Auchinraith Colliery

Auchinraith Coilliery was sunk in 1872, when owners Messrs Merry and Cunningham followed up on their business acquisition of the mineral rights for that land, drawing coal as early as 1875. The colliery was located near the middle of Auchinraith Road, adjacent to its junction with Craig Street.

To accommodate the influx of miners to the immediate area, James Merry, (one of the owners) also built a row of homes (Auchinraith Row) in 1874. This particular row was located immediately in front of the pit, near the later Auchinraith Primary School site.


The pithead was located behind where the Timber houses are today.

As the extraction of coal got underway, the company also built a more significant array of homes nearby in 1876, at Merry’s Rows, or known locally as “Murrays Rows”.

James Merry, one of the original owners of the company, like many early proprietors in the mining industry, blatantly broke mining regulations to suit his own ends. He really did exploit over 1,000 men who worked in his collieries and iron mines throughout Scotland participating in what was known as The Truck System, where miners had to use their wages in colliery shops.

On 30th August 1930, a terrible accident occurred at the colliery resulting in the death of 6 miners. It was difficult for the colliery to recover. Just a year later on 16th August 1931, the miners at Auchinraith Colliery found a notice posted at the pithead advising them to collect and remove their belongings and the company was closing down that evening at the end of the day, with just a shifts notice. At that stroke of a pen, 350 miners employed at the colliery lost their jobs.

Merry’s Rows were demolished and renamed as Elm Street. The site of the colliery and it’s coal bing extended from Auchinraith Road to the ground at the rear of the former Alex Inglis Factory on Main Street, which recently closed.

The bing itself was spread out and removed in 1975, to make way for the next phase of the A725 East Kilbride Expressway which followed a couple of years later.

On social media:

Bill Graham My grandfather was in the pit rescue team that attended that day. I was told that he went down the mine with black hair, but when he came back up his hair was pure white. I do not know if this is fact but I have seen photos of him when he was young and his hair was white.

Elizabeth Dobson Grieve There’s been many a pit accident at the Auchinraith colliery

Jim Cochrane My Great Grandfather Richard King was one of those killed that day. Don,t know much about it as my Gran Cochrane never spoke of it .

Jane Johnstone My grandfather had PTSD after a colliery disaster around this time, but I am not sure which one. He self admitted himself to Hartwood where he volunteered for electric shock therapy to help with this. Of course it didn’t have the label PTSD in those days! He was a terrific person to have known always lots of fun for all his grandchildren! He also survived cruelty in an orphanage and WW1. We never knew what he had gone through in life until long after he had gone. He was great! I was born in front of the Bing at 125, my Granpa took us all round the Bing for a walk on a Sunday when we were little with the dog, Rex. I am proud he was my Gramps!


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