The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

John Drysdale, a lad of fifteen years of age.....

 ''The jury returned an open verdict, stating that the exact cause of the accident had not been proved, and adding an expression of opinion to the effect that, as it was deceased's first day in the pit, he should not have been left so soon to do this dangerous work alone.''

                                                       [photo courtesy Gordon Cunningham] 

                                     He was pulling 10 loaded hutches and got run over by 6 

"Dunfermline Press"
2 April, 1910

On Wednesday afternoon an accident occurred in Messrs Thomas Spowart & Company's Leadside Pit, Wellwood Colliery, whereby John Drysdale, a lad of fifteen years of age, residing with his mother at 8 William Street, lost his life. It was the boy's first day in the pit. He was engaged as a chain-runner between Lochside Mine and Leadside Pit. Shortly before two o'clock he was in the act of running the final race of tubs for the day. What actually happened nobody knew. Attracted by an unusual noise, several men at the pithead proceeded to the mine. There they found Drysdale lying in an unconscious condition, six of his race of ten full hutches having apparently passed over his body. With all speed he was conveyed to the Dunfermline and West Fife Hospital. There it was found that both the arms and the legs were fractured. Death ensued within an hour after his admission to the hospital.

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"Dunfermline Press"
16 April, 1910

Under the Fatal Accidents Inquiry Act, an inquiry was held in the Sheriff Court, Dunfermline, on Thursday - before Sheriff Shennan and a Jury - into the circumstances attending the death of John Drysdale (16), a labourer, lately residing at 8 William Street, who was injured on 30 March on a gangway at Leadside Pit, Wellwood, by being run over by several loaded hutches, and who died in the Dunfermline and West Fife Hospital later on the same day.
Those giving evidence included:- William Torrance, jun., (15), Wellwood, pithead worker; William Torrance, miner, father of previous witness; William Paterson, chain runner, Victoria Terrace, Dunfermline; Thomas Kay, pitheadman, Nethertown Broad Street, Dunfermline; William Cook, winding engineman, 117 Baldridgeburn; and William Wilkinson, colliery manager.
The jury returned an open verdict, stating that the exact cause of the accident had not been proved, and adding an expression of opinion to the effect that, as it was deceased's first day in the pit, he should not have been left so soon to do this dangerous work alone.

                                              -------------------------------------------

          To get an Idea of this experience read further at

                     http://www.hoodfamily.info/coal/putting.html 

          [ link info: taken from the Evidence given to the Childrens Employment Commission 1842 ] 

          as well http://www.scottishmining.co.uk/413.html mass of information here as well

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