In July 1907, Mrs Mary Morgan, of Govanhill, Glasgow, initiated a new scheme in connection with the collieries belonging the well-known firm Messrs Wm. Dixon and Co., Ltd. In particular, at their collieries at Govan, Blantyre, and Carfin.
The proposal was to encourage the young pony drivers in each pit to take a greater interest in the animals under their charge. Three prizes were given to the best kept pony and harness, and an extra prize for the best-kept stable. Mr James Watson, superintendent of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for Glasgow and the West of Scotland, was sole judge. The initiative had been copied however, as Lady Belhaven was the first to start such a scheme.
Whenever I think of pit ponies spending their miserable lives down in that dark hell, I can’t help but feel this was a cruelty that many people like Mary Morgan must have recognised, even back then. I’m sure even some of the miners must have felt some compassion for this practice too.