By chance I read your account of the Chatterley Whitfield accident of 1881:
This really fascinated me as my Great, Great, Great Grandfather was Cain Mayer, (named in the article) and one of those sadly killed in the accident.
My family and I recently discovered a mining tool amongst old tools in my Uncle's garage and my Uncle remembered it had been owned by 'some one' who had died in a mining accident. The tool had a number on it and with some research from my Auntie we tracked it and discovered it to be Cain Mayer's. We saw from his death certificate that he had died at only 40 (with 11 children) in 1881. Your account and a little research have confirmed that he indeed died in this accident.
Thankfully he was survived by quite an entourage, one of which was James Cook Mayer who's son Elijah Mayer was my Great Grandfather, the father of my Grandmother Lilian Mayer, who married William Carnall in Tunstall.
On three sides of my family - Elkin, Mayer and Carnall - all came from the Stoke-on-Trent area and all had long family histories (as far back as I can trace to the early 1800's) were somehow either directly miners, potters or worked in supporting industries). Nearly all of them lived and died within a small area for near on 200 years that I know of - a lot are buried in Tunstall Grave Yard.
My parents Geoffrey Elkin (and Ann Carnall) moved to Northern Ireland for a new life in the early 70's, so I grew up in Ballymena, Co. Antrim but made many trips back to Tunstall as a child.
Such is the new world and opportunities that exist, I currently live and run a business in Vietnam and am emailing you from the east coast here. I've attached a few pictures to give you a glimpse. Reading your article puts the very fortunate nature of my life very much in context and I appreciate you having taken the time to create your site.
Chris By The Sea - Island Storm