Fatal Accident at Denaby Main Colliery.

September 1901

Mexborough and Swinton Times, September 20.

Fatal Accident at Denaby Main Colliery. 

Another colliery fatality has taken place at Denaby. On Monday, the 17th, a young lad named Enoch Webster was proceeding to his work in the pit when he was knocked down by a train of corves, and badly injured. He was at once conveyed to the Mexborough Montagu Cottage Hospital, where he died soon after admission. The lad had only been employed in the pit for something like a month.

The Inquest. 

Inquest was held on Tuesday afternoon at the Mexborough Montagu Cottage Hospital, by Mr Dossey Wightman. There are also present. Mr James Mellors (one of his Majesties Inspectors of Mines” and Mr M.C. Bury, on behalf of the colliery.

Alvin Webster, father of the deceased, who lives at Denaby, stated that the deceased was 18 years of age, and was a pony driver. He had only worked at the pit for about a month; previously he had worked at the glass house. He was a healthy lad.

Harry Beech, a hanger on, aged 18 years, said he worked, near to the bottom of the pit. He did not know the deceased except by sight; nor did he know what deceased duties were. He saw him on the morning of the accident at about eight o’clock, when he (deceased) was going in the direction of the workings, and saw him 5 or 6 minutes afterwards, when he had been knocked down by the corves. He saw deceased´s pony coming back. Witness had just knocked the clips off the train, and seen a train had stopped. He shouted to Walter Kaye, asking him if he had seen a lad nearby, and he replied that he had not. Witness then said that he must be underneath the corves. They failed to come to the bottom, stopping about 12 yards from their destination. Witness then found deceased underneath the first tub. All the other tubs were lumped together. He saw deceased taken away, but could not say whether he was dead when extricated. He did not know where deceased lamp and cap were found.

Mr Biggs asked if there was a man at the bottom, to tell the deceased if it would be safe to go up, and witness replied in the negative.

Joseph Westwood, a Corporal at the place in question, said he did not see the deceased knocked down. He was at the place at about eight o’clock, which was the time the accident happened. Witness had been taking in a full run when he saw a run-off full tubs standing, and all bumped against each other. He found deceased underneath the first tub and he helped to get him out. He was alive, but witness did not hear him say anything; he only groaned. He was taken to the Hospital in the colliery ambulance. In his opinion, the diseased had been knocked down by the tubs. There was plenty of room for the deceased and his pony to pass the moving tubs. The full tubs always came down one side.

The Coroner: You work in the pit, and we don’t. We rely upon you to give us your opinion as to how this accident happened.

Witness: I know no more about it than you do.

The Coroner: That’s the wonderful part about it.

Mr Mellors: Is there space of 5 feet between the tubs and the wall?

Witness: Yes, Sir.

The Coroner: Have you never thought about the accident, and the way in which it was cause? Haven’t you had a pint of beer in a public out since the accident happened?

Witness: No, Sir; I haven’t.

The Coroner: That’s wonderful. If you had you would have heard all about it.

The Witness: Well, I think that he must have been turning his horse round to get out of the road of the tubs and got knocked down.

Mr Mellor said there was a refuge hole at the same side. The lad might have tried to get his pony and himself in there.

Mr Tyndall (a jury man) said that the ponies came into the stables at 5.30 and were sent out again at 6.30. When the lad went to the bottom of the pit, if there was not a hanger on there he had to wait to see if the road was safe.

The jury returned a verdict of “accidentally killed.”