Carnwath 3 July 1870

A boiler explosion occurred at Climpy Pit, Wilsontown Colliery, on Sunday, the 3rd July, which resulted in loss of life to two children who happened to be at the pit at the time ; but as they were not employed at the colliery their names do not appear on the list. The boiler was 20 feet long, 4 feet diameter, and built of f-inch plates. Pressure 201bs. on the square inch. It had only been three years in use, but the water was so bad that some of the plates along the water line were reduced by corrosion to the thickness of paper. There was nothing to indicate what had been the pressure of steam when the boiler exploded. The engine-man's son, a boy of twelve years of age, was, unknown to the owners, in charge of the engine at the time. [Report by Ralph Moore, Inspector of Mines, 1870]

Carnwath – Serious Boiler Explosion – On Sunday afternoon, an accident occurred at No. 1 Pit, Climpy, Carnwath, whereby two persons lost their lives, and other three were severely injured. It appears that the engineman of the pit, named Walter Annan, had gone to church, and before he returned his eldest son went to the engine-house to pump some water. His mother and other three of the family also took a walk to the pit and when there the boiler exploded with tremendous force, killed one instantaneously, and severely injuring the others. Another died the same evening from the injuries received. So terrific was the explosion that it was heard nearly two miles distant, The boiler was thrown a distance of 160 yards from its former position. The pit is leased by Messrs Gray & Paul. The cause of the occurrence has not been ascertained, but it is understood the boiler is comparatively new, having been erected within 3 years. [Hamilton Advertiser 9 July 1870]

The Dead

  • Archibald Annan age 10
  • Agnes Annan age 2

The childrens father was Walter Annan, the engineman.  Another child, John Annan died of illness, age 6 weeks,  15 days after this tragedy.