Lanarkshire Miscellaneous Newspaper Reports

9 April 1875

Birth of Triplets - On Friday, the wife of a collier named Roger, living at Bellerophon Colliery Row, near Baillieston, was safely delivered of two girls and one boy, by Dr Willis of Clifton House, Baillieston. Mother and children are progressing favourably. [Glasgow Herald 13 April 1875]

SCOTTISH OIL WORKS CLOSED DOWN - MINING VILLAGE WIPED OUT - ALL OVER A WAGES DISPUTE - The dispute between the Caledonian Mineral Oil Company and their shale miners at Tarbrax has led to the closing down of all the mines, and also the crude oil works situated at Tarbrax. The Company put up a notice that a reduction of 1s per day would take place on the wages of their shale miners, and gave the miners up to yesterday to consider it. Mr Wilson, miners' agent, and the men suggested to the manager that a Neutral Committee should examine the pay-sheet and ascertain if such a sweeping reduction would leave the men a living wage. The manager declined, and this led to the men taking steps to ascertain the average wage being made, and it was stated to be 6s per day. The Company stood by their notice of 1s per day reduction. The miners were all idle yesterday, and a mass meeting was held to consider the position. A motion was made to accept no reduction seeing that the Company would give no satisfactory reason for it. An amendment was also made that 6d be offered, but the motion was carried by a majority equal to 2 to 1. The miners are lifting their tools to-day. Two mines and a pit are being worked, employing fully 200 miners, and these will be stopped. The retorts and crude oil works, employing about other 200 men, will also be thrown idle, making a total of between 400 and 500 men. This will practically make the village of Tarbrax cease to exist, and will tell severely on Church and school. The refinery at Lanark is expected to be continued by purchasing crude oil. [Evening Telegraph 28 February 1902]

Miners’ Welfare In Motherwell – Recreation Field scheme - The Motherwell Miners' Welfare Committee have for some time past been considering the question of a welfare scheme, and after full consideration of the needs of the mining communities, it has been decided to purchase the field at Ladywell Road, at the Clyde Valley Sub-Station, between the New Logans and Ladywell Road, and lay it out a as an up-to-date recreation field, with football pitch, two bowling greens, tennis court, quoiting pitch, etc. Any buildings erected will only take the form of pavilions, the view of the committee being that there is a greater demand and need for outdoor recreation than indoor, such as an institute would provide.

It is expected that the scheme will be in full operation by next summer, and a start is intended to be made soon. When complete it will be a magnificent playing field for that part of the town, and will be a notable addition to Motherwell's open spaces.

Similar Scheme for Wishaw - In the course of a conversation with a member of the local Miners' Welfare Committee a representative of the Motherwell "Times" was informed that eleven collieries in Motherwell and Wishaw were represented in the scheme, and it was proposed to have a recreation field in Motherwell and one also in Wishaw. The negotiations with the agent of the Duke of Hamilton for the purchase of the field near Low Motherwell farm are practically completed, and negotiations are presently going on for acquiring a field at Wishaw from Lord Belhaven. The grant from the Welfare Board is expected to be in the region of £12,000 and on the basis of the output of the collieries represented, £7000 would probably go to the Motherwell field, and £5000 to Wishaw. Concrete plans have been drawn up for submission to the Welfare Board. The architects for the scheme pre Messrs J. H. Allan and Sons, Glasgow. The field secured in Motherwell extends to ten acres. It is easy of access from Hamilton Road, Ladywell and the Logans, and should serve the purpose admirably. [Motherwell Times 23 May 1924]

CRISIS IN SCOTTISH SHALE OIL TRADE. PARTIAL STOPPAGE INTIMATED. Scottish Oils, Limited, intimated on Saturday to their shale miners and oil workers in the Broxburn area, also at Dalmeny, Tarbrax, and Woolfords mines and works, that their employment will terminate on 15th September, and that employment from that date will be from day to day. The miners and oil workers in other parts of the shale field are asked to accept reductions of 10 per cent, and 1s per day respectively. The men's officials are advising a refusal the reduction, and ballot vote is to be taken. The shutting down determined by the Company, which they say is due to adverse conditions of trade, will affect about 1800 workers. [Dundee Courier 31 August 1925]

Lanark, Saturday Night. As a result of the closing down of the shale mines and retorts, many people in Tarbrax, one of the remote villages in the Upper Ward of Lanarkshire, are faced with starvation. Painful stories regarding the destitute condition of these people reached Lanark to-night. Workers to the number of nearly 400 marched in procession to Carnwath, nearly ten miles distant, for the purpose of obtaining poor relief. It understood that relief under the emergency clause of the Poor Law Act, which enables payment to be made to people faced with absolute starvation, has been given to a number of people in Tarbrax on the recommendation the resident medical officer.

Verge of Starvation – It is stated, however, that there are still many people in the village on the verge of starvation. One family, comprising a man, his wife, and six children, were absolutely without food, and had to borrow a bowl of meal to appease their hunger. Another family of the same size had no means to procure food until they received 10s from Carnwath Parish Council to purchase their next meal. There are about 1000 persons in Tarbrax dependent entirely on the shale mining industry, and owing to the entire absence of any other work, and the remote position of the village, their position is most precarious A meeting Carnwath Parish Council has been called for Monday to consider the situation.

HOPE OF STRIKE SETTLEMENT. - Another Ballot on Thursday. - Bathgate, Saturday Night. - The adjourned meeting of the members of the Executive Council of the National Union of Shale Miners and Oilworkers was held at Bathgate to-night. The meeting lasted from five till eight o'clock. At the close a "Sunday Post" representative was informed that the terms of reference negotiated between representatives of the British Trades Union Congress and the Scottish Trades Union Congress with the Scottish Oils, Limited, will be explained in the early part of next week. A ballot vote for or against acceptance will be taken on Thursday. The new terms of reference briefly put were (1) That court of injuiry be set up, two representatives of the company and two representatives of the men to be present with a neutral chairman appointed by the Ministry of Labour. (2) That preparatory work be resumed at seventy per cent, of the works and mines and that maintenance men be employed in the remaining works and mines pending the finding- the Committee of Inquiry. (3) The men to be employed are to receive the old rates wages, and that there be no victimisation. [Sunday Post 6 December 1925]