A Lothian Coal Company accident report book, dating back to 1914, has today gone on display in the foyer at National Mining Museum Scotland.  The book lists all the accidents ever to have occurred in the Lothian Coal Company pits between 1914 and 1933, from minor cuts and sprains through to fatalities.

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The accident report book was discovered by two volunteers in the British Heart Foundation shop in Leith whilst they sorted through bags of donations.  The volunteers, realising the importance of their find, brought the book out to Newtongrange to show the Curatorial team at the museum.

Lauren Hill, Shop Manager of the British Heart Foundation store in Leith said: “One of our shop team discovered the book whilst sorting through some donations from a local BHF book bank – it definitely isn’t the kind of book we usually find in there so it created quite a lot of interest in the sorting room!

“Given that it wasn’t in the best condition and is a record of very niche, local subject matter we knew it wouldn’t have much financial value for us but that it may have much more historical value. Knowing that we had the museum locally, we got in touch to see if it would be of interest to them at which point David jumped at the chance to take the book off our hands. We hope the book proves a valuable asset to the museum and the local community.”

The handwritten details recorded in the book are impressive.  They include the names and ages of the casualties, home addresses and the nature of their injuries.  Even the name of the doctor who treated them and the compensation the miner received is listed.

David Bell, Assistant Curator at the museum said: “We’re absolutely delighted that this book has found its way to the museum.  It’s a real treasure for people wishing to research their Lothian mining ancestors.  Work has already begun to present the information in a spreadsheet, making it easy to search for specific people within book.”

The book, with accompanying children’s activity, will be on display in the museum’s foyer until June.

The Leith BHF shop is located at 23-29 Great Junction Street, EH6 5HX. The shop sells a range of good quality pre-loved items such as second hand clothing, handbags, toys, shoes, books, music, toys and household items.