FP100: No. 18

High Valleyfield pit disaster
High Valleyfield pit disaster

High Valleyfield disaster

On October 28, 1939, the High Valleyfield pit disaster claimed the lives of 35 men.

The disaster happened at 4.00 a.m. when gas caught light and set fire to coal dust. Most of the men who died came from the villages of Low and High Valleyfield.

The Valleyfield Colliery, was developed on the Valleyfield Estate in 1908 by the East Fife Coal Company.

Following the mining disaster, widely claimed to be the worst in the West of Fife, the colliery stayed open until 1978.

The memorial at the entrance to the pit, depicts a woman holding a child representing the wives of miners who were lost waiting at the pit head for news of their loved ones.

The Inscription reads:-

“Erected in memory of all who lost their lives as a result of an ignition of fire damp and coal dust in the diamond section of Valleyfield pit on October 28th 1939 at about 4am.

“Tearfully they came to Valleyfield pithead on that Autumn day in painful grief to claim the dead with deep respect we pray.

“Also to those the memory of all those who died as a result of working in the mine 1908 - 1978”.