Cambusnethan Area Accidents 1881 onwards

This section contains newspaper reports on selected  accidents. Please check the indexes in the Accidents Section for details of Inspector of Mines reports and other accidents covered on the site.

31 January 1883

A serious accident occurred on Wednesday evening at Clydesdale Colliery, Wishaw, belonging to Mr Arch. Russell, whereby John Beattie, 48 years of age, got his left leg broken, and was otherwise very seriously bruised, and his son William, 17 years of age, was instantaneously killed. It appears that deceased and his father were taking out stoops, when a large quantity of stone fell from the roof, completely burying the deceased and partly covering the father. The latter was, however, able to call for assistance, and four men were at once on the spot. By means of wooden props which they used as levers they succeeded in lifting the stones from off the father, and had him conveyed to his home. It took an hour and a half of heavy labour to get the son extricated at about four yards from where his father was, and when got he was quite dead. The body was much crushed and mangled. [2 February 1883]

22 May 1884

Wishaw – Killed in a Mine – Yesterday forenoon, a lad of 17 years, named Archibald M'Allister, residing in Berryhill Wishaw, was working in the Branchal Mine, recently tunnelled underneath Coltness policies, between Collieshot and Coltness Ironworks, when, at a distance of nearly two miles from the pitmouth, a ton weight of coal fell from the face of the working, completely burying him. His father and brother, who were working near at hand, came to the lad's assistance, but life was quite extinct ere he could be reached. [Scotsman 23 May 1884]

Wishaw – Fatal Pit Accident – A lad named M'Allister, employed as a miner in Collie's pit, near Cleland, was yesterday morning killed while following his usual employment. He was 17 years of age and resided at Berryhillrows, Wishaw. [Edinburgh Courant 23 May 1884]

11 September 1884

Fatal Pit Accident - Archibald M'Lean, aged 44 years, belonging to Wishaw, was killed yesterday afternoon in a pit of the Coltness Iron Company, at Overtown, by a piece of coal, weighing about two tons, falling upon him. Deceased leaves a wife and seven young children. [Aberdeen Journal 12 September 1884]

13 January 1885

Fatal Pit Accident At Wishaw – A miner named Alexander Baird, 52 years of age, residing at Overtown, was so severely injured by a fall of coal from the roof in No 9 pit Garriongill Colliery (Coltness Iron Company's) that he died yesterday from the effects of the accident. [Scotsman 15 January 1885]

14 May 1885

Fatal Coal Pit Accident At Wishaw - Yesterday morning a boy named James M'Garrigal, employed as a drawer at Green colliery (Hudspiths) was killed. He had been drawing hutches in the main coal scam, and was found by a comrade lying dead, with the horse of which he was in charge standing still beside him. No one saw the accident. [Scotsman 15 May 1885]

11 August 1885

Miner Killed Near Wishaw -Yesterday afternoon John Hamilton, 43 years of age, miner, residing at Ashgill Row, Dalserf, was accidentally killed in Messrs Brand & Co's Overtown Station Colliery. He, along with a comrade, was filling a hutch with rubbish at the face of the main coal seam, when a large stone, weighing about 4 cwt, fell upon him from the roof, causing almost instantaneous death. [Scotsman 12th August 1885]

11 January 1886

Pit Accident – On Monday, a miner named Dugal Harper, residing at Cowie's Square, met with an accident while at work in the Garibaldi Pit, belonging to Lord Belhaven's Trustees. He was taking out stoops when a large stone, weighing about a ton, fell from the roof, striking him on the head, and bruising him severely about the back and body. He was taken home and attended by Dr Forrest, Motherwell. [Hamilton Advertiser January 16 1886]

24 February 1886

Pit Accident – On Wednesday, Richard Fitzpatrick or Kean, Berryhill, employed as a pony driver by the Trustees of Lord Belhaven at their Garibaldi Pit, got a severe kick in the face, whereby the right side of his nose and forehead were cut. He pony ran away, and when he got up to it and gave it a stroke with his whip it struck him as stated. [Hamilton Advertiser February 27 1886]

15 April 1886

Pit Accident – Thomas Cowie, underground oversman, residing at Academy Place, Berryhill, got himself injured on Thursday while at work in the Glasgow Iron Company's No 8 Overjohnstone Pit. He was at the time engaged guarding a train of six loaded hutches down an incline when the clutch lost its power of control. The incline being steep, the hutches got into rapid motion. Cowie then made an endeavour to jump into one of the manholes at the side of the incline, but missing it he got crushed between the hutches and the side of the road, he same time receiving a cut about an inch long on the forehead. Dr Robert Livingstone attended. [Hamilton Advertiser April 17 1886]

10 July 1886

Accident – A young man named John Mitchell, residing at Craig Row, got himself severely injured on Saturday while at work in No 8 Pit, Over Johnston Colliery. He was in the act of snibbling a waggon when his right foot got caught, and was laid open from above the ankle to the toes. Dr Cowan, who attended, says it is a very serious wound, but would probably not turn out fatal. [Hamilton Advertiser July 17 1886]

22 July 1886

Fatal Pit Accident – A young man named Michael Young (20) residing with his father at Orchard Row, Overtown, was accidentally killed on Thursday, while at work in the Coltness Iron Coys No 9 Garriongill Pit. About a quarter of an hour before the occurrence, the oversman was at the place, and the roof was then apparently all right. When the accident happened, deceased was working at the face, while his younger brother was filling a hutch about 6ft distant from him. Hearing a fall, the brother turned round and saw the deceased covered. Aided by the father, who was also close at hand, he was extricated in a few minutes, but when got out was quite dead. Dr Wright examined the body and certifies fracture of the base of the skull was the cause of death, and adds that death must have been instantaneous. [Hamilton Advertiser July 24 1886]

13 January 1888

The Fatal Mining Accident in Lanarkshire - The report has been issued of Mr Ralph Moore of the inquiry which he conducted into the circumstances attending a fatal accident which occurred to Thomas Brown on the 13th January last in No. 3 Pit, Morningside colliery, Lanarkshire. The pit is now wholly abandoned. [Scotsman 6 August 1888]

16 January 1891

Fatal Pit Accident At Wishaw - Yesterday while James Fleming (27) miner, Mitchell's Square, Craigneuk, was working at the face of the main coal seam in Kerr & Mitchell's No 2 pit, Glencleland Colliery, a large quantity of head coal came suddenly away from above, and fell on him. When extricated he was dead.. [Evening Times 17 January 1891]

3 April 1894

Two Miners Killed At Wishaw - Yesterday, Jacob Bell and Robert Bell were killed in the Heathery Pit, Wishaw (Glasgow Iron and Steel Company). They were employed in making a new haulage road, and were taking down the rock about 60 fathoms from the pit bottom when a mass weighing about a ton fell from the roof. Both men were killed. [Scotsman 4 April 1894]

13 June 1896

Fatal Result of a Colliery Accident - David Roy, pitsinker, Craigneuk, who was injured in Shields colliery, near Wishaw, by pieces of wood falling down the shaft, has died in the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, from the effects of the accident. [Scotsman 2 July 1896]

12 April 1898

Fatal Accident Near Wishaw – Yesterday James Gardiner, bottomer, Waterloo, was instantaneously killed at Clydesdale and Muirhouse Collieries, Wishaw. He was working in the soft coal seam, and pushed forward a hutch to the shaft, expecting to put it on the cage. The hutch fell down the shaft, and he was precipitated with it to the bottom, a depth of 50 fathoms. The body was taken home in Wishaw ambulance waggon. The deceased, who was 21 years of age, resided with and was the sole support of his widowed grandmother. [Scotsman 13 April 1898]

16 April 1900

Morningside – Sudden Death – At Chapel Colliery on Monday afternoon, a young man named Alexander Wilson, roadsman, who resided at Waterloo, died with startling suddenness. He was making his way to the pit bottom at the close of the day's work accompanied by another roadsman named John Bryson, when he was seen to fall. After using every means to restore consciousness but without success, his companion summoned aid and he was conveyed to the pit head, where he was examined by Dr Russell, who pronounced life extinct. Death is believed to have been due to heart disease. The deceased was married but a few months ago, and much sympathy is felt for his young widow. [Wishaw Press, April 21 1900]

24 January 1901

Two miners killed on the Railway. - Yesterday morning between 6 and 7 o'clock, Robert Muir, 40 pithead worker, who resided at Rankin's Land, Low Main St, and James Cullen, 18, miner, who lived at 102 Stewarton St, Wishaw, lost their lives on the Wishaw and Holytown branch line of the Caledonian Railway, about half a mile from Wishaw central station. The two men were on their way to Netherjohnstone and Meadowhead Collieries respectively, the route by the railway being considered a “near cut” compared with the highway. It appears that the men had been walking on the up line, and owing to a mineral train passing them at the time, and it being dark, they did not observe the approach of an engine, which knocked them down and injured them in such a manner that death must have been instantaneous. The bodies, which were frightfully mangled, were removed in the ambulance waggon to the Wishaw Burgh Buildings. The deceased Muir was married and leaves two of a family. [Herald January 25 1901]

18 March 1901

Pitheadman Killed Near Wishaw - Yesterday afternoon, James Swann, aged about 40,a pitheadman, who resided in Glen Road, Wishaw, was accidentally killed while at work at No 10 Pit, belonging to the United Collieries Limited. He was engaged in shunting operations at the pithead, and was so severely injured by being jammed between one of the waggons and the scree that he only lived a short time thereafter. [Herald March 19 1901]

12 April 1901

Girl’s Shocking Death. - A girl residing in Store Square, Chapel, near Wishaw, and employed as a picker at the pithead of one the Allanton and Morningside coal pits, at Morningside, and instantaneous killed yesterday morning. Her clothes had been caught by one of the revolving chains, and she was drawn in among the machinery. Her body was fearfully mangled. [Evening Telegraph 13 April 1901]

23 July 1906

Accident to a Female Pitworker – Yesterday afternoon, Cissy Ralston, 19, a pithead worker, residing in Wishaw, was badly injured on the pithead at Overjohnstone Colliery. The girl was stepping over a revolving shaft when her dress was caught, and she was pulled in. She was severely crushed between the shafting and the floor, her left arm being broken in two or three places, her left side badly bruised, and her head injured. She was removed to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. [Scotsman 24 July 1906]

4 June 1909

Wishaw – Young Man Killed – David Robertson who resided with his parents at Bogside Cottages was working a coal-cutting machine in Chapel Colliery yesterday morning when a large stone crushed him so severely that he has died. [Hamilton Advertiser June 5 1909]

8 June 1909

Newmains – Fatal Colliery Accident – Archibald Gilchrist, miner, Newmains, died in Glasgow Royal Infirmary on Wednesday from injuries caused the previous evening by a fall of stone in Chapel Colliery Newmains. His two sons, who were working with him, escaped unhurt. [Hamilton Advertiser June 12 1909]

5 July 1913

Pithead Worker Killed - About one o'clock on Saturday an accident occurred at Waterloo colliery, Wishaw, whereby a pithead worker named James Berry (15), who resided at Waterloo Place, was killed. He had been endeavouring to stop four loaded waggons by using a snibble, when he fell on to the rails. All the wheels passed over him with the exception of the first and last pairs, and death was practically instantaneous. [Scotsman 7 July 1913]

22 December 1913

Wishaw Pit Fatality - While John Yuille, 62, miner, Wishaw, was at work in No. 12 Garriongill Colliery, Overtown, belonging to the Coltness iron company, in large stone fell from the roof and jammed him against a hutch, causing his left-arm to be almost severed at the shoulder. He died on the way to the Infirmary.

30 April 1914

Wishaw Miner's Fatal Mistake – James Grant, 23, miner, East Thornlie Street, Wishaw, was fatally injured while at work yesterday in Heathery Colliery, belonging to the Glasgow Iron & Steel Company. He had prepared and fired a shot, and went aside to wait the results. Hearing a report, and thinking it was from his own shot, he went forward to his working place, when an explosion occurred. Grant was seriously injured about the head and face, and died on the way to the infirmary. [Scotsman 1 May 1914]

March 1915

Wishaw - Mining Accident – While following his employment in Howiemuir Colliery Cleland, Robert Scott, son of John Scott, miner, 3 Roberts Street, sustained a simple fracture of the right forearm. He received his injury in trying to swerve a train of loaded hutches in order to avoid an impact with an approaching train of empty hutches. He was attended at home by Dr G Logan. [Hamilton Herald 6 March 1915]

7 October 1915

Wishaw Miner Killed- While at work in Bailliesmuir Colliery yesterday William Geddes (21), miner, who resided with his father in Cambusnethan Street, Wishaw, was buried by a fall from the roof, and before he could be extricated life was extinct, death being due to suffocation. [Edinburgh Evening News 7 October 1915]

1 May 1916

Wishaw – Colliery Fatality – John Thomas Park, jr, a pit boy, 14, was killed on Monday at the Wishaw Coal Company's Broomside Colliery, Motherwell. He was passing between waggons standing on a lye at the coal scree, when the trucks were put in motion and the lad was caught by the buffers. He resided with his father at 288 Borland's Land, Craigneuk. [Hamilton Herald 3 May 1916]

17 March 1919

Motherwell – Colliery Fatality – Philip Gibb, 40 years of age, residing at 181 Stewarton St, Wishaw, met his death while at work in the Pyotshaw seam of Parkneuk Colliery on Monday evening. A stone weighing three tons came away from the roof, fracturing the unfortunate man's skull and inflicting serious injuries from which he died shortly afterwards.

Wishaw – Fatal Mining Accident – Philip Kelly, a miner, residing at 181 Stewarton Street, lost his life as a result of an accident in Parkneuk Colliery, Motherwell, about 6 o'clock on Monday evening. He had been working at the coal face when there was a heavy fall of stone from the roof, which pinned him to the ground. Death was instantaneous. Kelly who was 40 years of age and a native of Ireland, is survived by a widow and four children. [NB – Two articles in same issue, correct name is Philip Kelly - Hamilton Advertiser 22 March 1919]

7 April 1920

Wishaw - Pit Accident – About quarter to six on Wednesday evening an unfortunate accident occurred in No 1 Berryhill Colliery (Glasgow Iron & Steel Company Limited). Three of the workmen were descending when the cage stuck at the Ell coal (estimated at about 27 feet from the bottom). The cable continued to unwind and finally the weight of the rope set the cage in motion and it crashed to the pit bottom. John Broadley, 220 Kirk Road sustained a fracture to the left leg and other bodily injuries. He was removed to the Royal Infirmary. David Russell, underground fireman, 63 Russell Street, received a nasty injury to his right leg in which eight stitches had to be inserted. Jas London, ostler, Overjohnstone Place Carfin Road, Craigneuk, suffered severely from shock and was also injured internally. Dr Scott attended to the injured men who were all badly shaken. [Hamilton Advertiser 10 April 1920]

13 April 1920

Overtown – A sad accident, which resulted in the death of Stephen Smith, 23, miner, 19 Wemysshill Row, Overtown, occurred about 1.30 on Tuesday afternoon in Garriongill Colliery. He had been engaged treeing at the coal face when a fall came away from the roof and he was pinned underneath the debris. A boy, John Dunsworth, 4 Orchard Row was also caught by the fall. Help was immediately at hand and the boy who was unhurt, was quickly removed. During the process of relieving Smith a second fall occurred and a stone struck him on the head inflicting injuries from which he died. [[Hamilton Advertiser 17 April 1920]

28 August 1920

Overtown – Fatal Colliery Accident – Andrew M'Dowell (56) colliery screeman who resided at Girdwood's Land, Overtown, met with an accident while at his work in a wagon under the coal scree at Herdshill Colliery about 8 o'clock last Friday morning, whereby he sustained fatal injuries. After being conveyed to his home he was attended by Dr Wright but he succumbed the following afternoon. It appears that the deceased went into an empty wagon to place a bar in the scree to prevent the fireclay from falling onto the rails while the wagons were being moved. He was in the act of placing the bar in the scree when a hutchful (about 9 cwt) of fireclay was emptied at the top of the scree, with the result that it descended and knocked him down in the bottom of the waggon. [Hamilton Advertiser 4 September 1920]

18 April 1922

Overtown – Accident At Garriongill – Martin Smith, 19, a pony driver who resides at 8 Castlehill Feus, met with an accident while at work in Garriongill Colliery on Tuesday. When in the act of unhooking a rake of hutches he was kicked by the pony and sustained severe injuries. He was attended by Dr Marshall, Wishaw, and afterwards removed to the infirmary. [Hamilton Advertiser 22 April 1922]

7 June 1922

Wishaw – Colliery Accident – A regrettable accident befell George Brown, who resides at Aldersyde, Cleland. He had been at work in Shawstonhead Colliery on Wednesday morning when he accidentally went into a place where a shot had been ignited. The explosion took place at that time and Brown was badly injured about the face. He was immediately removed to the Infirmary. [Hamilton Advertiser 10 June 1922]

12 February 1924

Wishaw - Struck By Falling Stone - Edward M'Fadyen (40), who resided in lodgings at 108 Belhaven Road, Wishaw, met with an accident on Tuesday afternoon while at work in Kingshill Colliery as the result of a stone falling from the roof and striking him on the head and body. He was removed to the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, where he died at 11.15 the same evening. [Hamilton Advertiser 16 February 1924]

8 July 1926

Lanarkshire Pit Accident – Death of a “Safety” Man - Two safety men were involved in a serious accident which occurred at Kingshill Colliery, near Newmains, Lanarkshire, about 8.30 on Thursday night. The men - George Francis, winding engineman, Park Drive, Newmains, and Samuel Kane [gap] engaged in their duties at the pit when they heard the sound of an explosion at one of the steam pipes. Both ran to the scene of the occurrence, and it is surmised that Francis was caught by a volume of boiling water and steam, which caused his death almost instantaneously. Kane was also scalded, and suffered severely from shock. After being medically attended, the latter was removed to the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow. The pit is, of course, at a standstill at present, and there was no one in it when the accident happened. The cause of the accident is unknown.

George Francis, the man who lost his life, was well known in the district. A native of Cleland, he was 33 years, and is survived by his wife. Some years ago he was prominent in football circles in Lanarkshire. Kane is a single man. [Scotsman 10 July 1926]

29 January 1927

Fatal Accident At Thornhill Colliery – An accident, resulting in the death of one man and serious injury to another, occurred in Thornhill Colliery, Wishaw on Saturday. Robert Boyd, 37, 244 Caledonian Road, Wishaw and James Lewis, 21, 10 M'Alpine Street, Wishaw, were at work in the main coal seam when there was a heavy fall of stone. Boyd was buried in the fall, but Lewis, who was only partly buried, called for help. His cries were heard by a pony driver who summoned assistance. Lewis was removed from his perilous position, and it was found that he suffered injuries to the right side of his face and to his right arm. The rescue party worked feverishly to release Boyd, who was pinned beneath a stone weighing about 10 cwt. The stone was at last removed, when it was found that he was dead. Boyd was a married man, and leaves a wife and three children. [Hamilton Advertiser 5 February 1927]

13 April 1930

Overtown Youth Killed - News has been received by Mr and Mrs Kennedy, Smithy Cottage, to the effect that their son, William, has been killed in a coal mine explosion which occurred in Carbonado, America, on Sunday. The young man was 25 years of age, and before leaving for America, a few years ago, was employed locally as a miner. [Hamilton Advertiser 19 April 1930]

6 August 1930

Miners' Drawer Killed -Yesterday John M'Enhill (19), miners' drawer, Nelson's Land, Main Street, Overtown, Wishaw, was fatally injured while at work in Garriongill Colliery, Overtown. He was engaged drawing coal from the face to the main haulage road when the accident happened. When found he was lying dead face down, with the front part of a loaded hutch resting on his back. [Scotsman 7 August 1930]

22 February 1932

FAI notice - 30 March 1932 - Samuel Smith, miner, 4 James Street, Carluke [Hamilton Advertiser 26 March 1932]

16 March 1932

Remarkable Fatality - Pit Worker Hit By Piece of Stick Thrown At Pony - An accident of a remarkable nature was stated at a public inquiry held at the County Buildings, Hamilton, on Monday, to have resulted in the death of William Smith, miner, 210 Caledonian Road, Wishaw. Giving evidence, a young man said that on February 25 he was employed in Garriongill Colliery, Overtown, as a pony driver, and was assisting another man to work a horse that had only been brought down that day. The horse was working unwillingly and ultimately refused to draw at all. Then the animal commenced to prance about from side to side, and he was at a loss to know what to do with it. The horse half-wheeled and threw him to the ground. When he fell his hand touched a small piece of wood, which he picked up and threw at the horse's neck in order to ward the animal off him. The horse wheeled right round and, he thought, the wood passed through underneath its head and struck William Smith. The latter shouted “Oh!” and, running to him, witness saw that his nose was bleeding. Fiscal - You had no intention of striking him? Witness - No; I couldn't see him at the time. The deceased's son, who was working in the same place at the time, said that the previous witness and his father were quite friendly, and he was perfectly satisfied it was a pure accident. It was stated that the unfortunate man was taken to hospital, but the wound turned septic, and he died on March 15. Sheriff Brown said that the man's death was the result of “a very unfortunate accident,” and the jury returned a formal verdict. [Hamilton Advertiser 2 April 1932]

29 September 1933

Near the finish of his shift in Branchal Colliery, Cambusnethan, yesterday morning, a married man named Joseph Duffy, who resided at Cleland, was buried by a heavy fall of stones while carrying on his work as a machineman. Rescue operations were immediately started by his workmates, but when he was extricated, fully an hour later, he was found to be dead.. After the accident work in the colliery ceased for the day. [Scotsman 30 September 1933]

16 September 1937

Wishaw Miner Fatally Injured – While at work in Overtown Colliery, Wishaw, yesterday, Michael Kilmurray, 21 M'Alpine Street, Wishaw, was struck by a fall of stone. He was conveyed to the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, where he died as a result of his injuries. [Glasgow Herald 17 September 1937]

11 January 1938

Robert Cameron, aged about 60 years, who resided at 34 Park Drive, Newmains, was fatally injured yesterday while following his occupation as a roadsman in Branchal Mine, Newmains. While walking towards the mine bottom he was struck by a rake of runaway hutches, death being almost instantaneous. [Scotsman 12 January 1938]

2 April 1941

While working yesterday in Branchal Colliery, near Cleland. Lanarkshire, James Gillies (42), who lived at Main Street, Cambusnethan , was instantly killed. He was found beneath a fall of roof. [Scotsman 3 April 1941]