Down Memory Lane

The Mars Training ship off the coast of Fife
The Mars Training ship off the coast of Fife

In April, there was news of another tragic accident, which in fact had happened on March 14.

There was fatal accident inquiry into the death of Alexander Adams, a furnace-man at McKenzie’s Foundry in Edinburgh. Mr Adams fell into a pit full of “boiling metals and slag”. No-one saw what happened, but as his job was to draw the molten metal from the furnace to the pit, it was assumed he had overbalanced, and it was three hours before his body was recovered. By then “it was in a terribly charred condition”. There is a gravestone in Dalkeith cemetery, erected in his memory by his workmates.

I mentioned previously that spring had arrived, but the beginning of April was characterised by very cold weather. It was reported that, at the funeral of a young Salvation Army girl, the temperature had reached -14 degrees F below freezing, and one of the band members had fainted and remained unconscious for several hours. Severe snowstorms had also disrupted life in Dalkeith.

The Midlothian Licensing Board met, and turned down an application for a licence by Mr Wardlaw who had a grocer’s business in Muirpark. It was refused on the grounds that the shop was opposite the Methodist Church, and close to Mr Stewart’s Carpet Works. It was felt that “this would simply be throwing temptation at the workers”!

Alan Mason’s full feature appears in this week’s Advertiser. On sale now.