Denaby Boy Killed – An Unusual Accident – Caught by Travelling Weight

June 1923

Mexborough & Swinton Times, June 09

Denaby Boy Killed

An Unusual Accident

Caught by a Travelling Weight.

A Denaby youth, Walter Parkes, aged 17, of 72, Cliff View, was fatally injured in an unusual accident which occurred at about six o´clock on Monday evening in the Denaby Main mine.

Parkes was employed on the haulage at a point near the entrance to the “Denaby Deep” shaft, which is sunk to the Parkgate seam. He was attending to a device known as “squeezers”, which is intended to check and hold tubs that are being lowered down an incline. While he was bending over the wheel which operates the “squeezers”, preparing them for the reception of the tubs, two corves loaded with bricks,. which are used as a travelling weight for returning the haulage rope to the bottom of the incline, came along and knocked him down, the first being derailed by his body. He was so badly injured that he died in the Fullerton Hospital the same evening.

Mr. Frank Allen held an inquest at the Fullerton Hospital on Wednesday. Mr. H. J. Humphreys, H. M. Inspector of Mines, Mr. W. Still, manager of the mine, and Mr. A. Roberts, representing the Yorkshire Miners Association, were present.

Walter Parkes, 72, Cliff View, Denaby Main, miner, said the dead boy, Walter Parkes, was his son. Witness last saw him alive on Monday afternoon at one o´clock, and his son followed him to work on the same shift. He was injured during that shift, and died the same night in the Fullerton Hospital at five minutes to nine.

Arthur Liversidge, 51, Schofield street, Mexboro´, a haulage hand at Denaby Main, said Parkes worked in the same district. On Monday evening, about six o´clock, he saw Parkes closing the “squeezer”, to do that he had to stand between the full and empty roads. He saw the tubs coming down the empty road. Witness was working the rope opposite the bottom “squeezer”. He did not see the tubs strike Parkes, but he saw the front tub off the road, and he stopped the rope. He found Parkes lying under the tub, and he fetched help. Parkes was badly injured. Parkes had been working in that place about two months, and was well aware of the regular passage of the brick tubs down the road. The place was fairly noisy.

Sam Brown, colliery deputy, 20, Herbert street, Mexboro´, said he was called to the “top squeezer” about six o´clock on Monday night. He found Parkes seriously injured, and had him conveyed out of the pit to the hospital. He was a competent lad, and used to the job.

Answering Mr. Humphreys, witness said Parkes could have operated the “squeezer”, from between the roads, standing clear of the tubs.

Dr. Killcher described Parkes´s injuries, and said he died of shock and haemorrhage. All that was possible in the way of first-aid had been done for the boy before his removal from the pit.

The Coroner said it was a simple accident, the first that had come under his notice in connection with this particular colliery device, which had been used in the Denaby mine for about thirteen years without mishap. The only question remaining was as to whether by some mechanical adjustment a greater degree of safety could be secured, and he understood from the management that they were now considering the practicability of taking the operating wheel outside the road. It was not at present necessary to operate the “squeezers” from between the rails, but it might sometimes by convenient, and that was where the element of danger came in.

A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned, and Mr. Still and Mr. Roberts expressed sympathy with the bereaved family.

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