Banner
Information and photographs submitted by subscribers are posted in good faith. If any copyright of anyone else's material is unintentionally breached, please email me


Susan Bradley wrote: -
Having been born away down south I have no real knowledge of the life of a miner, although my grandfather, Frank Sproston, was a miner all his life (he was born in Audley and worked at 'Trentham Deep' where he was once buried by a rock fall). He died in 1960, some ten years before I was born, so I had no opportunity to get to know him or ask him about his working life. Frank's father, Harry, was also a miner in Butt Lane, as were all Harry's brothers, and Frank's grandfather, Samuel Sproston, was killed in an accident at 'Slapenfield Colliery' (about which I have been unable to discover anything at all) in 1879, leaving 9 children and a pregnant wife behind.

Regarding the E-mail about Diglake, sent 23rd July 2004 . By Susan Bradley, extract below: -

Samuel Sproston, was killed in an accident at 'Slapenfield Colliery' (about which I have been unable to discover anything at all) in 1879, leaving 9 children and a pregnant wife behind.

The Potteries Examiner Nov 1st 1879
Fatal Colliery Accident

On Friday evening last week a shocking accident occurred in the Bullhurst seam in the Slappenfield pit on the Harecastle and Woodshutts Colliery.
Samuel Sprontson, 40 years of age, was engaged putting some timber in, a job he had done many times before. While so employed there was what is called in pit language a “burster” which means that the weight on the top, and the uplifting of the bottom causes the roof to come down with great power, after causing a report equal to an explosion from firedamp.
A large quantity of roof came in, and completely buried the poor man, so much so that it took twenty minutes to get him out. When got out he was extinct. Deceased was a very steady man and has left a wife and eight or nine children, to morn his loss.

John Lumsdon


Hi Fionn

This is absolutely brilliant - do please pass on my thanks to John.  I have often wondered what happened to Samuel, whether he died alone or with a group of miners, and what sort of man he was. His widow, Paulina, seems to have coped (she was an annuitant in 1881 so the pit must have paid out on Samuel) and she remarried in 1885, another miner called David Lowe, whom she also outlived.  She died in 1916. 

Isn't it fantastic what you can find out about people in your family who died years ago? 
Many many thanks again to you and to John

Regards 
Susan


Pit Terminology - Glossary

John Lumsdon