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 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!
SIGNAL WHICH COST A LIFE
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
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,