Tag Archives: documentary

VALE OF TEARS The Story Of The Cadder Pit Disaster Glasgow 1913

VALE OF TEARS The Story Of The Cadder Pit Disaster Glasgow 1913


“Vale Of Tears” is a documentary drama about events of the Cadder Pit Disaster. On August 3rd 1913. 22 men lost their lives due to “white damp” and fire. The Cadder pits were situated near the village of Lambhill, a few miles north of the city Of Glasgow, Scotland. It was the worst mining disaster of the city  This documentary gives good account of the events and gives insight into the hazards and lack of safety measures which affected the miners in their daily lives. The events of the aftermath are also covered with an account of the funeral service and the fate of many of the widows after the disaster.

Based on accounts from both official and local stories the story is told by a narrator and “The Miner”

This production “Vale of Tears” is suitable for students of Glasgow History from secondary school level to adult..

Cadder Pit 15 Location here on Google Maps




History and Heritage Media Production

produced by

written and directed

[aka Twenty-First Century Troy, aka C21 Troy]



video effects, graphics, colour treatment, video editing by C21 Troy

make-up, wardrobe – Brendan O’Donnell

Live action
camera- Paul Troy
sound recording – David Roy

sound recording, dubbing and mixing – C21 Troy

Original musical recording used with permission.

“Funeral March” by Frédéric Chopin, performed by GLEN HOBAN

[a.k.a. Kamibambiraptor]


“7 Paths” theme and derived incidental music
composed and performed by C21 TROY

Sound effects The Free Sound Organisation


Lambhill Residents
Walter Benton & Co. Postcard Collection
Possil Library
Mitchell Library Glasgow
Kirkintilloch Library
National Mining Museum Scotland
Open Museum Glasgow

all original photographs used in this video are in the
public domain and copyright remains with respective owners.

Summerlee Industrial Heritage Museum
Hunter Environmental Village
Lambhill Stables

filmed in
Glasgow and Coatbridge

© Paul Troy/ Internet And Digital





Web Site


Victims of Cadder Pit Mining Disaster remembered in film

Victims of Cadder Pit mining disaster remembered in film

It was known as Pit 15, a coal mine 175 fathoms deep under the earth in a valley a few miles outside Glasgow.

More than 300 men worked in the depths, hammering into the core with coal dust as black as pitch mixing with their sweat as the hours went by.

In the years to come, mines like this would all have a little golden bird singing down among the shadows.

A lifeline to the miners, the canaries would be their only protection against the invisible killer carbon monoxide.

If the birds stopped singing, if silence fell, it could mean the final breath for the men they were brought down to protect.

On August 3, 1913, it is not known if there were birds to sing for the men down Cadder Mine.


At 8pm that evening, three hours before their shift was to end, pit fireman William Brown went down to check on the 26 men working back shift that night.

At the bottom of the shaft he found a mass of hot flames – hurrying back up to the service he rushed at once to call the other firemen.

The brigade were miles away in Cambuslang. When they arrived, their hoses weren’t long enough to reach down to quell the fire.

John Marshall, a pit employee, switched off the electric current from the cables. The lights underground went out.

Down in the depths of the mine, the air thick with toxic gas, 22 men died together in the darkness.

“These guys suffered down there, down in the mines. They were suffocating, they couldn’t breathe,” said Paul Troy.

“They had risked their lives without anyone able to save them.”

Troy, a film director and producer, is due to release a history documentary on the Cadder Pit disaster called ‘Vale of Tears’ based on his research of the local community affected by the tragedy.

With no budget and one narrator – actor Brendan O’Donnell – the project has been a labour of love for Troy.

“The whole point was to get people involved in their history and take pride in where they come from,” he said.

“In particular there was a hero of this tragedy, a man whose actions I wanted to highlight.

“His name was Robert Dunbar and he was an experienced miner – he managed to save three other men who were with him down the mine.”

Newspaper reports from the time record that Dunbar, though exhausted himself, dragged another miner to safety.

In many cases the rescuers were overwhelmed by the poisonous atmosphere and had to be dragged back.

Rescuers going back down to the mines, then took canaries with them to help detect gas.

Although there are no written reports of the miners having the birds with them when the fire broke out, thanks to a Rescue and Aid Order issued the previous year, rescuers had access to canaries to take down with them.

Without them, they said, they would not have known when to turn back.

The incident struck a deep chord within the city of Glasgow, with some 50,000 people turning out to show their respect for the men who lost their lives during the funeral procession.

Their coffins were carried on the shoulders of the miners who had worked alongside them.

And even while the funerals were taking place, the fire in the pit still blazed. It would take days for it to finally burn out.

Among the dead were three young brothers. Among the families left behind, there were 13 widows and 44 fatherless children.

Following the Cadder Pit disaster, rescue centres were set up at Kilmarnock in 1913, Edinburgh in 1915 and Coatbridge in 1915.

The latter provided rescue cover and training opportunities for Lanarkshire including Cadder. Men travelling 50 miles to the rescue became a thing of the past.

“There are still people in the community who have relatives or the same names of those who knew the men who went down there,” said Troy.

“I wanted to create a film that showed what the conditions were like for miners at that time.

“There was a significant lack of air vents or training. These men went down risking their lives with no proper health and safety or rescue equipment.

“It’s important that they are not forgotten, and that we continue to remember and learn about what took place that day.”

Troy’s production ‘Vale of Tears’ is due to be released shortly on the Internet & Digital Youtube channel.

View the original article by Laura Piper on the STV web site here.

Film will tell story of mining disaster – The Herald 4 April 2015

Film will tell story of mining disaster
– The Herald 4 April 2015

A DOCUMENTARY  is to be made for internet about a mining disaster that killed 22 men more than a century ago.

The Cadder Pit Disaster, near Bishopbriggs, in what is now East Dunbartonshire, was caused by an underground fire on August 03, 1913. Fifteen men were found huddled together as they were overcome by toxic gas or flames as they tried to escape to the surface.

Paul Troy’s production, for YouTube, Vale OF Tears, highlights the different conditions miners at the Carron Company worked under, how one man Robert Dunbar, tried to save three others.

The film-maker said: “He was an experienced miner. He managed to save three other men who were with him.”

Many of those who tried to help were forced back by the gas. 50,000 people attended the funerals.

Mr Troy said:” I wanted to create a film that showed what the conditions were like for miners at that time.”

Vale OF Tears – The Story Of The Cadder Pit Disaster Glasgow 1913
Available on FreeView here

Link to Pressreader web site

“Vale Of Tears” – The Story Of The Cadder Pit Disaster [Glasgow] 1913 – TRAILER

The Cadder Pit Disaster – “Vale Of Tears” new documentary about events of that fateful day on August 3rd 1913 where twenty-two men lost their lives, working for the Carron Iron Company owned colliery, Pit Number 15 Situated between Lambhill and Bishopbriggs in the north outskirts of the city of Glasgow.

Written and directed by Paul Troy [A.K.A.  “C21 TROY]
with Brendan O’Donnel as “The Miner”

Documentary length 30 minutes


A tragedy that is remembered each year by local people in Lambhill and Bishopbriggs and other local churches in the north of the city.

The Cadder Pit Disaster which claimed the lives of 22 men, who left 13 widows and 40 fatherless children, herald the end of mining North of the Canal in Glasgow and the end of a way of life for thousands of people in the area.
This is the “Trailer” for a forth coming documentary about The Cadder Pit Disaster called “Vale Of Tears”.
This video feature is suitable for young people of secondary school age to adults.
Made for people with an interest in:- Scottish mining history, Glasgow History, Industrial History of Glasgow, working conditions before the First World War, Miners lives and living conditions. Details of mine construction in 1913, safety regulations and the lack of, Aftermath – Funerals, graves and treatment of Widows. Miners villages in Lambhill and Mavis Valley

Please share and help support our free on-line history projects.
“Vale Of Tears” – The Story Of The Cadder Pit Disaster 1913
Written and directed by Paul Troy (AKA C21 Troy)
with Brendan O’Donnell as “The Miner”
© Internet & Digital 2013
Facebook page: facebook.com/internetanddigital
YouTube: youtube.com/user/InternetAndDigital

Glasgow, United Kingdom.

New Media

We have just finished the second series of short, educational films about the History of Lambhill. Three years in the making and available for viewing.

The History of Lambhill Village Glasgow Scotland.
written and narrated by C21 Troy

Made over 3 years, The History Of Lambhill Volume II  video is rich in content, providing information about the village’s humble origins as part of the Bishops Forest, in the 13th Century right through the industrial revolution, it’s eventual decline and now to it’s place today as a community in the process of rejuvenation. Featuring a wealth of archive material, new illustrations and anecdotal stories from local people,  all put together to make “The History Of Lambhill Vol 2” an interesting, educational documentary resource for local people and Historians of the City of Glasgow alike.

The History Of Lambhill reflects the history of the city of Glasgow and viewers will gain so much knowledge of both after watching it.

More details about this production to follow.

We are currently working on the final stages of a self produced, 30 minute documentary feature about the Cadder Pit Disaster of 1913 which should be available to the public on our youtube channel soon.