How many kinds did you keep ? - Only one kind.

Q Do you think that was enough ? - No. I would have given the people a choice.

Q Did you find that the keeping of only one kind was given them a less choice than they wanted ? - Yes ; they had just to take what they got.

The second store manager gave similar evidence:

Q Do you agree with the evidence which has been given by the last witness? - I agree with everything that Mr. Ayton has said.

Q Do you think the store was not so good as the shops round about ? - I think the men did not get the value for their money at the store the same as they got it in other shops.

Mr. Douglas, Procurator Fiscal to the Justices of Peace in the Lower Ward of Lanarkshire, remarks that the only prosecution instituted by him under the Weights and Measures Act against a store was directed against the storekeeper of these works, on which occasion Mr. Panton, the owner, he thought, paid the fines. He had been paid £5 by Mr. Panton twice or three times for unjust weights and unjust beams and scales; and he added that Mr. Panton would never bring his weights to be adjusted.

Abstract of Evidence

James Ayton

Two years ago I was store manager at Garthamlock. The proprietor is now dead. The store depended entirely upon the custom from the hands. They were nearly all advance men. They were expected to go to the store, but there was no compulsion. They used to get lines on the store. I should think it often happened that lines were given instead of cash. If men wanted advances in cash before pay-day they had to pay poundage, and then they could go free with it. Mr. Panton would say to a man, "Come to the store, please." I consider the stuff I sold was dear. It was not up to the mark. The men did not get the worth of their money. They got the best bread, and the tea was fairish, but the sugar was a ½ d. per lb. dearer than in Glasgow, and not so good. They had just to take what they got. The cheese was above the ordinary price. Mr. Panton himself looked after the men's going to the store. Our profit would be a good deal more than a retail tradesman would have made, but not double.

Daniel Bruce

I was storekeeper at Garthamlock after the last witness. The same system prevailed till I left. I think the men did not get their value for their money at the store the the same as they got it at the other shops. Mr. Panton would give a man a hint, but there was no compulsion whatever upon him. There was no understanding of any kind as to how much they were to take out of the store. They might be expected to leave 3s. or 5s. or whatever they liked out of the 10s. at the store. The articles were dear.

R D Douglas

I am justice of the peace fiscal. The only prosecution under the Weights and Measures Act which I have had against a store was against the late Mr. Panton. 1 think he has been up two or three times. The prosecution was successful; it was brought for unjust weights and for unjust beams and scales. I think Mr. Panton paid me £5 twice or three times. This man Panton would never bring his weights to be adjusted.