Hello Alan. What a wonderful site you’re maintaining for future generations. Since I found it, I find myself re-visiting whenever I can. I grew up in Thornton, a village in North West Leicestershire, and most of the village men I remember from my childhood worked at either Merrylees, Desford or Bagworth pits. Merrylees, in particular, was noted for being a drift mine where the miners worked in water up to their waists for most of the time. Our village is much changed now, and most people who buy the new houses, (not in the “Colliery rows”!) have no conception that the green, treed hills in the valley which they admire from their windows were once slag heaps!
The reason for my contact, and I really hope you won’t mind my making it, is that I am working on a family tree for an elderly friend of mine (more elderly than I am!). Some of her family, the Whettons, moved around 1900 from the collieries at Donisthorpe and Overseal to Fryston in Yorkshire - I believe for better wages? This migration involved my friend’s mother Caroline Smith, as a girl. Caroline married Matthew Wilkinson in 1911, and my friend believes that he was killed in a mining accident at Dinnington Colliery in October 1917 leaving Caroline with three little girls, the youngest but six weeks old. I have found another Matthew Wilkinson fatal accident on your site, but he’s not the one I’d dearly love to know about, though I do wonder if there’s a connection.
|Please can you help my searches in any way? I would be most grateful.
With thanks in anticipation.
|Photos of Dinnington Colliery
Matthew has been found, click here
How very kind! It’s so nice that Matthew has his memorial flower – my friend will be both touched and delighted, I’m sure.
I have attached three photographs which I have which relate to Desford Colliery, Leicestershire, which might be of some interest to your site. I applaud your efforts to keep mining memories alive.
|Photographs of Desford Locomotives by Colin M Harris
48082 passing Desford Colliery Sidings with 45 empty mineral wagons
from Leicester Power Station for Bagworth. 9 May 1966
Desford Colliery locomotive sheds. 1963
Hunslet 3170 brings empties up from the exchange sidings at Desford Colliery. 1964