Stevenston - On This Day In History

Published stories from each town's past.
Penny Tray
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

Post by Penny Tray »

GLASGOW HERALD
13 MARCH 1970

EXPLOSIVES WORKER KILLED IN BLAST

Thomas Millar, aged 29, an explosives worker, was killed yesterday in an explosion in a process building at the I.C.I. explosive works at Ardeer. No one else was hurt.

Mr Millar lived with his parents at 31 McKillop Place, Saltcoats.
Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.
glenshena
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

Post by glenshena »

Penny Tray wrote: Tue Mar 12, 2024 6:38 pm Glenshena,

The honest answer to that question is, I don't know. I only post what I stumble across when I read 'old' newspapers, and there are many publications still unread. Tomorrow, for example, I have a fatality to report from 13 March 1970, and another one the following day, from 14 March 1970 - two fatal explosions two days in a row. There is also the issue of what news might have been embargoed during both World Wars. I'm not taking account either of posts other members may have made. If it helps, in addition to the posts for tomorrow and the following day, I'm aware of explosions on the following dates: -

11.03.1913
21.02.1914
05.04.1915
31.07.1915
02.08.1915
09.10.1925
19.01.1935
05.05.1936
17.06.1937
20.08.1937
28.01.1938
11.11.1939
13.02.1948
05.04.1950
12.03.1954
19.10.1954
30.08.1956
21.05.1965
24.05.1973
15.02.1974

It was never the sort of place I wanted to work!!!!!
That's unbelievable. All those explosions in 60 years. Why was It allowed? Unfortunately my father was involved in an explosion there and died a young man. Hopefully there will never be another factory like It in Scotland.
Penny Tray
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

Post by Penny Tray »

Glenshena,

What I've been able to show will just be the tip of an iceberg - the 'headliners,' which, as I've said, isn't by any means likely to be a complete list. How many people, usually young women, lost fingers or worse in the detonator department? How many workers suffered industrial illnesses directly linked to the jobs they did - breathing difficulties from the inhalation of fumes, acid burns, etc., etc? I was brought up in a street, for example, where a man allegedly suffered extreme headaches each time he was on holiday because he had become dependent on (or addicted to) a solvent he had to inhale every working day, and the 'withdrawal' effect of which was difficult for him to cope with.

I was inside the perimeter of the 'factory' only once, and I was on edge the whole time. I didn't like it at all. I kept waiting for a bang, which fortunately never came, but my vivid recollection remains a pipe which extended horizontally from a brick building and emitted an orange cloud through which people routinely walked. I thought it was a crazy place. Hats off to the folk who spent their working lives there. As I said earlier, it was not for me!
Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.
exile
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

Post by exile »

Penny Tray wrote: Wed Mar 13, 2024 3:42 pm I was brought up in a street, for example, where a man allegedly suffered extreme headaches each time he was on holiday because he had become dependent on (or addicted to) a solvent he had to inhale every working day, and the 'withdrawal' effect of which was difficult for him to cope with.
There was a condition caused by NitroGlycerine known colloquially as "NG Heid", and men were sometimes sent home first day back after Glasgow Fair fortnight as they had to get used to it all over again.
Penny Tray
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

Post by Penny Tray »

Exile,

Thanks for that. That's clearly what my parents and other adults were talking about when I was a boy. Talking about the first day back after the Glasgow Fair reminded me too, that, with or without foundation, there was some anxiety about among blackpowder workers in case machinery that had lain idle for a fortnight might 'spark' until fully up and running again. I keep repeating myself, but - what a place to work!
Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.
wellparkno9
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

Post by wellparkno9 »

was Jimmy Kirkland no killed along with Miller,I thought his first name was Jimmy too.I think it happened in building JP6.
Penny Tray
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

Post by Penny Tray »

Wellpark,

I've picked up a reference to a James MILLER and James KIRKLAND being killed in and explosion in February 1972. Let me follow it up, and I'll post later.
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Penny Tray
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

Post by Penny Tray »

EVENING TIMES
19 FEBRUARY 1972

POLICE SEARCH FOR ICI BLAST VICTIMS

Police renewed their search at dawn today for two men missing, presumed dead, after a gunpowder explosion rocked the huge ICI explosives factory at Ardeer, Ayrshire.

The scene outside the gates of the plant resembled a pit disaster as worried relatives of night shift workers gathered for news. Police had to part the crowds to make a passageway for ambulances and fire engines.

After a roll call of hundreds of men the victims were named a James Miller, (22), of Raise Street, Saltcoats, and James Kirkland, (27), of Carrick Avenue, Saltcoats.

After the explosion 20 firemen and dozens of police searched for victims in the five miles of sand dunes among which the processing houses and storage magazines are scattered.
Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.
Penny Tray
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

Post by Penny Tray »

GLASGOW HERALD
14 MARCH 1970

SECOND DEATH AT ARDEER

For the second time in 24 hours a man was killed in an explosion yesterday at I.C.I. explosive works at Ardeer. Another man was seriously injured in the blast in a process building of the detonator section of the plant.

The dead man was Mr William Millar, aged 60, a process worker, 19 Mossgiel Road, Saltcoats.

Mr John Denver, a 27-year-old process worker, of 22 Whitlees Crescent, Ardrossan, was injured.

Mr Denver’s condition was reported last night to be slightly improved. He is in Kilmarnock Infirmary.

On Thursday, Mr Thomas Millar, aged 29, of Saltcoats, died in an explosion at the plant. He is not related to yesterday’s victim.

The two explosions, an I.C.I. official said, were in no way connected. Each will be subject of a detailed technical investigation by experts from the company.
Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.
glenshena
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

Post by glenshena »

Thanks PT. Your knowledge of this tragedy Is admirable. Obviously the poor souls who suffered in that place, including my father, had no other choice of employment at that time. Or were the employees paid a lot extra because they were doing a dangerous job? Were they aware of the dangers?After so many accidents and deaths, why was It allowed to carry on functioning right up to the 70s long after the second world war had ended.
Penny Tray
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

Post by Penny Tray »

GLASGOW HERALD
15 MARCH 1861

AYRSHIRE HARRIERS

The Ayrshire Harriers will meet, weather permitting, on Wednesday the 27th, at Seabank, by Stevenston, at half-past eleven.
Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.
Penny Tray
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

Post by Penny Tray »

GLASGOW HERALD
16 MARCH 1914

FOOTBALL

Result: - Stevenston United, 3; Hurlford, 0 – Ayrshire Cup.
Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.
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