Robert McGuire – Boy Killed in Colliery 1883


imagesA local news report on 14th April 1883, told of the tragic passing of a young local boy working in the mining profession that week. He had sustained crushing injuries which he could not recover from.

“On Thursday, a sad accident happened in No. 2 Pit, Blantyre Collieries, belonging to William Dixon (Limited,) whereby Robert McGuire (13), trapper, residing at Windsor Street, Burnbank, received fatal injuries. Deceased’s duties consisted in opening and shutting the trap doors 73 yards apart, through which the trains of hutches wrought by an endless chain passed to and from the face.  He accompanied an empty race to the face, and was instructed by Arthur Cosgrove, who ran the hutches, to return and open the doors.

As Cosgrove was proceeding with a loaded train to the pit bottom—seated, as usual, on the last hutch—he heard a loud crash, and having stopped the train by signalling to the engineman at the bottom, he went forward and found that the hutches had run through the door, carrying it with them. He heard the boy calling to him, and going on a little further discovered him underneath the third hutch, his head cut and bleeding, and his right arm broken. He was carried home and attended by Drs Marshall and Loudon, but died at half-past six in the evening.”

These coal hutches (for carting coal) were tremendously heavy, even when unloaded. Looking at this picture of abandoned hutches, its of no surprise that a full, coal laden hutch could seriously damage anybody in its road. Thank you to Wilma Bolton for sending in this story.

On social media:

Anne Callaghan So sad at a young age xx

Elaine Hunter Very tragic. Only 13 years old.

Carol Crombie Such a tragic event, sadly I wonder how many more died in the same way

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