My great granddad Winnard owned the farm on the Wigan Lane Battle sight. After his death one of his sons built the 1930s houses in Great Acre and Vine Street.
I lived for a while in 75 Great Acre. Our rear door is on the side of the house facing a cement rendered retaining wall hiding the entrance to a Walkin coalmine. There is another further north along the valley, below Bottling Wood housing estate.
It is believed there is a pit shaft in the garden of the bungalow in Danes Road, behind my childhood home - 60 Holme Terrace, Wigan, and there are some off Mesnes Road near the Brocket Arms. The whole of West Swinley/North Gidlow vicinity seems to have been riddled with pit shafts. We used to fish in a pond in Whitley before being warned that it was a pit shaft.
Also there is another on the Longshoot slope near the health centre, Scholes. This is overgrown. Their entrances were noted on OS plans in the coal board records office in Worsley. This is closed and I don’t know where their records are kept now.
There is reason to believe that I descend from the foreman joiner who was blown to smitherens at Moss Pit lower ince.
I'm pretty certain My granddad, Zachariah Henry Ashurst's grandfather was the Zachariah Ashurst listed in those who died in the Ince Moss Pits Disaster, 6 Sept 1871. Stan Jones has been helping me with the research. Zachariah Henry Ashurst (who was affectionately known locally in Wigan as "owd Zach") his parents were Thomas and Sarah (nei Gaskel). Thomas died and she married William Hall. I have since been given information which apparently takes us back to a Henry Ashurst who was born in 1598.
I have been kindly given the use a church hall in Hindley, Wigan, for get togethers of old miners and interested parties to reminisce and share photos etc. If you want I could keep you informed.
Apparently my granddad's granddad was the foreman joiner blown up in the Moss Pit, Ince disaster. Browse for "The True Price of Coal" Efforts are afoot to try to get a proper memorial to all 70 of them
What do you think?