The Blantyre Explosion

Blantyre's Ain Website

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Blantyre History of Mining

The Blantyre Explosion – by Dick Gaughan

1877 Miners Memorial

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By Clyde’s bonny banks where I sadly did wander
Among the pit heaps as evening drew nigh,
I spied a young woman all dressed in deep mourning,
A-weeping and wailing with many a sigh.

I stepped up beside her and thus I addressed her:
“Pray tell me the cause of your trouble and pain.” Weeping and sighing, at last she made answer;
“Johnny Murphy, kind sir, was my true lover’s name.

“Twenty-one years of age, full of youth and good looking, To work down the mines of High Blantyre he came,
The wedding was fixed, all the guests were invited
That calm summer evening young Johnny was slain.

The explosion was heard, all the women and children With pale anxious faces they haste to the mine.
When the truth was made known, the hills rang with their mourning,
Two-hundred-and-ten young miners were slain.

Now husbands and wives and sweethearts and brothers, That Blantyre explosion they’ll never forget;
And all you young miners that hear my sad story,
Shed a tear for the victims who’re laid to their rest.

Footnote : The disaster described in this song occurred at Messrs. Dixon’s colliery, High Blantyre, on 22nd October 1877. Over two hundred miners were killed.

1877 Disaster Memorial Plaque


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Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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