Information and photographs submitted by subscribers are posted in good faith. If any copyright of anyone else's material is unintentionally breached, please email me

Ian Winstanley's Scrap Book
The Coal Mining History Resource Centre Page 12


The menace of derelict mine shafts is to be tackled in the Wigan area. A start will be made in the vicinity of the Pemberton Boys' School. A concrete raft is to be constructed over the mouth of this shaft and other work carried out to remove the threat of danger. This wok will probably be done towards the back end of the year after inquiries have been made about a contribution to the cost from the Coal Board and any other derelict area grant which may be obtained.

Locomotive and thirteen wagons plunged down an old pit shaft

Lewis Knight
In Memory of Ludovic Berry - Lewis Knight

An investigation will also be made regarding other derelict mine shafts in the town. The danger of these old mine shafts was pinpointed in April 1945 when a locomotive and thirteen wagons plunged down an old pit shaft-known as the No.7 Brookside Colliery or New Zealand Pit at Bickershaw. The railway line had been laid over this long forgotten pit shaft.

The locomotive and the wagons were never recovered. Neither was the body of the loco driver, Ludovic Berry. An inquest was held at which a verdict of misadventure was returned on Berry who was aged 67. Then a funeral was conducted at the top of the shaft.

The last pit shafts to be filled in Wigan were the shaft of the Old Alliance Colliery which is on what is now the Crompton Street car park and one in Walkden Avenue before the road was laid down and a third on: the adjoining waste land. This shaft was filled in with household refuse. The others were filled in with colliery waste as was a shaft near Scouts Hill in Whitley Fields. When the Wigan Coalfield was in full operation coal was being wound up over 1,000 shafts being mined from 27 seams. These shafts were the shafts which were known!

Dolly The Train (Doroth)
Dolly The Train (Dorothy)
Down a Mineshaft
Bickershaw Train Down a Mineshaft

Lewis Knight 
19 Feb 2015
Three photos regarding the very brave man, Ludovic Berry, from the Wigan area.

Ludovic's grave - Dolly the train and the train down the mineshaft.

Lewis Knight

Rider and horse fall down pit shaft

An unknown shaft lay in the Taylor Pit Wood at Standish. One day a man was riding a horse through the wood when the ground opened and he fell down a forgotten pit shaft. The horse was killed by the rider escaped.
Later colliers let themselves down the shaft and cut rum steaks off the dead horse.

Visit Ian's Site

Main Menu