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Janet Langford - My Grandad used to work at Stanley Pit
Roy Beddis - Correction, List of Deaths at Talke Explosion 1866
Tina Stanyer - Bevin Boys and More

From: Janet Langford
Sent: 06 May 2009
My Grandad used to work at Stanley Pit.

Hi Fionn,

My Grandad used to work at Stanley Pit, I can remember being about
13 /14 years old, sat in his kitchen and asking him why it was called 'Nibby', he told me that it was because of the rats that came and nibbled at your snap. He said the men would sit below ground at dinner and open up their snap tins, they would sit still, eating quietly and the rats would creep forward, as the rat got close enough, someone would lunge at it with a shovel and try to splat the horrible little thing.

I can remember he told it me with great gusto, (and to me it still seems a better story than the official version of wages being ‘nibbled’ at.)

All the best,


PS There is good video footage of a mine rescue practice taking place at Ilkeston

From: Tina Stanyer
Sent: 08 July 2007
Bevin Boys and More.

My Uncle Francis (Frank) Gibson was a Bevin Boy, his last pit was Hem Heath in Longton, North Staffordshire. He is still alive and approximately 80 years old. He retired at 65.

My Grandmother's first husband Leonard Caton was killed in the Birchenwood pit disaster in 1925 a week before his Daughter Gladys was born. Gladys is now married to Francis Gibson the above Bevin Boy. My Mums Uncle Harry Wakefield was one of the first St John's Ambulancemen on the scene.

My Grandfather Thomas Stanyer worked as a miner in the Jamage Pit in Talke Pits. Unfortunately he passed away in the late 80's


My Father Geoffrey Stanyer worked as a miner in Wolstanton colliery, Newcastle Staffs & then when it was closed down moved to Florence Colliery in Lightoaks, Staffordshire which had merged with Hem Heath to become a super pit. His Lamp number is 1001. He retired when Florence was closed due to ill health. He suffered some horrific injuries from roof falls etc during his years in the pits.

My Uncle Barry Wakefield Also worked in Wolstanton Colliery. His Uncle was Harry Wakefield one of the first on the scene at the Birchenwood Colliery disaster.

I am a miners daughter and would never have been allowed down a mine to work, however, I do help to make & repair control units for deep mining equipment in my job. Doesn't sound like hard graft but if we get it wrong many people could lose their lives.

I am proud of all my family members who have put their lives at risk on a daily basis to get the coal to keep this country going. I also remember the last Miners strike - even through young eyes it was a horrible time for us all.

Tina Stanyer

Tue 10/07/2007

Thanks Fionn

The site is fantastic and without Steve Austin contacting my Mum last week I would never have seen it. Steve is my Grandmothers nephew who I knew nothing about until a week ago.

I am amazed at how small this world seems to be.

I am proud of our mining heritage. We now have one of the Local Collieries in Chesterton as a mining museum. Apedale was where my friends Grandfather worked and I am keen to get over there and have a look at this new museum but I want Dad to come with me as he will be good at explaining everything in the language I understand because he talks with his hands.


From: Roy Beddis
Sent: 10 July 2007
Correction, List of Deaths at Talke Explosion 1866

I am researching my Beddis family tree, and came across your web site during my research.
I have enclosed some details which may be useful:-

List of Deaths at Talke Explosion 1866

1. John, 25 years old, son of William and Harriet BEDDIS, Late of Dean Forest, Gloucestershire.

2. Thomas, 20 years old, son of George and Marcy Griffiths, of the same place.

They lost their lives in the Talk-o-the-Hill Explosion, 13 Dec 1866

Roy Beddis

Pit Terminology - Glossary