1877 Dixon Row Deaths from Pit Explosion

1877 Red dots showing deaths at Dixons Rows of the miners in the pit explosion

1877 Red dots showing deaths at Dixons Rows of the miners in the pit explosion

Many people will be familiar with the story of Blantyre Explosion in 1877 in Dixons Pit 2 and 3 where over 200 men and boys died. Blantyre was not particularly large at the time, and this would have made this tragedy all the more apparent in our town.

So many families were affected and although homes at Auchenraith, Burnbank, Hunthill, Priestfield and Stonefield were hit hard, no other place in Blantyre was affected more than the Colliery houses at Dixon’s Rows. Located near the foot of Stonefield Road, Streets such as Calder Street, Hall Street, Dixon Street , Govan Street and Miller Street had the full force of this tragedy impacted on their close knit community.

To show the extent of this, I have marked up this map showing with a red dot *, every death in the pit that occurred that day in October 1877. It practically wiped out this little community and the grief must have been unbearable. Seeing these red dots on this map for this first time, made me realise the sheer scale of these deaths and for each of those homes with a dot to lose a loved one (sometimes more than one person!), was truly horrific. Looking through the ages of the deceased, they were mostly young, in their teenage years, twenties or thirties. More uncommonly older that that. One boy, John Liddell at Hall Street was only 12.

We should remember these people and their grief. Had the explosion not happened, Blantyre’s population would undoubtably been a lot larger today.

* Note there are around half a dozen dots where i was unsure of the location, but using my best estimate on the surrounding addresses, put the dot not the map to represent the numbers and proximity.

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said,

Etta Morrison I was born in 1 Dixon street..find this wee map interesting..thanks Paul for the dedication into Blantyre history
Mary Smith Can’t even begin to imagine the how these families felt
Rosemarie Lyle My grandfather Edward McCartney was born in Dixon Rows at the turn of the last century. Emigrated to Canada then slipped over the border to work in the mines of western Pennsylvania. He then sent for Annie Mulvey an Uddingston girl he met at a dance. I brought my mother to see Blantyre and Uddingston a few years back and we stopped at the miners society. They were so sweet to my mother and sent her some pins and other little mementos of the Blantyre mines.
Margaret Lafferty My gg grandfather James Lafferty lived in Hall Street with my ggrandfather Charles. James lost his life in the mine explotion of 1879 in Blantyre, charles survived the explotion, only to be killed in another mining accident 1898 in Carfin.

Leave a Reply