Hi, two of the miners injured in the Brookhouse overwind accident, 1958, were my mothers brothers, Frank and Pat Jones, a third, Stan Jones, would have been amongst them had he not been late for work.
My mother doesn't live in Sheffield any more, but its a small world! She would probably be able to give you more information if you'd like her address.
I believe Frank was paid £2,000 compensation for his injury (broken pelvis) enough to pay for his house and start a 'fruit and veg lorry' business.
Pat, on the other hand, only got around £200 compensation. He was crippled for life and had a very hard job walking more than a few yards at a time.
Apparently he had a disability car, but it was taken off him because he could walk 'too far' - despite a woman in a nearby village getting to keep hers even tho she could walk great distances.
I believe Pat, who had 4 boys, got a job at a brick-yard and died while at work - just died where he was working with no warning.
Funnily enough I went to Eng on Fri and my mother was telling me that my brother found something about the mining disaster on the internet. I said I’d print it off for her, but there isn't much available apart from your site.
You do a really great job and it’s nice for all those killed or injured to be remembered - if you know what I mean.
Life was desperately hard (everywhere) in the mines in those days, awful conditions, worse pay and hearts that stopped beating whenever the siren blew, wondering what or who it was this time.
There was something very special about those 'pit moggies' as we used to call them in Doncaster, there still is. Whenever I see a statue or picture of the old miner with his lamp and hard hat it stirs something inside, cannot explain what for the life of me, partly pride I guess at these brave strong men, lots of mixed emotions, but good ones.
Here in Wales I pay over £20 for a sack of anthracite -can you imagine what the miners of old would think about that and it'll have a lot of rubbish in it?
During the miners’ strike in the 80's I went up to York's to visit my uncle Stan (the one who missed the 50's disaster). I knew they were strapped for cash and suffering, it was winter and cold. I loaded the car with a sack or two of coal, sack of spuds and a couple of boxes of groceries (had to be careful, miners are proud folk who don't like charity). I thought they'd be delighted and get stuck in.
No they didn't.
The day wore on and it got colder and colder, so I asked as diplomatically as possible why they weren't making a fire. My uncle explained that they wouldn't be keeping the goodies they would go to the community to be shared out, the most needy would be seen to first.
I did feel quite ashamed, I was worried about my comfort while little kids had no heat and little food. I'd assumed they'd all have family who'd help them out, but of course most family members were also miners.
My uncle Stan was a supervisor down the pit by then and machines did most of the work.
After the pits closed he got a job working with mentally handicapped people.
A lot of other younger family members worked for Sheffield steel, something else to be proud of, but alas that went the same way as the mines. My cousin took me to work once, to see what it was like, wow, the heat and smell, another hard job.
People don't know they're born these days!!
There's a bit about Brookhouse disaster in the Oxford Journal of occupational medicine and another reference to it in a report on 'emotional stability of colliery workers 1958' - not sure who the publisher is.
I believe the Jones' came to Wales from Yorkshire sometime in the 1800 during a miners’ strike, it was said that the Welsh refused to allow English men in, but tolerated the Yorkshire men. However I can't find proper evidence of this.
There is no 'J' in the Welsh alphabet although we have now got a few 'J' words mainly to help non-Welsh (Jwg for example or jug.)
If you ever come across a book called 'River out of Eden' by C. Evans (1951) it's well worth a read, has a lot in it about the valley mining towns in Wales and how they were built up to include schools, hospitals, railways etc (mainly for healthier miners and the next generation of).
Also my mum wondered if anyone has any info about the old 'tup' plays that miners used to perform - she remembers them with great fondness and apparently they were a good way for miners to make some extra cash.
Found a bit of you-tube showing the Derby Tup, this was the
one my mother remembers miners performing at Christmas
and would have been a mummers play, I think!!
Finally if anyone out there remembers or knows the whereabouts of George Jones (Nobby) from Beighton, commonly known as 'Nobby' she'd love to hear from them.
George/Nobby is also her brother, but they lost touch years ago. He moved from his mums house in Beighton (after she died) to a bed-sit in Sheffield where he worked on the busses -until he crashed one into a wall.
Nobby used to call in at Hilda's (Toms wife - Tom was another brother) for a cup of tea while the busses were being turned around.
For some reason he stopped going and family in Sheffield have no idea where he is either.
Chris Jones (Wales)
Go to Miners and Their Families