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This accident occurred on Saturday 25th Nov. 1911 at 9.50 a.m. resulting in 6 men being killed, and 14 injured.
The explosion happened in the workings of the Bullhurst Seam, and Mr. Redmayne,
H. M. Chief Inspector of Mines was appointed to hold the investigation as to the cause. (Report Cd 6152)

Briefly, the seam is of a very undulating nature, varying within wide limits both in thickness and inclination.

Goldendale Colliery No 1 Rescue Team

Goldendale Colliery No 1 Rescue Team

At the scene of the accident, its thickness was about 20 feet and its inclination about 1in 5. The seam yields gas freely, and is well known in the district as being peculiarly liable to gob fires. Two days prior to the accident a portion of a pillar of coal, which was being worked out, was found to be slightly warm. No gob stink was observed, and it was decided to build off the district and withdraw all the workmen from the pit except those who were required to build the stoppings and to convey the materials for them. The stoppings had been practically completed, when an explosion took place with in the enclosed area, partially blowing out some of the stoppings. There were at the time 31 persons in all in the pit, 6 of whom were killed and 14 injured.

Four of the men injured had been burnt, but those who were killed had apparently been poisoned by carbon monoxide.

The accident emphasised the very serious risks which attached to the working of a thick, dry, dusty and gassy seam, which was known to be liable to spontaneous combustion, and which was lying at a moderate inclination, and the necessity of laying out the workings and carrying on the whole operation in a carefully considered manner, so as to minimise these risks as far as this could be done. A haphazard method of working must, almost necessarily sooner or later result disastrously for both the mine owner and the workmen.

The inquest on the six men who were killed in the explosion at Jammage pit of the Bignal Hill colliery on the morning of Saturday November 25th 1911 was resumed before Mr. Hugh W Aadams at the Wesleyan school, Audley on Monday December 11th 1911

It may be remembered that the men were employed in building off a gob fire, when the explosion occurred. All the men were overcome by afterdamp and five of them were dead when the rescue party reached them, the other one died as soon as he reached the surface.

The names of the dead:

  • Frederick Leese
  • Harry Shaw
  • George Cork
  • Enoch Edwards
  • Thomas Chadwick
  • Joseph Swingewood

Amos Daniels, the manager, examined the whole of the goaf and found no heating and no gob stink he discussed the matter with Swingewood and they came to the conclusion that whatever heating there might be, was due to pressure and the best thing to do was to get the coal out as soon as possible.

He saw Swingewood, the overman, again in the afternoon and Swingewood then reported that there was no change.

Jamage Rescue Team 1918
Jamage Rescue Team 1918.
Some may well have been involved in the 1911 Rescue.

Daniels arranged for Swingewood and James Boon, the under manager, to make another examination that night and after this they again reported that there was no change.

Pit Terminology - Glossary

John Lumsdon