Condorrat remembers the horror of Auchengeich

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Condorrat will be the scene of a solemn commemoration of the 1959 Auchengeich mining disaster tomorrow.

The annual local gathering will remember the catastrophe which claimed the lives of 47 men at the Bridgend, Moodiesburn, colliery on September 18, 1959.

A deadly blaze had spread to wood props used as roofing after a piece of machinery in the mine caught fire.

Six Condorrat families were left in mourning, and a Kilsyth man was also among those who died.

The only survivor of the shift was 50-year-old Tam Green, from Glenboig.

Families from Chryston, Lennoxtown, Stepps, Kirkintilloch, Condorrat, Mount Ellen, Muirhead, Gartcosh, Auchinloch, Waterside and Bishopbriggs were all touched in some way by the disaster.

An anguished crowd of 1,200 gathered at the pit when the terrible news was relayed.

Many of the families lived in the mining village of Bridgend close to the colliery, but after the disaster, production was halted at the pit and many of the houses were soon abandoned.

They were demolished in 1967.

All that survives of a once-thriving mining village is Auchengeich Miners Welfare and the memorial statue (pictured) to the 47 disaster victims nearby.

Those who wish to attend the Condorrat ceremony should gather at the Condorrat Library Memorial Square at 12.45pm.