Raids on Priory Coal Wagons

Priory Pit

Priory Pit

1928 saw Police and fiscal intervention into a growing problem in Low Blantyre.

The Fiscal at the J.P Court stated that according to his information , some 50 tons of coal were stolen every week from the siding at Priory Colliery and the matter had become serious for both the Colliery and the Railway. In answer to a phone message that there was another raid on the wagons, the Police hastened to the Colliery on the 26th September and saw that about a dozen persons, men women and children were throwing coal from the wagons and putting it into bags. However just then, a scouting party employed by the raiders, gave the signal and all made off, leaving their bags behind. Only one woman was caught on whose behalf explained that she had gone to the railway to find her child and only had a lump of coal in her hand as she moved it when she stumbled looking for her child! The justices fined her 15s.

The economic situation of the 1920s created many hardships in Blantyre. As the weather turned in September towards colder, more wintery weather, people obviously saw an outlet of being able to take this coal, thinking plenty to spare and sufficiently out of the way from Police.


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  1. Mike – He would be nearby to Craighead and Whistleberry Collieries. But, he could just have easily have walked to others, including Priory. All three were within 2 miles of Waterloo Row.


    Love this posting – didn’t know these things happened. If Tom Dolan lived on Waterloo Row, which colliery would he have worked in? Thanks champ. Regards, Mike.

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