The Burning Bing, 1904

On Wednesday 16th November 1904, Sanitary Inspector James Dobson brought a complaint against Colliery owners Merry and Cunningham, about the dangerous bing which was rising up adjacent to Auchinraith Road.

The complaint was in relation to Auchinraith Colliery Bing, but not about its height. This as about it being unsafe, with high quantities of coal and slag amongst the waste. This smouldering mess was dangerous occurrence under the Public Health Act.

The minerals had accumulated making the refuse igneous, a towering powder keg which the inspector said should be made safe at once. Merry and Cunningham explained that it was only a “small part” of the bing, which had accumulated in size over many years to a million tonnes. The part in question it was heard had been on fire for 10 years forcing the colliery from time to time to make attempts at putting it out. The colliery owners denied it was a nuisance, being remote from homes and other buildings.

Ultimately though, it was for the Colliery to extinguish and make safe. Auchinraith Colliery was worked in until it closed in 1931.

To give an idea of size, this photo shared by Anthony Smith was taken from Auchinraith Colliery Bing in the 1950s, although by then there were many homes around it and much higher than it was in 1904.

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