The town of Wishaw has grown up through the centuries as smaller settlements grew into one another. With the expansion of industry in the nineteenth century the settlements of Cambusnethan, Coalness, Muirhouse, Murdieston and Cleland formed the nucleus of the present town. The main factor in the town's growth was the mineral wealth located underground. Wishaw and its surrounding area had adundant riches of coal as well as ironstone and this led to the rapid expansion of the town as people came to mine this wealth. Beside the coal mines all sorts of industries developed including iron and steel manufacture and heavy engineering. With the coming of the Wishaw & Coltness Railway, followed by other lines such as the Caledonian Railway, expansion became very rapid. More coal could be mined as new markets further away could be exploited and this led to the opening of more collieries. The Coltness Iron Company opened works in the area which also employed many thousands making products for both home and export markets. Unfortunately the last thirty years have been one of decline and the traditional heavy industries of the area have almost all gone.
This volume, Helen Moir's third book on Lanarkshire, helps capture the memories of those bygone days when coal and steel were King. Illustrated with 200 images of the town, its people and its industry, Wishaw will bring back memories for those who can remember the heady days of industry and bring a new understanding of the town for its younger residents.