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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 113

Nottingham Guardian Tuesday 03-01-1961

Miner Killed by Bolting Pony

A pit pony bolted on December 16 and caused the death of Percy Edward Maddison, 60, of First Avenue, Carlton, a Nottingham inquest heard yesterday. He died from a broken neck and the jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”. Mr A C G Rothera the Nottingham City Coroner said it was one of those unfortunate accidents attached to this kind of job, and added “It is an industry that has its moments of danger, it is the first time I have dealt with a case in which a bolting pony was involved”. Mr Rothera said that Mr Maddison was moving salvageable arches on a “jotty” (a tub) and it became derailed. The pony bolted as he tried to get it back on the rails. Derek Doyle Bailey, a trainee with the NCB of Nottingham Road, Basford, said they had been along the road several times and there was no fault on the tracks. He said Mr Maddison was going to disconnect the pony’s harness, and lift the tub back on the road; His impression was that the pony bolted. Questioned by Mr Rothera he said the pony was rather excitable. Mr Rothera “Was it possible to get the jotty back on the road without disconnecting the pony?” “No”.

Fatal Accident No 114

Nottingham Journal Tuesday 15-05-1962

Runaway Truck Killed Pit Driver

After hearing how an underground locomotive driver went five hundred yards down a steep incline to his death, hanging on to the brake lever of a three ton truck, Mr C A Mack the Nottingham District Coroner called for greater observation of safety regulations in coal mines. A Carlton inquest jury returned an “Open verdict” on Michael Howard Hearson, 28, of 53, Langford road Arnold, the father of two small children who was crushed to death on March 31. Mr Mack said he was surprised that no proceedings were to be taken against anyone involved in the tragedy. With reluctance he had to direct that there was no evidence of such a degree of negligence as would justify him discussing the question of manslaughter. “One must wonder how serious a man’s conduct or negligence must be before proceedings are taken” he added. Commenting on the evidence of Hearson’s guard John Norwood, he said there was little doubt that Norwood knew all along he was contravening every regulation or common sense requirement for the safety of not only himself but other people who were working on that road. Mr Mack who announced that new rules were being formulated as a result of the tragedy asked the jury; “is there not here before you the clearest possible evidence of carelessness, negligence, and a gross breach of the most simple standards of safety which, I submit to you, should make you seriously consider an open verdict, it implies negligence by someone”. Mr Mack describing the accident said Hearson and his guard moved an engine and a truck (which weighed about three tons with its load of steel pipes) about one and a half miles up a one in twenty gradient. They were changing the towing equipment when the truck and engine parted. Hearson jumped onto the truck and tried to apply the brake, but it ran down the gradient with Hearson clinging onto the brake. About five hundred yards from where the truck ran away it was found derailed and lying on top of Hearson. The guard Norwood working with Hearson said the accident was caused by the hook slipping off the mine car. He admitted that only one chain was used as a tow rope along the loop line when the regulations said two chains should be used. He also said that the crash barriers had been left open and they had not used a “drag”. When the truck first moved he tried to put his weight against it but had to let go. The brakes on the truck were no good said Norwood, and men were working on the line. He had never read safety rules about transport. He took his orders from the driver. Asked by the Coroner why they did not use the regulation chain for the job, he said it was not on the engine when they started the shift. Mr Mack: “Did you ever grumble about the chain not being put back?” Norwood: “Yes I grumbled thousands of times”.

Fatal Accident No 115

Nottingham Evening Post 27-07-1962

Mistake by Pony Kills Driver

The day Rodney the pit pony made a mistake it cost a man his life, a Nottingham inquest heard yesterday. For when Rodney heard the word “draw on” used in conversation by two miners he obediently started pull his two tubs. And a miner, Albert Moore was trapped against the wall by one of them. “This has many features of a pure accident “said Mr A C G Rothera, the Nottingham City Coroner at the adjourned inquest on Mr Moore. “ It seems quite obvious that the pony heard the conversation between Mr Moore and a workmate and mistook the words for a command to move, the pony was well trained and I don’t want any false blame for this accident to fall on it”. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death” on Mr Moore of Hutton Street, Nottingham, who died on July 2. The Coroner said Mr Moore was employed at Gedling Colliery and was in charge of the pony, which was pulling metal tubs along a track. He stopped to open a ventilation door and the pony moved on while he was not looking, trapping him against the wall with one of the tubs.

Fatal Accident No 116 In Memory

No detail of accident or inquest found in local press detail from the death certificate and personal knowledge

Mr Frank Sidney Gee, aged 42, of 125, Morley Avenue, Sherwood, Nottingham, was a coal cutter driver at Gedling Colliery. On Tuesday February 26 1963 he advanced a hydraulic support forward and the beam caught the rotating disc of his cutting machine the beam struck his head and killed him. The inquest was held at Carlton Council Offices on 26 April 1963, the verdict “Accidental death".

Fatal Accident No 117

Nottingham Evening Post Wednesday 28-10-1964

Man Killed Getting Work Done Quicker

A 55 year old surface worker at Gedling Colliery was killed when he fell into a hopper which he had been shovelling coal spillage; it was stated at an inquest yesterday. After hearing that the work was not done in accordance with recognised procedure the Nottingham District Coroner, Mr C A Mack, said he was satisfied that there was no evidence to justify criminal proceedings against anyone. The fatality probably occurred through the man’s anxiety to get the work done as quickly as possible the Coroner added. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death” on Frank Walton, of 78, Kenrick Road, Mapperley, who died on October 1 from shock and chest injuries; he was married with three children. Mr Eric Strange, of 87, Coningswath Road, Carlton, said that with Mr Walton he was clearing spillage into a hopper, having moved a steel plate covering the hopper top. Mr Strange said he walked to the other side of the hopper then noticed Mr Walton had disappeared. He found the steel plate had tilted and Mr Walton was lying at the bottom of the hopper. A colliery worker lowered him by a rope into the hopper to get Mr Walton out, but a doctor found him to be dead.

Fatal Accident No 118

Nottingham evening Post Wednesday 26-01-1965

Pit Death New Safety Steps, Inquest on Nottingham Miner

A machine at Gedling Colliery was given extra safety covers and operating procedures were changed, when a miner died after an accident there on January 7 the Nottingham City Coroner heard yesterday. The inquest was on John Leslie Blackham, 37, of 12 Lotus Street, Nottingham, who got his foot caught in a stage loader as he was helping to turn a cutting machine; he died of crush injuries to the abdomen and pelvis in Nottingham General Hospital. Robert Palmer, of 62, Besecar Avenue, Gedling, said that Blackham was “drawn along the loader like a lump of coal”. He became trapped as he reached a link bar lying across the stage loader. Stanley Bartnicki, of 7, Upper Beacon Street, Blue Bell Hill, said he heard Blackham shout and the loader was switched off. A prop had to be removed to shift the link bar under which Blackham was trapped. The Coroner Mr A C G Rothera said that Blackham was in charge of the operation “but even with the best and most experienced of these miners it is inevitable an accident will happen” said Mr Rothera. The initial accident was a simple one but he slipped onto the stage loader. I have found that the NCB are quick to learn from these accidents said Mr Rothera. The jury then returned a verdict of “Accidental death”, and their foreman added that there should be a mechanical device to stop the loader at the stable end in the event of any obstruction dropping onto it. NCB officials said that more cover had been put over the loader and the turning operation of the cutter had been modified so that the work being done by Blackham would now take place at the opposite end of the loading gear.

Fatal Accident No 119

South Nott’s Echo Friday 06-08-1965

Coal Face Collapsed, Safety Regulation Not Observed

If a group of workers at the Gedling Colliery had complied fully with the rules Mr Arnold Smith, a 36 year old power loader operator of Gedling might still be here today, declared Mr C A Mack the Nottingham District Coroner, on Friday. He was conducting an inquest on Mr Smith father of five children, of 94, Phoenix Avenue, Gedling, who was killed at the colliery on June 22 when the coal face collapsed on him. Mr Ernest Harold Hunt, of 57, Independent Street, Radford, told the jury that he and other workers were putting up props to support the coal face when the accident happened. They were putting up supports at four feet intervals, but at one point they drilled a stretch of twelve feet, leaving the coal face completely unsupported, before fixing anymore props. Suddenly the coal face collapsed without any warning knocking Mr Smith sideways to the floor, the alarm was given and workmen found Mr Smith within twenty minutes, said Mr Hunt, he added Mr Smith was given artificial respiration but he was already dead. Asked by Mr Mack whether he knew of the regulation which stated that props supporting the coal face at intervals not exceeding six feet at all times, Mr Hunt said he did not. He added however that they had known they were working under dangerous conditions. Referring to the regulation about the supports, Mr Mack commented that in some cases there could be an exemption, if there were special circumstances, in this case there were none. But the regulation was not observed,” This was a case of familiarity breeding contempt” Mr Mack stated. That the men had decided not to bother about what they considered to be “petty restrictions”, instead they drew upon their past experience and thought that they could take this chance. Ninety eight times out of a hundred they would have been safe he pointed out, but this was the exception. The regulation is there for the purpose of safety, and if the men had complied with the rules, Mr Smith might be here today. The jury returned an “Open verdict”

Fatal Accident No 120 In Memory

Nottingham Evening Post Saturday 31-07-1965

Miner Died In Roof Fall

While working with a hydraulic roof support at Gedling Colliery a Nottingham mine worker, Vincent Glen Nam, tried to remove fallen coal when he was struck by a stone and then buried by a fall a Carlton inquest heard yesterday. They returned a verdict of “Accidental death” on Mr Nam whose home was in Bakerdale Road, Nottingham. Mr C A Mack Nottingham District Coroner told the jury that the area, known to be bad, was supported by bars, the stone fell without warning and knocked out three of the bar settings.

Fatal Accident No 121

No detail of inquest in local press found only death reported.
Mr Clarence Whitehouse aged 61, lived at 1, Valley Road Carlton. On 6 October 1966 he was working in the BPD area of the mine when he was crushed between tubs and died from his injuries. The inquest was held at Nottingham Coroners Court on 21 October 1966. Detail from closed Coroners reports permission granted by Coroner.

Fatal Accident No 122

No detail of inquest in local press found, only death reported
Mr Samuel Blackmore aged 20, lived at 276, Sneinton Dale, Nottingham. On Wednesday 22 march 1967, he was working as a stage loader attendant in Gedling Colliery. After shots had been fired in the Main Gate ripping a dislodged girder, fell onto the stage loader and staked the electrical switchgear mounted on the Stage Loader. They were pushed onto him and crushed him causing his death. The inquest was on Thursday 27 April 1967, Accidental death was the verdict.

Fatal Accident No 123

Nottingham Evening Post Wednesday 14-01-1970

Inquest on Miner

A miner had almost no warning of a fall of rock before he was killed underground a Nottingham District inquest heard, and although he was found by workmates within seconds of the fall and given the kiss of life, he was already dead as a result of multiple internal injuries and a broken neck. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death” on Charles Alfred Porter, 64, of Dame Agnes Street, Nottingham, who died on December 23 while working a night shift at Gedling Colliery. Mr Porter was erecting arched roof supports with two other men when the fall of rock occurred. The two other men managed to get clear But Mr Porter was in such a position that he would get the least warning of the fall and the least chance to get clear, said Mr Peter Jenkin Jones the Deputy Coroner.

Fatal Accident No 124

Nottingham Evening Post Wednesday 07-07-1972

Miner Was Hit by a Stone.

Miner George Rose’s death in a roof fall at Gedling Colliery was an unavoidable tragedy, a Carlton inquest heard yesterday. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death” on Mr Rose, 45, of Manthorpe Crescent, Penarth Rise, Sherwood Vale, Nottingham. Mr A C Mack the Nottingham District Coroner described the events of June 9, a team were engaged in shoring up the roof in order to make it safe, when suddenly and without warning there was a heavy fall of roof stone, and Mr G K W Chevels and Mr Charles Coy were able to dive clear, but were slightly injured. Mr Rose was struck by a large piece of stone across the shoulders and the head. Workmen gave the kiss of life without result said the Coroner. Mr Chevels said the team had done nothing to cause the fall, and senior overman at the colliery Mr Peter Walker, said the accident could not be averted. Mr Mack spoke of the “very proud record” that Gedling Colliery had built up over the years. “It is a great tragedy that this accident should have happened” he stated.