A MUCH-LOVED woman, who was widowed when the Kames mining disaster of 1957 killed her husband, has sadly died aged 88.

Moira Dalziel, the last surviving widow of the tragic incident which left 17 dead, passed away on Friday, May 8, just, two weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.

Moira, one of nine children, met her husband John Dalziel at the Lugar Institute in the 50s. They married in 1955.

John was a miner in the pit on that fateful day in November, 63 years ago, and died at the age of 34, almost a year after the birth of their only child, Mary.

Moira, who lived in Logan for most of her life and worked in the kitchen at the nearby Logan Primary School, raised Mary by herself, with the help of nearby relatives until her daughter moved away as an adult.

Mary, who now lives in Wales, spoke to us about her mum’s passing and said: “It was so unexpected, only two weeks from diagnosis.

“She’d come down to stay with us because she had a fall in January and was supposed to go back up to Logan but because of coronavirus everything went pear shaped.

“She was diagnosed with cancer at a hospital in Aberystwyth and was then moved to be closer to us at Tywyn & District War Memorial Hospital, where she died. At least mum was with us when she passed.”

Though she did not wish to diminish the effect the Kames disaster had on their lives, Mary was

keen to remember the positives of her mum’s life, of which there were many.

She said: “Mum was a lot of fun, we had some good times together. When I moved away we spoke every day. She would have done anything for you, you just had to pick up the phone, she would have given you anything.”

“She used to like to go on day trips. She used to get on the bus and just go anywhere.”

“My mum had quite a happy life, but I don’t think she ever got over my dad dying. She never remarried.

“She never spoke to me about him other than how they met.”

The disaster has not been forgotten by the residents of Muirkirk either, who most recently commemorated the devastating explosion in 2017 for the 60th anniversary.

“Mum didn’t realise how many people liked and cared for her,” added Mary.

Moira Dalziel leaves behind her daughter Mary and her grandsons Gavin (pictured) and Mark, a sister, Jeane, who is in her 90s and lives in Australia and a brother Bobby, in his 70s, who lives in Wolverhampton.

She is to be buried on Wednesday, May 27 in the Muirkirk New Cemetery, Glasgow Road, alongside her late husband – less than a kilometre away from the site of the old mine, bringing to an end an era’s connection with the dead at Kames Colliery.


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