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Alan EmailAlan Beales Database of Fatalities in the Coal Fields

Emails - Page 10

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

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Barbara Birch - I believe I am related to Jenny Stanier, Harry Adin Taylor was my mothers cousin
Jenny Stanier nee Taylor - Any Information - My Father, Harry Adin Taylor died at Cotgrave colliery in 1965
Vicki Webster (nee Shaw) - My mum’s dad, Joseph William Crooks died Selston pit in 1951, any more information?
Mike Healey - My great, great Uncle Joseph Isaac Halksworth Died 5 Jan 1931 at Brodsworth Colliery
Robin Keen - Fatal injury statistics - How many miners died in 1933 and 1953?
Geoffrey Austin Brown - My Father, Wilfred  Austin Brown Died 18 July 1946  at Blackwell B Colliery
Chris Jukes - My brother, James Andrew Jukes, was killed at Harworth Colliery in 1989
Val Birkett - John Tasker, an ancestor, was killed in a pit explosion in 1755 at Gen Lane, Ward Green Barnsley

Vicki Webster (nee Shaw)
22 Nov 2013
My mum’s dad, Joseph William Crooks died Selston pit in 1951, any more information?

Hi my name is Vicki Webster, my maiden name is Shaw.  My mum’s dad died in Selston pit 3 - Feb - 1951

We live in Eastwood all I know is that the roof started to collapse and he went back in, he was buried with his workers, his name is Joseph William Crooks and I think at the time he lived on Midland Road Eastwood or Castle Street Hilltop.

I would be grateful for any news you can give me from Selston pit in 1951.

Thank you

Sent from Samsung Mobile

Alan's Database - William Crookes lived at 42, Plumtre Way, Eastwood. The Inquest took place at the Kirkby Council Offices on the 18th May 1951.

Some information about the pit.....the single shaft was sunk at Underwood in 1852 by Barber Walker & Co as Underwood colliery but later renamed Selston. It was connected underground to Willey Lane pit nearby sunk in 1840 to start with. It was 332 yards (303.6m) deep. The pit was then connected through to New Selston sunk by James Oakes and then becoming part of Pye Hill Colliery and was administered by NCB No5 Area with HQ at Eastwood Hall in 1947.

Output at 1951 was 298,172 tons produced by 717 men. Manager at the time was Charles Potts and Undermanager George Hodkin.   The dirt from the mine was transported by steam engine and trucks to Brinsley and there was a railway crossing on the road that was operated by a shunter from the pit.  Pithead baths were not built until 1956 so your grandfather would have bathed at home.

The seam he worked in was Deep Hard I think and that was just over 3 feet (1 m) thick. He would have been filling out coal from a stint on the face onto a face conveyor when he got killed on 3rd February 1951 by a fall of dirt from the roof. The supports would have been rigid steel props and roof bars and should have been set at a maximum of 4 feet (1.2m) apart. You say that he went back under the fall to help someone else when he was buried when there was a further fall of bind. I do not know the exact circumstances however I was a Surveyor and in my career have measured up dozens of serious accidents and the scene of 7 fatal accidents so as to create a plan for the Mines Inspector who would have attended the scene within hours of it happening and I am surmising that there would have been a bigger gap between the supports in fact it is possible that because it was a large fall several of the supports could have been knocked out. As is usual in a pit when anyone gets trapped the nearest person to them would immediately try to help whilst others got to the scene. There was a great camaraderie amongst miners. It would appear in this case that Joseph was the first to assist and brave man that he was in doing so lost his life. The person he was trying to help escaped fortunately but no doubt it would have laid heavily on that person's mind that someone coming to rescue him had paid the ultimate price............

Sad I know but I hope this will give you some idea of the working of the mine........

Bob Bradley

Mike Healey
11 Nov 2013
Great, great Uncle Joseph Isaac Halksworth Died 5 Jan 1931 at Brodsworth Colliery

Hi there, if I could point out a correction needed in the list of mining fatalities for 1931. Second entry 05-01-1931 should read Halksworth not Hallsworth.

My great, great Uncle Joseph Halksworth is buried in Adwick cemetery along with his wife Rose-Ellen Halksworth in a dual plot. The Halksworth's are still very much in existence in North Doncaster.

My folks were all miners.

Best Regards

Mike Healey

Robin Keen
10 Nov 2013
Fatal injury statistics - How many miners died in 1933 and 1953?

How many coal miners died of work related accidents, and how many miners were employed in the UK  (or England if that’s easier) in 1933 and 1953? It’s probably somewhere on your website but my eyesight isn’t very good.
Thanks if you have the data, but thanks for the website even if you’ve not.

Robin Keen

When gathering purely statistical information, disasters give these numbers but there are normally a lot more individual deaths, and unfortunately there is not a central source for these fatalities although Alan Beales and Robert Bradley have gathered information about a large number of individuals who have died in the East Midlands and Yorkshire including their names, ages, collieries and often what happened. Ian Winstanley has a large online database but you cannot find deaths purely by date (so far as I know) you need to search for the individuals by name. The Durham Mining Museum also has a large database but again you search by name.

In 1933 there were 2 disasters resulting in 20 deaths but there were at least 122 individual deaths in the East Midlands:-
16th May 1933, West Cannock Colliery, Hednesford, Staffordshire, explosion, 6 killed
19th November 1933, Grassmoor Colliery, explosion, 14 killed
In 1953 there was an improvement, only 1 disasters resulting in 8 deaths and at least 56 individuals:-
24th Aug 1953, Lingdale Mine (Ironstone), Skelton-in-Cleveland, explosion, 8 killed

Using Alan's detailed database we can see that in the East Midlands and Yorkshire:-

For individual miners who died you would need to know their names although Alan Beales has some on the site:-
At least 54 died in Derbyshire
At least 2 died in Leicestershire
At least 19 died in Yorkshire
At least 47 died in Nottinghamshire but Alan's names here are by pit, not year

In 1953
At least 10 individuals died in Derbyshire
At least 1 died in Leicestershire
At least 19 individuals died in Yorkshire
At least 26 died in Nottinghamshire but again Alan's names here are by pit, not year

The only answer is to get the Inspectors reports for 1933 and there is one for each division or Colliery Guardian and find the Guide to the Coalfields 1953. Could be in a library. Try Amazon tell him. They are for sale on occasions.


Interesting Fionn, wonder why two particular dates.

Question 1.
impossible to be exact, Figures were only officially kept from July 1852 I have seen estimates from ranging from 160,000 to 180,000 as final figures. Further complications, before compensation payments could be won in courts the Year and a Day rule applied. This meant that anyone dying from an accident after a year and a day from the accident was considered to be cured, this applied to all accidents so a coroners jury had to agree that the accident contributed to the death. Not all mines inspectors included these figures in their annual reports. Many men died several years from the date of accident i/e. spinal injuries some as much as 20 plus years. Though not officially accepted as accidents possibly thousands died as a result lung conditions from inhaling coal dust.True figures are unlikely to be ever known.

Question 2.
In 1933 total employment for UK mines was 809,745 persons, there were 1014 fatalities underground and 75 on the surface a total of  1089 deaths. 

In 1953 total employment 716,900 persons, there were 344 fatalities underground and 48 on the surface a total of  392 deaths.

These figure are from HMI annual reports so will possibly  exclude deaths under the year and a day rule.


  • Highest employment in any year for UK Coal Mines - 1920 - 1,269,547 persons
  • Most deaths in any year for UK Coal Mines - 1910  - 1,818 - 1,659 under ground - 159 surface
    Total includes 501 deaths from methane or coal dust explosions
Hope this is of help Alan
Jenny Stanier nee Taylor
4 November 2013
Any Information - My Father, Harry Adin Taylor died at Cotgrave colliery in 1965

I am the daughter of Harry Adin Taylor who died at Cotgrave colliery in 1965.

I can tell you that he was 42 years old at the time.

We were never able to find out what really happened to him as there are no records anywhere.

Jenny Stanier nee Taylor

Barbara Birch
3 Mar 2014
I believe I am related to Jenny Stanier, Harry Adin Taylor was my mothers cousin

Hello - I've been looking at your website - very interesting - and I came across an email from a person who I believe I am related to.

Perhaps it would be possible for you to forward this email to her please?

It concerns the above email, from Jenny Stanier on 4 November 2013, regarding her father Harry Adin Taylor who died at Cotgrave Colliery in 1965.

I am Mrs Barbara Birch from Leicestershire.  My mother and Jenny's father were first cousins from Nottingham.  I only have a few memories but I am very happy to share with Jenny via email.

Barbara Birch

Geoffrey Austin Brown
30 October 2013
My Father, Wilfred  Austin Brown Died 18 July 1946  at Blackwell B Colliery
The entry William Austin Brown 18 July 1946  Blackwell B Colliery should read
Wilfred  Austin Brown 
I am his son
Geoffrey Austin Brown 

Chris Jukes
31 October 2013
My brother, James Andrew Jukes, was killed at Harworth Colliery in 1989

I am the brother of James Andrew Jukes who was killed at Harworth Colliery in 1989.

James was 24 when he died his birth date being 13th March 1964.

He passed away on the 6th January 1989.

An inquest did take place but I'm afraid I don't know the exact dates.

Best regards
Chris Jukes

Val Birkett
28 October 2013
John Tasker, an ancestor, was killed in a pit explosion in 1755 at Gen Lane, Ward Green Barnsley

I have an ancestor John Tasker who was killed in a pit explosion in 1755  due to fire damp, the pit was in Gen Lane, Ward Green, Barnsley owned by a Mr. Bowden. Is there any way I could find John Taskers age, or would the accident  be reported in any news paper?

I know he wed for the first time to Martha Rock, they wed in 1735 at Worsbrough, Martha would be about 37 years old  when she wed,  she died 1742  I think in childbirth, John wed for the second time just a few months later, to Sarah Waterhouse, they went on to have 3 children, Sarah Joseph, and John.

All my research for the Tasker family have been done at the local archives. I have searched St. Marys Church Yard for any monument or marker for Johns grave, but found nothing, it seems such a shame  for his death not to marked.

Sarah Johns second wife died the following year a poor woman of the parish.

My dad, Horace Tasker, was a shot firer, most of my male ancestors have been miner, weavers or farm labourers, my dad worked down the mines, but his heart  was on the land, as he got older he worked a lot for local farmers, he was only 66 when he died. When I was young I used to play on the fields at  Gen Lane Ward  Green and down in the bottom of the field was a lot of red shale I wonder if this is where the pit was.

Thank you
Mrs V Birkett

John Tasker died alongside George Burdet, and Thomas Mosforth, all 3 were Colliers and died in an explosion of firedamp at Boden's Pit, Worsborough, Yorkshire on 2nd May 1755.  - The information comes from Ian Winstanleys Database but no ages are given. I could not find them in the Durham Mining Website.

I think we have some good news, I found a number of entries in, according to these entries:- John Tasker, was born about 1713 in Woolley, Royston Parish. He worked as a labourer down the pit, and was ‘slain by (fire) damp in Mr Bodens Coal Pit, Genn Lane, Worsborough' aged 42. Martha Rock's parents were Abraham Rock and Joyce Frogget. Sarah Waterhouse, his second wife, died aged 39 in 1756.


This is my family John Tasker wed Ann Copley at Wortley  1795 , St Leonards Church,  
Thank you
Take care

A John Tasker was Surveyor at Mansfield Colliery from about 1955 to 1970. He died last year. I think he as around 82/83.
Cheers, Bob Bradley

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