Unsolved Murders

Thomas Gardiner

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Date: 6 Dec 1951

Place: Michael Colleiry, Methil

Thomas Gardiner died following an incident involving a coal tub at Michael Colliery on 6 December 1951.

An open verdict was returned.

Thomas Gardiner was a colliery oncost worker at Michael Colliery and had lived in Maple Gardens in Methil. He had worked in the 4ft West Section of No. 3 Pit at Michael Colliery.

It was heard that Thomas Gardiner and three other colliers had boarded three tubs that were returning down the haulage way after bringing some machinery to the top. Thomas Gardiner had got in the middle tub with another collier whilst the other two colliers had got in the front and rear tubs.

It was said that the line was a fairly steep incline of at least 45 degrees and that the tubs were controlled by a haulage rope. However, one of the colliers that survived the incident said that the when the tubs made off they began to gather speed and said that he soon realised that something had gone wrong with the haulage mechanism and so he jumped off the moving tubs.

He said, 'When the tubs started moving at 60 miles per hour, I knew they were no longer on the end of a rope'.

A colliery motorman who lived in Factory Road in Buckhaven said that he was in charge of the haulage machinery and said that the first indication that he had that something was wrong was when he heard a rattle and saw that the wire rope was not moving.

Following the incident Thomas Gardiner was taken to Wemyss Memorial Hospital where he died on 6 December 1951.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Fife Free Press, & Kirkcaldy Guardian - Saturday 16 February 1952

see Fife Free Press, & Kirkcaldy Guardian - Saturday 02 February 1952