ABERDEEN PRESS AND JOURNAL SATURDAY 28 DECEMBER 1935
SCOTS CYCLING SMASH GIVES RISE TO RUMOUR OF MINE DISASTER
An amazing rumour concerning a mining disaster of large dimensions at Blairhall Colliery, near Dunfermline, started mid-Scotland yesterday.
Throughout the day the police and colliery officials were bombarded with queries from all over the country asking for news of the accident. How the news of an accident circulated is not known, but the happening that gave rise to the rumour was really a cycling smash in which four men were injured, and are at present detained in Dunfermline hospital.
The men are:- John Sullivan (24), Farryton Cottage, Clackmannan; John Brown (31), 8 Regent Street, Kincardine-on-Forth; Donald Smith (59), Cook’s Buildings, Cairneyhill; and Edward McCluskey (16), 24 Silver Street, Kincardine-on-Forth.
It appears that on a steep gradient near the colliery Sullivan and Brown lost control of their pedal cycles, which ran into Smith, who was walking on the roadway to the pit. McCluskey, who was following behind, crashed into the group.
The impact threw Sullivan and Brown over a hedge, where they landed heavily on their heads, sustaining severe injuries. Smith sustained a broken arm and leg, and McCluskey a slight injury to his back.
AMBULANCE IN COLLISION
The latter after attention was able to proceed home. A passing cyclist gave the alarm concerning the accident, and an ambulance stationed at Culross was telephoned for.
Before it got to the scene this ambulance was involved in a collision with another vehicle, and ambulances from Clackmannan and Dunfermline were called to the scene.
It is thought that the presence of these ambulances gave colour to the story of a mining accident.
One prominent British newsreel company had a journey to Blairhall for nothing.
Brown’s condition is regarded as serious, but Sullivan and Smith are reported to be fairly comfortable.