The Night Before

Blantyre Pit Disaster – 142nd Anniversary

At 8.45am tomorrow morning (22nd October 2019), it will be exactly 142 years since the 1877 Blantyre Pit Disaster, which sadly killed 215 men and boys. (Updated on Blantyre Project from 207 previously thought to have died).

That terrible explosion, still to this day Scotland’s worst mining disaster occurred at Dixons Collieries in High Blantyre and at the time killed almost 6% of Blantyre’s entire population.

Tonight, we stop for a brief moment to remember how unsuspecting all the victims of that disaster were as they sat at home, many with loved ones, the night before so much misery and grief was unleashed upon their families.

We count ourselves thankful for family and friends this evening and hope you’ll join us tomorrow to remember the victims of this terrible tragedy which so destructively affected local families. Whilst a memorial exists in High Blantyre Cemetery, the more prominent and well known Blantyre Disaster Memorial at Kirkton was erected in 1977, a hundred years after the disaster….and tonight, I’m pleased to say, it’s looking splendid!


Twinkling Memorial

On behalf of us all, I’ve arranged over 200 temporary lights at the base of the memorial at High Blantyre Cross, one light representing each of the miners who died. These were lit tonight in readiness and will stay on during dark hours for all this week. The Memorial Obelisk in the High Blantyre Cemetery has similarly been lit.

Blantyre families were ripped apart on that day, 142 years ago. As we count our own blessings this evening, we think upon all those who died.



Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:

Elizabeth Green Thank you… my grandfather told me a lot of his family were lost in this disaster
Ann Higgins Crossar That’s a lovely thing to do Paul and so appreciated. My 3rd great uncle William Primrose died in the disaster – he was only 17 years old. God bless they all. x
Betty McLean With everyone in my thoughts on this special occasion. Lovely memorial.


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  1. Thanks Archie. Hope you’re well.

  2. Wonderful post Paul and many thanks for the remembrance and providing the lights, lest we forget.

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