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Inquest Reports - Underwood

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Underwood Colliery

Nottingham Review - Friday 18 March 1832


On Wednesday an inquest was held before C. Swann, Gent. at Mr. J. C. Gething’s the Jolly Colliers, Brinsley, on view of the body of Samuel Flinders, aged thirty years. It appeared from the evidence that the deceased a collier was and worked in a pit belonging to Messrs. Barber and Walker. On the morning of Tuesday week, he went into a part of the pit which was considered dangerous, in quest of his leathern belts, and set down his candle at a short distance; in returning the motion of his body wafted the foul air towards the blaze of the candle, and it immediately exploded while in the midst of it, He was very severely burnt all over. The other miners perceiving the sucking of air towards the candle, ran away and were thrown down by the explosion but not hurt. When got out Flinders was perfectly sensible and he walked home. Medical assistance was promptly procured, but he died from the effect of the burns on Monday night, leaving a wife and two children. Verdict. “Accidental death”.

Nottingham Review - Friday 14 June 1833


On Saturday an inquest was taken before Chris. Swann, Gent. Coroner, at the Sun Inn Eastwood, relative to the Death of Benjamin Benniston a collier, aged 39 years, who has left a wife and eight small children; it appeared that the deceased was employed in a coal-pit belonging to Messrs. Barber and Walker, at Brinsley, and was burnt by what is called wild fire, on Wednesday, the 15th ult, that immediately after the accident, the overlooker employed Mr. Davenport, Surgeon, to attend to him, and he was going on well; but the parish of Smalley, to which the deceased belonged, a few days after, sent a Mr Boden, a surgeon to attend him, but that person missed seeing him for six or seven days together. From the evidence of William Rigley, the overlooker, it appeared that complaints were made to the Derbyshire magistrates of this neglect; the jury returned a verdict of accidental death, with a censure on the conduct of Mr. Boden, for not attending so frequently as it was necessary he should have done.

Nottingham Journal - Saturday 22 November 1839


On Monday the 18th instant, at the house of Samuel Moss the Robin Hood, touching the death of John Davis. The deceased was a collier, working in a coal-pit in Brinsley belonging to Messrs Barber, Walker, and Company; he was ascending, with some other colliers last Saturday, when some bricks fell, one of which hit him on the head, and he would have instantly fallen had not Robert Wharmley, another collier, supported him till they had reached the top of the pit when it was found he was bleeding profusely from a large wound in the head, and that part of his brains had been knocked out; he was carried home; about three quarters of a mile, on a shutter, and on his way, Mr. Draper, assistant to Mr. Smith met him, and attended to this wound, and took out several pieces of the broken bones; but deceased did not survive more than two or three minutes after he got home. It appeared from evidence that the shaft was in a bad state, and had to be repaired every three weeks, and that the bricks had fallen from it; complaints had been made of it to Thomas and Joseph Sisson, who are the butties at the pit, and at whose expense the shaft is repaired; and that Messrs. Barber and Walker have never been informed of the faulty state of the shaft. It appeared also that the shaft can never be repaired so as to make it quite safe, and the only safeguard would be to have a bonnet for the protection of those going up and down. The deceased was a married man and has left eight children; his age was forty two and had worked several years at the colliery. Verdict, “That the deceased died in consequence of a brick accidently falling down a coal-pit, and fracturing his skull; and the jury is of opinion that an iron bonnet should be used for the safety of the workmen, in consequence of the pit being in a bad and dangerous state”

Nottingham Journal - Friday 23 November 1838


Inquest before C. Swann, Gent, Coroner, On Friday last, at the house of Thomas Wilson, The Brick and Tile, at Underwood in the parish of Selston, touching the death of Francis Varley. Edmund Williamson, of Underwood, collier, stated that the deceased had worked in the coal pits belonging to Kirkby Fenton Esq. at Bagthorpe, for the last twelve months, and for the last month in a new pit lately sunk at Bagthorpe, and he was employed in filling dirt in trunks and boxes, which were afterwards drawn up the shaft and the dirt thrown on the bank, That on Wednesday afternoon last, about half past one o clock, the deceased was at his proper work in the middle of the bottom of the shaft, and Joshua Bosquet and witness were working close to him, when the deceased had filled the trunks, he went into the heading to shelter himself from the water which drops down the shaft, and as soon as he got under, a stone, weighing two tons and a half fell from the side of the road fresh cut through, and his back and head were under the stone; and it also hit Joshua Bosquet on the head and knocked him down and injured him severely. The stone fell from a height of five feet and in falling broke in two; about five hundred weight lay upon the deceased, who was got from under it in about ten minutes after, quite dead. The deceased was a married man, twenty five years old, and has left two children. He was brother in law to Henry Maltby, who was accidentally killed at the same pit the week previous. Verdict ”Accidentally killed by the falling of a stone in a coal pit”

Nottingham Journal - 01 December 1848

memory Elisha Hopkin

On the 24th ult, at the Three Tuns Newthorpe, on the body of Elisha Hopkin, a collier aged nineteen. The deceased was employed by Barber and Walker, and Company, at Brinsley. On the previous Monday morning, the deceased, with four other men, were put in the chains to be let down into the pit. The whimsey worked up an ascending chain, at the end of which was affixed a piece of timber, called the “Peter”, to steady and balance the chain, and to prevent it running over the head stock wheel when it gets to the top of the shaft. This “Peter” weighs about half-a-hundredweight. When they had within three or four yards of the bottom of the shaft, which is about a hundred and twenty yards deep, They heard something tumbling down the shaft, and they all leaned forward towards the chain, but deceased who was carrying a bag of corn between his chest and the chain, could not put his head so close to the chain as the others, in consequence of which he was immediately hit on the head by the falling timber, The deceased was taken up the pit again; he was alive, but could not speak or stand. Mr. Smith, surgeon, was sent for, who discovered his skull was fractured. His head was plastered up and he was removed home, where he remained senseless until a little before nine the same night when he expired, Mathew Benniston, one of the men who were going down the shaft at the time of the accident occurred, stated that the piece of timber had fallen out before, but the night before the accident a new patent clevis was used to hold it instead of the old one, which was supposed to be the cause of dropping before. Verdict “That deceased died from a piece of timber accidently falling upon and fracturing his skull, Whist descending into a coal pit”

Nottingham Journal - Friday 26 August 1847


On Friday, an inquest was held at Mr. Thomas Smeeton’s, the sign of the Horse and Groom, Old Brinsley, upon Joseph Smalley, collier, aged 47. Deceased was in the employ of Messrs. Barber and Walker, and on the day previous to holding the inquest , having given over work in a pit at Underwood, in the parish of Greasley, went to the bottom of the shaft to be drawn up, but having to wait, he assisted a man in placing coal upon a corve to be drawn up; whilst he was thus employed, a corve full of coals was going up the shaft, and an empty one was descending, and it is supposed that the empty corve hit the full one and knocked five or six pieces of coal which fell down the shaft, and one piece, which dropped upon another, flew sideways and struck deceased  on top of his head, fractured his skull, and killed him instantly. At the time the coal fell, another man was standing close to the shaft, but ran away past deceased, who was four or five yards off under the brow and was in a safe place if the coal had not flown sideways. There were five at the bottom of the pit at the time of the accident, and the coal flew without hitting them, and then struck deceased. Verdict. “Accidental death” Smalley has left a widow and ten children.

Nottingham Review - Friday 09 May 1855


On the 30th ult, and by adjournment on Monday the 6th instant, Mr Coroner Swann, held an inquest at the Brick and Tile public house, Underwood on the body of Thomas Housley, a collier, thirty eight years of age. The deceased, who has left a wife and five children, was employed at the Underwood colliery belong to Barber and Walker, his duty being to load trucks at the pit with the coal to be taken down to the railway, connecting Langley Mill, with the colliery. On Tuesday the 24thult, he was so employed, and while taking a truck down to the pit bank he stood upon the brake to stop it, contrary to the standing caution against the practice, and in passing stone wall by the side of the rail his body came into contact with it, and was so severely crushed that he died four days afterwards. In order that similar accidents may be prevented in future, the agents of the colliery have removed the rail several inches nearer the wall, so that workmen will be prevented from riding between the trucks and the wall. The jury returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased died from the injuries which he had accidentally received.

Nottingham Review - Friday 25 May 1855


An inquest was held before Mr C. Swann, County Coroner, at Eastwood, on the 19th instant and by adjournment on the 24th yesterday, at the house of William Godber, The Sun Inn, on the body of Abraham Gibson. Oliver Gregson, of Collier Lane, Selston, miner, said he knew the deceased, who was a miner and worked at the Barber and Walker pit at Underwood. On Friday about a quarter past two, he was in Underwood pit and saw deceased drawing wood to set again as supports, and whilst doing so, the roof fell upon him and buried him underneath. There were four of five tons of coal and bind which fell upon him at the same time. They immediately tried to get him out but could not. they then had tried for over two hours; when he was extricated he was quite dead. Verdict. “Accidentally Killed” in a coal pit, by the roof or bind, falling upon him.

Nottinghamshire Guardian - Thursday 24 April 1856


On the 14th and by adjournment the 19th instant, Mr. Swann held an inquest at Eastwood, on the body of Jacob Clifford, who it appears has died from the injuries which he received from the bind in a coal pit falling upon him.

Nottingham Review - Friday 29 August 1856


An inquest was held before C. Swann Esq. on the 16th instant, and by adjournment the 22nd  at the sign of the Jolly Colliers Inn, Brinsley, on the body of John Dexter, age sixty eight years, a collier. It appeared that the deceased worked at the Barber and Walker coal pit called Underwood pit. On Tuesday night, the 12th, he was at work in the pit with other men in the pit. About a quarter past twelve o clock the roof suddenly fell down on them, knocking him down, and injuring the others slightly. He was extricated as soon as possible, when it was found his left thigh was broken, the wound bleeding very profusely, and other parts of the body much bruised. Medical aid was obtained, but he died from the injuries he received about half past nine o clock, on the following Wednesday night. Deceased did not attach any blame whatsoever to anyone, and the other men said the fall of bind was quite accidental. Notice was given to the Secretary of State and the Inspector of Mines, and the inquest adjourned until the 22nd. But as no person appeared pursuant to such notice no further evidence was deemed necessary. The jury returned the verdict  “Deceased died from injuries he received by the bind falling on him in a coal pit”.

Nottinghamshire Guardian - Thursday 06 May 1858


On Friday last Mr. Coroner Swann opened an inquest at the Robin Hood public house, Old Brinsley, touching the death of Jeremiah Knighton. It appeared from the evidence that on Wednesday morning preceding the inquest Henry Harwood, a collier, was engaged in the Underwood coal pit belonging to Barber and Walker, in “heading the stone”, and the deceased who was under bailiff, and had just come down the pit to see how they were getting on, and was on the road about fifteen yards above him. Harwood had made preparations for a blast, when about to fire the straw called to the deceased and others (Harwood’s brother and a boy) who were with him to get out of the road. The deceased asked him to stop a bit while the shifted a waggon; Harwood waited until deceased called out alright, then fired they straw and ran away with the other men. They had run about thirty four yards from the spot where the explosion took place, and the concussion put out all their candles except the deceased’s. Harwood lighted his candle again at the deceased’s, and immediately afterwards the unfortunate man fell down in a state of exhaustion. On his companions raising him up they found blood flowing from a severe wound at the back of the head. He was at once conveyed home and medical assistance was called in, but the poor fellow expired the same afternoon. The inquest was adjourned until Tuesday in order that the Inspector of Mines might be communicated with. On that day in consequence of the Inspector having written to say he did not think his attendance was necessary, the jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”. The deceased was sixty two years of age.

Nottinghamshire Guardian - Thursday 21 April 1859


An accident of a fatal character took place at the “Soft Coal Pit”, Brinsley, the property of Messrs. Barber Walker and Co, last Thursday, the unfortunate person who lost his life being a young man, named Edward Hawkins, a “runner on” at the colliery, aged twenty tree. It appears that the duty of Hawkins was to oil the trams, and when empty to, run them to the chair, at the mouth of the pit in order to be refilled with coals. On Thursday last he was pursuing his work as usual and all went well, until a few minutes before the time for stopping, when he was seen by the engineer of the colliery, to be pushing the tram before him with both his hands towards the top of the pit, and it is conjectured that he must have thought the chair was at the pit mouth, waiting for the tram, for he pushed it too far, and it fell into the pit, dragging him along with it. At this time the chair was being drawn up with a loaded tram on it, and the descending tram fell upon it and was very much broken. The deceased appears to have met with no obstruction in his awful descent, and fell to the bottom a distance of sixty yards with the most fearful violence. The men below, heard something falling down the pit, and on proceeding to look, found the deceased quite dead, and he was immediately forwarded to the top. An inquest was held before Mr Swann, coroner, on the 15th and 16th days of April, at the house of Mr. John Knight, the White Horse, Brinsley, when the above facts were given in evidence, and a verdict of “Accidental death” was returned by the jury

Nottinghamshire Guardian - Thursday 30 June 1859


An inquest was held on the 19th instant and by adjournment on the 24th instant, before Mr C Swann Coroner, at the house of Thomas Redfern, the Brick and Tile, public house, Underwood, touching the death of James Gregory, aged twelve years, son of James Gregory, collier, of Underwood. The deceased worked at Messrs Barber and Walker, and Co, coal pit at Underwood, and on Tuesday, the 7th instant, about eleven o clocks, he was sent by a man who was preparing a blast, for some powder to the powder box. He took a bottle for the powder and a naked candle in his hand, and whilst filling the bottle stuck the candle at the side of the box. Just as he had filled the bottle the candle dropped from the side of the box into the powder, and an instantaneous explosion was the result, most severely burning the deceased’s arms, face, chest, and stomach, and setting his clothes on fire. He was immediately conveyed home, and placed under the care of Mr. Smith, surgeon, but he never recovered and on the night of the 17th instant, he expired. Verdict. “That the deceased died from mortal injuries which he received by the accidental explosion of gun powder in a coal pit”

Nottingham Journal - Wednesday 12 April 1865


On Tuesday, Mr. Coroner Swann concluded an inquest at the Navigation Inn, Langley Mill, touching the death of a boy named William Hill, who had met with his death in a coal pit. Samuel Garratt, collier, of Eastwood, deposed that the deceased was thirteen years old, he was the son of a labourer living at Langley Mill. He and deceased worked in a coalpit belonging to Messrs. Barber and Walker, and Co. at Old Brinsley. On the morning of the 3rd instant they went to work about half past five o’ clock. Deceased had to help draw the little trams out of the bank and when he had finished that work, he had to hole the coal, witness’s business being to load the coal on the large trams. About noon as they were at work, and just in the act of drawing a tram away, a quantity of bind fell upon deceased’s head, throwing him down and entirely covering him with the exception of his legs. He did not call out, but lay very still. Four or five candles were lighted, and witness said to the butty, Lord bless me its killed the lad. He helped remove the stuff which had fallen, and then saw that deceased was lying on his face on a plate of iron and bleeding from the head, After the stuff had been removed, deceased was observed to breathe but he never moved. He was placed in a tram and died as he was conveyed to the pit shaft. Witness had been in the place where the accident occurred many times in the morning, and considered the roof to be safe and sound. Three or four puncheons were set up within a few inches of the side where the bind came down. Witness had sounded the roof several times, and thought it quite safe to work under it. No warning was given before the bind fell. Witness thought about seven or eight hundredweight came down. It was what they call a slip. The injuries which deceased received were principally down the left side of the forehead and head. There did not appear to be any fracture of the skull or limbs. Similar evidence was given by John Twigg, the butty, who stated that he had put all the puncheons, and props which he thought necessary for the safety of the workmen. He considered it an accident and no one was to blame. The Inspector of Mines, Mr. Evans, said he did not think it necessary to call any other witness’s, and after the Coroner had briefly addressed the jury, the following verdict was recorded. “That the deceased was accidentally killed by a fall of bind in a coalpit”

Pioneer - Thursday 02 September 1869


An inquest was held on Friday at the Yew Tree Inn, Brinsley, in the parish of Greasley, before Mr. Heath, touching the death of Joseph Sterland, aged 14, whose death occurred under circumstances of a most distressing nature. From the evidence given by the father of the deceased, it seems he was employed at Barber and Walkers, Underwood coal pit. On Thursday morning last he proceeded to work as usual and entered the cage in order to descend the shaft. However by some means the cage was partially overturned and the unfortunate youth fell to the bottom of the shaft a fearful distance. The body was frightfully mutilated, and death of cause instantaneous. The inquest was adjourned until Friday next.

Nottingham Review - Friday 04 February 1870


An inquest was held by Mr Busby at the Black Horse, Lower Somercotes, respecting the death of James Mellors, miner, of Somercotes. On the 17th, the deceased was employed at the Footer Hill pit, Selston, belonging to T.H. Oakes and Company, Riddings, when a quantity of bind and coal fell upon him. He was taken home and attended to by Mr. Turner, surgeon of Alfreton, but died on the26th. Mr Stokes Government Inspector of Mines was present at the inquiry. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”. Deceased was 22 years of age, and had been married only three weeks before the accident.

Nottinghamshire Guardian - Friday 24 April 1874


John SmithAn inquest was held on Monday last by Mr. Heath, at old Brinsley, on the bodies of George Ball, aged thirty seven and John Smith, aged twenty two, who met their deaths from the effects of choke damp in Underwood Colliery. The following evidence was taken. William Wilson said: I am deputy underviewer at the Underwood Coal pits, belonging to Barber, Walker, and Co. On the 11th April I went through the whole of the workings between half past twelve and one o’ clock. I went down the pit that day at a quarter to five o’ clock in the morning, and remained there until I came up at noon.  I went down at Willey Lane, and came out the same way, and saw nothing wrong. I saw no candle or other light, and perceived no unpleasant smell. The boys on that part of the main road usually use lighted candles which are stuck on the side of the roadway. They are fastened to the side by a piece of clay. I have not seen, that I remember, any of the candles fastened in wood on the planks. I consider that it is perfectly safe to fasten the candle on the bind.

There were no candles used on the day I came out of the mine. When I came out there was no one in but the stableman. On Sunday at noon hearing that something was amiss at the colliery I went down the pit, and heard that the deceased had gone down before me. Ball had been brought up before I went down. I and several other persons then helped to discover Smith, but were unable to do so in consequence of the choke damp which prevailed. I remained down there until Smith’s body had been found. I have since been to that part of the workings known as the stone fault, and found that they were on fire. I cannot account for the fire, and I am unable to account for its origin. We have not yet gone through the stone fault, and it is possible the fire may be beyond it. I have never seen any spontaneous fire in these workings. There is no coal exposed in the stone drift or fault. William Green, 7, Alma Terrace, Selston, said: I am a deputy underviewer at Underwood Colliery. I was not down the pit after six o’ clock on Saturday morning, the 11th April, but was down about seven o’ clock on Sunday morning. It was my usual hour for going down. I went down at Willey Lane, which is my usual road on Sunday mornings. I first went into the office at Underwood in the under workings of this side of the upcast shaft. I found nothing wrong, and then went in the direction of the Underwood return; and as soon as got beyond the shaft I felt an unpleasant smell, as of noxious gas. I had a Davey’s safety lamp closed and locked, and after I had gone about forty yards to the right my lamp was extinguished, and the smell became very strong. I turned back to the office and relighted my lamp. The horse men were there and I cautioned them not to proceed further in that direction. I asked William Dunn, one of the stable men, to come with me to ascertain where the gas was proceeding from. We went as far as the stone fault and found it was on fire, and then returned to the Underwood shaft, and neither Ball or Smith were then down in the pit. I gave information as to the presence of gas to Mr. Rowley, another underviewer. I went down with George ball and told him to be careful, and Ball answered “All right”. I did not see him again after that. I have seen candles lighted, stuck on timber on in the stone heading and on the other side of it also. I have seen candles lighted stuck in the coal of the side of the roads. I don’t think it dangerous thus to use candles’ I can form no opinion as to the cause of the fire. When I first got there on the Sunday morning I saw that the roof had fallen, as it was all on fire. It is from that that I conclude the fire had been first caused in the roof. The timber supporting the roof was charred. The timber had fallen, but the uprights were still there. I think the fire would be smouldering a long time before it broke out into flame. The candles are usually two or three feet from the top. The fire looked like a glow of wood when I first saw it. William Rowley, of Brinsley, said:  I am an underviewer at the Underwood Colliery. I came up on the morning of 11th April at about nine o’ clock. I had been down the workings on Saturday. I went down on Sunday in consequence of what Green had told me. Either four or five men went down with me. I went first on the return air road. After going about fifteen yards I perceived there was some gas. My lamp went out, and I knew that was a warning of the presence of gas. I returned to the pit shaft and in about five minutes tried to go on the same road, and went about thirty yards. The gas there was stronger. Three or four men were behind me. I came back at once, being of the opinion that it was unsafe for anyone to go further. I went to try to rescue two horses which were in the stables in that direction. The deceased John Smith was with me. I told him and others that I wanted to reach the horses. He was there when I last returned, and he came back with me. I told Smith to go to the Willey Lane return stable to give some directions to one of the horse men there. Smith after that came to the fire with a barrel of water; I did not see him after, but I am quite sure I told him it was not safe to go to the Underwood stables. He made no reply. When I got to the fire the timber was burning it was of a red glow. The boarding of the roof had fallen; the uprights were there and on fire. Edwin Shelton, of Oldstone, said: I am a collier, and on Saturday, 11th April I was in the Underwood, pit, I came out that day by the “Intake road” through the drift, and past the Willey Lane Stables. Another workman named George Ward, and five boys were with me, and as they got to the heading I smelt something like smoke, which I thought came from the Willey Lane pit. When we got through the stone heading the smell was not there. We stopped a bit there, and I examined the stone headings to see if there were any bits of candles left. We could not find any, and did not see any smoke still we felt something like smoke. I made no statement to anyone about it, as I did not think there was anything wrong. I have seen candles burning against the wood and timbers. William Wesson said; I am the manager of the Underwood Colliery. I heard about the fire about half past nine o’ clock on Sunday morning, and at once went on to Underwood. When I got there two men had been brought up the shaft and were insensible. I sent for a doctor from Eastwood, and then went down the pit, and after getting a safety lamp I went on the return workings about twenty five yards. My lamp was nearly extinguished, and then I found there was considerable gas, a mixture of carbonic gas and carbonic oxide, which is termed technically choke damp. I had then heard that Ball and Smith were in the workings in that direction, But I was satisfied it was not then safe to go forward beyond where I had been. I then attended to the ventilation in that part, and subsequently, about half past eleven found the body of the deceased, George Ball. The body was at once sent up the shaft and on Monday morning a little before six o’ clock I found that of John Smith. That was about forty five yards from the junction of the main return air way. His lamp was in his left hand, but it was out. I think he had been overtaken when running and he had missed his way at the junction. Ball was one of the contractors on the road and Smith was a collier at the Willey lane Colliery. I saw the fire on Sunday. There was a large fall of roof when I saw it no sign of fire. But there was smoke ascending from the sides of the stone drift. That was about half past ten. I think it was possible to set fire to the place by means of candles as described by the witnesses. I have frequently given them directions not to put their candle in that way. I think it possible and probable that the fire was there when Wilson went through without his experiencing a smell from it. There is nothing about the stone headings likely to produce spontaneous combustion. I rather conclude it has been fired purposely and not accidentally. William Staples of Underwood, Horsekeeper, sworn- I work in the stables at the Underwood pit, on the return. I came out on Saturday afternoon, about a quarter to three o’ clock, by the Underwood shaft there was no unusual smell, and I returned about six o’ clock on Sunday morning and went to the stables, and after feeding the twenty two horses there I went to the other stables, but after I had gone about thirty yards my candle went out. I had a naked candle and one in a lamp. I went back to a place in the bottom and relighted them, and then returned, and when about the same place my candle again went out. I did not smell anything which I thought unusual, and I did not understand the fire damp. I then started to go without my lights, and went backwards for fear I should knock my head against something, and got as far as the first air door and pushed it open, and then smelt something strong and different from other mornings. I stayed about a minute and my head began to get dizzy, my legs tottered, and I made my way back. John Holmes, of Westwood, sworn-I am an engine driver at the Underwood Colliery. I was there on Saturday, the 11th of April instant. I saw Staples come up that afternoon, about a quarter to three. No one came up after him. I did not see Ball come up that day. I was there on Sunday morning, and the first who went down were William Staples, and William Dunn. The jury found a verdict of death from choke damp caused by an accident, viz, the firing of the stone heading. 

Ilkeston Pioneer - Thursday 19 August 1875


On Tuesday afternoon. And by adjournment an inquest was held by the County Coroner, Mr. Heath, at the Sun Inn, Eastwood, respecting the death of Luke Holmes, aged forty three years, who was accidently, killed in the Underwood Colliery on the Friday previous. It appeared from the evidence, that on the day in question deceased, who was a contractor, was at work on one of the main roads in Underwood pit, when one of the walls fell upon him, covering him up to his loins. He was extricated as soon as possible and taken up the pit, but died in a few hours. Several witnesses were called, including deceased’s son who was there at the time. A verdict was returned that on the 13th, the deceased was “Accidentally killed” by the falling of a wall upon him, while employed on the main road of a coal pit.

Ilkeston Telegraph - Saturday 21 August 1875


On Friday a collier, named Luke Naylor, about forty two years of age was dreadfully injured whilst at work in Underwood pit. It appears that water had got into the pit, and he was driving a “head” round were the water was, when a quantity of bind fell upon him, crushing his for, breaking his leg, and back. He has two children, one of whom goes to work, and he was working with his father at the time of the accident, he escaped unhurt. On Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Coroner, Heath, held an inquest at the   Sun inn, Eastwood, on the body of the deceased. The jury after hearing the evidence returned a verdict accordingly.

Nottinghamshire Guardian - Friday 30 December 1881


The Deputy Coroner held an inquest on Wednesday at the General Hospital, relative to the death of Frederick Adams, twenty eight years of age, who died on the 28th instant through the effects of an accident in the Underwood coal mines. Joseph Adams, of Cordy Lane, near Eastwood, said he was the deceased’s brother and had worked with him as a collier in the Underwood Pit. His brother was “spragging” when he met his death. Isaac Calladine said he was working with deceased at the time of the accident. The latter was setting up a “sprag” to support some coal which he was about to work out. While he was doing this a quantity of coal fell upon him striking him upon the shoulders. The deceased did not blame anyone. James Street, a deputy under-viewer, said the deceased was steady, well conducted. And understood his work well. Mr. A. R. Anderson, house surgeon at the General Hospital, said that the deceased was admitted into the Hospital on the 23rd instant. He was paralysed in the lower part of his body, and his back was either broken or dislocated. He died on the following day through the injuries received. A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.

Nottinghamshire Guardian - Friday 22 December 1882

memory Thomas Naylor

On Saturday afternoon the Deputy District Coroner Mr. A. Browne, held an inquest at the Robin Hood Inn, Old Brinsley, on the body of Thomas Naylor, a collier, fifty four years old, who died on Friday morning from the effects of injuries received by a quantity of bind falling upon him in the Brinsley coal pit last Tuesday. William Naylor, a collier, identified the deceased as his father, who died at half past four o’ clock on Friday morning. James Price, a miner, living at Eastwood Bridge, said that he worked in the same stall as the deceased, and saw him at work about ten o’ clock on Tuesday morning when he was repairing a door of one of the gangways. No one else was working with the deceased at that time. Shortly afterwards witness heard a noise of something falling, and on going to the place where he had last seen deceased found that about two hundredweight of bind had fallen against the door. Witness looked through the doorway and saw the deceased lying on his back on the ground and the bind upon him. The deceased said. You can’t get through; tell somebody to go round. Witness told his butty, Mathew Richards, to go round and the bind was lifted from the deceased’s body. The deceased told witness that the bind fell as he was hitting the brickwork at the top doorway. That was the last he saw of the deceased, as witness’s butty took the deceased to the surface. The nearest prop to the bind from the door where the deceased was working was five or six yards away. The deceased was rather deaf. Mathew Richards gave similar evidence. George Limb, deputy underviewer at the colliery, said that he had examined the gangways at four o’ clock on Monday afternoon, and again at one o ‘clock on Tuesday morning. The door next to that near which the deceased was injured required loosening, and the deceased had given him instructions to loosen it. Witness noticed nothing wrong with the door beside which the deceased was working. A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned by the jury.

Nottingham Evening Post - Monday 05 October 1885

memory Tom-Kibble

On Saturday afternoon Mr. Coroner Whittingham, held an Inquest at the Brick and Tile Inn, Brinsley, near Eastwood, touching the death of Thomas Kibble, a collier, who was killed by a fall of bind on Thursday. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”.

Nottinghamshire Guardian - Friday 25 December 1885

memory #Freeman-W

On Monday, the District Coroner, Mr. D. Whittingham, held an inquest at the sun Inn, Eastwood, relative to the death of Freeman Walker, aged twenty two years. Mr Stokes, Inspector of Mines was present; as also Mr Weston, the manager of Brinsley Colliery. Alice Walker, said she was the widow of the deceased, who was a collier, and had worked at the Brinsley Colliery for nine years. He went to work as usual up to Tuesday morning when he was injured while at his work. Since then he had been attended by a doctor until his death on Saturday morning. Deceased said no one was to blame for the injury he received, and said the coal fell upon his chest. George Walker, brother of the deceased said he was working with him on Tuesday in No 4 stall soft coal shaft Brinsley Colliery. Deceased was a stallman and was setting “sprags” to support the roof. He had He had been engaged at this for about ten minutes when a piece of coal fell and injured him. Mr William Watson said he was informed of the accident on Wednesday morning, and went to examine the place, and found a piece about fifteen feet long and eighteen inches wide I deceased’s stall. Witness considered another sprag should have been set. There were plenty of sprags about. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”.

Nottingham Evening Post - Thursday 13 February 1889

memory Charles Godfrey

This afternoon the Deputy District Coroner Mr. Williams, held an inquest at the Greasley Castle Inn, Hill Top, Newthorpe, touching the death of Charles Godfrey, aged twenty, a pit banksman, who met with his death on the 19th last, whilst working at the Brinsley Colliery. Mr. Edward Lindley, agent for Messrs. Barber and Walker, and Co. proprietors of the colliery, and Mr, Southern, Assistant Inspector of Mines, attended the inquiry. The father of the deceased James Godfrey, stated that his son had been at Brinsley Colliery for three weeks. Previously to which he had worked at another colliery for about four years. John North, banksman, of Brinsley, said he was at work with deceased on Tuesday morning last. The deceased had to load trucks at the screens and to bring empty trucks from the sidings onto the screens for the purpose of loading them. He only let one truck at a time down from the sidings. The wagons on the sidings were generally scotched and locked on the metals, and if two wagons were coupled together the deceased would have to detach them before knocking the scotch off. He saw the deceased fetch a wagon from the sidings leaving three behind him. The wagon ran down and was stopped at the screens and the deceased went behind it as if to cross the lines. The three other wagons which deceased had left in the sidings had started to run down, and the deceased seemed to bend down as if to avoid them, but they came on and struck him. A man ran down to see what had happened, and he subsequently saw the deceased in the cabin on the bank. Francis Smith, a banksman, of Old Brinsley, said in evidence of being called to the trucks by North. He ran down to the screens and found deceased’s head trapped between the buffers of the wagons. He was quite dead when extricated. The first wagon which deceased had release was thrown off the lines. There were plenty of scotches lying about on the line at the time. William Pollard, Langley Mill, Derbyshire, foreman banksman at the pit, corroborated the evidence of North, and added that he believed that the last trucks on the sidings were coupled together. He had always told deceased to scotch the wagons behind after he had released the first one. The first wagon of the three that ran onto the deceased had a good brake. The next wagon had a bad brake, as to the brakes of the brakes of the two behind, he thought the back one was strong enough to hold the wagons if properly down. The decline was not a steep one, and there were plenty of scotches handy. When the deceased was engaged he told witness that he had had experience in moving wagons. He believed that the deceased had lifted the brakes on the first of the three trucks for the purpose of giving the first wagon a start and that he omitted to scotch them afterwards. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death” and exonerated the Brinsley Company from any blame in the occurrence.

Nottingham Evening Post - Saturday 13 June 1891

memory Enoch-Bower

Mr. D. Whittingham, Coroner for the District, conducted an inquiry at the Sun Inn, Eastwood, this morning, respecting the death of Enoch Bower, aged nineteen, who was killed by a fall of stone whilst working at the Brinsley Pit, on Thursday morning. Mr. Hepplewhite, Assistant Inspector of Mines, was present at the inquiry as was Mr. Lindley, manager of the New London pit. John Bower, of Princes Street, Eastwood, collier, said the deceased, his son lived with him. The worked together at Brinsley Colliery. belonging to Barber Walker, and Co. He had worked at pit for about two years. The deceased was working with witness as a holer, in No 1 North Hard where the witness was stallman. he was killed while at work about ten o’ clock on Thursday morning. At that time they were engaged in taking a loaded tub out of the head and towards the gate, when the bind from the roof began to run from between the bars. Witness got out of the way, but the deceased was unable to do so before a considerable quantity of bind came down and buried him, and he was apparently smothered. The deceased was able to speak at first, but before witness could get to him some more bind came down, and when he was got out life was extinct. The roof was properly built but it had always been weak. witness did not blame anyone in connection with the occurrence. By Mr. Hepplewhite: The roof had always been bad from the start owing to a fault. Joseph Smitheringdale, collier, of Eastwood, said he was a butty to the last witness and was present when the accident happened. In his opinion the stall in which they were was being worked in the best way practicable, and it had not hitherto been considered dangerous. James Brown, deputy at pit said he had made an examination of the stall in which the deceased was killed about three hours before the accident happened. The roof was well timbered, and there was no apparent danger. He had given proper instructions to the first witness concerning the fault in the stall. The Coroner, in summing up said "the Government Inspector was distinctly of opinion that the working of the stall was where the accident happened and was not the safest method", he was also of opinion that it have been better for the deputy underviewer to have given clear instructions to the men as to the manner in which the faulty stall should have been worked. The jury might leave it to the Government Inspector and the manager of the pit to see that the alterations he indicated should be made. The jury was of opinion that there was no proof of negligence on the part of anyone, and returned a verdict of “Accidental death”.

Nottingham Evening Post - Monday 21 November 1892

memory Phill Bostock

This afternoon at the Nottingham General Hospital, Mr. Charles L. Rothera, Borough Coroner, held an inquest on the body of Phillip Bostock, twenty nine, of 20, Wellington Street, Eastwood, who died in the hospital on Saturday. Mr. A. H. Stokes, Inspector of Mines was present. The wife of the deceased, Betty Bostock identified the body. George Robert Brown, of Eastwood, miner, said that he was at work with the deceased on the 4th instant at the Brinsley Pit. Deceased was a butty and had charge of the work on which they were engaged. He was pulling coal from the wall side, when a piece of the roof fell on him without any warning. The roof was properly propped. Bostock was responsible for this. The deputy had been through half an hour before. Deceased was badly hurt, complaining of his legs, and he was conveyed home. Mr. J. P. Gray, house surgeon, said that when deceased was admitted on the 8th instant, he was suffering from a fracture of the spine and paralysis of the lower limbs as a consequence. He died on the 18th last of these injuries. Charles Clark, of Langley Mill, deputy at the Brinsley Pit, said that on the 4th of the month he was through the stall when the deceased was injured about two o’ clock, and the stall was in a satisfactory condition, and the stone which subsequently fell was not then exposed. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”.

Nottingham Evening Post - Thursday 22 March 1900

memory Geo Andrews

An inquest was held at the Clinton Arms Inn, Old Brinsley, this afternoon, by Mr. E. Williams, on the body of George Andrews, a collier, aged eighteen, who was killed on Tuesday last by a fall of coal in the Brinsley Colliery. Mr. E. Lindley represented Messrs Barber and Walker, owners of the colliery, and Mr W. H. Hepplewhite, of Nottingham, Inspector of Mines, was also present. Arthur Andrews, brother of the deceased identified the body as that of his brother, with whom he was at work on the day he met his death. Deceased was employed at the Brinsley Colliery as a wagoner and witness was working with him in No. 15 stall. At eleven o’ clock on Tuesday morning there was a fall of roof six or seven yards from the lip, next to a new gate which was being made. Deceased had just been holding a ventilating cloth in the gate, and was following a man named Pollard, a stallman, onto the bank when the rock fell, burying him. They got him out quickly but deceased did not speak again, although he breathed for a few minutes. The roof had been examined by Pollard at about ten o’ clock that morning near the lip, but witness did not see him examine the part that fell. There was plenty of timber in the stall. By Mr. Hepplewhite: The material from under the stone that fell had been got about a fortnight previously, but neither stretchers or props had been put in. A shot had been fired in the gate on the previous Thursday. Witness knew there were weight breaks in Pollards stall, but in spite of that no timber had been put under the stone. Witness was within a yard of his brother when the stone fell, but he was not touched. The deputy had passed through about nine o’ clock and examined the place with his lamp. William Pollard, stallman, of Langley Mill, corroborated. By Mr Hepplewhite: He knew there were cracks in the gate and that they were dangerous, had timber been set it would have held the rock up. In future he would always in such cases put timber underneath whether the rock was soft or hard. William Limb, colliery deputy of Eastwood, stated that he was in the stall at nine o’ clock on the morning of the accident. He examined the new gate and there was not the slightest indication of a coming down. He had been a deputy eleven years. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”.

Nottingham Evening Post - Friday 22 November 1901

memory Hosea-Lacey

At the Nottingham General Hospital this afternoon the City Coroner Mr. C. L. Rothera held an inquest on the body of Hosea Lacey, aged sixty one, a miner, who was fatally injured by a fall of bind at the Old Brinsley Colliery on the 19th instant, and died last night. Mr. W. H. Hepplewhite, Inspector of Mines, attended Mr. J. A. H. Green appearing on behalf of the Notts Miners Association. John Hill Lacey, stated that his father lived at Eastwood, and was a stallman at Brinsley Colliery. He was working in the same stall as his father on Tuesday, and the latter was engaged in removing a prop with a ringer and a chain. After a few minutes there was a fall of bind. Deceased had previously tested the roof round the top of the prop. There was nothing to show that the bind was loose, and after the fall, deceased stated that he had tested it and found as he thought, secure. Witness thought that deceased had carried out the work properly. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”.

Nottingham Evening Post - Saturday 31 July 1909

memory John-Ridley

Mr. D. Whittingham, held an inquest at Eastwood this afternoon on the body of John Ridley, of 41, Queen Street, Eastwood, who died on Wednesday after an illness which commenced at work at the Brinsley Colliery on 25th May, on which date he strained his heart whilst using a ringer. The jury were called upon to determine whether death was due to the accident or natural causes. After hearing the evidence of Dr. Calder, who made a post-mortem examination, the jury returned a verdict to the effect that death was due to a cancerous tumour of the left lung, slightly accelerated by the accident sustained.

Nottingham Evening Post - Friday 16 November 1923

memory CH-Martin

Charles Henry Martin, forty six, of 23, Bishop Street, Eastwood, a contractor at the Brinsley pit, was in charge of a party excavating at the pit on the 8th instant, when he met with injuries which proved fatal. Today at the Nottingham General Hospital a brother of the deceased, John William Martin, 16, Wellington Street, Eastwood, said some soft stuff had been taken out, Sprags had been set and deceased took one out with his pick. There was a burst of roof and about two tons fell. A prop was struck and this in turn hit the deceased and knocked him against the wall. Dr. E. Young, said that on admission to the hospital deceased was suffering from fractured ribs. He died on Tuesday from heart failure following lung injuries and pulmony complications. A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned. Sympathy was expressed with the relatives by a representative of the company, and by Mr. G.A. Spencer. M.P. Notts Miners Association.

Nottingham Evening Post - Friday 29 November 1929

memory JW-Parkinson

A fatal accident at the Brinsley Colliery on Wednesday, when John William Parkinson, thirty four, of 71 Lyncroft, Hill Top, Eastwood was injured, was the subject to an inquest at the Nottingham General Hospital to-day. The city Coroner Mr. C. L. Rothera, Coroner, in opening the enquiry remarked: It is a long time since I last had to be here for a case of this kind. Most of my calls are for motor traffic. This one is one of those unfortunate colliery cases which happen from time to time. Deceased was a stallman. On Wednesday he was in the pit and they had cleared up a fall of coal which had occurred, and they were proceeding to set up the stall in complete order. A temporary prop had to be removed after a permanent prop had been fixed, but in the process of fixing the permanent one a fall occurred, which pushed out the temporary one, and a heavy stone fell upon deceased, who was on his knees fixing the permanent one. He was brought here as quickly as possible, and died on Saturday morning. The enquiry was attended by Mr. R. Yates, Inspector of Mines, Mr. R. D. Robinson, agent, Mr John Lea, manager, and Mr. H. Price, National Association of Colliery Deputies. Frank Naylor, of 141, Lyncroft, Eastwood, who was working with the deceased, said Parkinson was preparing to make a hole in the floor to put in the permanent prop. He did not hear the stone come down. He was in the gate and heard Parkinson groan, and going back found him under the stone. The stone had been supported by a catch prop. In reply to the Mines Inspector, witness said he thought the catch prop had been under the edge of the stone, and was pushed away when the stone fell. The deputy was in the stall at one thirty p.m. and the accident occurred at four p.m. James Brown, 72, Broad Lane, Brinsley, the deputy said the deceased was a competent man and he regarded him as a good reliable man. The stone weighed half a ton. Dr. W. A. Hutton, said that Parkinson had a broken neck from which he died at eleven thirty a.m. on Saturday. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”.

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