Blantyre Pit Disaster – Minute’s Silence

As we begin our working morning today, 22nd October 2020, we remember another much more tragic and gloomy morning exactly 143 years ago which claimed the lives of 215 men and boys. A tragedy which wiped out around 6% of Blantyre’s entire population in the space of a few moments.

Today is the anniversary of the Blantyre Pit Disaster and on that morning all those years ago, around 8.45am, all those miners lost their lives when an explosion ripped through former Dixons’ Collieries 2 and 3 in High Blantyre.

For many years we’ve marked the occasion each year by posting tributes on behalf of the whole community.

Background

On the morning of 22 October 1877 nothing was thought to be amiss. The officials seemed to think that the workings were in their normal state. At 04:40 four firemen inspected number 2 pit. At 05:30 the regular workmen started to descend. The firemen assured the workers all was well and ascended to sign reports and have breakfast. Having received these assurances the workforce went about their various tasks.

At around 08:45, a blast was heard on the surface and flame and steam rushed up number 3 pit for a few minutes. Smoke was seen from the upcast pit and air came from number 2. Over two hundred people were dead, many in the area immediately below Redburn Farm Inn.

We remember this morning, all those Blantyre miners who lost their lives with items of remembrance commissioned on YOUR behalf including 215 lights at the Pit Memorial which will stay illuminated for the next 48 hours. One light for every life.

For all those lives destroyed and the grief it caused to our kin.

We call upon you all to join us in a minutes silence at 8.45am this morning, a mark of remembrance and respect to all those who died.

You can read everything about the Blantyre Pit Disaster within a huge detailed section in Blantyre’s History Archives here on Blantyre Project. https://blantyreproject.com/blantyre-pit-disaster/ where many of the individual miner’s stories are also told.

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