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EmailInquest Reports From Newspapers
Re Gedling Colliery Fatal Accidents

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Inquests Annesley Bestwood Bentinck Cossall Gedling High Park Hill Top Kirkby
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Fatal Accident No 71

Nottingham Journal Saturday 25-09-1937

Gedling Fatality-Trapped Miner Said Five Seconds Would have Saved Him

“Another five seconds and I would have been saved” these words were spoken by a man trapped by a fall of stone at Gedling pit were the last he addressed to his colleagues. He died at the Nottingham General Hospital a short time afterwards. The man was James Joshua Skidmore, 31, of 10, Speechley Street, Nottingham. Joseph Ingle, said when he left Skidmore he was on the point of setting a bar after the coal had been removed from his section. As witness moved away he heard a fall. While he and others were assisting Skidmore from under the stone he spoke the above words. The coroner commented it was one of those cases which were inseparable from the mining industry. A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.

Fatal Accident No 72

Nottingham Guardian Wednesday 09-02-1938

Man’s 490 Yards Crash to Death, Pit Shaft Tragedy Inquest on Gedling Deputy

A Gedling deputy’s fall down the pit shaft on Sunday was inquired into at an inquest in Carlton; yesterday, the man was Edward George Syson, 56, of Chestnut Grove, Gedling. The Shaft was 490 yards deep and he must have hit the bottom at about 360mph. John Frederick Watson, of Main Street, Lambley, a banksman who was booking men out at the time of the accident (about 6pm) told the Nottinghamshire District Coroner (Lieut.-Col H Bradwell) that he heard someone running towards the low landing, and a voice shouting “come on Fred”, he put down his book and then heard a whizzing noise in the shaft. Not seeing anyone he telephoned the pit bottom and asked the onsetter to look, as he thought something had fallen down the shaft. The onsetter telephoned back and said it was a man. John Pendleton, of Green Lane Lambley, the onsetter, said he and a deputy had the body conveyed to the top. Clarence Jones, of Park Road, Carlton, a lamp man said Syson did not call for his lamp and it was still in the rack at nine o' clock the same nigh Taylor wasn't in a lighted condition. He did not see Syson at all on Sunday to book on. Mrs Gertrude Syson, the widow said her husband left at 5-30 pm to go to work on the night shift he was in normal health and in cheerful spirits. She was convinced that what had happened was the result of an accident. Evidence of identification was given by Mr William B Syson, of Barford Road, Nottingham, brother of the dead man. The Coroner said that the place from which Syson had fallen was guarded by three strong supports, it was left in that condition for the purpose of getting machinery down the shaft, and it would be difficult for anyone to get in between the rails or to get over them. Alfred A Bowker, manager of Gedling Pit said that Syson never clocked on that Sunday night. There was nothing in the nature of his work that could have taken him to the fencing on top of the shaft. It was not part of his duties to inspect anything there, and all of his inspections would have been carried out down the pit itself. Evidence was also given that Syson was a man well known in the cricket world, and one of the first workmen to be employed at the Gedling Pit 36 years ago. After retiring the jury, intimated that in their opinion it was a case of “Accidental death”, with insufficient evidence to show how the accident happened. The Coroner: You eliminate all suggestion of suicide? The foreman concurred, and a verdict was recorded that Syson died from injuries received by falling down a pit shaft there being no evidence to show how he came to fall.

The above accident is not recorded in the Gedling Accident report book for that period, But in the Compensation book for 1938 the company recorded RNA (responsibility not admitted) and no compensation was paid.

Fatal Accident No 73

South Nott’s Echo Friday 13-01-1939

Perils of the Mine - Carlton Collier Killed When Tubs Ran Away

A broken screw was alleged at an inquest at Carlton, to have indirectly caused the death of John George Poole, aged 24 years, of 6, Adel Drive, Carlton, who was found lying dead in Gedling Pit, on Saturday morning. Evidence of identification was given by the father, Herbert Poole, who said his son was alright when he went to work at the pit on Friday night. Mr. I. Frost, of 31, Beech Avenue, Mapperley, an overman at the pit, said he was in the pit in control of a jig at a junction. On the way to the bottom of the jig he passed Poole and asked him if he was alright and he said he was. Later Mr Frost found the jig was running away and the full tubs were going down very fast, two coming to the bottom at full speed. Some were turned over on the empty road and at the bottom they were thrown into each other and became jumbled up. He shouted to Poole and went to find him and discovered him lying between the two roads about twenty to thirty yards from where he had seen him last. Witness added that he thought the man heard the tubs coming and tried to get out of the way, he was badly injured and he had either been hit by the tubs or the swaying rope. The tubs had started to runaway owing to the unforeseen breaking of a screw acting as a brake. The accident occurred at about 1am. Alfred Addey, of Mar Hill Road, Carlton, said the jig was self-acting, lowering full tubs down and bringing empties up. A haulage rope went round a drum which was controlled by a brake which stopped the tubs; he was in charge of the brake. He had just screwed the brake up tight when the screw broke and he lost control until he could apply the internal brakes. This took about a minute and in that time the tubs stated to run. Harry Hardwicke, of 20, Lancaster Road, Bestwood, a colliery engineer employed at the pit, said the brake screw had been in existence for two years, the breaking was due to metal fatigue, the screw snapping at its weakest point which was the bottom of the thread. The Coroner (Mr. H. Bradwell) told the jury that the whole cause of the accident was the broken screw. He was grieved at the death of the young man for he knew him and his father personally. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death” owing to the tubs running away.

Fatal Accident No 74

South Nott’s Echo Friday 20-01-1939

Miners Accidental Death

At an inquest at Arnold, last Saturday, on Arthur Mellors, aged 50 years, of 27, Wardle Grove, Arnold, who died the previous Wednesday, from injuries received in a fall of roof at Gedling Colliery, on September 14th 1938. A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned. The widow stated that after the accident her husband said that a big stone had hit him. Evidence was given by Leonard Surgey, of Ravenswood Road, Arnold to the effect that he was working ten yards from Mellors who was getting a piece of coal down in order to put up some bars. He heard a fall and on going to where Mellors was found him on the ground with a large stone on top of him. Mellors complained of an injury to his back. Questioned by the coroner, Surgey, said he thought the fall was due to a pothole which would not be apparent. Medical evidence showed that Mellors died from a fractured spine.

Fatal Accident No 75

Nottingham Guardian Thursday 02-02-1939

Hit By Piece of Coal, Mapperley Miners Death after Elbow Injury

Death from “Acute Septicaemia” following an injury to his elbow accidently received, was the verdict at the Nottingham inquest yesterday on Fred Wrath, 58, a coal face charge hand of 2, Beech Avenue, Mapperley, who died at the Nottingham General Hospital on Sunday following injuries received at Gedling Colliery last Thursday. The Coroner who sat with a jury explained that Wrath attempted to place a piece of coal on to conveyor belting and the coal bumped his elbow causing the injury. Arthur Saxton of Long Hill Road, Carlton, who was working with Wrath, said that Wrath had told him he had swung a piece of coal onto the conveyor and it had swung back and hit him on the elbow. Witness dressed the wound. Dr J F Sheenan, of the General Hospital said that Wrath was admitted on 28th January suffering from Cellulitis of the upper arm and the right side chest wall, There was a slight abrasion on the elbow. Wrath died at 11-45pm on Sunday.

Fatal Accident No 76

Nottingham Guardian Thursday 13-04-1939

Colliery Accident Inquest on Colliery Electrician

The inquest on Willie Dobbs, 45, colliery electrician of Gedling Lane, Arnold, which was opened on Saturday and adjourned, was resumed at the Leenside Coroners Court yesterday. At the first hearing the widow said she saw her husband in hospital, when he made the remark, “if it had gone another foot it would have cut me in two” but he did not say how the accident happened. The Coroner (Mr W S Rothera) told the jury that on the 27th March Dobbs was doing some repairs to a conveyor at Gedling Pit , when the machinery was set in motion and he sustained injuries from which he died in hospital on 5th April. Alfred A Bowker, manager of Gedling Colliery said Dobbs was working on a gate end loader. The chain had broken on one side, and he was repairing it. It was Dobbs duty to have switched off the current at the main, had he done so there would have been no accident. Thomas Young, electrician of Godfrey Street, Netherfield, said when he reached the loader, the charge hand Bennett was helping Dobbs, and he asked witness to slack off the motor to get more slack in the chain. He disconnected the switch lever, but it sprang into the on position again, and the motor started, Dobb being caught in the moving chain. William Bennett, of Westdale Lane, charge electrician At the No 1 pit, in reply to Mr A H Steele H.M. Inspector of Mines said he did not look at the main switch when he went on duty. Dr John Swann who made a post mortem examination said death was due to Pneumonia, caused by fractured ribs and a fracture of the fourth dorsal vertebrae. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”.

Fatal Accident No 77

Nottingham Evening News Tuesday 25-04-1939

Killed By Runaway Tubs, May Have Been Over Zealous

The death of a haulage hand at Gedling Pit last Saturday was investigated by the Nottinghamshire District Coroner (Mr H Bradwell) at a Carlton Inquest today. The dead man was Joseph William Vickers, 63, of The Laurels, Main Street, Woodborough. The jury recorded a verdict that he was “Killed accidently while in the execution of his duty”. Mr Val Coleman secretary of the Nott’s Federated Miners Union, who represented the dead man’s relatives, stated that everything possible was being done to prevent such accidents in local collieries and that B.A. Collieries Ltd; owners of the pit were taking particular pain to safeguard their workers. The Coroner explained to the jury that while Vickers was on the road in Gedling No 2 pit last Saturday, some tubs broke away and ran backward down a steep gradient into some other trucks behind them. Vickers was crushed between them and was dead when he was found. Albert Norman Startin, haulage hand of 41, Laurel Avenue Arnold said that ten minutes after Vickers went up the self-acting incline the haulage suddenly stopped and another man was sent up to investigate. Harold Etherington, of 8, Cambridge Street, Carlton, said he went to see what had jammed the haulage. About 270 yards up he found that five empty tubs had become detached from the rope, two of these were derailed and one was laying across the full road which was therefore fouled. Witness saw Vickers light first and then found Vickers dead under one of the empty tubs that had become derailed. Witness added that the undermanager of the colliery had recently issued instructions that no one should go up the self-acting incline while it was working. Vickers would have done so during the course of his work, so that he could oil the pulleys on it, but the instructions were he should do this between 4am and 6am when the road was standing idle between the night and day shifts. Mark Horner, of Westdale Lane said Vickers was late on that morning and he witness had instructed him to oil some wheels on No 4 district. He did not tell him to use the self-acting incline. The Coroner suggested that that if Vickers was late he might have been over zealous to do the work which should have been done earlier and might have tried to pull in the oiling on the incline whilst it was in motion.

Fatal Accident No 78

South Nott’s Echo Friday 10-11-1939

Killed at Gedling

About three quarters of an hour before the shift finished last Sunday, there was a fall of stone at the Gedling Colliery, which pinned Harry Forrest, aged 36, of 29, Redhill Road, Arnold, to the ground. The stone weighed about a ton and Forrest was killed. There was an inquest at the Fox and Hounds Inn, Carlton, on Tuesday When Joseph Selby, of 90, Moore Road, Mapperley, said Forrest, William Baxter, of 25, Bailey Street, Netherfield, and himself were building a pack. The stone fell and Forrest was buried, but he neither spoke nor moved. It was a slip that could not have been seen beforehand. Both his fellow workmen told the coroner that Forrest was always very careful and examined everything thoroughly; a verdict of “Accidental death” was recorded.