A letter sent into the Hamilton Advertiser on 10th September 1897 by a Frederick Farrell, asks that if Blantyre Miners are to form a Union, as had been attempted previously, it should not be undertaken lightly. The correspondence to the newspaper reads,
“Sir, As another attempt is to be made to organise and get the miners of Blantyre into a union, I should like to set a few plain facts before them.
For some time past we have had nothing in our district but debt and disunion. Now our enthusiasm is rekindled, and we are told if the Blantyre miners intend to attain to their former admirable position, we needs just copy the wise example of other districts. Very good, indeed. Mr McAnulty is the one that has to enact “the one eyed monarch among the blind,” and we, the Blantyre miners, have to contribute our quota to keep up the magnificent fun.
I marvel much at their impertinence when we miners reflect on the unions of the past. Now sir, I could carpet a floor with union books and all the union money vanished in expenses. Now, we are asked to start another by the same agent that made the rest of the unions beautiful failures. Sure the Blantyre miners are not going to ballot a man on for his ability and cleverness in breaking up unions. If that be the case, I as one object until I get a clear understanding. Has Mr McAnulty not openly said that all the unions in the past were useless? Then I ask him on what lines he is intending to draft this new species? Will it be one of the old species? Will it be one of the old kind which took all we miners could contribute for postcards and what the committee could borrow for ink? If that is to be the sort of union. I would advise the Blantyre miners to have none of it. Let us not build up another frail, fragile sham. If we have to be in union at all, let us have a solid one that will be appreciated and carry weight with it. Goodness knows, it makes men’s brains sick to observe so many unions set a going only to crumble away. I am, yours, etc.,
Thank you to Wilma Bolton for sharing another piece of mining history with Blantyre Project.
Pictured here is Andra McAnulty in 1947, some 50 years later at High Blantyre, having accomplished more for any miner than Mr Farrell could ever have hoped for. Andra lived to see the flag unfurled at Dixons Pit on the day the Coal Board was nationalised.
On social media: