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Auchengeich Disaster

Dick Gaughan
Language: Scots (Hybrid Scots-English.)


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In September 1959, 47 men lost their lives in a coal mine near the town of Auchengeich when a faulty fan purifying the air in the colliery went on fire due to an electrical fault. The men were in bogies travelling to the coal face to start work, and due to the intense smoke they were abandoned just a few hundred yards from safety. The mine was eventually flooded to put out the fire; there was only one survivor from the crews. The Mining accident was one of the worst within the UK in the 20th century, widowing 41 women and leaving 76 children without a father.

In September 2009, a memorial was erected by the Auchengeich Miners Welfare honouring the forty-seven men who lost their lives in the Auchengeich mining disaster of 18 September, 1959. In the early hours of 19 November, 2009, part of the memorial – an uninsured bronze representation of a miner, worth between £35,000 and £40,000 – was stolen…
In Auchengeich there stands a pit
The wheel above it isna turnin',
For on a grey September morn,
The fires o' Hell below are burnin'.

Though in below the coal lay rich,
It's richer noo for all that burnin'.
For forty seven brave men are deid,
Tae wives and sweethearts nane returnin'.

The seams are thick in Auchengeich,
The coal below is black and glistenin'.
But the cost o' coal is faur ower dear,
For human lives there is nae reckonin'.

For coal is black and coal is red,
And coal is rich ayont a treasure.
It's black wi' wark and red wi' blood,
Its richness noo in lives we measure.

Far better that we'd never wrought,
A thousand years o' wark and grievin'.
The coal is black like the mournin' shroud,
The women left behind their weavin'.

In Auchengeich there stands a pit,
The wheel above it isnae turnin',
For on a grey September morn,
The fires o' Hell below are burnin'

Contributed by giorgio - 2010/2/12 - 08:49



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