Blantyre’s Day of Remembrance



On 22nd October 1927, Blantyre stopped to remember the great pit disaster in High Blantyre that had happened 50 years earlier.

Today, 139 years later we do the same and I thought I’d share a few things about the 50 year remembrance.

In 1927, the pit disaster was still relatively fresh in Blantyre’s history as having happened just 50 years earlier on 22nd October, 1877. Even then, it was still remembered amongst some of the older residents of Blantyre. Of course the disaster had affected many families by taking over 200 men and boys.

Mr A. B. Maxwell, for thirty-four years the Inspector of Poor in Blantyre, (retiring in 1923)  and William Lockhart, a retired police sergeant, both that day had vivid recollections of the actual disaster.

At the moment it occurred Mr Maxwell had been standing in Udston Quarries, only some 200 yards from the ill-fated No. 3 Colliery. It would have been hugely loud the explosion he heard being so close on the nearby surface. He remembers the Rev. Stewart Wright, the High Blantyre Parish minister, and the Rev. Father Wm. Frawley, the parish priest, going about arm in arm, faiths unified for the sake of Blantyre as a whole. Speaking of the minister and priest, he said they never left the scene of the disaster for a full week.

Mr Lockhart at the time of the explosion was stationed at Hillhead, Glasgow, and was one of the officers drafted to the scene.  I thought this little account of religion being unified was touching and thought it even more apt to post about this today.

Blantyre remembers the pit disaster, even 139 years later.

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