Home Office Inquiry Into the Cadey Disaster – Tuesday Afternoon

August 1912

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 10 August 1912

Home Office Inquiry Into the Cadey Disaster – Tuesday Afternoon

Tuesday Afternoon

Resuming after lunch, Mr Redmayne said he had been looking into the Act, and there was no doubt at all that to representatives of the mines, who had at least five years practical experience of mining could visit the scene of the accident.

Mr Redmayne’s Tribute

At the conclusion of Fisher’s evidence, Mr Redmayne said he had pleasure in congratulating the witness on his plucky conduct throughout. After going around and seeing what had happened on the occasion of the first explosion, he readily volunteered to go round again after the second explosion. It was an action typical of the mining population. They will put themselves second, and a duty first.

Mr Pickering’s Advice

Harry Hully, deputy in the East district, on the night shift said he first heard of the explosion at the lamp station near the pit bottom on the morning of July 9, as he was coming off duty. He at once collected a rescue party. He found two members of the rescue team, Humphries and Murgatroyd, in the lamp station and Carlton joined them at the pit bottom. Stribley and formerly joined them at the pit top.

They telephone to the Wath rescue station for more apparatus. They obtained four sets of apparatus from the office, and went down the pit and down the South plane again. They were met by a man who told him that there apparatus was not needed, as someone had been able to go around without any apparatus at all. Further on they found Cusworth, Springthorpe and Fisher, who said they believe the explosion was serious, and they believed everyone was dead in the district. When they got to 19 Crossgate he suggested to Charlesworth that they should let everything stand as they found it.

Mr Redmayne: Why did you do that?

Because I was at the Maltby explosion with a rescue party. Mr Pickering told me personally at that was one of the best thing to do when there was no one about.

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Mr Redmayne: there were three men gas in that last explosion, icing; I saw one of them?

Yes he was more frightened than her. It was up by the side of the fall, and never inside the fall.

Mr Redmayne: there was one taken to the hospital?

Yes, but he was more frightened and her. It blew the bricks on out on top of me, but I was not overcome. I was building the wall.

Another Compliment

Mr Redmayne: I say to you as I said to Fisher: Your behaviour was splendid.

Witness: We only did our duty, sir.

Answering Mr Smith, witness said that in his inspection he did not reach a higher temperature than 90.

Mr Smith: When you write your reports in the book why do you always mark them 6 o’clock?

You sometimes right and before 6 o’clock don’t you? – Yes, but it is practically 6 o’clock.

Would it be not be better to state the exact time? – I can see that it will make much difference.

“Let’s Die Together”

Percy Murgatroyd, filler, a member of the first rescue party, who narrowly escaped the second explosion, repeated the narrative of his experience as related to the coroner’s inquest. He was up with Mr Bury were Mr Pickering came up and asked Mr Berry what had been done. Mr Berry replied “we have been round the Hall of the affected area, and now wish to remove the bodies.

Mr Pickering said, “Quite right,” then said he wished to make the inspection, so that the party went round the district. Witness was with Mr Hewitt when he took the temperature at the top end of the 19 landing, and found it a little over a hundred.

After the second explosion, and you came to your senses, did you hear any exclamation or anything at all?

I could hear breezing; and Stribley, Farmerly and Ward joined hands and said, “We’ll die together.”

Mr Redmayne: They were pretty far gone, I suppose? – Yes, I suppose so.

Your rescue apparatus save your life, I think? – It did.

When you got up to run, ask the second explosion, did you run against a girder and did that bring you to your senses?

Yes, I think if I hadn’t hit that girder I should have gone mad.

Mr Beale: The officials did not seem to know where the fire was? – No.

Did Mr Pickering or Mr Hewitt make some enquiry as to where the fire was situated?

No, I didn’t hear them.

Cause of the January Explosion

Mr Redmayne (addressing Mr Gichard): Are you prepared to deny that the explosion sometime in January was due to small explosion of firedamp? Firstly, and to be quite frank, I am satisfied that it was, and if you contend that it was not I sure to call evidence.

Mr Gichard: Yes, we are agreed that it was.

Mr Redmayne then proceeded to the arrangement of the remainder of the enquiry, and said he was trying to plan out their work. Tomorrow, he said, he proposed to call the doctor to give evidence of the condition of the bodies, and then I shall call Mr Chambers and Mr Wilson. I would like if possible to adjourn from tomorrow evening until we have got round the workings, when, in all probability, it will be necessary to resume here.

Justice for the Owners

Mr Smith at this point call attention to the disability on which he laboured in having to cross-examine witnesses before they were questioned by Mr Gichard, but Mr Redmayne said: “I think it is fair that the owner should have the last examination, for they are, in a manner of speaking, on their trial. They are not literally on their trial, of course, but it is in their mine that the accident has happened. After they have examined the witnesses, any question that you think necessary for the elucidation of any point, if you put it to me, I will gladly put it to the witnesses. I think that is the usual procedure.

Working in Bad Air

A dataller name Slater spoke to being engaged in the building of stoppings in old 121 from the 5th July to the Sunday before the accident.

He smelt “gob stink” distinctly on 5 July, and it was worse in the sixth and seventh. He did not go to work on the night preceding the explosion, because he had a “cup o’ beer” that evening. (Laughter).

Abel Dove, dataller and contractor, said he had been working with Slater at the stoppings in 121 from 5 July. He smelt the “gob stink,” and experienced a headache.

Mr Redmayne: Did you go to work on Monday night?

Mr Smith: No, he was with Slater. (Laughter).

Mr Smith: Wasn’t your brother was burned in a previous explosion? – Yes.

Is he working there now? – No, he’s dead. He was killed in the last explosion.

Who did you get your instruction from to go to work then? – Fred Richardson.

William Barnbrook, a filler belonging to the South district, said he had worked along the 19’s bank for the last two years, and was ordered to go to work on Sunday afternoon July 7th, to help to put up a brick stopping in 121 old gate. There were seven in the party, and the air was so bad that they worked singly and in short intervals. When they were freshly will go to the stopping and work at it one by one for three or four minutes. The deputy, Fred Richardson, took his “kale” with the rest. When witness had put in two or three turns he remembered coming out and landing his lamp to a man name Shacklock, and then he became unconscious.

On Monday evening the party went again, and at 9 o’clock in the evening witness was discussing with the deputy whose turn it was to go in and work at the stopping when the man who had been working came out and fell unconscious. The deputy said, “that’s enough for today lads” and they all came out of the pit. Witness worked at the last fire, the fire in which the four men were burnt; but he never had been unconscious before.

Statements Accepted

Mr Redmayne: There is no doubt that the conditions here were pretty bad, and I accept the facts of the last two witnesses.

Mr Smith: All our witnesses are in that locality, and seem to be experienced men.

Mr Redmayne: Oh yes. I shall accept the facts.

Mr Gichard: I shall not attempt to dispute or minimise them.

Mr Redmayne: I don’t myself think it is necessary to call more witnesses as to the condition of old 121. We may take it that what has been stated is incontrovertible.

Mr Smith: There is a witness who would be able to tell us that even deputies had been gassed in that neighbourhood.

Mr Redmayne: Very well; I accept that.

The Court then rose for the day.