1957 Dynamite theft at High Blantyre

1957 Explosive Store theft

1957 Explosive Store theft

In January 1957, a Burnbank man was jailed for 3 years after admitting stealing explosives from Dixon’s Collieries.

Charles Tallis, a 44 year old unemployed labourer of Gordon Terrace, Burnbank was jailed at the High Court in Edinburgh on Friday 4th January 1957 for his part in breaking into a National Coal Board explosives store at Burn Field, Priestfield, High Blantyre and stealing 50 lbs of explosives. It is unknown what he intended to do with them.

The newspaper entry was interesting as it mentions “Burn Field” in Priestfield which was either a property or a field. The name is unknown to me, so if anybody knows about “Burn Field” in High Blantyre, please get in contact with me.

It is unlikely this was the Dynamite Magazine store near Auchentibber, as that is quite some distance from Priestfield. Perhaps the mines had separate explosive stores, which does make sense.

Charles was no stranger to crime. He had admitted 12 previous convictions and pleaded guilty to this act in 1957. I found a newspaper report of him stealing 1929 Talliscopper, at the age of 17 during 1929.


Add a Comment
  1. Hi Paul

    At the time of the 1957 pictures of Priestfied Terrace were taken I lived in number 3 (age 6) with my parents. My father was a shot firer ( a miner who handled explosives underground. ). He once showed me the explosives store which was in some woods about half a mile further along towards Hillhouse on the right hand side and just before the bridge across the burn. I don’t know the name of the location but “Burn Field” would be a good fit. My recolation was that the houses of Hillhouse had not been built at that time and that the location was well away from any people

    1. Thats interesting Graham. I had always thought Dixons Dynamite store was up at Sydes Brae, but of course they had several pits, and it would have made sense to have stores fairly near their collieries. I havent heard of the name Burnfield, but it it was in Hillhouse, it may have sneaked into Hamilton Parish, rather than Blantyre. Thanks for your comments, something else for me to look at!

Leave a Reply