Marking the Michael mining disaster

The Michael Colliery Memorial at East Wemyss (Pic by FPA)
The Michael Colliery Memorial at East Wemyss (Pic by FPA)

Events have been planned to mark the 50th anniversary of the Michael pit disaster.

Fife Miners’ Heritage Preservation Society is holding two events to mark the disaster, which occurred on September 9, 1967.

Today (Friday) 50 pupils from Levenmouth Academy will be walking from MacDuff Castle to East Wemyss Primary to meet a class of pupils, before walking to the Michael memorial to meet yet another class from Coaltown of Wemyss Primary where there will be a short memorial service conducted by the chaplaincy service from the academy.

Then tomorrow (Saturday), a memorial service will be taking place at the Michael memorial, conducted by Rev. Wilma Cairns of Wemyss and Buckhaven Church.

The service will take place 50 years to the day of the disaster, the worst day in Fife’s mining history, when nine men aged between the ages of 36 and 64 lost their lives when a seam of coal ignited.

Elizabeth McGuire, of the Fife Miners’ Heritage Preservation Society, said she felt that the occasion merited attention.

“The Lord-Lieutenant of Fife and the Provost of Fife are attending,” she said, “as is Nicky Wilson, NUM president.”

After Saturday’s ceremony Buckhaven and Methil Brass Band will play leading the way to Victoria Avenue where there will be two marquees with mining memorabilia, rescue equipment and much more.

Elizabeth added: “It’s going to be a big day.”