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Wendy White - Looking For a Picture of Shipley Pit Bottom
Karen Spake - Looking For Information On Either The Gater Family Or Talk O'th Hill
Michelle Marriott - Shipley Pit Bottom, what is a ‘Rammel Fan’?

Emails Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Karen Spake
29 December 2006
Looking For Information On Either The Gater Family Or Talk O'th Hill

My great Grand Father, John Gater had a watch with the words Talk Oth Hill engraved. The date engraved is 1884.

I do know he and my Grandfather came to the USA in 1909 from Stoke on Trent.

My husband and I are planning a trip to the area next year, and would just like any information on either the Gater family or Talk O'th' Hill

Karen Spake

Kevin Bochenski
08 April 2012
Gater Family

Hello. just searching the web for family links noticed a Karen Spake asking for information on the Gater family although this was dated 2006. I was wondering if you could pass this mail onto her as my mother was named Nora Gater my grandfather was a John Gater all from the Goldenhill and Burslem area in Stoke-on-Trent.

Thanks Kevin. 

I was looking up the deaths in mines when I came across the death Elijar Gater in 1889 age 42. At the inquiry a witness was John Gater, (his brother.) Karen may have his birth certificate or marriage certificate and that could be checked with the 1881 census and 1901cencus as he leftStoke-on-Trent in 1909.

Still working on it.

Best wishes. John Lumsdon

ps The library staff said they will help all they can, I have enclosed their E-mail address (along with other material) so she can contact them before she comes over.

  • W Gater 24th June 1861 Goldenhill 45
  • S Gater 6th Nov 1867 Apedale 18
  • T Gater 14th May 1875 Jackfield n/a
  • W Gater 7th Jan 1889 Leycett 48
  • E Gater 31st Jan 1890 Corbridge 42
  • J. Gater 3rd Oct 1896 Brownhills 56
  • S. Gater 25th March 1927 Jammage 44
  • E Gater 1st Jan 1942 Sneyd 49

Sneyd Colliery Explosion Jan. 1st 1942

Fifty-seven men and boys were killed, including E. Gater age 49
A memorial is to be erected in Burslem town centre sometime in 2007.

Fatal Colliery Accident

Staffordshire Advertiser Sat. June 29 th 1861 Page 4. Col 7.

On Monday 24 th June 1861 a load of coals was ascending the shaft at the Big Pit at Goldenhill, a piece fell from the Corfe, which struck William Gater, the “hooker on” at the bottom of the shaft. Gater, who was 45 years of age, had his head badly fractured, and died in a few hours afterwards. At the inquest, held on Thursday afternoon before Mr. Harding, coroner, and which was attended by Mr. Wynne, H.M.I.of Mines. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

Fatal Accident in Marl Mine at Burslem

Staffordshire Advertiser Sat. Feb. 8 th 1889 Page 7. Col 7.

An inquest was heard on Monday morning at the Leopard Hotel, Burslem by Mr. J. Booth, coroner touching on the death of Elijar Gater, age 42 and John M’Carthy age 23 who met with their deaths while at work in Mr J.M. Watkin’s marl mine, Elder Road, Cobridge on the 31 st Jan 1889. The inquiry was attended by Mr. W.N. Atkinson, Government Inspector of Mines for North Staffordshire.

John Gater miner from Smallthorne, said that he and the deceased, Elijar Gater (his brother) worked for Mr. Watkin, getting Marl in the same way that coal was got. At half past two on Friday the 31 st January there were five men working in the Jig where the witness was. The two deceased men had just brought an empty tub up to be loaded, when a large quantity of Marl fell from the deep side of the working. The whole of the side came down for a distance of 7 feet 6 inches. The truck was knocked off the jig and the deceased were almost completely buried. The fall was about 50 yards from the working place. No holing had been done there and there was no cause to anticipate danger.

In reply to questions by the coroner and the Inspector of Mines, the witness further stated that it was impossible to put timber in to protect the side. He examined it half an hour before the accident and saw nothing wrong with it. If there had been, he should have put a shot in it and brought it down. Fairclough, the butty, had examined it ten minutes before the fall. He could not exactly tell the cause of the fall, but he suggested that water had caused the Marl to waste off, and the mass came down without the slightest warning. There were occasional falls from the side, but they did not occur often. Fairclough the butty, acted as fireman and made an examination before the men commenced work. The butty had asked him to see that there was no danger because he was one of the oldest hands. He made no report.

Had they had put timber in, it would have stopped the wagons running on the rails. There was always plenty of timber when they wanted it. Michael Moran, miner, said he heard John Gater knocking on the side to test it an hour or two before it fell and other examinations might have been made lately. Reasonable care seemed to have been taken for the safety of the men. Thomas Fairclough said he was in partnership with Edward Millar for the getting of the Marl. Witness had no fireman but did the work himself. He was not aware he was breaking the law in so doing. He examined the place in question several times on the day of the accident, the last time being about ten minutes before the fall. There was not the slightest sign of danger. They had tried timber for supporting the sides but it did not succeed and he thought that if they trusted to timber there was more danger in having repeated examinations.

Mr F. Southall, certificated manager of the mine, said in reply to Mr. Atkinson that it had not struck him until that morning that it was not legal for the contractor to make examinations. He had made no change in the arrangements that existed when he went to the workings in October. The contractor supplied the timber, but anything he, the witness suggested was put in.

Mr Atkinson said that the responsibility for keeping the ways secure rested with the owners, agent or the manager. He asked the witness if he did not think he assumed a serious responsibility by allowing the timber to be supplied by a contractor. The witness said he did not. The same mode of working had gone on for 12 years without accident. The Inspector said, the roof and sides are not within compliance with the Act of Parliament? Witness said they are safe. The Inspector replied, that may be your opinion, but it is certainly not mine. Mr. Atkinson said that he thought the men might have been deceived by the appearance of the place in making the examination, but when he went over the mine on Saturday, there were other places which in his opinion were not safe, and he did not consider there was sufficient timber in the pit, set or unset for its safe working. The fact of this place of Marl being examined so frequently it seamed to him to show it was suspected.

Mr. Southhall said it was not examined more than say any other part of the pit, it was all continually watched.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death, expressing the opinion that if the provisions of the Mines Regulations act had been carried out, this accident would not have happened. The coroner said that this was a matter, which might be left with Mr. Atkinson. There had been several breaches of the Act and no doubt those responsible would hear more of it.

Stoke-on-Trent City Archives
Hanley Library Bethesda Street,
Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent,

Open Tues- Thurs 9 - 7.70 pm. Fri 9 – 5 pm. Sat. 9 – 4 pm.

Tel. (01782) 328420

Michelle Marriott - GO TO SHIPLEY
09 February 2007
Shipley Pit Bottom, what is a ‘Rammel Fan’?

I am a ranger at Shipley Country Park, Heanor, Derbyshire and I am currently working on a Heritage Information to highlight the mining history of the park.

I discovered a picture on your site of Shipley pit bottom and I would like to use this in the panel – I am therefore emailing you to request your permission to do so.

Also, I have found out that the first ‘Rammel Fan’ to be used in Great Britain was erected on the Shipley Estate. Do you know what a ‘Rammel Fan’ is? I’m guessing it is some kind of mechanical ventilator for underground mining but would appreciate any information you have on this type of fan.

Many thanks for your help with the above.

With regards

The first Rammel Fan in Great Britain was erected at Shipley Colliery, Derbyshire in May 1869 - Fionn
As far as I'm aware a Rammel Fan was a type of centrifugal ventilation fan for deep mines introduced from the 1860s onwards. The purpose would be the exhausting of mine gases and temperature control within the workings. At Shipley this would have been steam driven, and surface mounted.

There doesn't seem to be much documented on the Rammel design; well known types are Guibal, Waddle, Schiele, Walker, Capell and Sirocco. Perhaps the Rammel was problematic in some way, noting that "rammel" is a term for rubbish or waste within some mining/former mining communities.

It would appear that the Rammel fan could assume huge dimensions (depending on the target air movement value), with the 1897 inventory of Bettisfield Colliery (North Wales) listing one with a diameter of 82 feet.

Centrifugal fans took over from fire ventilation (e.g. the Nutbrook Colliery Cupola), air pumps and various other less efficient/more dangerous methods.

Joe (Joe Henshaw)

Sent: 05 September 2007
Subject: Shipley Collieries Info

A couple of sites which may be of use to the Ranger Michelle Marriott and to Wendy White, (above) also anyone else who is interested. Have a look at Heanor History Society, this has a section on local collieries for starters. Scroll down to the bottom of the home page and there is a link to the society’s forum with a section devoted to mining.

The absolute cracker is Internet Archive , hope that I have it correct . This is a US based site which holds downloadable archives in various formats including books in pdf format. Mine ventilation, coal, coal mining and blasting used in the search facility produce good results. There are several copies available of the transactions of The North of England Mining and etc Society (correct title has departed the two brain cells for the time being), to find these use the word transactions in the search facility.

Please be aware that US coal mining textbooks can contain working practices and techniques that would not have been used in UK coalmines. I have only downloaded publications that have been published by UK sources.

The second site is best visited before early afternoon; North America starts to go online at about that time. This makes the site quite sluggish in response to searches and downloads.

I have had a look for Rammell fan in my collection of books. No trace unfortunately but someone will have the information. The local papers may hold a few more clues, might be worth looking at planning permission or similar records.

Paxman-Lentz Steam Engines

Order date 12-08-1908
Order Number 8880
Engine Number 14873

Engine specification twin compound, 140 rev/min, 150 bhp, 11 1/4ins (hp bore) 18 1/2ins (lp bore) by 20 ins stroke

Built by Davidson and Co Siroco Works Belfast for Shipley Colliery

Direct coupled to colliery ventilation fan

Date sent 10-03-1909
Dwg ref 2009/2A

The engine was a Paxman Lentz design which was one of the most economical designs for its power output in terms of steam consumption and running costs. The engine maker works name, Siroco, is used to describe a type of ventilation fan for colliery use. It may be that Rammell was responsible for erecting and commissioning the fan and engine hence Rammell being used in the description.

Hope the above is of use,

Apologies for the late response but a slight medical problem has kept me away from the PC for most of 2007 so I am slowly putting my two penn'orths in to my interests.

Regards Phil

6 March 2007
Picture of Shipley Pit Bottom

Hi Fionn,
There is a reference (from a Ranger at what is now Shipley Country Park, see above) which speaks of a picture of Shipley Coppice Bottom. I did a search of the website but couldn't locate it - could you help?

I have a special interest in that my Grandfather Jesse Harrison died as a result of being injured by a fall of rock in Shipley Coppice pit and was buried on what would have been his 42nd Birthday in 1928.

Coppice - Opened 1975 Closed 1966
Now Shipley Park Visitors Centre
Do hope you're able to help - great site by the way!

Many Thanks

Pit Terminology - Glossary

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