Mexborough and Swinton Times November 11, 1905
The Fatality at Denaby Main
Mexborough Man’s Sad Death
The district coroner, Mr D Wightman, held an inquest at the Primitive Methodist Institute on Friday into the circumstances surrounding the death of Richard Bucknell, aged 44, a married man, of nine Quarry Street Mexborough, was killed on Tuesday week whilst following his employment at the Denaby Main Colliery.
There were present Mr Mellors, HM Inspector of mines, Mr A H Barnett (the agent) and Mr C Bury, representing the Denaby Main Collieries Ltd, whilst Mr J Hattersley represented the relatives of the deceased.
The widow Elizabeth Bucknell gave evidence of identification
Jessie Marriot, driver, was working with deceased when the accident happened, and he was removing dirt for the deceased, was making a road higher and wider in a old airway, work they had been employed in for four months.
The deputy, Cyrus Schofield, visited them about 8 o’clock on Tuesday and found no fault with the way they were doing the work. Witness was about 250 yards away from deceased for about three quarters of an hour, and at about 11:45 AM he went back with an empty tub expecting to find the disease ready with a full one. His lamp had gone out, but witness, with the aid of his lamp, saw deceased penned between a tub and a prop, practically in a sitting position, with his feet stretched out. Witness pushed the tub away, and put a wooden locker in which held it. He then found Bucknell dead.
In answer to the Inspector, witness stated that the deceased would be in that position about 10 minutes before he was released. When he got back with help he was in the same position as when he left him. His lamp was in his hand resting against his breast, and witness was satisfied he was dead when he first left him. He did not notice there were any lockers in the tub, but there was a “dick” under the front wheels when he left him. Deceased would have a locker, in fact, witness had seen him using one that morning. The locker was used to steady the tubs down the incline. Witness had never seen deceased go down in front of a tub.
In answer to the coroner, witness said the gradient was one in nine at that particular place. The accident could not have happened if deceased had not been in front of the tub. Deceased must have been in front. The locker deceased used was found about four or 5 yards away from the place where he usually drew it out.
Mr T Venables (one of the jury) owing to a remark made by the inspector, said he thought it was suggested that the deceased and never had a locker in the tub at all. He did not see how that could be suggested at all because no one was there.
The coroner said he did not think that had ever been suggested.
Mr Venables: Well, I thought so, and it’s no use coming here to see still like a lot of dummies.
The Coroner: You were quite right to ask the question.
Mr Venables asked if it was likely for a tub to get off the road and the locker to come out when coming down the incline?
Witness: It is possible for any tub to get off the road.
Mr Venables: And deceased would have to get it on again?
Witness: Yes, and it would be possible for it to gain speed and knock him over…
Mr Venables: Yes exactly.
In answer to Mr Hattersley, the witness said locker was found five or 6 yard pass the 9 yards travelled.
Cyrus Schofield, a deputy in charge of the place in question, said he knew the work the deceased had to do, as he let it out on contract of him. Deceased had works in that place about four months. He saw him last before the accident at about 8 o’clock in the morning, and he was then engaged in his work in the proper ordinary way.
When he left the deceased was filling a tub, and his duty was when he filled it take it down to whether driver took charge. As there was a gradient, he had to load it down from behind, and he should have had one locket in the last wheel. As the rails were rusty one locker would hold the tub firmly; in fact deceased would have to push it slightly. He knew the deceased had been employed at the mine some years, and witness considered him to be an exceptional man at his work. He did not require the same supervision as an ordinary man.
Witness heard of the accident at 11:55, went straight away to the spot. He found him in a sitting position with his back about 2 inches from the tub, which was on the rails. His opinion of the accident, was that the deceased had gone up the incline after the previous journey without his locker, and that he had tried to steady the tub down without it by getting in front, and saw checking its speed, with the result that he was overpowered and crushed.
The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death.”
The witness has received from the Britannic Assurance Company, through the instrumentality of Mr G.W.Whitehead, superintendent, £7 8s 0d, our full claim under a proposal that was taken on his life only four days previous to his death, although no premiums have been paid, and no policy issued. This speaks well for the generosity of the Britannic.