1877 Disaster Documents

I was recently thrilled when my good friend and fellow history colleague Gordon Cook gave me a nice gift!


I’m now the proud owner of a large map of the underground coal workings of High Blantyre, marked up to show where each victim of the 1877 Pit disaster died. As well as this to accompany the map, is a full detailed ‘blue book’ transcript of the disaster inquiry. Over 200 pages and 5,000 entires packed with eye witness accounts!

Needless to say, along with my task to tell each of the victim’s personal stories, I’ve enough in these documents to keep me posting about the disaster for many more years.

With thanks to Gordon for his kindness.

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

Christine Forrest How interesting did they get all the bodies out of the pit? After the disaster or were there some they could not recover?
Blantyre Project this was especially important. Yes, they think they did get all the bodies out, but it was hard to tell as sometimes coal miners hired friends and passing labour to boost their own individual quotas, (labour not listed on the books, so to speak). The tunnels were worked on again afterwards, so it would seem all were retrieved. However, in the 1930s or 40s a story circulated in Blantyre that another two bodies were found. Although not well documented in writing, the source was credible enough to think it may have been the case.  The maps attached to these documents show the position of where bodies were retrieved, somewhat scattered around. I’d previously thought most were directly below Redburn Farm, but the exact positions straight down were also under the Technology Park, The Cemetery, the nearby Roads and Landscaping and encroaching very close to where homes are today. Fascinating!
Andrew Mclinden Blantyre Project My dad thought was the case when he worked there, wish now I should have listened to more of his stories about the pit . but well done anyway very interesting !
Anne Mackie Every time I read your pages I learn some thing new Thank you xxxx
Gord Fotheringham You and mr.cook are to be highly commended for the writings that come from these writings
Betty McLean What a wonderful treasure.
Carolyn Patterson How fantastic is that , so interesting love reading your posts .
Jessie Caldow What a wonderful gift! It’s so important that this knowledge be recorded. Thank you so much for all or your posts.

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