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Wallsend Colliery Explosion 18 June 1835 - Pete Johnson

Least We Forget

Ben Wall - Wallsend Mining Disaster 1835, what happened to Cuthbert Reavely's wife after the event?
Ross Buddle Atkinson - Wallsend Colliery Explosion 1835
Malcolm Reveley - Was there a Relief Fund ? Wallsend Colliery Explosion 1835
Pete Johnson - Wallsend Colliery Explosion 1835

From:
Sent:
Subject:
In MemoryBen Wall
7 Nov 2015
Wallsend Mining Disaster 1835

Hello

I'm researching my family tree and came across your site as a few of my ancestors died in this accident (Reavelys)

I'm trying to find out what happened to Cuthbert Reavely's wife after the event, and noticed Ross Buddle Atkinson had commented about funds being made available for the dead miner's families.

Would you be able to put me in contact with Ross to see if he can help me out somewhat?

Thanks


Possibly married to Jane Mason - Marriage 22 Oct 1815
Possibly 10 children
John 1816 - 1835 Also died in the explosion (A Putter - A man or boy pulling or pushing trams or tubs by hand)
Elizabeth 1818
Thomas 1820
Jane 1822
Martha 1825
Ann 1828
George 1831 but died same year
John 1835
Thomas 1835

From:
Sent:
Subject:
Ross Buddle Atkinson
1 Feb 2015
Wallsend Colliery Explosion 1835

Hello,

I would like to contact a Malcolm Reveley who posted a message on the Wallsend colliery explosion page.  I cannot post any message to your page and would like to know if there is any way to get in touch with him. 

He asked if there was any fund for the dead miner’s families and I haven’t checked in detail yet, but John Buddle, my 4th great grand uncle did give generously to funds for dead miners families. As noted on your site, he was also in the very first men down the mine to assist as best they could.  I would be surprised if there was not a fund set up after this disaster. 

I have a great deal on his working life, including a thesis written on his working life and  another booklet written recently on his life.

I hope you can get in touch with Malcolm, it would be good to find any further info for him.

Warmest Regards


Ross Buddle Atkinson


From:
Sent:
Subject:
In MemoryMalcolm Reveley
19 May 2012
Was there a Relief Fund ? Wallsend Colliery Explosion 1835

Hi
I wondered if you could help, from my family research I discovered that at least 14 of my ancestors died in the 1835 pit disaster at Wallsend. I am trying to find out if there was a relief fund for the families of those who died? And if so is, are there any records that may help me with my research?

Regards
Malcolm Reveley


From:
Sent:
Subject:
In MemoryPete Johnson
28 March 2007
Wallsend Colliery Explosion 1835

The Wallsend Colliery consisted of 7 pits which were active between 1778 and 1935. Upto 1925 there were 11 major incidents recorded at the colliery resulting in over 209 deaths.

On 18th June 1835 a gas explosion in one of the tunnels killed 102 miners. The youngest was Robert Roseby, a Trapper aged 8 years old.
Pete Johnson

PS I have put it up on Wikipedia


Thursday, about two o'clock in the afternoon, one of those dreadful explosions which have been so lamentably frequent in mining districts, took place at one of Mr. Russell's collieries, at Wallsend, known by the name of the church pit, or Russell's old Wallsend, by which twenty-six men and seventy-five boys lost their lives, leaving twenty-four widows and eighty-three children to bewail their sudden, and, under the circumstances, most sorrowful departure.

After the disaster of 1821, improvements had been made to the ventilation and for fourteen years there had been no accidents at the colliery until this one. The explosion caused the deaths of 102 men and boys and four others were seriously injured. Eleven horses were also killed.

The pit had been examined by the viewers and it was considered safe for the men to go down and work. There were four very experienced overmen and deputies down the pit at the time of the explosion. Two hundred and fifty men and boys were in the mine at the time of the disaster. The hewers had started work early in the morning and had finished getting coal. It was then brought to the bottom of the shaft by the young men and boys during the day. This was the customary way in which the colliery worked.  

The explosion occurred in the Bensham Seam at about 2 p.m.. About 60 hewers had left the pit after their morning’s work and the majority in the pit were young persons, putters, drivers and trappers who were getting the coal out. Six hewers were working in the coal with candles. There were few indications of the disaster at the surface. One of the banksmen at 'G' Pit, John Patterson, had just unhooked the lowest full corve from the rope and placed an empty corve in the pit, when a gust of wind blew it out and carried his hat over the headgear. Just after this the men saw smoke coming from the Pit. he described it as ‘a lightish colour’ and as ‘a puff that ceased almost immediately’.

The two furnacemen employed in the ‘A’ Pit succeeded in escaping through the ‘C’’ Pit and four persons were found alive at the bottom of ‘G’ Pit but one of the men died soon afterwards. Eight men immediately volunteered to go down but at the bottom of the shaft, afterdamp drove them back up again and were almost insensible when they got to the surface. Mr. Buddle and his assistants went down the ‘C’ shaft but there was so much damage that they had to go to the surface without recovering any of the bodies. The day the bodies of two men and nineteen boys were recovered Some had been burned but the majority had died from the effects of the afterdamp.

At about 10 a.m. on 20th June, three men were brought out of the mine alive. They had been entombed for 65 hours and it was said that they did not suffer from hunger. One of them had to have his leg amputated and died as result which brought the final death toll to 102. There were seventeen women widowed, eight mothers who lost sons and forty eight children under 14 years of age left fatherless.  

Appleby

Henry

aged 17

Putter

Appleby

James

aged 11

Trapper

Bell

Edward

aged 19

Helper Up

Bell

Francis

aged 22

Crane-man

Bell

Richard

aged 19

Putter

Bell

Robert

aged 13

Rolley-driver

Bell

William

aged 16

Rolley-driver

Brown

Martin

aged 33

Hewer

Buddle

John

aged 19

Putter

Buddle

Matthew

aged 14

Putter

Buddle

Michael

aged 17

Putter

Chicken

John

aged 19

Putter

Clark

Robert

aged 21

Putter

Collins

David

aged 19

Putter

Combie

Edward

aged 22

Putter

Combie

Edward

aged 12

Rolley-driver

Combie

James

aged 11

Trapper

Combie

Robert

aged 20

Putter

Cousins

James

aged 20

Putter

Crister

William

aged 56

Deputy Overman

Crister

William Jnr

aged 17

Crane-man

Croser

John

aged 23

Hewer

Dawson

Robert

aged 13

Trapper

Dinning

Bateman

aged 12

Putter

Dinning

William

aged 17

Putter

Elrington

Thomas

aged 15

Attending Davy lamps

English

John

aged 19

Putter

Giles

Andrew

aged 16

Rolley-driver

Giles

Henry

aged 21

Putter

Giles

James

aged 19

Putter

Giles

John

aged 19

Putter

Gillis

John

aged 20

Putter

Green

James

aged 19

Crane-man

Green

Peter

aged 16

Stone stower

Hall

George

aged 11

Putter

Hall

John

aged 18

Putter

Harbottle

Joseph

aged 72

Trapper

Haxon

Francis

aged 14

Trapper

Hepple

John

aged 12

Trapper

Huggup

Thomas

aged 11

Trapper

Johnson

William

aged 47

Sinker

Kennedy

George

aged 16

Rolley-driver

Kyle

George

aged 9

Trapper

Lawson

Joseph

aged 63

Deputy Overman

Lowry

John

aged 15

Attending Davy Lamps

Mason

Luke

aged 19

Putter

Mason

Peter

aged 17

Putter

Mason

Robert

aged 13

Trapper

Mason

Thomas

aged 12

Trapper

Mason

William

aged 15

Putter

McNay

Edward

aged 18

Putter

Miller

George

aged 16

Putter

Miller

Jamers

aged 20

Putter

Miller

John

aged 12

Trapper

Moore

James

aged 12

Way cleaner

Moore

Thomas

aged 14

Helper Up

Ovington

Christopher Jnr

aged 19

Putter

Ovington

Christopher Sen

aged 67

Door Keeper

Patrick

David

aged 15

Trapper

Patrick

William

aged 17

Trapper

Pendlington

Ralph

aged 15

Rolley-driver

Raite

Christopher

aged 13

Putter

Raite

Hutton

aged 18

Putter

Reavley

Cuthbert

aged 43

Hewer

Reavley
(Cuthbert's son)

John

aged 20

Putter

Reavley

John

aged 11

Trapper

Reavley

John

aged 12

Trapper

Reavley

Thomas

aged 34

Hewer

Reavley

Thomas

aged 16

Helper Up

Reay

Andrew

aged 28

Hewer

Reay

William

aged 24

Hewer

Reed

John

aged 14

Way-cleaner

Reed

John sen.

 

 

Reed

Percival

aged 15

Way-cleaner

Robson

Andrew

aged 12

Trapper

Robson

John

aged 35

Deputy Overman

Roseby

Christopher

aged 13

Rolley-driver

Roseby

John

aged 16

Putter

Roseby

Joseph

aged 15

Rolley-driver

Roseby

Joseph

aged 10

Putter

Sharp

Roger

aged 19

Putter

Sharp

Thomas

aged 19

Putter

Simpson

Thomas

aged 62

Overman

Soulsby

George

aged 14

Trapper

Soulsby

John

aged 16

Way cleaner

Soulsby

Matthew

aged 31

Onsetter

Stannes

John

aged 20

Putter

Swan

Thomas

aged 13

Rolley-driver

Thompson

James

aged 13

Driver

Thompson

John

aged 14

Rolley-driver

Thompson

William

aged 53

Sinker

Usher

Matthew

aged 12

Trapper

Waggot

John

aged 14

Driver

Waggot

John

aged 21

Putter

Waggot

Ralph

aged 75

Trapper

Waggot

Ralph

aged 16

Driver

Wanless

Joseph

aged 10

Trapper

Watson

Luke

aged 15

Trapper

Wilkinson

Robert

aged 21

Trapper

Wilkinson

William

aged 17

Rolley-driver

Wright

Joseph

aged 21

Putter


John Reed, father of Percival and John was one of four who were got out of the mine alive and had his leg amputated.

The Coroner’s inquest continued until the 29th June and an examination of the mine found that the explosion had not originated in any part of the workings. The indications of the greatest violence were near the ‘G’ shaft and the source was trace to a point where two men were blasting down roof in roller-way leading to the ‘B’ Pit to make the height necessary for a horse to pass. These men had been allowed to use naked lights where blasting was going on but they had been restricted to safety lamps where the stones were deposited. Near where they were working there were doors which led to a highly dangerous part of the mine and form the position of the men’s lamps it was concluded that they had approached one of these doors with a naked light which caused the explosion of the gas that had accumulated in the workings.  

A fatal feature was the blowing out of the brattice in the ‘G’ Pit. From the experience at the ‘A’ Pit in 1821, Mr. Buddle sunk the ‘G’ form the Main Coal in two shafts, six feet in diameter, separated by a partition of rock but this arrangement failed to answer his expectations. One hundred feet of timber brattice above the Min Coal was carried away, fell down the shafts and close the mouths of the two shafts to the Bensham Seam. If this had not occurred, Mr. Buddle was of the opinion that the death toll would have been halved. The accident was cited as one which occurred in a mine where safety were lamps used.  

After hearing all the evidence the Coroner summed up by saying -

“Gentlemen, this unhappy occurrence which has take place, might any day, any instant of time, or these last fourteen years, have happened and it can therefore be said that providence has been unwatchful of the lives of numerous individuals who have gained their bread in their perilous employment. For reasons of infinite wisdom, inscrutable to the human mind, it had been suffered to take place. The fire went forth and one hundred human beings have instantly been swept form the face of the earth. But are we to suppose that this awful visitation will pass away without anyone ultimately benefit? May it not be he means of leading to investigation in the highest quarters? Men of science and leering will devote their thoughts, their energies, to the inquiry and who dare deny that the same Providence that so long arrested, and had now willed this deplorable event, may direct on some superior individual, whose gigantic mind may suitably grapple with the latent foe, and generations yet unborn look back with gratitude to the cause of future protection. Thus may good spring out of evil.”  

The jury returned the following verdict-

“We find our verdict to be Accidental Death, arising from the explosion of inflammable air but how, or in what part of the mine it originated, there is no evidence to shew. In recording the verdict, the jury express their full conviction, that there has been no want of due care and precaution on the part of those who have direction and management of the mine.”

Explosions in coal mines were becoming more frequent and the fact was being noticed by parliament. A motion in the House by Mr. Pease, M.P. for South Durham resulted in a Select Committee to inquire into the subject to be set up on the 2nd June 1835 to-

“Inquire into the nature, cause and extent of those lamentable catastrophes which have occurred in the mines of Great Britain with the view of asserting and suggesting the means of preventing the recurrence of similar fatal accidents.”  


 

 

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