Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Friday 07 October 1887
The Fatal Accident at Denaby Main.
The inquiry into the death of John T Roebuck, aged 22, who was killed by fall of coal at Denaby Main Colliery on the previous day, was held at the Masons’ Arms, Doncaster road, Mexborough, yesterday, before Mr. D. Wightman, coroner.
There were also present Mr. F. N. Wardell, Her Majesty’s Chief of Mines; Mr. W. H. Chambers, manager of rhe colliery – and other the colliery officials
John Silverwood, the father of the deceased, said he did not attach any blame to the company; and in answer to the Coroner and the Inspector said did not know whether his other son, who was injured at the same time, would live or not.
William Newton, who worked with deceased, said Roebuck had been “lowering” the coaL The sprags had been drawn, the bottoms had fallen, but the tops had stuck. He was getting the tops down when the slips came down, and buried the deceased and his brother. There were several tons of fuel, and it came unexpectedly. The deceased had sounded the place just before, but there was not the slightest sign.
A Juryman said he thought the Denaby Company made colliers of ” anything,” and it caused many men to come and upend their time on these affairs.
The Coroner was of opinion that Denaby did more good than harm to the district.
The Juryman thought there should be some practical miners on the jury.
The Coroner wished there were some too. They should set their member, Mr. Shirley, to introduce a Bill that effect. (Several voices “He not our member.”)
A Juryman : Had we two or three practical men we should not the dark like this.
The Coroner said would like all colliers on juries if he could have his way, but the Legislature had decided that there should not be any on a jury who were connected with a colliery; perhaps because they might have some animus against the company. They most have independent men on the jury.
A Juryman: We don’t understand colliery; I know nothing at all about it.
The Coroner: To j get you and me out of a difficulty, we have the inspector help us.
Several other witnesses were called, bnt all the evidence showed that the place had been thoroughly tested, and the jury returned a verdict “Accidental death.”