Redburn Farm Pit Memorial

It’s been a while since I’ve eaten out at Redburn Farm Inn at High Blantyre but the other day, I was reminded of the significance of that exact spot.

Near the Technology Park, at the boundary of Hillhouse, the Redburn Farm restaurant at High Blantyre sits on the very spot where Dixon’s Colliery Pit 3 used to be. A colliery which existed for nearly 90 years and of course the site of Scotland’s worst ever mining disaster in 1877.

Behind the table I was sitting at, on the wall was a large tribute to Blantyre mining, an industrial mural memorial showing illustrations of the former pit. It was nice to see. The business clearly providing a nod to what was on their site and indeed respectful of what happened a quarter of a mile below that exact spot, 146 years earlier.

On social media, the following comments were provided by readers:

Carol King A wee plaque outside would be nice also

Christine Forrest Sorry to sound negative but I wonder if there are still bodies down there? Did they get everyone out. It is a nice gesture though and yes Dixons would be a reminder to everybody in blantyre of the sacrifices made by all those people who were miners.

Linda Gourlay they werent able to recover many bodies as it was too dangerous.. I remember Paul posting a story of a mother who lost her young son, all they were able to return to her was his 1 shoe.. She cherished it her whole life.

Blantyre Project I’ll clarify that….initially many bodies couldn’t be reached, but in time over weeks the rescue efforts extended to all parts of Pit 2 and 3 underground workings. Some bodies were so badly burned or mutilated sadly that some families did bury coffins with incomplete bodies. There were 215 known bodies brought up, though in those days of poor record keeping and travelling jobbing transient workers, there was a possibility of more people being down there. There was a rumour in the early 20th Century that a skeleton had been found, some 40 or 50 years after the 1877 event, but no official story and I think this was a myth. Given all these workers were “replaced” by Dixons shortly after and put back to work in the same mines, I’m fairly confident all bodies were recovered. There are actual maps showing where each person was found.

Jacqueline Galliford Thomas was Dixons the only coal pit in Blantyre? Back where I was born and bred, in the Rhondda Fawr, one of the coal mining Valleys, the men who lost their lives in mining accidents, gas explosions was tremendous. One mining accident that happened at Clydach Vale, Tonypandy, Rhondda in the early 1960’s is still remembered today. There are new wooden posts with white pit numbers on them where the explosion happened. It’s all been landscaped with a semi circular old stone wall. One of the huge winding wheels and plaque stands as a constant reminder of the dangerous and slave like conditions that they worked under. The anniversary is marked with what survivors are left, coming together with, and or their relatives. Local people, Councillors and Welsh Male Voice Choir attend the Cambrian Memorial. So many died at the greed of Coal Owners. Miners were brave, strong, courageous men who had to fight for every penny. This is Britain’s Coal Owner’s shamefull past.

Linda Gourlay Always thought the Redburn shouldve been called Dixons.

Graham Somerville I am on my way up To stay and research my family in the area so I will visit there.

Tracey McDougall Few Blantyre pics up there.

Elizabeth Grieve Will never visit it. It’s sacrilege.

Jeemo Lisboa Need to pay a visit.

Sandie Knits Interesting- I never knew that – very sad.

Linda Kavanagh Has the food in here hot any better?

Blantyre Project carvery certainly on Sundays is nice. Not sure about mid week.

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