First memorial wall ceremony in Condorrat

Guests at the memorial ceremony in Condorrat
Guests at the memorial ceremony in Condorrat

A CEREMONY to mark the passing of Condorrat men in Scotland’s worst ever mining disaster took place for the first time at the wall that has been erected in their memory.

A total of six men from the village perished on the dark day of September 18, 1949 – but they will never be forgotten in Condorrat.

To that end, their names are lovingly etched on the Condorrat Memorial Wall.

Funded entirely by the community itself and crafted by local labourers, there are two other sections on the wall honouring Condorrat’s working class heroes.

They are, of course, the war dead and the radical weavers who led a doomed workers’ uprising in 1840. The hardworking Condorrat Tenants and Residents Association spearheaded the move

Although mining has largely died out in Britain, a tragic event in Wales brought home the fact that the coal has often been dearly bought – after four men perished underground in the Swansea Valley’s Gleison colliery, just two days before the ceremony too.

Fittingly, they too were remembered at the event.

Kate McLean, of the Condorrat Tenants and Residents Association, said: “To have the ceremony at the memorial wall for the first time obviously meant a lot to the families.

“We also thought it was important to remember the families of the men in Wales who had died too. It just shows you that the dangers are still there.

Many of the attendees went to a larger memorial service at Auchengeich which followed the Condorrat event.

Meanwhile it emerges that the team behind the memorial wall are involved in another project – in Kilsyth.

Plans are afoot to honour the volunteer soldiers from the town who fought against General Franco – by means of a statue. More on this project will appear in a future edition of the News and Chronicle.