March 1903

March 6th 1903 S. Townsend

Age 23 Driver Run over by Tubs

Much sympathy is expressed with the relatives of the young man S. Townsend, who unfortunately met his death in the Cadeby Main Colliery at the end of last week. The deceased who was twenty three years old was employed as a pony driver, and had only been at work about three weeks. The inquest was held on Monday, when a verdict of “Accidental Death” was returned by the jury.

The Fatality At Cadeby.

On Monday, the coroner, held an inquest at the Reresby Arms, Denaby Main, touching the death of Samuel Townsend ( 23 ) who had been employed as a pony-driver at the Cadeby pit.

From the evidence of James Ancotes, collier, the deceased took away a full tub of dirt away at about 12-45 p.m. on Friday, nothing more was seen of him until about 2-30 p.m., when his dead body was discovered by John Roberts, his filler, under a tub, half-way down the incline.

It is supposed that the deceased failed to put the locker in the tub before proceeding down the incline, and that he was in front of it, when it overpowered him, and knocked him down, with fatal results.

The jury, of which Mr. Samuel Spruce was foreman, returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”

Deceased was a native of Bradford, and was sent there for burial by an afternoon train from Conisbrough.

Whilst following his usual employment as a miner at the Denaby Main Colliery, Mr. Eli Soar, brother of the undermanager Mr. John Soar, sustained a compound fracture of the leg. He was removed to the Montagu Hospital, where he is now progressing as favourably as possible.


July 12th 1903 Peter Merriship

A man named Peter Merriship, residing in Denaby Main, met with an accident at Cadeby Main Colliery on Monday July 12th 1903, whilst following his work as a miner. He is making satisfactory progress.

October 3rd 1903 Chas. Hanks

Age: 27 Assistant Onsetter Crushed by descending Cage.

Fatal Accident At Cadeby Main Man Killed By Descending Cage. An Unheard Warning.

On Wednesday afternoon at the Montagu Cottage Hospital. Mr. Dossey Wightman, Coroner, held an inquiry into the circumstances touching the death, dataller, who met with his end through a descending cage striking him in the Cadeby pit, early on Saturday morning, deceased succumbing to his injuries later in the day at the Montagu Cottage Hospital, where he had been removed.

Mr. J. Bullock was elected foreman of the jury, and there were present Mr. Pickering, H.M. Inspector of Mines, and Mr. H. Barnard and Mr. H.S. Witty, who were representing the Colliery Company.

William Hanks, miner, of Denaby, father of deceased, said his son was twenty seven years of age last July, and was a dataller employed at Cadeby. He had worked in the pit since the age of thirteen, chiefly in the bottom. He was a healthy man, and had only been married a month. His hearing was good and his eyesight perfect. Witness worked at Denaby, and had been a miner for fifty years. He had not heard how his son got killed, or the circumstances attending his death.

William Bamforth, hanger-on at the Cadeby pit, where deceased was killed, said he did not set deceased on. It would be about 4-25 a.m. on Saturday last ; deceased and John Henry Glassby were cleaning out the sump in the winding shaft. They were the only two at that work, which was generally done on Friday nights. Witness had been the hanger-on for about six months. That was the third time deceased had done the work of cleaning out the sump. Witness was in charge of the pit-bottom. When working the men would be standing on the planks over the sump. At the time of the accident deceased was standing on the planks, where he had no right to be, because witness had warned him off, because of the chair (cage) coming down at that time. Witness warned the two men. Glassby heeded, and stood out of the way. The deceased did not. Glassby shouted ” Hold him, hold him”. Witness had his hand on the button, and gave the signal. The cage was stopped as quickly as possible. Glassby then shouted to the witness ” He (meaning the deceased) is under the chair, Bill “. Witness gave the signal to raise the cage, and it as hoisted up. He then found the deceased had been injured. The cage was raised six or eight feet. He had been struck as the cage was descending. Deceased spoke, and first asked for a drink, and after -wards said : ” I don´t think I shall live long.” He was removed to the Hospital at once, where he died the same day.

In reply to Mr. Pickering, witness said he had been out of the sump eight or nine minutes when the accident happened. Before he came out he told the men he was going to signal for the cage. He shouted afterwards to keep out of the way of the drawing chair. The men knew the cage was coming down, because witness warned them. Witness could not understand why deceased should not stand out of the way. The cage would not be far above deceased´s head when Glassby shouted.

The Inspector remarked that it seemed an extraordinary thing that the men did not appear to know the cage was coming down.

Witness, asked by the Coroner how he could account for the accident, said in his opinion it occurred through the men being anxious to get along with the work rapidly, as they were a little bit behindhand. If it was not finished, they would be reported to the deputies.

Mr. Goulding asked if there were was any special rule to prevent the men working in the sump when the cage was working ?

Witness replied that the men ought not to have been there at the time.

Mr. Goulding was at a loss to know if instructions were given to the men to keep away, why the men were there at all.

Witness was proceeding to explain what he wanted to know, when the Coroner intervened, saying the question had already been answered twice.

Another Juryman asked if the men were working down the sump when the witness left them ?

Witness said deceased came out, and Glassby, as witness had since learnt , went into the lever place. Deceased must have gone down to the sump again on the roller-chair in one of the tubs.

John Harry Glassby, clipper in the pit-bottom, said he was working with the deceased at the time of the accident. He had heard the evidence of the previous witness, but did not agree with it. When Bamforth left them in the sump he said, ” I´m going to sweep the Denaby decks out. You can keep clear of that near side chair coming down.” The chair that killed deceased. He then went out of the sump to clean the decks. He had filled one tub, and the deceased the other. Deceased went out of the sump to pull the tub. When deceased pulled the tub off, he put the empty one in, and got in the chair to come down in the sump.

Witness and deceased started to fill the empty tub, and witness told deceased to watch the Denaby chair go away. Witness started throwing the dirt to the deceased, and he stated throwing it in the tub. Deceased was stood on the sump board, and witness to the right. Witness was working hard, and when he lifted his head to straighten his back he saw the descending cage almost on deceased. He saw it strike him. Witness got deceased out. Deceased had a right to stand there whilst filling the tub.

In reply to the Inspector, witness said he did not see the Denaby chair go away, and had no idea the other cage was coming down. He heard no second warming from Bamforth when he rapped the cage away. Bamforth told them, when within the sump, to watch the chair go away, and witness told deceased to keep a look out. He answered, “I will.” Witness expected a second warning from Bamforth, as was usual, but he never heard one. It was possible he might have given it, and not have been heard. There was no particular hurry, and neither witness or deceased need have run the risk of working under the descending cage. If the work had not been finished they would only have had to give an explanation. If they had no time to finish it, they would have had to leave it.

A Juryman : Do you think there was neglect on the part of the hanger-on ? Witness : I can´t say, but I never heard the second warning. I am very good at hearing.

In reply to the Coroner, witness said, the deceased was stood up when the cage hit him.

Bamforth and Glassby disagreed as to the exact wording of the conversation between them when the former left the sump.

The Coroner asked both Bamforth and Glassby if the engine-man had worked his signals properly, and was answered in the affirmative, this being the outcome of an earlier request by Mr. Casey, the engine-man, to ask a question, a request the Coroner at first refused.

The Coroner said the question was whether proper warning to the men had been given. Glassby owned that it might have been given, whilst Bamforth on oath stated that he gave the warning, a statement nobody really denied.

Mr. Casey said he only wanted to ask a question as to whether he had acted according to the signal.

The Coroner : It is quite time to begin clearing yourself when someone says something against you. No one says you can help the accident, so you can afford to keep still.

Continuing, the Coroner said it was quiet certain the poor fellow had been killed accidentally, but the question for the jury to consider was there any one to blame. They had heard the evidence, and it was for them to say.

A juryman asked whether there could not be a better warning than a shout ?

The Coroner : That you may leave in the hands of the Inspector.

The Juryman : It is quite evident that the shouting signal failed in this instance, you did not hear it, Glassby ?

The witness Glassby, I was working strong, with my head down.

The Coroner said Glassby had not said there was no warning given, but that he did not hear it.

The Juryman : It is natural to assume, then, that both men did not hear the shouted warning, and the question he should like to ask was, ” Can there be a more improved method of giving signals”?

The Coroner : I can´t say what is my opinion, I dare not.

The Juryman : It is a matter that needs consideration.

The Coroner : It is not for the jury to decide. It is a question that would be better left in the hands of the Inspector. If he thinks the system is wrong, he can get an authority to have it altered.

Inspector Pickering : I may say if the jury like to make a recommendation, I will go into it very thoroughly. The pit-bottom there is very complicated, for there are six cages.

I can´t for the moment devise any change, but any recommendation by the jury will be considered. It is not a signal but a warning, and in this case the witness Bamforth left the two men, telling them to look out for the cage.

The Coroner : The men knew when Bamforth left them that they would be left by themselves to act on his instructions. He did not see the need of the jury making recommendations at all. Anything they recommended would be accepted, only he did not want them laughed at.

A juryman thought the cages ought to stand whilst the sump was being cleaned out.

The witness Bamforth said the chair was not running when he left the two men. He gave them warning.

The Coroner said with regard to carrying the matter further, he thought the jury would be perfectly satisfied with leaving it to the Government Inspector, who knew infinitely more about it than either he or them.

A verdict of ” Accidental Death ” was returned.

October 7th 1903 J. Pears

Age: 55 Labourer Run over by Wagons D.M.

November 4th 1903 D. Orange

Age: 36 Collier Died from blood-poisoning following an accident in which his hand was run over by a tub. C.M.

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