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St Barbara keeps watch over Scottish tunnel workers

(Courtesy Scottish Catholic Observer)

Tunnellers building a 3.1-mile long tunnel under Glasgow are invoking the protection of St Barbara, nodding to a statue of her every time they go to work.

The workmen, who are building a £100m tunnel for Scottish Water, reverence the saint – who is patron of tunnellers – each time they board the narrow-gauge train that takes them over 100ft under ground.

A spokesman for Scottish Water told the Scottish Catholic Observer: “St Barbara is the patron saint of tunnellers and Costain, our contractor, has many experienced staff on site who have worked on projects such as the Channel Tunnel.

“Every tunneller invokes the protection of St Barbara at the start of a shift and thanks her at the end. That’s why there’s a statue of St Barbara placed at the start of the workings.

“No tunnelling project of this scale would be complete without its statue of the patron and tunnellers demand that St Barbara is present with them underground.”