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Alan EmailAlan Beales Database of Fatalities in the Coal Fields

Emails - Page 14

Can you add to the Database – Is something wrong or missing? Please let me know.

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John Buxton - I am related to Richard Rhodes Buxton, your database records his death on 15th August 1900 at Walton Colliery
Linda Adrych - Dominik Adrych - Ollerton Colliery - 1977
Catherine Smith - Request For Info About My Great Grandfather James Alton, Possibly Died Ormonde Colliery, March 1930
Sue Wormall - Looking For Information, George William Wormall Died, Aged 37, In The Sutton Colliery, 1937

In MemoryJohn Buxton
19 Jun 2014
I am related to Richard Rhodes Buxton, your database records his death on 15th August 1900 at Walton Colliery

I am related to Richard Rhodes Buxton, your database records his death on 15th August 1900 at Walton Colliery due to a fall in a road way. 

Does this mean he fell over in a roadway? or that some part of the roadway fell?

Richard was a family man, he left behind his wife of 22 years, Eliza (nee Alton), and his children; Thomas, aged 20 (who had married Mary Needham just 3 weeks before his father's death), Abraham aged 17, Annie aged 15, Arthur aged 13, John Henry aged 10 and Richard aged 5.

I have also found this report:-

Sheffield Daily Telegraph Thursday August 16th 1900

A fall of “bind” occurred yesterday at a clay pit at Walton belonging to Mr. James Pearson, colliery owner and earthenware manufacturer, completely burying a man named Richard Buxton, aged 45, of Britannia Street, New Brampton. He died from suffocation.

Do you have any further details of what happened?

I have only once been down a coal mine. The school's careers advice arranged a trip to Hucknall Training Colliery in 1966 and these things are still vivid in my memory.
1) How thin the coal seam was, you had to lie on your side.
2) How little light a Davy lamp gives out.
3) The first time I experienced total darkness and how disorientating it was.
4) Forgetting (only once) the advice that if my helmet was knocked off due to the low roof; stop and put it on, don't walk while pulling it up by the lamp wire.

I decided that mining was not for me, luckily I had a choice.



Bind roof (mudstone or shale) above the coal seam sometimes falls away from a parting in the roof at the ripping lip and this can result in several tons of debris. Anyone standing too close can be buried under the pile with dire consequences. This is known as a fall of roof.

Alternatively falls of roof can be away from the face in a roadway where the supports if any have become unstable and allowed shale above the supports to fall. Again being in the wrong place at the wrong time one could be buried under a fall of roof. Various types of support for that period are shown below.

Roadway With Single Cockering

Roadway Brinsley

Roadway 2
Double Cockering With Roof Fall

Tail Gate Crushed

I do not know the exact circumstances but more than likely he would have been working in a stable hole at a gate end where such conditions existed. On the face line movable chocks were used and very rarely did any roof drop between them and then only small pieces. Falls could come only from the gobbing or the back of a chock or in a packhole at the gate ends.

Trusting this information can explain some of the points you raise.


Part of the 1891 Census

Civil Parish Brampton, Chesterfield - No 3, Red Row

Richard Buxton, Head, age 37, Born Brampton, Derbyshire, England, Coal Miner
Eliza, wife 34, Born Brampton, Derbyshire, England - Children
Thomas, age 10
age 8 -
age 6 -
Arthur age 4 -
John Henry aged 2

In 1901 Census

7 New Hall Rd Brampton Chesterfield
Eliza is now 45, a widow
Abraham age 17, Potters Labourer
Annie, 15, Factory Hand, Cotton
Arthur, 14, Single, Miner Hewer (Coal)
John, 11
Richard, 6

In 1911 Census

4 New Hall Rd Brampton Chesterfield
Eliza Burton, 55, a widow
Arthur, 24, Single, Miner Hewer (Coal)
John, 21, Single, Miner Hewer (Coal)
Richard, 16 Single, Iron Founder

In 1911 Census

Thomas is a Coal Miner (hewer) 
Thomas' Children Barbara Buxton Needham 11
Thomas Richard Buxton 6
Alice Buxton (Scored out)
Phillip Buxton 1

In MemoryLinda Adrych
4 Jun 2014
Dominik Adrych Died Ollerton Colliery - 1977

Name - Dominik Adrych - aged 50



Thank you for pointing out the errors.

I was the Surveyor for the Mine at Ollerton at the time of the accident.  Unfortunately part of my job was to measure up the scene of every fatal accident or serious accident or major incident at the pit.
Regarding Dominik, I was called out from home in the middle of the night to go to the scene of the fatality at 2.35am, Sunday Night shift, on Monday morning 10th January 1977.

It was 45s face on the North side of the pit in the Top Hard seam some 4 miles plus from the pit bottom.

I remember it well.

Dominik was changing some cutter picks in the drum of the shearer cutter loader when the tension was released by the cutter haulage chain breaking and unfortunately he was sitting with his back to the coal buttock at the time and the cutter picks pierced him in his front.

 It was a terrible accident for you, his immediate family, to learn of.

 I would have spoken or nodded to Dominik, and his work mates on occasions previously when I was travelling through the coal face from one roadway to the other in the course of my duties as Surveyor, as I always thought it polite to do so as one passed by.

 I know it may be of no consequence or consolation now but he had had a non too serious accident on the face some years previously, on 22nd December 1967 when he was a face worker on 111s panel on the South side of the pit about 2 and a half miles from the pit bottom.

Mining is a very dangerous occupation.  The system of changing picks in that manner was altered so that in future it would be safer, and such an accident as that could not happen again.

Bob Bradley

In MemoryCatherine Smith
13 May 2014
Request For Information About My Great Grandfather James Alton, Possibly Died At Ormonde Colliery, March 1930

Dear Mr Beales

I am writing to you in the hope that you may be able to help me find out more information about a part of my family, whose (mining) history goes back many years. Unfortunately, we don't have any birth or death certificates of older ancestors (this would actually be my next step, to purchase birth/death certificates).

In particular, I would like to find out about my great grandfather who worked at Ormonde Colliery. According to family stories - and that is all I have to go on - his name was James Alton and he served in the First War, came back and continued working at Ormonde Colliery until he was killed in a pit accident. He was, by profession, a fireman at the pit. Apparently he was crushed by a pit wagon sometime after the First War. His children were James, my uncle, and my grandmother Julia May Alton (married Harry Waters, also a miner).

So far I have contacted the National Coal Mining Museum for England in Wakefield, who were able to point me in the right direction with contacts. This led me to contact the Derbyshire County Council Records Department who were able to give me a bit of information, but it is unsure as to whether this person is my great grandfather or not.

This is what they were able to tell me: " ... the Ancestry website and found a death entry for a James Alton whose death was registered in March 1930 at Basford Registration District, Nottinghamshire. This would be the correct registration district for registering the death of someone from the Loscoe/Heanor area of Derbyshire. This James was aged 42 at the time of his death."

I also contacted the Ripley Library to see if they could help me with any newspaper reports, but was unsuccessful.

I have already looked at your website for information, but as there isn't any about this particular accident, I am beginning to wonder if the story is true. Maybe he died at a later date from the injuries.

I would be very grateful if you could help me further with my quest.

With very best wishes,
Catherine Smith

Catherine Julie Smith, B.A. (Hons.)
Grossbritannien-Zentrum/Centre for British Studies
Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin

Dear Mr Beales, dear Fionn,

As you didn't have this information you suggested that I contact other sources. One of them was Chesterfield Library who got back to me today. Enclosed is an attachment of the newspaper report from Derby and Chesterfield Report, 17th January 1930 about my grandfather's death.

Hope this helps you with your records too!

Best wishes,
Catherine Smith

Loscoe Pitworker Trapped Between Tubs

Mr John Spencer, of Derbyshire Miners’ Association, suggested to a Loscoe inquest, on Friday, that colliery workers should always give a definite signal when liberating tubs from the haulage rope in a pit.

The inquest was on James Alton (42) colliery blacksmith, of Brook Street, Loscoe, who received fatal injuries when his head and body were trapped between tubs at Ormonde Colliery, Loscoe, on Thursday.

“Accidental Death” was the verdict, the jury saying no blame was attached to anyone. Mr. J. R. Pinder, the deputy coroner, agreed.

Thomas Marriott, of Heanor, a deputy at Ormonde Colliery, said Alton had difficulty in getting the tub clips off the haulage ropes and went to his assistance.  The haulage started when Alton was bending down, and he was pinned between two tubs.

Replying to Mr. J. Yates, inspector of mines, Marriott said he did not know who gave the signal for the haulage to start.  Alton said he had crossed the communication wires (to give the signal to stop) and he took no further precautions, though no signal to start could have been given if the wires had been crossed.

Hi Fionn from the information I have calculated the date of accident as 10 Jan 1930


Catherine Smith

Thank you very much for putting him on the website.
I looked up the calendar for 1930 and the report in the newspaper was 17th Jan, which was a Friday. In the article it says that the accident was on Thursday. I cannot imagine that it got to court that quickly (i.e. the day after), so I'm not really sure when it actually happened.
It is good that you have set up such a website. Keep up the good work.
All best wishes,

In MemorySue Wormall
15 May 2014
Looking For Information, George William Wormall Died, Aged 37, In The Sutton Colliery, 1937

To whom it may concern. Family research on a George William Wormall died age 37, 7th June 1937 in the mine on Skeby Road, Sutton Colliery also called Brierley Hill Colliery.

Any info or photos would be very much appreciated.

Yours sincerely
Sue Wormall

See an answer from both Bob and Alan