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Ian Gretton - Enoch Lloyd, was my great-grandfather
Margaret Grundy - Pit Accident at Old Coppice Colliery Cheslyn Hay, 1900
Cannock Advertiser 8th September 1900 - Terrible Accident At The Old Coppice Colliery

  From: Margaret Grundy
Sent: 14 February 2008
Pit Accident at Old Coppice Colliery Cheslyn Hay, 1900

I have the account of the above accident from the Cannock Advertiser of 8th September 1900.

The men killed were Enoch Lloyd age 34 years. Joseph Edwin Lawson age 39 years and Henry Stanton age 39 years. All men lived locally.

Men injured William Buck Thomas Skidmore, Oliver Connolly age 19 years (my grand father) Joseph Vernon age 20 years, Thomas Garrett age 23years.

The men were seriously injured.

I have the account of the accident, the inquest details and the inquiry details.

I am planning to post the names on the Staffordshire List but thought you might want to include the details on your list.

I found the information on your site fascinating.

Margaret Grundy nee Connolley

  From: Ian Gretton
Sent: 31 March 2008
Enoch Lloyd, was my great-grandfather

Re this accident (September 1900) - a fourth man, William Buck, died from his injuries on 5th April 1901. One of those killed instantly, Enoch Lloyd, was my great-grandfather.

The winder at the colliery, William Hill, was charged with manslaughter and sent for trial at Stafford Assizes. He was found not guilty and acquitted.

Ian Gretton

8th September 1900

Coppice: Cheslyn Hay

Terrible Accident At The Old Coppice Colliery - Cheslyn Hay
Three Men Killed And Five Injured

An accident, attended with lamentable loss of life, occurred at the Cannock old Coppice Colliery, belonging to Messrs. Joseph Hawkins and Sons, at Cheslyn Hay, on Monday last between six and seven o’clock. The miners employed on the day shift were being lowered in batches, and all went well until about seventy five men had reached the bottom of the pit. Then as the cage was descending again with eight men in it, the engine driver, a man named William Hill, by some means failed to control the winding apparatus, with the result that the cage dashed, with great force, to the bottom of the shaft, with terrible consequences.

Joseph Hichens, cager at the bottom, who was an eye witness of what occurred, states that the impact threw off two of the men, and the cage then rebounded, throwing off the other six.

All fell underneath the cage, which fell again end crushed them. As quickly as possible, some of the officials descended the pit bottom, and it was then found that three of the men were dead,
Their names being:-

  • Enoch LLoyd (34.) of Old Penkridge Road, Cannock
  • Joseph Edwin Lawson (39) of Hatherton Street, Cheslyn Hay
  • Henry Stanton (39) of Station Street, Cheslyn Hay.

Joseph Edwin Lawson appears to have been killed instantaneously, while Stanton and Lloyd died within a few minutes. All three men were terribly knocked about.

The names of the seriously injured men with them were:-

  • William Buck of Caxton buildings, Cannock
  • Thomas Skidmore of 40 Hightown, Cannock
  • Oliver Connolly (19) of Cannock
  • Joseph Vernon (20) of Bridgetown, Cannock
  • Thomas Garrett (23) of Great Wyrley.

All these were seriously injured and efforts were at once made to obtain Medical Aid.
Drs. Hosegood, Morgan, and Syree, and an assistant of the last named, were quickly in attendance and rendered every possible assistance and vehicles having been obtained, the injured men were convoyed to Wolverhampton Hospital, the condition of Buck and Skidmore being recorded as critical. News of the accident spread rapidly throughout the district and it was reported that all the men were killed. A large crowd rapidly gathered and pathetic scenes were witnessed as the injured men and dead bodies of their companion’s were brought to the surface. The exact cause of the accident is at present some what enveloped in mystery. The engine and winding apparatus were in the charge of William Hill, the winder, who has been employed at the Colliery for about 20 years, and his statement is understood to be that when be came to reverse the lever of the engine, he found that there was something wrong with it, it had stuck fast and he could not get it over until the cage had stuck at the bottom of the shaft. He then pushed the lever over, and succeeded in stopping the engine. The colliery officials admit that Hill is a man of considerable experience, but they stated that the engine and apparatus were all in a perfect working order and that they are at a loss to account for the disaster. The point is one which will, no doubt, be elucidated at the adjourned enquiry on Tuesday.

Joseph Bates, banksman, who saw the cage descend, states that everything then appeared in good order. When it was a distance down he perceived it was going at a rapid rate, and. then the cage on

the other side of the shaft - which is a double one - flew up into what is in known as the ‘Jacks’. As showing the velocity which had been attained, it may be mentioned that the rope from the ascending cage, when severed, flew with tremendous force against the roof of the engine house, the noise being heard a mile away. The roof of the building was battered in, and Hill, the engineman, had a narrow escape from being killed as the debris was scattered about in all directions. The machinery itself was badly knocked about, and the drum of the engine was smashed, this being in consequence of the severed chain wrapping around it. The deceased were all married men with families , Lawson leaving one child, Lloyd three children, and Stanton four children. The Colliery which finds employment for a large number of men in the Cheslyn Hay and Great Wyrley area, has been opened twenty years and this, by far, the most serious accident which has ever taken place there. Mr. W. B. Scott, inspector of Miners for the district was informed of the accident immediately after the occurrence and he visited and inspected the colliery in the course of the morning. At the time of the accident, Mr. Albert Stanley (Miners Agent), was away at Huddersfield, attending the Trades Union Congress. He was immediately wired to, and at once returned. Later in the day, Mr Stanley visited the families affected, and found that some of them will need immediate assistance.

Pit Terminology - Glossary

I was/Am a Miner



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