Scottish shale Scottish shale

Westrigg No. 2 & 3 pit

Shotts, Lanarkshire
Local authority:
North Lanarkshire
1930 - power station remained in operation into the 1950's
Current status of site:
Bing landscaped and wooded
Regional overview:

Westrigg was once one of the largest pits in West Lothian and had substantial coke ovens. On closure in 1930, the colliery power station, which served all pits in United Collieries' eastern division, remained in service and passed to the NCB on vesting day.

  • 1938 - employing 3 underground and 15 surface workers; manager James Paterson
  • 1944 - employing 3 underground and 70 surface workers; manager John Watson

  • Location map


    Mineral Operations. The little village of Blackridge situated at the extreme westerly point of West Lothian is likely at no distant date to assume a position of considerable importance as a centre of a mining district coal. At Westrigg Collery which has hitherto been worked the late proprietor Mr Moir, on a limited scale, has been taken over by Mr Wood of Bathville who successfully worked the various seams in and around the Armadale district covering several miles. A good steam coal of excellent quality (six feet 20 inches) has been got at short distance below the ground, and operations are being pushed on in order to reach a lower seam lying 45 fathoms below the surface Twenty-four ovens for coking been erected near the pit head these are put up on the most improved principle and are now in full operation. Eight workmen’s houses are in process of erection by the side of the Edinburgh and Glasgow road and it is expected that as many 50 will be required for the accomodation of the workmen.

    West Lothian Courier, 10th November 1888


    In Westrigg colliery the miners have been idle since Tuesday last resisting a proposal to add a quarter cwt. to the tare of the hutch. A washer is used at the colliery for the manufacture of coke, and the manager complains of the amount of dirt filled in the hutches. The miners contend that the coal is of such a nature that no cleaner filling is practicable, and the quarter cwt. is already allowed.

    Dalkeith Advertiser 28th March 1895


    Sale of Westrigg Colliery.—This colliery, situated in Lanarkshire and Linlithgowshire, has been acquired by Messrs John Nimmo and Sons (Limited), who entered on possession on the 1st inst. The output of the colliery is about 700 tons daily.

    West Lothian Courier, 7th March 1902



    Westrigg Colliery, the property the United Colliery Company Limited, was on Monday reopened, after being closed down for period of seven years. For some time back this pit has been undergoing repair, under the management of Mr Gavin Whitlaw, late of No. 3 Blackridge Colliery. The company intend working three seams of coal - the main, the ball, and the mill coals. The latter two will be worked with machines, and the main coal is intended to be worked by the pick. At present there are about 50 men engaged below, and it expected, as time goes on, that the pit will accommodate over 200 men.

    Linlithgowshire Gazette, 19th February 1915



    Westrigg Colliery, owned by tho United Collieries, Ltd:, which was closed last April, is to be reopened next week. When the colliery closed about 150 workers were thrown idle, and it is hoped the reopening will mean that on an early day all will be at work again.

    Edinburgh Evening News, 29th July 1925



    It was intimated to-day by the United Collieries, Ltd., that they will this week close down their Westrigg Colliery at Blackridge, West Lothian. There are fully 100 men who will be thrown idle. Safety men will be kept on until the company decide as to whether or not the colliery will be totally closed down.

    Edinburgh Evening News, 8th August 1930



    Extensions to existing N.C.B. generating stations are being carried out at Westrigg to meet increasing demands. Two of the older stations at Shotts and Fauldhouse, where generation is uneconomic, are being dosed down and power brought in from the British Electricity Authority.

    Wishaw Press, 2nd January 1953