Blantyre Mining Accidents 1900s

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Blantyre Mining Accidents 1800’sBlantyre Mining Accidents 1900’s |

Featured Blantyre Accidents
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24 Jan 1900

Mr. J.W Bathgate was the assistant engineer at Dixon’s Collieries at High Blantyre. On that day, he had finished work down the pit and had returned to the surface and made his way home. Upon reaching his house that evening, he realised nobody was home and that he had forgotten his keys, which he had left behind in the pit. He returned the short distance back to the pit and proceeded to make his way down the shaft into the pit to retrieve them. However fate had other plans. In the interval between shifts, as Bathgate made his way into the darkness, shot firers had kindled a fuse ready for a blast ahead of the next shift. As Bathgate wandered into the tunnels, the shot exploded and the blast travelled through the mine with pace. It reached Bathgate quickly and although severely injuring him, he struggled on to get back to the bottom of the pit and his only chance of help. Alarm was raised and he was quickly raised to the surface, where it was discovered he was badly burned to his face. He was taken at one to the Western Infirmary, where it was later reported the heat from the blast had resulted in him losing an eye. Safety lapses in the mines were commonplace, both by owners and individuals. No doubt too that his tied situation to the cottages and lack of sympathy from colliery owners would have resulted in him having to return to work, despite his new disability. [Researched by Paul Veverka]

02 Feb 1900

Was a Friday when a man named Robert Haldane a miner aged 63 of 63 Craighead Rows, dropped down dead when going forward to the lamp cabin in the Craighead colliery. He was a widower and left two young daughters. Heart disease was the cause of death. [Researched by Paul Veverka]

06 Feb 1900

On the evening of Tuesday 6th February 1900 a serious winding accident happened at Whistleberry Colliery belonging to Messrs Archibald Russell & Co. Fortunately it was unattended with no injury to life. The engineman, Hastie, was engaged drawing water, and between nine and ten o’clock the cage was drawn completely over the wheels, tearing away the heavy crown beams and also one of the wheels, which came down on to the pithead.[Research by Paul Veverka]

07 Feb 1900

On that Wednesday morning Mr. James Roach (32) who resided at 16 Calder Street, Dixon’s Rows, Blantyre died suddenly while at work in the main coal seam of No 4 pit at Larkfield at Blantyre Collieries. He had gone to his work nearby seemingly to his usual health, but became suddenly ill, expired at 7.30am. His body was removed to the pithead where Dr. Grant examined him, and it was concluded that despite his young years, the death was down to a heart attack. [Research by Paul Veverka]

March 1900

On the first Thursday of March 1900, John McCartney a drawer, residing at Central Buildings, Stonefield was severely injured in Number 4 Priory Colliery. He had been going down an incline with a loaded hutch when another drawer behind him lost control of his hutch and it knocked up against McCartney, crushing him between the wagons. He was taken home and attended by Dr Wilson who asked for him to be taken to the Western Infirmary Hospital.[Research by Paul Veverka]

04 April 1901

Blantyre – Colliery Accident – William Brown (39), residing at 3 Craighead Rows, was injured on Wednesday in the ell coal seam of No 2 Pit, Craighead Colliery. While employed as a miner, he was knocked down by a fall of coal. After being attended at his own home by Dr Macpherson, who found him suffering from internal injuries, he was removed to the infirmary in the ambulance waggon. [Glasgow Herald 6 April 1900]

23 April 1901

Blantyre – Fatal Accident at Craighead Colliery – At midday on Tuesday, a polish miner named John Gegna, 21, residing in Craighead Rows, was killed while at work in the ell coal seam of No 2 Pit, Craighead Colliery, belonging to Messrs Wm Baird & Co. Deceased was engaged as a drawer when he was crushed under a large fall of stones from the roof, death, which was instantaneous, being due to a fracture of the skull and dislocation of the neck. [Hamilton Advertiser 27 April 1901]

24 July 1901

Two Miners Killed at Blantyre —Yesterday morning about seven o’clock a serious winding accident, resulting in the death, of two miners, took place at Auchinraith colliery, Blantyre, belonging to Messrs Merry & Cunninghame. It appears that the cage, containing eight men, was descending the shaft when it slipped out of one of the slides and tilted over. As a result one man, James M’Gurk, bottomer, residing at Merry’s Rows, was immediately jerked out, and falling to the bottom was instantaneously killed. A miner named Henry Tennant, M’Alpine’s Buildings, Blantyre, was also thrown over the side, where he was caught by a lad inside named Shields, but, after holding him for a considerable time, the latter’s fingers became powerless, and Tennant fell to the bottom and was killed also. The other six men were imprisoned for about two hours, the colliery officials meantime making strenuous efforts to secure their release. These were at last successful, and the men, though considerably shaken, were brought in safety to the surface. The occurrence created a painful sensation in the village and surrounding district. [Scotsman 25 June 1901]

11 March 1902

Blantyre – Colliery Accident – On Tuesday morning, an accident occurred in No 2 Pit, Craighead Colliery, which belongs to Messrs William Baird & Sons. A Russian Pole named Joseph Armis (49) who resides in Craighead Rows, was at work in the Pyotshaw seam when a large piece of coal came away on him from the roof, breaking his leg below the knee. After being medically attended, he was removed to the Royal Infirmary in the Blantyre waggon. [Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser 15 March 1902]

4 June 1903

Blantyre – Fatal Accident – Yesterday forenoon an engineer named Edward Love, 45, residing at Joannas Terrace Blantyre, was killed at the Priory Colliery, which belongs to Messrs Wm Baird & Co. Love was in a waggon when it was being run below the travelling tables, when his head got caught between the end of the waggon and the bottom of the tables, which tore away the top part of his head. Death was instantaneous. Deceased who was a widower leaves two children. [Herald June 5 1903]

28 December 1906

Fatal Colliery Accident At Blantyre – Early yesterday morning a fatal accident occurred in No. 1 Blantyre Colliery, belonging to William Dixon & Co., Limited, the victim being a man named Bernard Milligan (25), unmarried, residing in lodgings at Dixon’s Rows, Blantyre. Deceased had been working at the brushing when a large stone came away on him from the roof, and when extricated life was extinct. [Dundee Courier 29 December 1906]

20 February 1911

Oversman’s Death At Blantyre – Yesterday forenoon , John Muir, Muirside Cottage, Craig Street, Blantyre, was killed in Craighead colliery; where he was employed as oversman. He was being lowered in the cage from one seam to another, when through some as yet unexplained cause he was precipitated to the bottom of the shaft, a distance of about 100 feet. Death was instantaneous. Following upon the accident, the colliery was laid idle for the day. Deceased was largely identified with the affairs of the parish. He was a member of Blantyre School Board up till a few years ago , and his nomination papers had been taken out in connection with the approaching triennial election of a School Board. He was president of Blantyre Ornithological Society, and was a well-known exhibitor at poultry shows throughout the country. He was also a past president of Blantyre Bowling Club, and in the co-operative movement he took an active part. He leaves a widow and family. [Scotsman 21 February 1911]

28 May 1915

Blantyre – Pit Accident – Yesterday Fred Gray, 17, 68 Glasgow Road, Blantyre, was conveyed in Hamilton motor ambulance to the Royal Infirmary, suffering from a fracture of the right leg below the knee sustained in Clyde Colliery. Dr Douglas attended the injured lad and advised his removal to the infirmary. [Hamilton Advertiser 29 May 1915]

17 August 1915

Blantyre – Miner Electrocuted – Bardykes Colliery, owned by the Summerlee Company, was, on Tuesday, the scene of a tragic fatality, the victim being John M’Dougal (29), roadsman, who resided at Broompark Road, Larkfield, Blantyre. The unfortunate man came in contact with an electric cable and was electrocuted, death being instantaneous. The deceased leaves a widow and three children. [Hamilton Advertiser 21 August 1915]

14 August 1916

Cambuslang Miner Killed – Thomas Harvie, a mining contractor, who resided at 50 Church Street, Cambuslang, died in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary yesterday as the result of being crushed by a fall of stone in Priory colliery, Blantyre. He was 42 years of age, and leaves a widow and a family of seven. [Scotsman 15 August 1916]

27 and 28 August 1917

Blantyre – Two Colliery Fatalities – Two lives were lost at the Priory Colliery, Blantyre, this week. On Monday, Edward M’Laughlin, 17, a clipper, residing at 21 Dixon Street, Dixon’s Rows, was caught between a pair of loaded hutches in the south pyotshaw seam sustaining a fracture of the skull from which he died almost immediately afterwards. Failing to get from M’Laughlin a signal to start the hutches, a fellow workman went back and found the deceased in the position stated. On Tuesday in the upper ell seam of No 3 Pit, Thomas Ferris, 23, miner, 51 Auchinraith Road, Blantyre, met with injuries which resulted in his death shortly after midnight. Three tons of rock came away from the roof and he was partly buried in the debris. When extricated he was at once conveyed to the surface and attended by Drs J C Wilson and T P Grant, but their efforts were unavailing. Deceased’s brother John who was beside him at the time of the accident, had a narrow escape. [Hamilton Advertiser 1 September 1917]

25 March 1918

Blantyre – Fatal Accident – Henry Graffen (16), who resided with his parents at 59[?] Auchinraith Road, Blantyre, was accidentally killed on Monday in Craighead Colliery. The lad was drawing a loaded hutch from the face when a heavy fall from the roof buried him completely. He was dead when extricated. [The Lanarkshire, Incorporating the Hamilton Herald 27 March 1918]

15 April 1918

Blantyre – Colliery Fatality – About 3 o’clock on Monday morning, Archd. Campbell, 39, colliery fireman, 26 Colebrooke Street, Cambuslang, was accidentally killed, and Hugh Muir, 42, brusher, 130 Glasgow Road, Burnbank, Hamilton, had his right hand cut off by a fall of stone from the roof, in the west main coal seam of No 4 Pit, Priory Colliery, Blantyre. The men, along with others, appear to have been engaged clearing away a fall which had taken place in Friday last, when at the time stated a second fall came away from the roof. Muir was struck and thrown outwards, and managed to get clear except for the injuries to his hand. Campbell, however, was completely buried under the debris, his body not being recovered until. Campbell’s body was taken home, and Muir was removed to the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow. [The Lanarkshire, Incorporating the Hamilton Herald 17 April 1918]

17 April 1918

Blantyre – Accident – Hugh Aitken, miner, 21 High Blantyre Road, Burnbank, was injured on Monday in Whistleberry Colliery, being knocked down by a loaded hutch. He received a compound fracture of the left leg below the knee and was attended by Dr Wilson who ordered Aitken’s removal to the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow. [The Lanarkshire, Incorporating the Hamilton Herald 17 April 1918]

28 April 1918

Blantyre – Fatal Accident – John Primrose (68), shanksman, 8 Greenfield Old Rows, was fatally injured at the bottom of No 2 Pit, Whistleberry Colliery, on Sunday last. About 7.30 pm deceased was loading hutches of dirt when it is supposed some hutches ran down the slight declivity and pinned him against the cage. When found Primrose was lying on his side about three feet from the hutches. He was taken to the surface and examined by Dr Wilson, Blantyre, who found he had sustained severe internal injuries from which he died about three hours later. [The Lanarkshire, Incorporating the Hamilton Herald 4 May 1918]

26 May 1918

Blantyre – Colliery Accident – John Aitkenhead, 64, road repairer, residing at 78 Glasgow Road, who met with an accident in No 3 Pit, Priory Colliery, last week, succumbed to his injuries on Sunday in the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, whither he had been conveyed. The funeral, which was of a public nature, took place on Wednesday afternoon to High Blantyre Cemetery, and was largely attended by the general public. [Hamilton Advertiser 1 June 1918]

21 August 1918

William Inglis, 15, bogieman, 62 Auchinraith Road, Blantyre, was killed in No 3 Pit, Clyde Colliery, as the result of a fall of rock from the roof. [Scotsman 23 August 1918]

3 September 1918

Blantyre Pit Accident – J. Rodgers v Wm. Baird & Co. (Ltd.) – In this action, James Rodgers, coal miner, 1 Watson Street, Larkfield, Blantyre, sued William Baird & Company (Limited), coalmasters, 168 West George Street, Glasgow, for £750 in name of solatium and damages in respect of the death of the pursuer’s son, Patrick Rodgers (24), on 3rd September 1918, through being thrown out of a cage in which he, and other workmen were descending, or about to descend, the shaft of the defenders’ Priory Pit Number 4, Blantyre, where he was employed. The pursuer averred fault and negligence on the part of the defenders in respect that the mechanism of the cage was defective, inefficient and dangerous, and also in respect that the defenders failed to take steps to ensure that the gates were regularly lowered by the pithead man. The defenders denied fault, and said that the accident was caused entirely by the fault of a pitheadman, a fellow-servant of the deceased Rodgers, and engaged in one common employment with him at the time of the accident, in that he failed to lower the gates , as he ought to have done. This was denied by the pursuer. The jury, after an hour’s absence, returned a verdict for the pursuer , assessing the damages at £300. [Scotsman 5 March 1920]

26 December 1919

Blantyre – Miner’s Peculiar Death – The police report the sudden death, under peculiar circumstances, of a young man named Andrew Lindsay, age 16 1/2 years, which took place yesterday morning. Deceased was employed in Auchinraith Colliery, and he took suddenly ill and passed into a semi-conscious condition. He was removed with all haste to the pithead, but died just as he was being carried into the ambulance room. Dr M’Millan was in attendance but he could not determine the cause of death. [Hamilton Advertiser 27 December 1919]

19 January 1921

Colliery Fatility – A distressing colliery accident occurred at Dixon’s Pit, Blantyre, on Wednesday, whereby a young man named Alex Young, residing at 63 Hamilton Street, Motherwell, lost his life. His head was crushed between a waggon and a beam, causing instantaneous death. He was a son of the late James Young, plumber and tinsmith, Motherwell. [Motherwell Times 21 January 1921]

21 February 1922

Blantyre – Colliery Accident – On Tuesday a young man named James Kelly, 26, who resides with his sister at Whifflet Place, met with a serious accident while at work in No 3 Priory Colliery, through a rake of loaded hutches running away, which dragged him for a good distance and in consequence he was badly crushed and bruised. He was taken home but later in the day was removed to the Royal Infirmary in the ambulance waggon. [Hamilton Advertiser 25 February 1922]

25 July 1922

Blantyre – Colliery Fatality – Between 5 and 6 o’clock on Tuesday night a fatal accident occurred in No 3 Pit of the Priory Colliery which belongs to Messrs William Baird & Co., Ltd., the victim being William Cassidy, about 46 years of age, married, and residing at 321 Glasgow Road, Blantyre. Along with another fellow workman named James Conroy, Cassidy had been at work backstripping, when suddenly a large fall of stones came away from the roof and he was buried beneath it. When extricated he was found to be dead. Conroy got caught just in the fringe of the face, but escaped with a few minor bruises on the feet. He had a miraculous escape. Cassidy leaves a widow and young family. Out of sympathy with the deceased’s family the colliery was idle on Wednesday. [Hamilton Advertiser 29 July 1922]

15 April 1923

Miner’s Death – Damages Awarded – An action for £1000 damages for the death of his son, William Murphy, brought by Richard Murphy, miner, Glasgow Road, Blantyre, against Messrs William Baird & Company, coalmasters, has been decided in Hamilton Sheriff Court by Sheriff Shennan. The deceased, while employed at the defenders’ Priory Pit, Blantyre, was killed by falling through an open gate into the shaft, and the pursuer contended that the accident was caused by the pit bottom, where his son was working, being in darkness whereas, under the Coal Mines Act, a proper light should be kept continuously burning there. The defenders pleaded that the accident was contributed to by the negligence of the deceased, who had failed to shut the gate through which he fell. His Lordship has found for the pursuer, and has assessed the damages at £250, saying in the judgement that there can be no doubt that the absence of the light in the pit bottom was the main cause of the accident. The defenders no doubt honestly thought they were complying with the regulations in doing what they did, but there had been a breach, and they could not avoid liability for reparation. [Scotsman 7 January 1925]

23 August 1924

Blantyre – Fatal Result of Colliery Accident – An accident occurred last Saturday night in the Priory Colliery, which belongs to Messrs William Baird & Company, Ltd., and, unfortunately, has proved fatal. James Wright (59), a widower, residing in lodgings at 62 Broompark Road, High Blantyre, had been engaged along with others in special repair work, and, while filling a hutch of dirt, a heavy stone weighing about three quarters of a hundredweight suddenly came away from the roof, pinning the unfortunate man beneath it. He was removed to the surface with all possible speed and was medically attended, but the doctor saw that his condition was serious and had him removed to the Royal Infirmary. Wright never regained consciousness, and he died on Monday afternoon. [Hamilton Advertiser 30 August 1924]

20 August 1925

Fatal Colliery Accident – About 11 o’clock on Thursday forenoon a fatal accident occurred in Priory Colliery (Wm. Baird & Co Ltd) which resulted in the death of Thomas Ritchie, about 35 years of age, who resided in lodgings with Miss Scott, Dunfield Terrace, Blantyre. The man had been at work in the pan run in the north section of No 4 pit, when a heavy fall, estimated at between 20 and 30 tons came on him, and he was completely buried beneath the debris. A large number of workmen were soon on the scene and at once set to work to clear the face and get the unfortunate man out, but when extricated it was found that he was dead. The miners in the pit then stopped work for the day. [Hamilton Advertiser 22 August 1925]

31 August 1925

Blantyre – Fatal Colliery Accident – A fatal accident occurred on Monday at No 1 Pit of Auchinraith Colliery, Blantyre, which belongs to Merry & Cunningham Ltd, the victim being James Duddy, 21, unmarried, a miner who resided with his parents at New Houses, Blantyre. When Duddy was at work at the coal face, a fall of stone, weighing over a ton, struck him, and he was completely buried. When extricated the unfortunate man was found to be dead. [Hamilton Advertiser 5 September 1925]

13 October 1925

In the early morning Peter Crighton was killed while at work in the Whistleberry Colliery, which belongs to Messrs Archibald Russell & Co. (Ltd,). He had been engaged on repair work when suddenly there was a large fall of stones from the roof, which completely buried him. When Crighton was extricated life was found to be extinct. Deceased leaves a widow and five young children. [The Scotsman 14 October 1925]

21 December 1926

Colliery Fatality At Blantyre – A miner named Peter Clark (65) was killed in the Whistleberry Colliery Blantyre, which belongs to Archibald Russell & Co. (Ltd.). Clark, along with his son Walter, had been at work in No. 2 Pit when a stone weighing over two tons suddenly came away from the roof. It pinned the father underneath, and when he was extricated life was found to be extinct. His son had a fortunate escape. Deceased , who was a widower, and leaves a grown-up family, resided at 152 Glasgow Road, Blantyre. [Scotsman 23 December 1926]

8 February 1927

Blantyre – Colliery Accident – On Tuesday, Thomas Watson, a widower, who resides in Grant’s Buildings, Stonefield, met with a nasty accident when engaged at his work in Priory Colliery, which belongs to Messrs Wm Baird & Co, Ltd, when he had the misfortune to be caught by a rake of loaded hutches. He was conveyed to the surface as quickly as possible, and on medical aid being summoned it was found that one of his ankles was broken in two places. He was afterwards removed to the Royal Infirmary in the Blantyre ambulance waggon. [Hamilton Advertiser 12 February 1927]

15 February 1927

Blantyre – Fatal Colliery Accident – On Tuesday, a fatal accident occurred in No 2 pit of Blantyre Collieries (Messrs William Dixon Ltd), the victim being a young miner named Benjamin Frew (18), who resided at 73 High Blantyre Road, Burnbank, Hamilton. While at his work in the ell coal seam a large stone suddenly came away and the unfortunate lad was completely pinned beneath it. When extricated life was found to be extinct. Death must have been instantaneous. [Hamilton Advertiser 19 February 1927]

23 April 1927

Blantyre – Fatal Accident In A Colliery – A somewhat peculiar accident occurred about midnight last Saturday in the Priory Colliery which resulted in the death of a workman named James Jackson, about 50 years of age, who resided at 2 Ulva Place, Low Blantyre. He had been at work on the haulage road of No 3 Pit, and from enquiries made by the police from workmen who were close at the time of the accident, the general opinion is that Jackson tramped on or tripped over a haulage rope and fell heavily on his head. He was immediately conveyed to the surface but he died shortly after he arrived at the pithead, never having regained consciousness. Deceased leaves a widow and young family. [Hamilton Advertiser 30 April 1927]

18 August 1927

Colliery Fatality at Blantyre – Between one and two o’clock yesterday afternoon a fatal accident occurred in No. 1 Pit, Bardykes Colliery, Blantyre which belongs to the Summerlee Iron and Coal Co. (Ltd.), the victim being Patrick M’Donald (20 years), who resided with his widowed mother at 44 Dixon Street, Blantyre. While he was taking a rake of hutches along the main haulage road, a large fall of stones and debris came away from the roof, and he was pinned underneath. Assistance was quickly forthcoming, but, when M’Donald was extricated life was found to be extinct., death having in all likelihood been instantaneous. [Scotsman 19 August 1927]

16 February 1929

Blantyre – Colliery Accident – Early on Saturday morning, Joseph Rhodes, who resides at 67 Craig Street, Blantyre, and was employed as a night fireman in Auchinraith Colliery, was engaged in his usual duties when he was suddenly caught by a fall of stones. He was removed to the surface, where medical aid was summoned, and a doctor ordered his removal to the Royal Infirmary for fuller examination. We learn that he was found to be suffering from severe internal bruises but is getting on quite satisfactorily. [Hamilton Advertiser 23 February 1929]

1 March 1929

Blantyre – Killed While Pushing Hutch – William White, 23, Elmbank Cottage, Auchinraith Road, Blantyre, was killed yesterday morning at No 1 Pit of Auchinraith Colliery, Blantyre, owned by Messrs Merry & Cuninghame Limited. He was attending a gate end, and, while pushing a loaded hutch, his foot slipped. He fell against a steel girder, which caused a punctured wound to the skull, and he died within a few minutes. Deceased leaves a widow and young child. [Hamilton Advertiser 2 March 1929]

Blantyre – Died From Natural Causes – Arising out of the death of William White in Auchinraith Colliery and reported in our last week’s issue, a post mortem examination of the body took place by order of the Crown Fiscal in Hamilton. As the result of the examination, death was certified to be due to natural causes. [Hamilton Advertiser 9 March 1929]

5 May 1930

Colliery Fatality – While at work at the face in No 2 pit of Blantyre Collieries, belonging to Messrs Wm. Dixon (Ltd.), Robert Nimmo, aged 56 years, a widower residing at 16 Cemetery Road, High Blantyre, was badly crushed on Monday afternoon. He died later in Glasgow Royal Infirmary. [Scotsman 7 May 1930]

Blantyre – Colliery Accident – Fatal Termination – It was with general regret that the people of High Blantyre learned of the death of a well-known and highly respected citizen in the person of Mr Robert Nimmo. A widower, having lost his wife two years ago, he resided with his widowed daughter at 16 Cemetery Road, High Blantyre. He died from the result of an accident which befel him when, on Monday afternoon, he was working at the face of No 2 pit of Blantyre Collieries. After being extricated from the fall of coal, consequent on the trees giving way, he was removed to the surface, and, after being medically attended, was removed to the Royal Infirmary, where he died within a few hours after admission. [Hamilton Advertiser 10 May 1930]

10 May 1930

Blasting Accident – One Killed and One Injured in Scots Colliery – On Saturday morning the Priory Colliery, Blantyre, which belongs to Messrs William Baird & Co. (Ltd.), was the scene of a blasting accident which resulted in the death of one man and serious injuries to another, although when the first reports of the accident got about the death-roll was stated to have been more alarming The man killed was William Stewart, aged 57 years, who resided with his wife at 51 Small Crescent, Blantyre. Richard M’Lean (31), married, who resided at 2 Rosendale Terrace, Blantyre, was injured. Saturday was not a working day with the miners, but a large squad of oncost men were engaged in making a new roadway underground, and this necessitated blasting away a lot of rock and stone. A long hole had been drilled and a charge of explosives placed therein, when, from some cause not yet clearly determined, the charge went off prematurely, and the two men received the full force of the blast in their faces, and both received shocking injuries. Stewart was instantaneously killed, while M’Lean suffered from terrible facial and body injuries. Medical aid was quickly secured, and after his injuries were temporarily dressed M’Lean was removed to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. There is a probability that he may lose one or both eyes. Mr Stewart, the dead man, was a highly respected citizen of Blantyre, and was a prominent and active member of the Plymouth Brethren. His only son, Dr Adam Stewart carries on an extensive medical practice in Blantyre. [Scotsman 12 May 1930]

30 Aug 1930

For the story of the Auchinraith Pit Disaster, told by Blantyre Project in detail, see here.

10 January 1931

Blantyre – Miner Injured By Fall of Stones – When at work on Tuesday in the Priory Colliery, Blantyre, which belongs to Messrs William Baird & Co., Ltd., William Hill, a miner (18) who resides with his parents at 33 Hardie Street, Blantyre, was severely crushed by a large fall of stones. On being extricated, he was taken to the surface where he was attended by Dr Adam Stewart, who found that the unfortunate young man had sustained injuries to his back. He was subsequently removed to the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow. [Hamilton Advertiser 31 May 1930] NB William Dick Hill died aged 19 on 10 January 1931 at Station Road, Blantyre

02 July 1931

Thomas Morgan aged 28 of 2 Watson Street suffered injuries to his back when a small fall of coal within Cardowan Colliery, Stepps occurred. He was taken by ambulance to Glasgow Royal Infirmary and detained. [Researched by Paul Veverka]

11 August 1931

Blantyre Colliery Accident – When at work yesterday in No. 2 Pit of Blantyre Collieries, belonging to Messrs William Dixon (Limited). Joseph M’Kernan (married), who resides at 5 Joanna Terrace, Blantyre was seriously injured when he was pinned under a large and heavy stone which came away from the roof and after being attended by a doctor he was removed to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. The full extent of his injuries could not be determined as, besides cuts on face and body, it is feared that his back had been seriously injured. [Scotsman 12 August 1931]

11 August 1931

About five o’clock on Friday morning of 2nd October 1931 the lamp cabin at the Priory Colliery, Blantyre, belonging to William Baird & Co Ltd., was gutted by fire and the lampman, John Doran, who resides at 5 John Street, Blantyre, was removed to the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, suffering from serious burning injuries. On inquiry at the colliery, a press representative was informed that, before being removed the infirmary, Doran said he had been unscrewing the bottom of lighted oil lamp, when it slipped from his hands and fell into tray of oil. Immediately flames burst out all over the cabin, and he was badly burned on the arms and body. There were over 700 lamps in the cabin, some of them being lit with oil, but the greater number of them are lit by electricity, and these were temporarily rendered useless. In consequence, the colliery was totally idle on that Friday. [Researched by Paul Veverka]

07 December 1931

While Mr. George McMichael (60), Crofthead Street, Uddingston, was examining the pumps in the shaft at Blantyre Ferme Colliery, Uddingston, on that Monday night, he missed his footing, and fell to the pit bottom, sustaining serious injuries to his chest and head, from which died. [Researched by Paul Veverka]

19 December 1931

John Gardner, a married man of King Street, Rutherglen, was killed on Saturday by a fall of stone in No 2 Whistleberry Colliery, Blantyre, Lanark, belonging to Archibald Russell Ltd. [Times 21 December 1931]

Man Killed at Blantyre – Another Injured – An accident occurred on Saturday forenoon in No. 2 pit of the Whistleberry colliery, Blantyre, belonging to Archibald Russell & Co. (Ltd.), when John Gardner, a married man, who resided at 165 King Street, Rutherglen, was killed, and James Cook, also married, who resides at Ingleby Cottage, Larkhall, sustained a broken rib and injuries to his head. A large stone came away from the roof when the men were engaged on repair work. Before Gardner could be freed the stone had to be levered off, but when extricated he was dead. His workmate, Cook, after receiving medical attention, was able to be removed to his home. [Scotsman 21 December 1931]

29 October 1932

That Saturday, saw yet another accident at Blantyreferme Colliery. However, this wasn’t in the pit, it was above ground and unusually for any colliery, it didn’t involve the miners but proved just as serious. Margaret Meighan (19), residing at Laighmuir Street, Uddingston, was at work in the Blantyre colliery offices and visited the coal travelling tables. To her horror, she found her left leg became entangled with the machinery, and was almost entirely torn off. Suffering serious trauma and shock, she was removed to Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where the limb was at once fully amputated. [Researched by Blantyre Project]

16 April 1934

Edward Liddell, 28, unmarried, a machineman, was killed yesterday when he was jammed between the roof and the coal-cutting machine in Bardykes Colliery, Blantyre, Lanarkshire. [The Times 17 April 1934]

11 March 1936

Blantyre – Colliery Fatality – About 6 o’clock on Wednesday night a distressing fatality occurred in No 4 Pit of the Priory Colliery belonging to Messrs William Baird & Co Ltd, the victim being William Paton, 26, who resided at 51 Auchinraith Road, Blantyre. The unfortunate man had been married quite recently. Paton had been engaged at his work on the pan run, when a large stone unexpectedly came away from the roof and when extricated it was found that life was extinct. As a mark of sympathy for their dead workmate the workmen stopped work for the night. [Hamilton Advertiser 14 March 1936]

21 March 1936

Fatal Colliery Accident – A distressing fatality occurred in the early hours of last Saturday morning in the Priory Colliery, Blantyre, belonging to the Summerlee Iron & Coal Coy., Ltd, the victim being George Pritchard, aged 58 years, who resided at 130 Glasgow Road, Burnbank, Hamilton. Pritchard was employed at his usual work when a rake of loaded hutches broke away down an incline, and before he could get clear he was caught in the rush of hutches and sustained terrible injuries. When extricated the unfortunate man was dead. In his younger days Mr Pritchard was well known in football circles, and played for Burnbank Athletic, and for the season 1904 he played with Clyde and had an international cap against Ireland. Deceased leaves a widow. [Hamilton Advertiser 28 March 1936]

20 August 1936

Andrew Polland, a well-known junior footballer, of Purdie Street, Burnbank. He was seriously injured while at work in Priory Blantyre, on Thursday 20th August 1936. Pollard, who was employed as a machineman, was engaged in cutting coal when a heavy stone, which fell after the machine had passed along the coalface, struck him. Polland sustained a fractured hip and severe head injuries, and had to be removed to Glasgow Royal Infirmary. [Researched by Paul Veverka]

8 September 1936

Injured By Runaway Hut In Mine – Runaway hutches on the main haulage road of Bardykes Colliery, Blantyre, endangered six men who were on their way to work yesterday. Three escaped injury by entering a manhole, but the other three were caught when entering another manhole. John Martin, 15 Stonefield Road, Blantyre, sustained a fracture of the leg and other injuries, and was removed to the Royal Infirmary Glasgow. His son, John Martin, and Samuel Trueman, 51 Glasgow Road, Blantyre, sustained facial and body bruises. They were removed to their homes. [Scotsman 9 September 1936]

7 January 1937

Pit Fatality At Blantyre – Alexander Holmes (30), miner, who resided at 16 Hall Street, Blantyre, was killed while at work last night in No. 2 pit of Blantyre Collieries, belonging to Messrs William Dixon It is stated that when the first of a rake of loaded hutches went off the rails Holmes started to replace it into position. The loaded hutches behind proved too strong for him, however, and came away on top of him, crushing him badly internally. When extricated, he was found to be dead. Deceased leaves a widow and two young children. [Scotsman 8 January 1937]

1 March 1937

George Mitchell, 22, of William Street, Hamilton, was killed by a fall of roof in Bothwell Castle Colliery, Blantyre, yesterday. He was working with his father and brothers at the time [Times 2 March 1937]

01 April 1937

An 18-year-old youth was the victim of a fatality, which occurred in No. 3 pit of Blantyre Ferme Colliery, belonging to Messrs A. G. Moore & Co., Ltd. on 1st April 1937. He was Alexander Walker, 61 Overton Street, Halfway, in Cambuslang. While he was attending the engine in the pan run half a mile from the pit bottom a fall occurred, pinning the youth’s head against the driving belt. He died within a short time from a fracture of the skull.

13 May 1937

Blantyre Miner Killed – Having had an idle day for the Coronation on Wednesday, 450 miners employed at Blantyre Collieries, High Blantyre belonging to William Dixon and Co, Ltd, were again idle yesterday as a mark of sympathy for a fellow workman who had been killed in No. 2 Pit just shortly before he was due to finish his work on the night shift. The victim was John M’Caulay (67), who resided at 11 Morris Crescent, Blantyre. He was employed as a bottomer and he was caught by the descending cage. He was so severely injured that death must have been instantaneous. Following the usual custom of miners when a fatal accident occurs in the pit, the day shift men did not start work. [Glasgow Herald 14 May 1937]

28 September 1937

Three Men Injured in Blantyre Mishaps – Two Victims in Critical Condition – Two miners suffered injuries as a result of which they are in a critical condition, and a third was crushed and bruised, in three accidents which occurred yesterday in Blantyre collieries.
The Priory Colliery, which belongs to William Baird and Co., Ltd., was the scene of two of the accidents. In the first of these James Weatherall (23), who resides at 1 Rose Crescent, Burnbank, Hamilton, was seated at the coal face in the virgin coal seam and engaged in boring a hole when a large heavy stone fell on his back from the roof and pinned him down. On being extricated from the debris he was at once removed to the surface, and on the arrival of a doctor it was seen that his condition was serious He was removed to Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Another accident occurred in the afternoon in No. 3 ell coal seam, when Peter M’Gibbon, who resides at 58 Mill Road, Hamilton, was caught by a rake of runaway hutches Although M’Gibbon was crushed and bruised, however, a doctor who was called did not consider it necessary to remove him to the infirmary.

Shot-firing Accident – The third accident occurred in Messrs Dixon’s colliery in High Blantyre. A young man named John Berry, whose home is at 83 Broompark Road, High Blantyre, was engaged in firing a shot, and on its exploding he sustained the full force of the charge on his head and body. Suffering from severe punctured wounds on shoulders and arms, he also was removed to Glasgow Royal infirmary. On inquiry last night at the infirmary it was learned that the condition of both men admitted was critical. [Glasgow Herald 28 September 1937]

31 July 1939

Blantyre Pit Fatality – Michael Carey (51) 46 Craig Street, Blantyre, died yesterday in Glasgow Royal Infirmary from injuries received the previous day while working in the colliery at Priory Blantyre. He was working in No. 4 Pit, when he was struck by a falling girder. [Scotsman 1 August 1939]

14 February 1940

MINER KILLED IN PIT ACCIDENT – A fatal accident occurred today at No. 1 Pit of the Barrdykes Colliery [sic], Blantyre. The victim was Alexander Hutchison, miner, about 58, who resided at Logan Street, Blantyre. He was pinned by a fall of stones and dirt from the roof. On being extricated, he was conveyed to the colliery’s ambulance room, but died before medical aid arrived. He leaves a wife and family. [Evening Telegraph 14 February 1940]

15 March 1940

YOUTH FALLS THREE-QUARTERS OF A MILE DOWN PIT – A 17-year-old pithead worker was killed when he accidentally fell down the shaft to the pit bottom, three quarters of a mile down, at Bardykes Colliery, Blantyre, today. He was George Logan, the Springwell Housing Scheme, Blantyre. The boy’s father, William Logan, who is a contractor at the colliery, was in the colliery office at the time, and when informed of the tragedy he collapsed and had to receive treatment in the ambulance room. [Evening Telegraph 15 March 1940]

28 & 30 June 1941

Two Miners Lose Their Lives – Within two days two miners died as the result of accidents in two local collieries. The first accident occurred on Friday afternoon when James M’Dowell (50), who resided at 26 John Street, Blantyre, was struck on the temple by a piece of coal while at work in Blantyreferme Colliery. His workmates gave him immediate assistance, but on reaching the pit bottom he was seen to be unconscious. He was rushed off to the Royal Infirmary where he died on Saturday morning. He leaves a widow and grown up son and daughter. The other tragedy occurred in the early hours of Monday morning in Bardykes Colliery. The victim was Michael Boyle (29) who resided at 199 Glasgow Road, Halfway, Cambuslang. A large stone came away on him from the roof and death was instantaneous. Deceased leaves a widow and two young children. [Hamilton Advertiser 5 July 1941]

9 December 1941

Colliery Fireman’s Tragic Death – On Tuesday afternoon a distressing fatality occurred in Blantyre Collieries, High Blantyre, the victim being David McMillan (68), a fireman, who resided with his daughter at Broompark Road, High Blantyre. A hole which had been bored preparatory to a shot being fired had been stemmed. Before firing the shot the three men engaged sat down nearby to take their tea. Somehow or other a live cartridge suddenly exploded and McMillan received the full blast from it. His injuries were of such a nature that death was instantaneous. His two mates escaped without injury.

Death Notice – McMillan – Accidentally killed in Dixon’s Colliery, High Blantyre on the 9th December, 1941, Hugh McMillan, beloved husband of the late Marion Marshall, 82 Broom park Road, High Blantyre. [Hamilton Advertiser December 13 1941]

(Many thanks to Hugh McMillan for providing details of this death)

23 June 1945

Blantyre – Pit Accident – James Connor, pithead worker, aged 36, was killed last Saturday afternoon at Dixon’s No 1 Colliery, High Blantyre. He was engaged in removing hutches from the cage when he fell from ground level to the pit bottom. Death was instantaneous. Deceased who was unmarried and resided with his widowed mother at 51 Springwells Crescent, was well known as a keen supporter and member of Blantyre Celtic’s committee. [Hamilton Advertiser 30 June 1945]

17 June 1954

£6750 Damages Awarded – Blantyre Colliery Accident – In two actions against the National Coal Board arising from the same accident in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, on June 20, 1954, damages totalling £6750 were awarded yesterday by a jury sitting with Lord Walker in the Court of Session. In both cases liability was admitted by the board, and, the only question at issue was the amount of the awards. Peter Rooney, brusher, 70 Burnside Crescent, Blantyre, was awarded £4000, the sum for which he sued, in respect of injuries to his foot, leg, arm, and hands, which rendered him unfit for work. He was one of a number of workmen sent into the haulage road to repair the roof after a fall, and he stated that while engaged in clearing the road there was a second fall from the roof which struck him. He blamed the board for failing to appreciate that wooden props were not strong enough to support the roof, and for not introducing a system of roof support using steel girders in accordance with normal and approved mining practice.  In the second case, Mrs Mary McGowan or Innes, 37 Nursery Place, High Blantyre, sued the board for £6000 in respect of the death of her husband, James Innes (52). She was awarded £2750. Innes was a member of the same team of workmen sent to repair the roof. He was killed instantly when the second fall occurred. Both he and Rooney were stated to have been earning £15 a week. [Glasgow Herald 7 December 1956]

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