Dangerous Practice – Pony Driver’s Death at Cadeby

January 1931

Mexborough and Swinton Times, January 9, 1931

A Dangerous Practice.

Pony Driver’s Death at Cadeby

Another Junction Accident.

“This is a very simple but sad case. Apparently these boys have made a practice of twisting tubs when at this junction, owing to difficulty in keeping them on rails. It is a dangerous practice and no doubt the management will issue instructions that it must be stopped.”

These statements were made by Mr. W. H. Carlile at the conclusion of an inquest at Fullerton Hospital on Tuesday on Dominic Gilmore (14), pony driver, 26, Braithwell Street, Denaby, who died in the Cadeby Main Colliery on Friday.

Mr. Carlde was assisted by a jury, and there were also present Mr. P. Collinson (H.M. Inspector), Mr. R. Young (manager), and Mr. J. Madin (Y.M.A.)

Thomas Gilmore, the boy’s father, said his son had worked at Cadeby Colliery about eight months.

Christopher Kirby, 15, Melton Street, Denaby, said that on Friday he last saw Gilmore alive about 7 p.m., in a pass-by with tubs. Witness went on to the face with two empty tubs. To get there he had to cross a junction known as 160’s, and had to turn the junction points. He left the points turned.

Trouble with Points.

“It took me about minutes to get back to the junction. I then found Gilmore lying on his back, across the rails, with his right loot pinned between the buffer of a tub and a pack. Two empty tubs were fast in thin pack, which was at the side of the road, Gilmore was unconscious.”

Witness said he had known pony-drivers have trouble at that junction. The first tub had to be twisted to keep it on the road. He could not say what was wrong with the points. He thought the accident had occurred while Gilmore was twisting a tub. He would be facing the opposite way to that in which he was proceeding, and if the pony moved suddenly he would he caught against the pack.

The Coroner: Those points should be so that you should not have to touch the tubs, should they?’—Yes, but I have seen pony drivers have to do it on every run.

You can see it is a dangerous practice? – Yes.

Have you ever twisted tubs?—No.

Do you suggest that if he had not twisted the tubs would have come off the road? – Yes. I have seen them off many times there. The points have been relaid twice, but they are always the same.

New To The Road.

Answering Mr. Collinson, witness said ,Gilmore had been a “spare driver” for two three months. Before Friday Gilmore had no experience of taking empty tubs along that road. Previously he worked full tubs. He had seen other boys try to take empty tubs over the points without twisting, but each time the tubs came off the road. Gilmore would be anxious not to have tubs off the road.

Horace Ogley, 11, Scawsby Street, Denaby, corporal in charge. said that about 7-15 p.m. on Friday, Gilmore left 160’s stall with witness, taking a pony with two full tubs. Gilmore went to the pass-by, took his pony off, and gave it a drink. Witness then sent Gilmore back to with two empty tubs. That shift, Gilmore would have made the same journey five times by himself. He had not complained about the junction points. Witness had no reports from other drivers, but bad seen tubs off the rails there. That was when tubs ran “a bit fast”; the first tub did not take the points. He took Gilmore on his first run. When they got to the junction Gilmore stopped the pony , twisted his first tub, and went to the pony’s head. There was no trouble that time.

The Coroner: Do you consider that is a good practice?—No.

You are in charge. Why did you allow it?—l did not say anything to him.

Then what is the good of thinking it?— No good.

This has been a general practice?—l have always seen it done.

Why is this twisting necessary if the points are properly set?- I cannot say.

Why have the points been reset?—Because full tubs kept coming off the road.

Have you tested the points since? — No.

Has this twisting become a practice because of put difficulty?—Yes.

Mr. Collinson said he had seen tubs passed over the points without being guided. He was of the opinion that this twisting was a common practice. They were afraid of the tubs coming off the road.

”A Capable Driver.”

Answering Mr. Collinson, witness said there were many ways in which the boy could have been caught at the junction. He did not think the boy had been riding on the tubs. He was a capable driver.

Clifford Jackson. 1, Maltby Street, Denaby, assistant deputy, said he saw Gilmore about 5 p.m. on Friday. The boy then told him that he had an easy job that shift.

Witness said he had never known of any difficulty at the junction. Occasionally, a trouble come off the rails. He had never seen any twisting, but if you had seen a driver in a dangerous position he had warned him. He did not think that twisting was necessary at the junction. Yet seen runs go over without being touched. He heard of the accident at 7.50 p.m. and was on the scene within five minutes.

The boy had been liberated and artificial respiration was being ‘applied, but had no effect. It was kept up for nearly en hour. Gilmore was then removed from the pit.

The Coroner: You have not forbidden lads to handle tubs at this junction? — No, I have told them not to get into dangerous positions.

Mr Collinson: you realise now that this handling of tubs at junctions is dangerous? – Yes.

Mr Collinson said this was the second inquest in a fortnight on boys killed at junctions.

Answering Mr Young Jackson said the place where Gilmore was working was one of the safest and best in Yorkshire. As far as pit work was concerned, it was ideal.

Dr. T Ford said Gilmore was dead when he saw ‘him at 10 p.m. on Friday, and had been dead about two hours. Gilmore had been crushed and a heavy blow over the heart was sufficient to cause death.

A verdict of “Accidental Death” was returned.