Craighead Pit

Blantyre's Ain Website
Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Blantyre History of Mining

Craighead Pit

 Craighead Miners William Baird’s Craighead Pit was opened in 1876, the Priory Pit (Bothwell Castle Nos. 3 & 4) also being owned by the Company and the rows (Baird’s Rows) were built about the same time, there now being eight pits in all, with a daily output of several thousand tons.

Craighead Miners with their Davy Lamps.

My Dad would have worked with these miners. He used to tell the story about how they used the handles of pails to shape their bunnets, but I think he was just winding us up.

Baird’s Rows consisted of three rows of tied Miners cottages belonging to Craighead Colliery. Purdie Builders of Coatbridge commenced construction of the houses in April 1878, in the area at present occupied by Park’s Bus Company, between Forrest Street, Glasgow Road and the East Kilbride Expressway. In this photo, the Celtic Park Stand can be seen at the bottom.  Baird's Raws

Water was supplied to the houses from Craighead Pit. The houses were numbered from 1 to 180, but there were no street names. I was born in number 66 which was the seventh house from the left in the middle row. The Washhouses were shared and in the 50’s, outside W.C.’s were built, shared by two households.

The weans o' Baird's Raws 1929-30

The weans o’ Baird’s Raws 1929-30

Just think how innocent they were back then. They wouldn’t even know why they had to stand still or kneel and probably didn’t know what a photograph was. And yet to come was the second World War and all the adversity that brought. I would just love to be able to trace their individual lives, now that would be a story worth telling.

Your Social Comments:

Maureen McGilligan Downie: That’s my Dad front row in the middle behind the ball James McGilligan

Blantyre’s Ain: Wow Maureen, is he still with us?

Maureen McGilligan Downie: No my Dad died 37 years come the 18th of December. (1977)

Jim McDougall: What a brilliant photo Bill. It brings back memories of growing up in Dixon’s Raws in the 40s.

Wendy Dalgleish: That’s when kids played in the dirt lol.

Brendan O’neill: My mum was a Baird’s raws wean.

Ann Stevens: My mum was a Baird’s Raws lassie. Her name was McKinnon and lived in bottom raw.

Heather Mcwilliam: What a great picture and what a range of facial expression.

Helen Dunsmuir: Great picture.

If you have any Photos… Send them to Bill

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Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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