Blantyre Disaster, 1877

This morning, as with each year on this particular day, we remember the 215 men and boys who sadly lost their lives in the Blantyre Pit Disaster.

At 8.45am on 22nd October 1877, a huge explosion caused by fire damp occurred in Pit 3, also significantly affecting Pit 2 in High Blantyre. Deep below the ground, approximately where Red Burn Farm Inn is today, all those miners lost their lives, the youngest being James Clyde, only 12 years old.

Throughout this week, we’ve been looking at the lives of more of the miners. Today, on behalf of the community, I also placed wreaths at the obelisk memorial at High Blantyre Cemetery and at the memorial at High Blantyre Cross.

Its now been 145 years since the disaster and as we reflect on the grief that so many families endured that Winter, we think on how much Blantyre has changed and how much more comfortable life is for most people, (even in this time of financial crisis), by comparison to the hardships those hard working mining families had to endure.

This was a most terrible disaster with a loss of life not surpassed in Scottish mining communities even to this day. We remember all the lives lost. 

May they all rest in eternal peace. With thanks to “Dreams for Themes Creations” for the lovely wreaths and to Blantyre Telegraph Supporters Group whose kind subscriptions bought these wreaths.

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