Today, 22nd October 2016 is the 139th Anniversary of the Blantyre Pit Disaster at Dixon’s Colliery in High Blantyre . At 8.50am that morning in 1877, over 200 Blantyre men and boys were killed, sending shockwaves of grief through Blantyre. Brothers, Fathers, Sons, Uncles, Nephews. Gone in an instant.
Blantyre had a population of only around 4,000 people at the time, less than a quarter of the size today, so to lose all those people must have sadly touched the lives of everybody.
Today, Blantyre Telegraph on behalf of ALL of Blantyre residents (and indeed anybody reading this with Blantyre connections), placed a beautiful memorial wreath at the foot of the Disaster Monument at High Blantyre Cemetery.
Focus in recent years has been on the modern monument at Kirkton. However, it felt absolutely appropriate to place these flowers, adorned in the colours of Blantyre Telegraph, here at the old cemetery monument, as many of the miners are actually buried nearby.
We do this for everybody reading this page as a mark of our collective respect. It is also with thanks to John Dunsmore for recently renovating the monument writing, ahead of this day.
Two and a half lumps of coal were placed there too, symbolising over 200 lives lost. A large lump of coal for each 100 lives. This was done in remembrance of the miners…. for their toil, their hardship and efforts driven by the simple wish to survive in those hard times, to look after their families.
Blantyre’s history archives over at Blantyre Project, today explores more about that tragic day and has further details about the Dixon’s monument.
For now though, lets take a second to be grateful for the loved ones we still have, for those who have passed and remember especially those miners and their families who lost so much that tragic day. Thanks.
Photos: Blantyre Telegraph (c) 2016