On Sunday Neil and I went for a walk round our local park/nature reserve as we often do on a weekend. On this occasion we met a very friendly dog and her human. While playing ball with the friendly dog we chatted with her friendly human, a very nice lady who had lived in the area most of her life. We parted and walked on and later on our walk met up with them again and chatted some more while playing ball again. We estimate she is now in her late seventies to early eighties based on the conversations.
From this lovely lady we learnt more about the local history of our area. We learnt that this area had been part of a coal mine. There had also been a brick and tile works and a hospital. We had heard of the hospital before but not the other aspects. And the lady said we could google it all if we wanted too. Well naturally when we came home I did.
From online research I have found out that there were two separate coal mines in this area. One is the Robroyston Coal Pit and according to the map links it seems that we are living right on top of that mine. It was only operational for ten years from 1880 – 1890. The second was the Robroyston Colliery and from what I can tell this was actually under what is now the nature reserve which tallies with what the lady was telling us. It was operational between 1923 and 1932. The lady told us it closed due to flooding from an underwater river. That part I haven’t been able to find further information about but many of the coal mines in the Glasgow area were closed due to flooding.
Robroyston Colliery did not escape mining accidents resulting in loss of life. The Scottish Mining website was a valuable source of information on the most severe accident in the history of that mine. Ther’s also an overview of the mining history in Lanarkshire which was once known as the “Black Country” of Scotland.
I’ve also confirmed the Robroyston hospital location and a few further details about it. There’s a bit of information on Wikipedia about it under the entry for Robroyston which includes mention of the colliery and brickworks.
The lady also mentioned three local burns which have since been swallowed up into drainage systems. I’ve yet to do the research on those or the possible underground river but I am intrigued by the idea of so much hidden water in the area.
The nature reserve was essentially built on top of the remains of the Robroyston colliery and brickworks. Apparently local school kids helped to plant all the trees in the park which would explain why there are not any really old trees in the park and why the older ones all seem a similar age.
All this from taking the time to play with a friendly dog and chat to her owner.