SEVERE injury or death was an ever-present danger when working in the pits. In the 19th century at Devon Colliery, there were numerous deaths.

Among those recorded was the manager of the pit William Moodie in January, 1881, when he was washed off a bunton, a wooden shaft lining, and drowned.

A year later stone miner James Cook was killed by an explosion, and two years later, Walter Robertson was crushed by a cage.

Among those who fell to their deaths were collier William Sneddon, James Patterson, William Morrison, David Gillespie and William Hunter.

On Tuesday, June 14, 1887, James Hunter, a roads man, went to fetch rails in an area that had not been worked for a week.

There was gas and a naked light, and the resulting explosion badly injured his face, neck and arms but he was able to walk home to Fishcross.

Dr Hay Home of Alloa went to the house and attended him, but he succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday, June 29. One of the firemen at the colliery was convicted over his death.

On Monday, March 3, 1890, fireman Henry Muir was using his safety lamp in an area he should not have been in when it ignited some firedamp near the coal face at the Upper Five Feet Seam. Severely burned, he died 20 days later.

On Tuesday December 27, 1892, 14-year-old miner Alexander Patterson, who had been employed at the mine for just three months, was ascending the shaft with seven other people. Standing on the outside and holding a pickaxe, he fell to his death.

In November, 1895, miner John Hunter was killed by a fall of stone, and in July, 1896, pony driver James Mitchell was run over by a horse's rake. He died the following February from the injuries he sustained.

On Saturday, September 4, 1897, David Anderson had started to shear coal. He had sounded it when suddenly a large block came away. It rolled over him, crushing his pelvis, and killed him.

On Monday, April 2, 1900, miner Thomas Stansbury was severely injured when coal struck him on the head. He died three days later.

Then, in August that year, John Mitchell, a repairer, was working when a bogieman riding on the front of the filled tubs on an engine dook heard a sudden cry.

The bogie stopped, and he returned to where he had seen Mitchell, only to find he had slipped and fallen against electric signal wires, ending up between two of the tubs. He too died.