Friday 13th of August 1937 proved to be a black, unlucky Friday at Blantyreferme. Pictured here in a similar era is a previously unseen photo online of Newton Colliery not far from Blantyreferme 1&2, shown to me by Alex Rochead.
Five men were affected a serious, gassing accident in the Blantyre pit. Two of the injured who got to the pithead were taken to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where they then became unconscious and in a serious condition. They were H. Power and J. Young, both living in Uddingston. The scene of the mishap was Blantyre Ferine Colliery, owned by Messrs. A. G. Moore, and Co , Ltd., Uddingston.
Upon detection of the gas, immediately the alarm was raised and the men in the pit were rushed to the top. It was learned that there were still five below who had been overcome, some of them from nearby Caldervale (Fin Me Oot). Assistance was sent down, and Power and Young were brought up. They were found to have received injuries to their bodies, and also suffered from gassing. Police and ambulance men stood by waiting for the other men being brought to the surface. Over 200 men who were due to descend for what was known as the “back shift” were unable to go down the shaft, and were temporarily thrown idle. The others were brought to the surface unaffected.
The story is a reminder of the constant and varied dangers miners faced in this dangerous profession.