Common Ground

As we end this week’s articles about the Blantyre Pit Disaster, let’s finish on this photo of part of the Common Ground. Photographed this week by myself, this is the area at the back of the Cemetery where many of the miners of the Pit Disaster of 1877 were buried. Others were buried in other places including Dalbeth, Cambusnethan, Bellshill, Shotts and Strathaven.

Though the memorial obelisk is nearby, unfortunately it doesn’t mention the names of the miners who died. Throughout 2021, a fundraising campaign has been underway to exclusively put up a list of all the miners names and ages, men and boys who lost their lives. Fundraising by Jimmy Small, Blantyre Telegraph and the Miners Welfare is progressed, but not yet raised a sufficient amount needed for the significant, new marker. Permissions from the council have been sought and several quotes obtained to make this endeavour become a reality. Something substantial was needed, so granite to match the obelisk has been chosen and the names now all triple checked, some added to, and in one case, one removed!

It’s incredulous that nothing with the names of the dead is on or around this important site after 144 years, a sentiment shared by many people. That will change in 2022. The update here is that funding still needs to be finalised. Working together, though the initial deadline of this week has been missed, the intention is still very much to have this new marker in place in 2022.

Further updates will follow in due course.

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