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Newspaper Stories
- Alan Beales and Robert Bradley -


  Stories, Page

Newspaper Stories - Page 2

27 Feb 1880 – Much damage was done to property and shops at Langley Mill from workings at Langley Colliery, owned by Butterley Co. due to the damage several shops and properties were empty.

11 June 1880 - One of the 4 boilers at the Colliery of the Awsworth Colliery Co., near Ilkeston exploded.  The boiler which weighed 10 tons was scattered in all directions in immense fragments. Thomas Beardsley was severely scalded, David Long dangerously wounded by falling debris and several other men were injured. Damage to the extent of £1000 was sustained by the demolition of the buildings and machinery at the pit mouth, and 150 miners were imprisoned by the destruction of the lifting gear at the shaft head.

19 Jul 1880 -  The Awsworth Colliery belonging to the Awsworth Coal and Iron Co., that had been at a standstill for about 5 weeks owing to the explosion of one of the boilers and work was resumed by a number of men and boys on the 19th. The boilers have been overhauled and placed in thorough repair during the stoppage of the mine and have been placed in a more elevated and better position. It is expected that the full number, formally employed at the Colliery, about 150, will be at work in a few days.

16 May 1881 – There was an explosion at Pleasley New Pit owned by Stanton Iron Works Co., when a fall of bind took place and liberated a quantity of methane gas that exploded and burnt 6 men severely.

11 Oct 1881 – The lease for Skegby Colliery was auctioned by Mr Whitehead at the Mart, Milton Street, Nottingham.  It was for 834 acres for 20 years at £75 per acre for coal gotten from Top Hard and £46 17s 6d for Dunsil gotten and £51 11s 3d for coal gotten from Waterloo, Tupton and Blackshale seams.  All the working plant including implements, stock of timber etc.

Jul 1883 – There was an explosion at Brinsley Colliery.

6 Jul 1883 – The winding rope broke at New Hucknall Colliery, but there were no casualties.

3 Oct 1883 – Heanor Pit was for sale.

20 Oct 1883 – At Blackwell Colliery the pipe that crossed the yard from the boiler to the Steam Winder burst and put a stop to winding. No men could be drawn up the pit for 2 hours until a flange had been put onto the pipe and steam raised again.

26 Oct 1883 – At Brinsley the manager was prosecuted for a breach of the regulations.

16 May 1884 – to the 13 June 1884 there was a strike at Teversal, Silverhill and Pleasley Collieries owned by the Stanton Iron Works Co.

21 Nov 1884 – 16 year old Arthur Ison was assisting his father Thomas Ison, the Onsetter, in the pit bottom at Glapwell Colliery.  He was trapped and killed by a tub on the cage when the engineman, John Gelsthorpe did not stop the engine when signalled to do so until the 3rd ring.  He was found guilty of manslaughter.

23 July 1886 – There was a claim under the Employers’ Liability Act at Mansfield, against the New Hucknall Colliery Co., by the widow of a man named Rudd, who was a Dataler his death being alleged to have been occasioned through the neglegence of the defendants. The claim was for £200 - £120 on behalf of the widow and £80 on behalf of one child aged 12. On 19th Feb there was a large fall at a back ripping side of a gate and Rudd and another were buried and unfortunately Rudd was fatally injured. He earned 22 shillings a week and his widow received £5 from the Workmens’ Colliery Club. It happened on the night shift when a man called Blood was the night chargeman of the colliery.

14 Oct 1886 - There was an explosion at Shipley Nutbrook Colliery owned by E. M. Mundy. 4 men were burnt, 2 seriously when a fall of roof liberated methane gas and fired at their lighted candles. Mark Smith and Allen Henshaw were the two seriously injured and the other two, John Fretwell and John Hockley escaped with minor burns.

31 Oct 1886 - A fire was discovered at Teversal Colliery in an engine house underground at 8pm. Fortunately there was a good supply of water at the top of the Plane road and the fire was extinguished by 3am next morning, however considerable damage was done in that portion of the pit and work was to recommence in 4 or 5 days. Mr Clark was the Managing Director for the Stanton Ironworks Co and Mr Morton was the Manager of the mine.

5 Nov 1886 – There was a fire underground at Teversal, no casualties reported.

8 Dec 1886 - There was an explosion of gas at Lord Donington's Moira pit, near Ashby de la Zouche and the following 10 men were injured and burned, fortunately none were killed. J Bradford, J Cooper, T Kirby, G Hart, W Hart, T Patrick, A Ramsell, W Sharp, J Statham and F Taylor.

10 Dec 1886 – There was an explosion at Reservoir Colliery.

6 May 1887 – There was an underground fire at Shireoaks Colliery.

3 Jun 1887 – The jury and the coroner were taken underground at Babbington Colliery to see the site of an accident.

18 July 1887 – On Tuesday night the whole of the 500 men and boys employed at Plumbley Pit received notice to leave the employment of the Plumbley Colliery Co. The pit had only worked one day a week since Whitsuntide owing to the Depression in the coal trade.

7 Sep 1887 – Langley Colliery was closed on Friday. The horses belonging to Jeremiah Eggleshaw were all drawn out of the pit and all the tools removed. The men were dismissed by the Butterley Co., due to the Depression in the coal trade. The colliery opened again in 1891 (see below **).

26 Dec 1887 - Charles Richard Evans was killed whilst ascending the shaft at Stanley (SR Cox) after starting the Tangye pumping engine. The empty cage had caught on the props at the pit top and the rope was twisted around the cog wheels. The ascending cage with the deceased in it was 40 yards up the shaft from the pit bottom and 20 yards from the pit bank. The deceased called out that he was alright but 15 minutes later must have swarmed down the conductor rope which was greasy to get out of the smoke from the furnace and the steam from the engine in the pit bottom and he fell to the bottom.

12 Aug 1889 – at 3 a.m. on Tuesday there was an accident at Tibshelf Colliery, owned by the Babbington Coal Co. During the night shift water was being collected in a bucket underneath the cage and wound out of the pit, however the engineman overdrew the cage and the bucket, which went up into the wheels, broke off and fell down the 400 yard deep shaft. The Kings’ Patent Safety Hook failed to work.

Friday 1 Nov 1889 - The coal wharf at Sutton Lammas for the Brierley Hill pit was formally inaugurated. The 1,600 yards double lined railway was set out by WH Sankey an Engineer from Sandiacre.

29 Apr 1890 – On Saturday afternoon at West Hallam New Shaft, whilst doing some bricking the iron work connecting the trunk with the rope fell down the shaft someway and smashed the platform where the men were working causing them to fall into the water at the bottom of the shaft.  The rope left the pulley wheel at the same time.  After a considerable time the men were rescued from the water which was several feet deep. Only one man was seriously injured and was taken to the Ilkeston Cottage Hospital.

28 Jan 1891** New Langley Colliery owned by Butterley Co., which was closed in 1887 due to trade being very bad was reopened 2 stalls were working and 15 men were set on.  William Sutton was the Manager and the Undermanaged was William Beresford.

13 Feb 1891 – A new air shaft 10 feet diameter was being sunk at Mapperley Colliery owned by the Glendon Coal Co. Joseph Sanders and Fred Smith were the contractors.  At 349 yards deep a shot had been placed but failed to go off. After waiting the usual time to drill out the hole again the shot exploded and Sanders had one of his eyes blown out and Smith was severely injured also. M Walker of Simon Field farm provided a cart to take them to the Ilkeston Cottage Hospital.

Monday 19 Sep 1892 - Two cages of men had been turned up at Annesley Colliery and then it was found that an accident had taken place in the bottom of the chair, consequently about 900 men were forced to remain in the pit for 2 hours.

1892 - A very large block of coal, weighing 2 tons 6 cwts, got from the New Coppice Pit at Shipley was unloaded at the Heanor Great Northern Station by Mr R H Case, the agent for Mr E M Munday JP.

20 Mar 1893 - 200 men had descended the shaft at Ireland pit on the Monday morning. The empty cage was overwound into the headgear. The other cage struck the pit bottom with force and the following 12 men were hurt. J Rigley and J Godber both seriously, H Bradshaw, E Wright, A Furness, E Siddall, E Widdowson, S Fletcher, J Tyler and T Ashmore. W Harvey was critical.

4 Sep 1893 – Between 9 and 10 p.m. on Monday evening, not content with the damage done at Kirkby Colliery a crowd of miners went to New Skegby Colliery (Brierley Hill, later Sutton Colliery) to descend the shaft.  The management declined and a mob broke the windows of the Engine House and other buildings. Ultimately a deputation was allowed to go down the pit but failed to find any workmen but instead found several loaded tubs near the pit bottom and considered this to be evidence of coal getting during the lockout. They then went on to Silver Hill and Teversal Collieries where 2 stokers and an engine driver were induced to cease work.

Oct 1893 – When the New Skegby Colliery Co. resumed work at Brierley Hill many people were glad to fetch small quantities of coal, in barrows, from the coal wharf, want of money making it impossible to buy the usual load of coal.  The Coal Higgler’s complained and stopped the temporary check weighman.

15 Nov 1893 – Brierley Hill pit was flooded again.  A few months ago the water was successfully pumped away but yesterday the occupants of 3 stalls had to return home because water had broken into the workings and was flowing at a rapid rate. The pit was the first in the country to get to work after the stoppage.

7 Mar 1894 - Petroleum was found at Ashwick in Somerset and a similar discovery had happened at Riddings, Derbys in 1847.

26 July 1894 - The Shireoaks pit was flooded and 600 men and boys thrown out of work. The air which should have come up the upcast shaft was turned due to the cold water mixing with the warm air and it was found that two segments of the cast iron tubbing was cracked and water was pouring into the shaft. The two segments were replaced and work resumed again after 2 days.

19 Dec 1894 – Alfreton Colliery pit hill (tip) on fire caused by small pieces of inferior coal and iron pyrites causing some consternation.

25 Jan 1895 – There was an overwind at Snibston Colliery. George Swain, about 60 years old, had been a Winding Engine man for 40 years and was acting erratically.  There was no one on the cage, as the men who had signalled to come up the shaft had got off in the pit bottom.  The cage reached the top of the shaft and went back down again and smashed into the pit bottom. The ascending cage smashed into the winding wheel where it jammed, causing considerable damage to the pit head.  The cages were severely damaged, Swain had never had an accident before, stated the manager, J. W. Richardson.

11 Feb 1895 – A new company was formed to work and develop Brierley Hill pit.  It had been owned for a good number of years by the New Skegby Collier Co. Water was causing a problem and men were laid off in consequence.  It was envisaged to sink deeper to avoid the water.

8 Feb 1896 – It was announced that the new Notts Coalfield had been discovered.

13 Jun 1896 – Pinxton No. 3 Pit was closed.

12 May 1897 – A fatal accident. A miner named Henry Rogers, employed by the Staveley Coal and Iron Co. Ltd., in their Markham No 1 Hard Coal Pit, was killed by a fall of roof on Wednesday morning. The deceased who was a married man, aged about 47, resided in Chesterfield Rd, Staveley. He was well known in local sporting circles as a promoter of handicaps etc. The unfortunate man leaves a widow and 2 sons.

13 Nov 1898 – At New Hucknall Colliery the engine bed broke. It took 6 hours to get the machine started again before 4 – 500 workmen were safely wound out of the pit.

7 June 1899 – Guy Hamilton Ashton, the manager of Shipley Collieries was summoned by Her Majesties Inspector for keeping explosives in the Woodside Colliery Offices on 30th May 1899.  There were 3 other charges of a similar nature. A nominal fine of 20 shillings and 9 shillings 6 pence costs was imposed in the first case and 6 shillings and 6 pence costs in other cases giving a total of £1-13 shillings.

20 Feb 1902 - At Swadlincote Old Colliery (Halls Collieries Ltd.) 10 colliers were being lowered down the Furnace shaft in the cage to the Woodfield seam level when it suddenly stopped and the men were suspended in the shaft for nearly half an hour. It appeared that one of the Iron Slippers, guiding the cage up and down the wooden conductor had come off and jerked the cage which came out of position causing some bricks to fly from the shaft side.

27 Oct 1902 - At Donisthorpe Colliery Edward Hemsley, a carpenter, and Henry Talbot, a miner, were standing in a tub suspended beneath the cage waiting to descend the shaft to do some repairs. Whilst putting in a curb it appeared that they had given the signal to be drawn to the surface. However the cage and the tub beneath were drawn up at a terrific speed and was jerked from it’s position and the two men were precipitated down the shaft to their death. The cage was held in the headgear by the King’s patent safety detaching hook and the rope continued to swing around the winding drum and the brakes could not be applied and the engine house was a complete wreck.

16 Dec 1905 - In 12 hours 3,893 tons of coal were drawn at Warsop Main Colliery, a Record at the time.

28 Dec 1907 - 4,080 tons wound in one day at Warsop Main Colliery, beating the record at Creswell, but coming 2nd to Hickleton Colliery where 4,500 tons was raised. However the coal at Warsop was wound from one shift only, with supplies being sent down and muck raised as well, where as at the other two pits two shafts were used. The engines were made at Broad Oaks near Chesterfield by Markham and named ‘Capital and Labour’.

19 May 1908 - There was an inundation of water at noon, at the Denby Hall pit, belonging top the Butterley Co., in a heading in the Low Main seam. Men had noticed that the roof was unusually wet that morning but without warning the water burst through the wall in volume. All the men in the pit were warned and were able to be rescued, however more than 40 horses were in danger – outcome?

7 Dec 1908 – Ralph Shaw, surveyor (777) of Bank House, Blackwell, made a statement regarding surveys being to an accuracy of 1/5000, he thought that this was rarely obtained.

19 Sep 1913 - JC Thompson, an electrician at Sherwood Colliery, had invented a visual signal for the steam winding system. The Engineman receives a signal from the top and bottom of the shaft before beginning to wind as well as an audible system by a number of rings from 1 to 5.

28 Nov 1914 - Five miners at Pye Hill, including the Under Manager, J Hadon, were decorated for distinguishing themselves when an accident occurred in the Black Shale seam where three men Richard Barton, J Gelsthorpe and William Thomas Lane were killed by a fall of roof weighing twenty tons. The fall occurred at 1 a.m. and it took more then six hours to extricate them.

20 Aug 1916 – Gedling Colliery, 99 boys stopped work on the 1st of March without notice. The pit was stood and 206 men could not work, 900 tons was lost and on the 2nd day 600 tons was lost, 34 of these boys were fined £1 each for the 2 days.  This was the 6th occasion, with a total loss of 5000 tons of coal. They were fined 10/- for one day of with 3/6d costs.

2 Oct 1916 – 125 miners from Mansfield failed to get to work at Pleasley Colliery via the Paddy Train, as the Midland Railway Co. failed to send one. William Horton sued the Midland Railway Co. for losing 11/6d for a lost days’ work.

1 Jan 1917 – At Pilsley there was a fire in the lamp room and all 700 lamps and 2 cleaning machines were damaged.

12 Jan 1917 – At Wollaton a boy of 15 was fined 7/6d for leaving a ventilation door open.

12 Jan 1917 – At Newcastle Colliery, owned by Babbington Colliery Co., a boy was fined 10/- when a pony was run over on a drift.

Feb 1917 – Joseph Turton, a filler at Shirebrook, was buried under a fall of roof and 807 men stayed away in respect, and 1600 tons of coal was lost.

Mar 1917 – There was a deputy’s strike at Sutton, Alfreton, Shirland, Blackwell A and B Collieries, owned by Blackwell Colliery Co. over a wages dispute.

3 Jul 1917 – There was a fire, on Welbeck surface, when a heap of pit props ignited.

27 Oct 1917 - John Walker, in charge of Sinking Operation at Glapwell was amongst a number of men who were decorated by the King, receiving the Edward Medal for Bravery. Four men from Waleswood, at great danger to themselves, were decorated also for rescuing men trapped in the shaft when the cage, in which they were riding, collided with the other cage.

Feb 1918 – John Whyte, agent manager, for Digby Colliery Co. for the last 7½ left for a similar position at Cossall Colliery Co.

Feb 1918 – At Pleasley, William Warsop (18 years old) who was the ring leader of a gang of pony drivers, was charged with intimidating Sam Rawson. It caused the pit to be idle for 6 or 7 days with a loss of 2700 tons. He was jailed for 3 months.

May 1918 – At Ollerton surface borehole a labourer, Fred Foreman (36) was killed when the wire rope used on the derrick broke, and a panel weighing 15 cwt. fell on him.

2 Jun 1918 – At Sherwood there was a fire in an underground motor house. All the men were withdrawn but valuable was destroyed.

6 Apr 1919 - At Oxcroft Colliery an explosion killed six men and injured six others. HMIs, H A Abbott and H R Danby, were accompanied by Mr Percy, the manager, who went to examine the site. Also in the party were F Hall and F F Lees of the Derbyshire Miners’ Association and H Gill of the Deputys’ Association. The explosion was caused by electricity. The bodies recovered were accommodated in the billiard room of the Oxcroft Colliery Institute. The inquest was begun by M S Broadhurst, Deputy Coroner, but was adjourned for three weeks after evidence and identification was taken. Canaries had been left over night at the scene of the explosion to monitor any whitedamp (Carbon Monoxide Gas).

27 March 1920 - At Welbeck Colliery one of the cages had nearly reached the top of the 700 yards deep shaft on Saturday 20th March 1920 when the rope drew the cap by which it is attached to the cage and the later crashed to the bottom of the shaft causing considerable damage. The cage contained tubs of coal when the mishap occurred and had it happened half an hour later, when the afternoon shift men were riding in, there could have been forty men seriously injured, if not killed.

25 Feb 1921 – At Bolsover No. 2 shaft 12 men on the chair were being lowered into the pit when the winding engine man lost control and the cage hit the pit bottom at increased speed:-

  • W. Toolwood
  • C. Inger (father)
  • J. Inger (son)
  • Alfred Chapman (father)
  • Alfred Chapman (son)
  • Ernest Ansell
  • Albert Saxton
  • J. Bennett
  • William Crossland
  • H. Barlow
  • Noah Ward
  • C. H. Webb

None were killed but many of the man had compound fractures, with bones piercing the skin.

4 June 1931 - No such thing as an accident:–
10,000 deaths in 9 years plus 1,587,330 injuries.
380 deaths and 1,321 injuries caused by explosions.
5,193 deaths and 543,836 injuries caused by falls of ground
2,268 deaths and 38,993 injuries on haulage work.

12 May 1934 - D H O Bishop, manager at Langwith Colliery, was awarded The Edward Medal by organising the recover operation and personally raising one end of a girder with a jack and removing debris with his hands from a large fall that had imprisoned a man’s feet and hip. The man, whose leg was fractured, was released after one and a half hours.

25 Jan 1944 – 130 Bevin Boys were drafted to Creswell Training Centre and  their Billets were at Chesterfield.

11 Feb 1944 – By autumn 270 Bevin Boys were planned for the Ripley area collieries, there were urgent calls to Nottinghamshire householders to offer lodgings to Bevin Boys.  

21 Sept 1944 – 12 of the first trained Bevin Boys were to start work at Clifton and Radford pits. Other Bevin Boys would later go to Babbington, Bestwood, Wollaton and Gedling.

Billeting Centres were at Creswell, Clowne, Whitwell, Mansfield and Worksop plus some private families.

24 Nov 1945 – The Minister of Labour spoke about the release of ballotees and optants into the coal industry.

10 Sep 1947 – Alan Wallace, aged 21, a Bevin Boy at Teversal Colliery, celebrated his birthday in Mansfield General Hospital after 2 ½ years following a serious accident in the pit in 1945.

5 Feb 1948 - Horace Leivers, a deputy, and Charles Fairbrother, a coal face worker, were to receive an Order of Industrial Heroism for their part in rescuing two of the three men trapped by a heavy fall of roof at Blidworth Colliery in November 1947. The men also received a grant of £10 each.

23 Apr 1949 - Miners at Lodge Colliery were now able to wash and change in the new type of pit head baths, specially designed for small pits. At a cost of £13,000 the metal building with insulation board can be moved elsewhere and re-erected easily. There are lockers for 320 workers using the baths in relay of 20. Clothes were placed in baskets and drawn up into the roof and dried. This is a great saving in space compared with traditional type lockers. It is only the second such installation in the country. The canteen has been adapted from a former large Nissen Hut.

23 May 1949 – Chris Bollans, Undermanager, and F Riley, Deputy, at Welbeck were presents with the King’s Commendation for Bravery. They worked incessantly, without regard for their personal safety, in making a road over a large fall to rescue a Chargeman who had been trapped.