Hi, I'm very fascinated by your web site. On one of your pictures you have a miner’s cracket. I'm busy searching all my mine books to find a picture and description of a hewer's cracket. I remember it was angled at 45 degrees to accommodate different positions for his neck. Carry on the great work you are doing.
Ex-Ashington Colliery, Northumberland.
Above Right - Woodhorn Colliery: Cracket - a miner used a cracket to rest his head and/or shoulders on when working lying down. They were made from spare bits of wood found lying around, such as bits of pit props.
Finally I have found the picture from Thunder Underground Northumberland Mine Disasters 1815 - 1865.
The cracket is on the left foreground. You can see the curve for the neck. Although this man was a Hewer he must have hit geological problems so he used the drill. This picture was taken in 1896.
Right - Lawerence Armstrong holding a 'Hewers crackett'. I am not sure if the name was just used in Northumberland or they were used all over the coalfields.
Blenkinsopp & Wrytree Pits
Another picture of a cracket. Description was a small stool upon which to rest his thigh (if crouching) or his shoulder if reclining.
19 & 20 century crackets were three pieces of wood, the seat and two end pieces to form legs. Occasionally found in old workings. They were often circular (6 inches dia) with three short legs, one shorter than the other see attachment.
Cracket or Working Stools:
Left 18th Century
Right 19th Century
These are in the collections of the Northern Regional Open Air Museum.