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Accidents and Disasters in Scotland in the 19th & 20th Centuries

Disaster Diary : A Featured Disaster

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This page will feature a different disaster each month


Melancholy Accidents .........

Accidents and disasters are described in various terms from singleton deaths to deaths involving tens, dozens, scores, or more. Often, sadly, in the early 1800s in newspapers there is no name of the victim or victims known or recorded. Such an incident is taken from 1818. To illustrate one of these melanchony accidents I draw on the following from 1818.

27 June 1818

On Sunday se'night, the following melancholy accident happened near Alloa :-

A boy went into Gartmorn dam, and, sticking in the mud, was discovered by his sister, who went in to his assistance, but she was unfortunately unable to extricate either the boy or herself. A young man, passing at the time, rescued the boy but was himself unfortunately drowned in attempting in vain to rescue the girl.


Nobel's Explosives Factory : Ardeer Ayrshire :

Fatal Accidents 1902 and 1907

The Nobel works at Ardeer, in Ayrshire was one time the largest explosives factory in the UK, set among the sand dunes of Stevenston.

A number of disasters from the period 1913-1915 feature in A HANDFUL OF DUST - the 7th Accidents in Scotland booklet, which will be published in early August 2005

Two other years were marked with fatal accidents, 1902 and 1907. In 1902, one man, WILLIAM CARSON of Bog Street, Stevenston, aged 35 was killed in the factory. He left a widow and 7 children. In 1907, three men were killed and two injured in an massive explosion. The dead were JAMES CUNNINGHUME, foreman New Street, Stevenston, who left a widow and a large family. WILLIAM McKNIGHT, Hillman, a married man with a family and a prominent member of the Stevenston UF Church Choir, and ROBERT REID, Hillman, of Union Street, Saltcoats, also a married man with a family.

The injured were JOHN FINDLAY Moor Park Road Stevenston and ROBERT CAREY, George Street, Stevenston.

The compiler of this sites welcomes information and particulars of ANY accidents in Scotland which may be suitable to feature in this section.

Scottish Disasters