Trial of Auchinraith Miners


1930 blantyre project Auchinraith pit disaster

Sunday 31st Aug 1930 Pit crowds

Following the pit disaster at Auchenraith Colliery in August 1930, an inquiry was held and reported on in detail in local newspapers. The report is as follows. The photo shows the relatives of the miners arriving at Auchenraith colliery in August 1930 to find out what had happened to their loved ones.

“The first of three trials began in Hamilton Sheriff Court Monday (23rd November 1931) arising out of the accident at Auchenraith Colliery, Blantyre, when six men lost their lives.

The first case disposed of was that against William Anderson, underground fireman, Douglas Street, High Blantyre, who denied having, August 29-30, fired a number of shots without taking necessary precautions to test for inflammable gases.

A number of miners who were called for the prosecution said that the accused repeatedly fired shots in their working places. His practice was to enter wearing an electric lamp on his head. Sometimes they saw him carrying a hand safety lamp for the purpose of testing for gas, but not the morning of the explosion. They saw no tests made for gas prior to the explosion, nor was any stone dusting done by Anderson.

John Wales, miner, Auchenraith Road, Blantyre, admitted in the witness box that a meeting of witnesses had been held in the Welfare Hall at Blantyre to prepare evidence for the inquiry before Sir Henry Walker, Chief Inspector of Mines. That meeting was held three weeks prior to the inquiry. The agent for the defence contended that the Court should take cognisance of this meeting of witnesses. It meant that their evidence was bound be be tainted. Sheriff Brown held it proved that before firing shots Anderson had failed to take proper precautions to test for gas, while he had also failed to see where the places where shots were fired were properly treated with incombustible dust or water. A fine of £10 was imposed.

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