Saturday, 30 April 2016

Featherstone's Collieries



ACKTON HALL COLLIERY

                           
  George Bradley, the owner of Ackton Hall and most of the land in Featherstone, borrowed money in 1873 to start a colliery near the railway station. He sank two shafts to the Stanley Main Seam and called it Featherstone Manor Colliery. He later had them deepened to the Warren House Seam and in good times the output was about 200 tons per day. But in 1888 trade was bad and he couldn't keep up the payments on the mortgage and he was declared bankrupt. In August 1890 Samuel Cunliffe Lister (later to be Lord Masham) bought the Ackton Hall Estates, including the colliery (now called Ackton Hall and Featherstone Manor Collieries, possibly to differentiate between the two seams), and set about a major improvement scheme including shafts to the Silkstone and Haigh Moor Seams. "Manor" was dropped from the name.


  This 1890 map shows how small the colliery was with one coal winding shaft and the upcast shaft and a few sidings. There was also a small works to produce coke and town gas.

  In 1893 during a national coal strike there was a riot at the colliery and soldiers fired ten bullets at the ground in front of demonstrators. The ricochets injured about 20 men and two died from their injuries. The official inquiry came to the conclusion the attack upon the colliery was preconcerted and carried out by mobs from a distance. The Ackton Hall miners took no part beyond that of looking on.  (See the Featherstone Chronicle for 1893 for a full account.)

  This drawing from the Illustrated London News is supposed to show the moment the troops opened fire. Note the woman and child used for dramatic effect. There were no reports of woman and children being present.

  This is another drawing from the Illustrated London News showing a lone soldier and two policemen standing guard in the days after it was all over. 

   During the strike work on expanding the colliery continued. A tubway was made over the sidings and railway lines to enable the increasing amounts of stone and shale to be tipped at the south side of the railway. This map, made for the riot inquiry, shows the tubway but not yet in use.
 
                          This photo shows the start of the muckstack south of the railway.




                           The tubway over the railway lines can be seen at the left of this photo/


  The inquiry plan above shows storage space for empty wagons was limited by Station Lane. In 1894 the Council gave permission for a bridge over Station Lane which enabled the siding to be taken as far as Halfpenny Lane near Cressey's Corner.


  In 1895 it was decided to make the main entrance off Station Lane instead of Green Lane. A large office block and two houses were built.
  Coal production began from the Haigh Moor Seam in 1895 and from the Silkstone Seam in 1897. In 1900 there was a visit from the  British Association. The booklet printed to accompany the visit gives the output at 2,700 tons per day, the mine employed 2,200 men and boys and 160 horses, and owned 1,600 railway wagons. This photo was printed in the booklet.

  The booklet described the new screening plant where hand pickers removed lumps of stone and shale from the coal, and the coal from the three seams was kept apart and sorted into different sizes.



  There was a serious fire in the Haigh Moor winding house in 1901 and the roof caved in. it was out of action for a few days. the next year there was a fire in the fitting shops and the damage was estimated at £100. Both fires were put out by the colliery fire brigade.
 

  In 1903 Lord Masham handed over the Featherstone estates including Ackton Hall Colliery to his second son the Hon J C Lister. (The first son who inherited the title died in 1917 so Mr Lister became Lord Masham.)
  As the underground workings got further away from the shaft in  Featherstone it was decided to sink another shaft at Ackworth and install a ventilating fan. Sinking commenced in 1912.


  There was a coal strike in 1919 and sailors were sent to some collieries in Yorkshire to keep the pumps running. The miners' union said they must not be interfered with, and they were well received in Featherstone.
 

  By the 1920's the muckstack south of the railway had reached its limit. Here it is towering over Featherstone Square.
 

  With no more tipping space south of the railway the only way to go was north, but the original Green Lane stack was in the way. An aerial flight was installed over the stack to start another tip near Featherstone Main Colliery.

 
   The start of Ackton Hall Colliery's new stack can be seen at the side of that tipped by Featherstone Main Colliery.



  By 1924 the pit was at its peak employing 1,940 men underground and 636 on the surface. This photo shows one of the more than 2,500 workers, one of the 1,600 coal wagons and one of the 160 horses and pit ponies.







Featherstone Main Colliery Fatal Accidents



FEATHERSTONE MAIN COLLIERY FATAL ACCIDENTS

Note: This list will be extended as more information is available. Not all first names or ages are known.

1872
William Phoenix, W Livesey and John Cawthorne. Phoenix, a deputy, was examining the pit before work started and took off the top of his lamp and ignited firedamp. Livesey was 14 and Cawthorne was 13.
1875
C Green, a collier age 25 was killed by a fall of roof.
Jas McVay, a surface screener, was crushed by wagons.
 1877
John Henry Dixon,  a collier age 27 was killed by a fall of coal. 
1878
 E Walker, a collier age 20 was killed by a fall of stone.
John Hunter, age 14 was run over by tubs.
1881
William Wait, a collier age 62 was crushed by tubs.
1883
C Lunn, a pony driver age 16 was run over by tubs.
1884
W Whaites, a collier age 24 was injured by a fall of roof on February 15 and died March 11.
1886
T Parkin, a collier age 40 was killed by a fall of coal.
1887
E Limb, a collier age 56 was killed by a fall of roof.
D Hodgson, a screener age 17 was crushed by wagons and died the next day.
1888
Adolphus Rowley, a pony driver age 19 was crushed by tubs and died two months later.
Thomas Cardo, a trapper age 14 fell out of the cage.
1889
Glossop, a shunter age 22 was crushed by tubs.

1891
W Longbottom, a surface worker age 26 was hit on the head by a lump of coal on December 1 and died on December 20.
1892
  J Westwood, a collier age 49 was killed by a fall of coal.


1893
Tom Roberts, a pony driver age 14 was injured when his head was crushed between a tub and the side of the roadway. He was taken home and died the same night.
1894
Joseph Taylor, a byworker age 23 was killed by a fall of stone.
J Foster, a collier age 30 was killed by a fall of roof.
1895
John Henry Thomas, a labourer age 14 was knocked down by a wagon and died a few hours later in Clayton Hospital.
William Scott, a collier age 54 was injured by a fall of coal and the next day in Clayton Hospital.
1897
T Dutton, a driver age 16 was crushed between a tub and a bar. 
1898
George Horbury, a shunter age 22 of Streethouse was riding on his shunter's pole when he fell off and was run over by a wagon.
E Frobisher, a colliery age 50 was killed by a fall of roof.
1901
F Addey, a collier age 24 was killed by a fall of roof. 
1902
Henry Womersley, a byeworker age 55 of Kinsley was killed by a fall of roof.
J Barnes, a collier age 25 was killed by a fall of coal. 
John Hardy, a collier age 40 of Pretoria Street was injured by a fall of roof last December 5 and died on April 20.
1905
James Bennett, a deputy age 46 was hit by runaway tubs and taken to Clayton Hospital where he died soon after.
George Eccles, a collier of Pontefract age 53 died in Clayton Hospital after being buried by a fall of roof.
John Henry Barnett, a miner of Pontefract age 30 was killed by  fall of roof.
Alfred Flockton, a collier age 36 of Castleford was killed by a fall of coal.
 John Beach, a hanger-on age 34 of Granville Street was killed when he was standing on the sump boards and was hit by the cage.
1906
John Turner, a haulage lad age 18 slipped and fell on the rails and was run over by tubs. He died four days later in Pontefract Infirmary.  
1907
Alfred Rigg, a byeworker age 24 of Gladstone Terrace was injured by a large stone which fell from the roof and he died the next day in Clayton Hospital.
John Hill, a collier age 33 of Pretoria Street was killed by a fall of roof.
Charles Wheatley Patrick, a collier age 57 was killed when he was crushed by runaway tubs.
1908
Bernard Maurice Westbrook, a pony driver age 16 of Cowards Buildings was found dead after being run over by a full tub.
Benjamin Parker, a collier age 49 of Purston was killed by a fall of roof.
Samuel Morton, a collier age 50 was injured when a pot hole (a fossilised tree trunk) fell on him on July 29. He died on August 7.
James Hamer, a filler (trainee collier) age 21 of Albert Street was hit by a fall of roof on December 9 which fractured his spine. He was taken to Clayton Hospital where he died on December 18.
1909
James Turton Haggas, a miner of Crossley Street was killed by a fall of stone.
J W Machin, a pony driver age 17 died when he was crushed between two runs of tubs. 
1910
Thomas Lyman, a deputy age 54 was killed by a fall of roof. 
1911
John William Alder,  a collier age 31 was killed by a fall of roof. 
Enoch Llewellyn, a pony driver age 14 stumbled into the side of the roadway and a sharp stone cut his throat and severed his trachea and carotid artery. 
Joseph Slater, a byworker age 57 was hit by runaway tubs.
John Barnett, a collier age 59 of Lord Street was killed by a fall of coal.
William Wilks, a collier age 44 of Thorntons Buidings was killed by a fall of roof. 
1912
Archie Roberts, a pony driver age 18 was run over by a full tub on April 19 and died September 25.
Julius Connell,  a byworker age 43 of Pontefract was killed by a fall of roof.
John Barrett, a byworker age 23 was killed by a fall of roof. 
1913
Charles Evans, a collier age 28 of Streethouse was killed by a fall of roof.
Patrick Cain, a collier age 40 was injured by a fall of coal on 11 April and died 24 November.
Samuel Hudson, a collier age 40 was killed by a fall of roof.
Arhur Spencer, a washery assistant age 17 of Hall Street, Purston, was oiling a creeper and was caught by the machinery and killed.
Charles Ward,  a pony driver age 19 was run over by a full tub on 2 October and died 18 February 1914. 
1914
Thomas Lakin, a byworker age 58 was killed by a fall of roof.
William Dunmore, a collier age 33 was killed by a fall of coal.
Edward Hughes, a collier age 51 was killed by a fall of coal and roof.
1915
George William Pearson, a collier age 31 was killed by a fall of coal. 
1916
Thomas Toplis, a pony driver age 17 of Church Lane was found dead under a full tub. 
1917 
 John Martin Rowett, age 57 of Pretoria Street and Levi Walters, age 31 of Ackworth Road, Purston, were killed by a fall of roof.
John William Betteridge, age 24 of Sharlston was killed by a fall of roof.
Joseph Gibson, age 40 was killed by a fall of roof. 
1919
Harry Hillyard, a collier age 38 was injured when a fall on 6 February fractured his spine and he died five months later.
Alfred Hozier Morgan, a collier age 29 was killed by a fall of roof.    
1920
Benjamin Firnstone, age 66 of Leeds Terrace was crushed by tubs.
Joseph Heaton,  a byeworker age 59 of Ivy Street was killed by a fall of roof.
John Lakin, a deputy age 66 of Featherstone Lane was found dead under a run of tubs.
1922
George Herbert Cooper, a rope lad age 15 was run over by tubs.
1923
John Jukes, a deputy age 64 was injured by a fall or roof and died the same day in Clayton Hospital.
Thomas Birchall, a collier age 36 fractured his leg when a tub ran over it and he died from gangrene a week later. 
1924
Richard Blackhorn, a collier age 38 was injured by a fall of roof on 29 May and died 2 July from septicaemia.
James Backhouse, an assistant banksman age 29 attempted to stop the cage pulling a tub into the shaft and he fell down the shaft.
 
1926
J Herrington, age 41 injured his hand on 5 January and died 10 days later of toxaemia. 
1927
Frederick Cecil Rounds, age 20 was killed by a fall of roof.
James Sephton, age 37 was killed by a fall of roof.
William Baxter, age 73 was killed by a fall of roof.
Victor Brant, age 25 was crushed by tubs.
1928
Harry Bishop, age 33 was hit by wood from a saw surface.
Richard Bernard Pollard, a blacksmith age 35 was guiding the winding rope onto the drum when he fell and was crushed by the rope.
1929
Edmund Backhouse, age 52 injured his head on 21 November 1928 and died 26 February.
Ellice Barnhard, age 22 was run over by tubs.
1936
James Dyas, age 18 of Featherstone Square fractured his spine in a fall of roof in October 1934. He died in April this year and the inquest jury decided his death was because of the accident. 
 
 
 


 



 











Friday, 29 April 2016

Snydale Colliery Fatal Accidents



SNYDALE COLLIERY FATAL ACCIDENTS

Note: This list will be extended as more information becomes available. Not all ages or first names are known.


1864
Benjamin Hepworth age 35 and John Greenwood age 34, shaft sinkers, were killed by an explosion of firedamp during shaft sinking operations.
1869
Henry Peel Noble age 29 and John Barratt age 35, drifters, were suffocated by powder fumes after firing a shot.
1870
Ambrose Webster, a blacksmith, took an ordinary flame lamp down the pit instead of a safety lamp and ignited firedamp. He died a few days later from his burns.
R Poole and W Luter, colliers, took their candles into the goaf (a waste area) and ignited gas.
1871
Abraham Roberts, a pony driver age 25, was crushed by tubs.
1872
George Smith, a collier age 28 was killed by a fall of roof.
Jim Corrigan, a collier age 49 was killed by a fall of roof.
Samuel Hardcastle, a furnaceman age 55 attempted to get off the cage when it set off and crushed him.
1878
William Wilcox , a pony driver age 16 was killed by a fall of roof.
1879
S Kerfool age 37 a byeworker, William Douthroit age 38 a byeworker, Charles Allsopp age 35 a byeworker, John Brown age 42 a horsekeeper, William Oldridge age 32 a miner, William Pegg age 28 a miner, J Calcannon age 29 a miner and Samuel Camp age 20 a pony driver were all killed when the winding rope broke after the cages collided.
1883
W Wilcox, a collier age 50 was killed by a fall of roof.
1885
Michael James Luckman, a pony driver age 14 was run over by tubs.
1886
William Massey, a collier age 56 was killed by a fall of roof.
1889
E Luckman, a pony driver age 14 was crushed by tubs.
1890
Samuel Raleigh, a collier age 19 was killed by a fall of roof.

1893
John Gleed, an underground labourer age 25 was found lying across the tub rails and on arrival at Clayton Hospital it was found his back was broken and he died five days later.
J Nash, a collier age 25 was killed by a fall of coal.
1895
J Stead, a collier age 26 was injured by a fall of roof and died three days later. 
1896
George Oliver,  a collier age 49 strained himself lifting a tub and died five days later.
1897
M Layne, a collier age 30 was killed by a fall of roof.
Charles Foster, a collier age 44 was killed by a fall of roof. 
Isaac Harvey, a surface labourer age 62 was pushing a wagon under the screens when another wagon crushed him. 
1899
J Machin, a pony driver age 17 was trapped between tubs on January 26 and died April 21. 
1900
Ernest Staples, a surface worker age 20 was found dead in a coal washer hopper. It was presumed he fell from a ladder. 
1901
R Hammond, a pony driver age 17 was found dead under a tub.
T Atkinson, a haulage lad age 17 was killed when the haulage rope jerked and knocked him in front of the tubs.
W Jackson, a trapper (in charge of a ventilation door) age 14 was passing  some full tubs when the horse moved forward and he was crushed between a tub and a door frame. He died two days later. 
1902
Isaac Hufton, a collier age 58 of Andrew Street was injured by a fall of roof and died the same day. 
1904
Joseph Wardle, a stone miner age 28 was enlarging a roadway and was killed by a fall of roof.
James Green, a collier age 28 was killed by a fall of roof.
Benjamin Ward, a collier age 49 was injured by a fall of roof. He was taken home where he died shortly afterwards.
1908
Joseph Oliver, a collier age 40 was killed by a fall of roof.
Henry Lockwood, a carter age 20 was caught between a coal cart and a wagon and he died five days later. 
1910
Thomas Lucas, a collier age 56 was killed by a fall of roof. 
1911
Cyril Jones a byworker age 22 of Sharlston was injured by a fall of roof on March 1 and died of pneumonia on March 10. 
Henry Bailey, a collier age 35 was killed by a fall of roof. 
1914
Edward Brooke, a collier age 27 was killed by a fall of roof. 
Ernest Hopkin, a pony driver age 19 of Sheffield but lodging in Featherstone for six weeks was trapped  between a tub and a prop and killed.