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Coatbridge Mines Rescue Station - Page 1

Jimmy Simpson

Jim Simpson - Auchengeich Disaster (Hand written log of Jimmy Simpson)

From: Jim Simpson
Sent: 23 Oct 2009
Subject: Auchengeich Disaster (Hand written log of Jimmy Simpson)
Hi Fionn, LogI stumbled across your excellent website and found much of interest. My father Jimmy Simpson of the Coatbridge Mines Rescue Station was the leader of the first rescue team to arrive at Auchengeich at 08:00hrs on the 18th Sept 1959 after receiving the call for assistance from Mr. Smillie (manager) at 07:45hrs. This team comprised of Willie Bell, John Armour, Hugh Campbell, Jimmy Holmes and Eric Savage. These facts are just a small extract of the hand written log my father kept of this incident. I have noted a few names on your web that may be interested in this information, namely, Rab Armour son of the aforementioned John and Jennifer McAlpine Grand daughter of Willie McAlpine who is mentioned several times in the log. This log gives an insight into the conditions these brave men worked in and their tireless efforts to recover the bodies of those who perished. I remember both these families well in fact either Jennifers father or uncle, named Jim was my best friend during our stay at the station. If youcould supply contact details for Rab or Jennifer or conversely give them my Email I would be delighted to share with them any information I have. Equally if your web could benefit from this please let me know.
Regards Jim Simpson

From: Jim Simpson
Sent: 23 Oct 2009
Subject: Auchengeich Disaster (Hand written log of Jimmy Simpson)

Click Qualifications to Enlarge - Double Click to Reduce =>

Qualifications Conditions
Dad at the control room desk
Dad sitting at the control room desk
with Rena
As far as I am aware the incident record, below, was part of a presentation package prepared for my dad on his retirement. This package also contained his letter of application for a post as a mines rescue man, a reference from the manager of the Minto colliery Fife where he worked, a medical certificate from the Lanarkshire Coalmasters Association, and his completed application form, which also stated the qualifications and conditions of employment for Brigade men, I've attached a copy of the front page of this form. I can only assume that all of these came from station records.

The incident record did not have a "Comments" column I have added it to show comments written by my dad in the margins. I have also attached a rear view photo of my dad sitting at the control room desk with Rena the station secretary who probably put these documents together.

Jim Simpson

Jim Simpson
Hi again Fionn, the following is a copy of the record of the incidents my father attended from 1937 untill his retirement in 1970 the majority of them are already noted on your web but a few (marked*) are not. Regards
Jim Simpson

National Coal Board.J.Simpson.
Record of incidents AttendedCoatbridge Mines Rescue Station.

1937 October Skellyton* Explosion 2 Lives lost
December Earnock* Underground Fire 18 Lives saved
1938 January Bedlay Clearing Gas  
January Dumbreck Underground Fire 7 Lives lost
February Earnock Re-opening of sealed area  
June Woodhall Underground Fire  
1939 July Douglas Underground Fire  
September Mosside* Inrush of water 2 Lives lost(remains not recovered)
1940 May Gartshore Underground Fire  
1942 February Herbertshire Shaft Fire  
June Hamilton Palace Accumulation of Firedamp  
1943 May Kennox* Inrush of water 3 Lives lost
June Howgill Underground Fire  
October Bardykes Underground Fire  
1944 April Fernigair Underground Fire  
November Cornsilloch Clearing Blackdamp  
1945 Nov Grayshill* Underground Fire 2 Lives lost
1947 January Burngrange Underground Fire 14 Lives lost, bodies recovered
1948 Sept Polmaise Underground Fire  
1949 Sept Polkemmet Underground Fire  
October Herbertshire Underground Fire  
November Polmaise Underground Fire  
1950 January Grayshill Underground Fire  
February Cardowan Underground Fire  
July Blantyreferme Fire in Shaft  
August Riddochhill Underground Fire  
August Grayshill Underground Fire  
September Knockshinnoch Recovery of trapped men 13 Lives lost, 116 men rescued
November Plean Underground Fire  
1951 March Plean Re-opening of sealed area  
1952 Sept Dullatur Underground explosion  
1953 March Herbertshire Underground Fire  
July Douglas Re-opening of sealed area  
October Southfield Underground Fire  
December Douglas Underground Fire  
1954 April Whittrigg Underground explosion  
September Herbertshire Underground Fire  
1955 April Kinneil Underground Fire  
1956 April Hamilton palace Fire in fan drift  
1957 February Seatons lodge Underground Fire  
November Kames Underground explosion 17 Lives lost
1958 August Herbertshire Underground Fire  
September Argyll Underground Fire  
1959 September Auchengeich Underground Fire 47 Lives lost
1960 January Cardowan Underground Fire and sealing  
March Twechar Underground Fire  
July Cardowan* Re-opening sealed area followed by explosion 3 Lives lost, 9 Lives saved
1961 Sept Kinneil Fire in upcast shaft  
1963 April Auchengeich Underground Fire  
May W. Auchengeich Re-opening sealed area  
1964 March Dullatur Underground Fire  
Saddlers Brae* Underground explosion 1 Life lost
1967 February Valleyfield Heating from sealed area  
February Douglas Underground heating  
August Michael Underground heating 6 Lives lost(3 remains not recovered)
September Michael Underground Fire  
1970 Dec Dollar Underground heating  
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