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Memorials - Photographs - Page 39

Lady Blanch Colliery

Currently in Dysart Town Hall

Permanent site proposed at Howard Place, Rectory Lane, Dysart

Source / Copyright Carol McNeill Chairperson of the Dysart Trust.
The plaque bears the names of the other bodies involved along with the Dysart Trust in producing the plaque.

Wheel

Frances Colliery 'A' Frame

Originally spelt Francis - After Francis Robert St. Clair, 4th Earl of Rosslyn, 1833 - 1890

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The Frances, sunk in 1873, was locally known as 'The Dubbie', because it stood above the Dubbie Braes, which were later ruined by the spoil from the pit. Development work was hampered by frequent encounters with water in the rock strata, and production did not commence until 1905.

The Frances (originally spelt Francis - after Francis Robert St. Clair, 4th Earl of Rosslyn, 1833 - 1890), became part of the Fife Coal Company's operations in 1923, and much needed improvements were carried out underground. Nationalisation in 1947 under the National Coal Board saw further enlargement and mechanization to access the rich seams under the Firth of Forth. At its peak in 1959, the Frances employed 1,402 workers.

In 1980, the Frances was linked underground with Kirkcaldy's Seafield Colliery and the future looked secure for the joint complex, as there were vast untapped reserves of coal still to be won. However, industrial unrest was common in all industries at this time, none more so than mining, where pits all over Britain were being closed as being uneconomic. This finally boiled over in 1984, when, in an effort to save pits and jobs, the miners embarked on a bitter strike that was to last a year and end in defeat. During the strike, the only working face of the Colliery (D51) took fire through spontaneous combustion and had to be sealed off. Production never resumed and the Frances ceased to be a working pit when Seafield Colliery was closed in 1987. At the time of its closure, the Frances was reported to be Scotland's oldest deep mine.

All that remains now of Dysart's long association with coal mining is the winding headgear over the shaft. It now stands as a reminder of a bygone way of life, of an industry which shaped the very character of this community. More importantly, it stands as a monument to the people who worked over the centuries in that most dangerous and dark environment, the men and women who worked the coal under Dysart.

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Frances Colliery Memorial
Dedicated to the Men And Women Who Wrocht at Frances Colliery from 1873

Remember Those Who Lost Their Lives

William Cunningham 1884
John Penman 1907
Agnes Coventry 1911
James Somerville 1913
Robert Lawrie 1919
William Smith 1933
David Wright 1939
John Lawson 1942
William Gourlay 1953
John Logan 1956
Duncan Shields 1960
Andrew Penman 1964
James McNeish 1968
James Gourlay 1970
George Murphy 1970
David Fernie 1976
Alan Liston 1978
Alexander Watson 1978
Charles Angel 1980
John Kelly 1899
Alexander Bell 1908
David Duncan 1913
Alexander Suttie 1913
Frederick Pitt 1922
Hugh Archibald 1934
Clayton McLellan 1940
James Forsyth 1943
Henry Cunningham 1953
Andrew Brown 1959
James Meek 1962
Robert Louden 1966
Thomas Gillies 1969
George Lessells 1970
James Dunn 1974
John Aitken 1978
James Taylor 1978
Andrew Weddell 1978

More Information At The Scottish Mining Website

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