March 11th, 1905.
Terrible Fatality at Cadeby Colliery.
Boy Falls 400 Feet
Dashed to Pieces
A tragic story was unfolded at an inquest held on Thursday, at the Denaby Main Hotel, touching the death of a boy named Thomas Rose, aged 15, of Balby Street, New Conisboro’, who met with a terrible death in the Cadeby Colliery on Tuesday morning.
It appears that the deceased boy, along with his relatives, came into this neighbourhood a fortnight ago, and almost immediately the deceased and his brother obtained work at the colliery as couplers. On Tuesday the deceased boy commenced his tenth shift, and, along with his brother, went to work as usual. About 9 a.m. deceased started off to go to the stables with a can of hot water, taking, of course, with him his lighting lamp. He never returned, and a search being made he was found at the bottom of the air-shaft leading to No. 1 pit. He had fallen a distance of 126 yards.
The Coroner (Mr. F. E. Nicholson) for the Doncaster District, held the inquiry on Thursday, and there were present Mr. Walker, R.M. Inspector of Mines, and Mr. A. H. Barnard, agent, and Mr. H. S. Witty, manager of the Cadeby Colliery, representing the Company.
After evidence of identification given, James Rose, brother of the living at 48, Balby Street, said they came to Conisboro’ a fortnight ago, and went to seek work at the colliery on the Saturday, and commenced the following Thursday, and had been working since. On Thursday morning they were going up the steps to get into the cage.
James Wilkinson, aged 14, said he lived with his brother in law. He had been working at the pit two months, but had only been working two days with the deceased. On Tuesday they started work about seven o’clock, and about nine o’clock deceased left him to take a can of hot water to the stables. Deceased was carrying his lamp when he went.
In answer to the Inspector, witness said deceased had on his way to the stables to pass through two doors, and just beyond them was the airway leading to the No. 1 shaft, which was fenced. As he did not come back, the hanger-on sent witness to find him. The horsekeeper told him he had been and gone again. Witness then went back, and was going to go down the airway, to see if he would go to the working place first to see if he had come back. There was a fence across the air road.
The Inspector: Didn’t you know you ought not to go down that airway? – No, sir.
Hadn’t you ever been told? -No, sir. I should not have gone if I had not thought he would have passed me and come back.
Richard Munting, of 17, Maltby Street, hanger-on, said deceased had worked ten shifts. Deceased had been with the hot water five or six times before. When he missed him he sent the other boy to look for him. – In answer to the Inspector the witness said the air-road was fenced up, and anybody wanting to go down it would either have to climb over it or stoop and get underneath.
Thomas Firth, of 3 Albion Terrace, Conisboro’, horsekeeper at the Cadeby pit, said when the deceased brought the hot water he had a lamp but it was out, asked him if he could manage, and he could. When he was missed witness searched for him, and went within ten yards of the air shaft, but could not find any trace of him.
The Inspector thought witness should have seen the deceased boy, who was practically a stranger, back to his working place. If he had done so that accident would never have happened.
Tom Raithmell, a miner, of 17, Tickhill square, said he worked on No. 1 pit, and about 9-30 on Tuesday morning he heard somebody call, and something come down the shaft. He looked down, and found the boy yards below. He had fallen about 126 yards. His cap was found in the shaft.
Robert Whitham, of 5, Melton View, Denaby, horsekeepr, and James Springthorpe, of 143, Tickhill Street, a deputy, also gave evidence. The latter said the fences to the air road were in proper order, and complied with the rules.
The Coroner Thought the affair had been an accident. So far as he could see no negligence attached to the colliery company at all.
The jury returned a verdict that the deceased met with his death accidentally.