By the morning of Day 2 of the Blantyre Pit Disaster, an emerging picture of the full scale of the tragedy was unfolding. On the morning of 23 October 1877, the Scotsman Newspaper issued a full page article, which we begin to explore here:
“One of the most appalling colliery accidents that has ever happened in Great Britain, and certainly the most serious that has occurred in the history of mining in Scotland, took place yesterday morning at the High Blantyre Works of Messrs W. Dixon & Co. coal and iron masters.
From the nature of the case , accurate details as to the number of persons killed cannot be ascertained, but it is feared that no fewer than 200 miners have had their lives cut short either from the effects of the explosion or by the deadly after damp.
High Blantyre, the scene of the terrible affair is a mining village situated about seven miles from Glasgow, and in one of the most peacefully picturesque spots of the Vale of Clyde. It is true that the lovely landscape is now marred to some extent by scores of tall colliery chimneys perennially belching forth clouds of black smoke, and that the beautifully rolling surface is scarred by heaps of cinders or waste coal.
Still , the scene is eminently pleasing , variegated , as it is by dark green clumps of pines, or the now glowing autumnal shades of beech, oak, and elm plantations. The colliery of High Blantyre is within a few hundred yards of the village of that name, and is on the property of Stonefield. The mineral field in this neighbourhood has been worked to a considerable extent for some time , but the colliery which has now attained so mournful a notoriety is entirely a new work.”
To be continued….
View of Number 3 pit. (Now the exact spot of Redburn Farm Inn)
Words from “Hollow Earth & Hardship” a forthcoming book by Paul Veverka (c)
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