He had gone to work in the pumphouse with fitter James Berry. This was an important factor in the explosion and was dealt with at the inquiry. Had another explosion occurred – a real possibility in such a situation – or had the cage become stuck in the shaft, the death toll would have been much higher. Something had happened. So far no trace has been found.”. At the Hulton Colliery, they made their way down the pits and got to work at about 7am, anticipating the day would fly by, as it was the shortest of the year. I went to sleep. Newspaper reports published in the days that followed told of “Streets of weeping and “Homes of sorrow”. Workers in the Three Quarters mine responded that they were also okay and, despite their pleas to go up in the cage, they were left, as there were others in greater danger. Looking after Pretoria Pit was Edward Rushton, who was killed in the explosion. Amberley Publishing 2010. The general dip of the seams was to the south at an average inclination of 1 in 5.5. Coffins were carried on the shoulders of comrades of the victims and those who survived. [3] The fund was dissolved in 1975 and the remaining assets transferred to other miners' relief funds. He was not expected to survive, but by January 7, 1911, his brother Henry sent a letter to the press which said William was “coming round very nicely”. The ventilation of the workings in the Nos. [4] There were seven coal drawing shafts and prior to the accident about 2,400 tons of coal a day were raised. HP10 9TY | 01676637 | Registered in England & Wales. At 822ft (250m) was the Plodder mine, where the explosion occurred. Mr Tonge arrived within about 20 minutes, leading a team of rescuers into the pit. The coal in all these districts was worked on the longwall system and the total number of persons working in the No.3 Pit on the day of the explosion was 344 and 545 in the No.4 pit. Alan Davies. Some had lost several loved ones. Under him there was an undermanager for each mine. Under him there was an undermanager for each mine. All the main haulage roads of the No.3 mine, with the exception of the Down Brow Yards seam were in the return airways. He was at home at the time of the blast, but left as soon as he heard the explosion. Pretoria Pit. The general manager saw his undermanagers but he did not see them every day. On the morning of 21 December, approximately 900 workers arrived for the day shift. This site is part of Newsquest's audited local newspaper network. During the rescue operation, he was found near the top of the Downbrow roadway and taken to Bolton Infirmary. The coal was hauled by endless rope haulage which was powered by an electric motor. Compensation was awarded through three sources: the mayor’s relief fund, miners’ relief societies and the Workmen’s Compensation Act 1906. The Salvation Army was on hand to offer support, but no words could comfort the grieving families. A relief fund was established for the families and dependants and a total of £145,000 was raised. The industry provided a stable life for the locals and families even travelled from out of town to live in purpose-built miners’ terrace cottages and work in one of the recently opened collieries. There was no regular system of reporting from the undermanagers to the manager. The current at the No.3 and 4 pits was taken down the shaft at a voltage of 465. The Bottom Yard had two electric pumps and the North Plodder had haulage and cutters as well as conveyors. For apprentice fitter Joseph Staveley, aged 16, from Chequerbent, it was his first day of employment in the Yard mine. The explosion caused an earth tremor which was felt for miles, spreading fear among families everywhere. The No.4 was the downcast and No.3 the upcast shaft. Following his death there was speculation that Mr Turton may have died while desperately looking for family members instead of following orders to make the pit safe. On the way down to the next shaft the team encountered obstacles, broken signal wires and bearers, and they were concerned the cage would break. HULTON No. The rescuers worked day and night and one by one, families were put through the agonising task of identifying the bodies of their loved ones as they were brought to the surface. [5], A play, Sleep, Comrade Sleep, was written and performed in 2005 by the staff and students of Westhoughton High School and reprised for the centenary in 2010. [6], Coordinates: 53°32′11″N 2°29′13″W / 53.5364°N 2.4869°W / 53.5364; -2.4869, The Westhoughton Journal, 26 January 1973, "HULTON No. Mr. Tonge said in evidence-, "Our seams are generally speaking, very thin, and we required a fairly high water gauge. The disaster had a huge financial impact on the families of those who died and the miners who suddenly found themselves out of work. Almost every house had its curtains drawn as a sign of respect for the dead as the community mourned together. If an exhausting fan had been used it would have placed an obstruction in the mouthing and impeded with the drawing of the coal. 3, known as the Pretoria Pit, in Over Hulton, Westhoughton, then in the historic county of Lancashire, in North West England. The working classes were seen but never heard, and standing up to the boss was unthinkable. She lost her husband, four sons and two brothers in the blast. Disaster 1910. It was the second-worst mining accident in England, and the third-worst in Britain; after the Oaks Colliery explosion and Senghenydd Colliery Disaster. The Plodder was accessed from the Yard mine, which came below at 918ft (280m). Fireman were the only one authorised to fire shots and three firemen came down in the morning on the coal getting shift and three hours later fired the shots two hours after the coal getting shift had gone out. The type of lamp that was used in the mine was the Wolf Safety Lamp and not other lamps except the electric lamps at the bottom of the shaft were used. (Number one on the map) The shafts were 18ft wide and about 75 yards apart, with number four as the downcast shaft and three as the upcast. Of the Yard mine victims, 23 were killed in the East Jig district and 42 in the Top Yard district — most from gas poisoning.

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