Denaby Dataller’s Death – Smothered In The Mine

April 1911

Mexborough & Swinton Times, April 1, 1911

Smothered In The Mine.

Denaby Dataller’s Death.

Mr J Kenyon Parker and a jury enquired on Thursday afternoon, at the Denaby Main Institute, into the death of Alfred Holling, a dataller, who was killed by a fall of roof in the Cadeby mine early on Wednesday morning.

Mr G Poole (HM Inspector of mines), Mr HS witty (manager of Cadeby Main), were present.

Kate Peters said she had lived with Alfred Holling as his wife of 16 years. He was 55 years of age, and they lived at 37 Barnburgh St, Denaby. She last saw him alive on Tuesday evening, when he went to his work on the night shift. He was brought home dead on Wednesday morning at 8 o’clock.

Harry Ratcliffe, of low Sprotbrough, said deceased had worked with him 12 months. On Tuesday morning they were working at 99 Cross Gate, Number two, North district, Number two pit. They were working at a large fall of roof.

The deputy came to see them about 2 o’clock, and stayed 10 minutes, giving them orders to clear the fall as quickly as possible. He examined the roof, threw the light of his lamp on it, and pronounced it all right. At about half-past three there was another fall, which came without warning. It knocked all the timber out. Witness had just left the deceased, and was stood behind a tub. Deceased was buried completely. Witness summoned help, but it was not until 5.15 when Holling was got out, and he was then quite dead, apparently suffocated with the small coal. He had not thought there was anything particularly dangerous in the job.

Answering the Inspector, witness said the timber was quite sound.

Thomas Price, 4 Pitt Street, Mexborough said he had been a deputy at Cadeby Colliery about 12 years. He set the deceased and the last witness on to clear away a fall of roof, and visited them while they were doing it. He had no fault to find with the place or the way they were working when he went to them. He got on top of the fall and examined the roof by knocking it with a pick. He thought it was all right, and said nothing, for it was not necessary to do so. The height of the roof at that place was about 11 feet. He heard at 3:45 that deceased was buried, and helped to extricate him.

Answering a juror, witness said the second fall was 4 feet the first.

Mr J Bridges, under manager of the Cadeby Colliery, said he was present when the man was extricated, and agreed that death was due to suffocation. His opinion was that the first fall had taken away the Keystone of the arch and caused weakness in the sides. He tried artificial respiration for about 40 minutes.