A widow’s Anguish, 1876


At twenty-five past eleven on the morning of Monday September 19th June 1876, Burnbank was rocked by an explosion so loud that it was heard beyond Baillieston, Wishaw and Stonehouse.

The explosion was caused by dynamite in a builder’s yard in Burnbank, which took the lives of 7 people.

One person Mr John McCall, a policeman from Blantyre was amongst the dead. The remains of the victims were removed to a stable where the work of identification could begin.

Sadly, Constable McCall was identified by a piece of his belt and fragments of his handcuffs and police sergeant Cruikshanks and the Rev. Stewart Wright Parish minister at High Blantyre had to break the bad news to his young widow Catherine who was heavily pregnant and already the mother of four children.

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2020

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