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Miners and Their Families
What's It Like Being A Miner?
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Margaret Kershaw, nee Drenan - How much did miners get paid in the 1940s?
Mary Atton - Searching for information about Jack Atton's death at Grange Colliery, 1949
Barbara Carroll - Pit Accident Info in the Doncaster/Conisbrough area of Yorkshire in (I think) 1954
Alan Jowett - Ilkeston Mines Rescue - Arthur Syson
Ian Webb - Connections with Mapperley Colliery
Keith .M. Muscroft - Any Information about Thorpe Hesley Pit near Rotherham or Big Ada?

Ian Webb
29 August 2005
Connections with Mapperley Colliery

My grandfather Willis Fowke, was a member of the Mapperley Colliery Ambulance Brigade and with his four colleagues joined the Royal Army Medical Corps at the start of World War One.

Willis Fowke 1884 -1975, married with two children lived in Horsley Woodhouse.

Harold Horsley 1882-1917, a joiner, married with five children. He was a member of the Mapperley Ambulance Corps and captain of the Miners Rescue Party (according to The Ripley and Heanor News of April 1917). He is buried in Horsley Parish Church yard.

F.R. Abbott a collier from Smalley

William Turner b1896 also a collier from Smalley.

I am currently writing a book about the four chums and there time aboard the Hospital Ship Asturias during the Great War.

Ian Webb

From: Keith .M. Muscroft
Sent: 30 August 2005
Any Information about Thorpe Hesley Pit near Rotherham or Big Ada?

Hi Fionn
Do you have any information about THORPE HESLEY PIT, it is near Rotherham.

I worked there in the 1950s and 60s but no one knows anything about the pit.

It’s like it vanished off the face of the earth without any prior knowledge.

I worked on the 55s gate with a big lad nicknamed Big Ada.

I believe my Deputy was named Jack Burkinshaw.

Another way into the mine was by a drift road starting at Smithywood.

Thank you for taking time to read my request.

Best Wishes Keith M Muscroft.

From: Alan & Ruth
Sent: 31 August 2005
Ilkeston Mines Rescue - Arthur Syson


Arthur was my great Uncle – his sister Emily Florence Jowett was my grandmother. We have heaps of information about the Syson family and many photographs, as Arthur’s father Isaac was a photographer’s rep. If you would pass our email address to Carol we would be happy to share it with her.

Alan Jowett

From: Barbara Carroll
Sent: 07 September 2005
Pit Accident Info in the Doncaster/Conisbrough area of Yorkshire in (I think) 1954


First of all, what a great website! My father, grandfather and most of my uncles were coal miners in Northumberland and/or Yorkshire.

I realise this is a real long-shot but I'm hoping you can help me. I'm looking for information on a pit accident which happened in the Doncaster/Conisbrough area of Yorkshire in (I think) 1954. My uncle, Thomas Elliott, was killed in that accident. He was a young man who fought in WWII as a Royal Marine Commando. His wife (Ida) was left with a young baby (John) and was pregnant with her second child (David) at the time of the accident. Family tradition has it that Thomas did make it out of the mine alive, but went back in to rescue his friend and was killed.

I can't find anything on the Internet about any such mine accident.

One of my most vivid childhood memories is of my grandmother who cried every day for her first-born son. His photograph in his Royal Marine Commando uniform had pride of place in her living room. I know there were newspaper clippings relating to the accident which I think my grandmother knew by heart. I have a photograph of my uncle's grave which bears the motto "The Price of Coal". I also have a memory of my grandmother having a chat in the street with another woman about the cost of coal "going up again". The woman made some comment about my grandmother being all right because all her lads were coal miners when my grandmother produced the photograph from her handbag and told her all about the "price of coal".

At the time I was greatly embarrassed but now, of course, I'm proud of her.

Sorry to go on, but I hope you can point me in the right direction.

Thanks for listening/reading.

Barbara Carroll

(now living in Barrie, Canada)

I have been directed to your website this evening please let Barbara Carrolher know that I may be of assistance.

My mother is Ida and my eldest 2 brothers are John and David. My mother remarried and I came along in 1965.

Kind regards

Hello Fionn,

How exciting! Thank you so much for passing on Diane's e-mail. It looks as though not only will I get the information I was looking for, but may also have found some long-lost cousins!
I'll keep you informed.
Thanks again.


Mary Atton
9 October 2005
Jack Atton and Grange Colliery

I am trying to find more information on my fathers death at Grange Pit he was Jack Atton and he died 1949.

Pit Terminology - Glossary