Colliery Office Explosion, 1898

On the last Saturday in November 1898, a rather serious accident occurred at Dixon’s Pit 3 in High Blantyre. However, before you think this like so many other accidents happened deep in the mine, this particular accident was unusual in its nature, as it happened in the Colliery offices!

The offices of Messrs Dixons Ltd , Coalmasters were once situated where Priestfield Cemetery is today and were quite unassuming brick buildings.

On the afternoon of Saturday 26th November 1898, Mr Thomas the manager and Mr Grahame oversman, had been examining some old cartridges. After being opened, the redundant parts were thrown into the fireplace on to the open fire, but unfortunately one still had a detonator still in it!

It exploded, damaging the room and more significantly the blast hit Mr Grahame’s face, inflicting a serious wound on his face and knocking out his left eye! The other eye also being injured. Medical attention was sought right away with Dr Grant responding early on the scene.

After dressing the injuries , he ordered that Mr Grahame should be taken at once to the Eye Infirmary where he was conveyed in a (horse drawn) cab. A week later, Mr Grahame was reported as progressing favourably, but it is unknown from any reports I can find, what permanent damage was done to his remaining eye. Photo illustration by AI.

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