Just came across this site. Fascinating stuff which I don't have time to read too deeply at present as I'm supposed to be working!
My Great, Great Grandfather Samuel Berresford, (1847-1898) who was originally from Crich in Derbyshire, moved his family from Unstone Green, Chesterfield, to the then recently sunk Bestwood Colliery, sometime around 1870-80. He is buried in St Marks churchyard in the village, His son John, grandson Arthur and great grandson Wilf (my Dad) were all raised in Park Road in the village.
Arthur later kept the Bestwood Hotel, which I'm told was sometimes used as a morgue, and for inquests, after accidents in the colliery. I spent many a happy hour in the Bestwood Hotel during the 1950s and 60s and as a small child I especially loved watching the little steam engines working in the pit yard. The view from the upstairs living quarters at the back of the pub was ideal.
My dad passed on in 1976, largely from 'the dust'. I went on to do a brief stint as an apprentice fitter for the NCB, before joining the Coal Board laboratories at Cinderhill for a couple of years. Most of the men in the family worked in the local pits at some point.
I've heard vague reports of a big accident of some sort at Bestwood around 1898. This would coincide with the death of Samuel Berresford at the relatively young age of 51 and I've often wondered if he might have been involved, but can find no evidence.
I have lived in Merseyside for the last 40+ years and now only visit Nottingham a few times a year, which makes researching a little more difficult. However, I'm determined to find out how Samuel died. May just have been natural causes. I also want to trace him back beyond Crich. I would hope to place his ancestors in the Beresford Dale/Alstonefield area on the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border, which is apparently the seat of Berresfordism.
I visited the restored headstocks at Bestwood last year. They look very good, but the area around has changed so much as to make it almost impossible to visualise what it was like as a working pit.
I remember my Dad taking me into the winding house when I was maybe 8-10 years old. I found it very scary at the time.
I'll try to write more when I have more time.