A List Of Possible Accidents And Ailments Throughout The Life Of The Industry
I am related to Richard Rhodes Buxton, your database records his death on 15th August 1900 at Walton Colliery due to a fall in a road way.
Sheffield Daily Telegraph Thursday August 16th 1900
BURIED IN A CLAY PIT NEAR CHESTERFIELD.
A fall of “bind” occurred yesterday at a clay pit at Walton belonging to Mr. James Pearson, colliery owner and earthenware manufacturer, completely burying a man named Richard Buxton, aged 45, of Britannia Street, New Brampton. He died from suffocation.
Do you have any further details of what happened?
Bind roof (mudstone or shale) above the coal seam sometimes falls away from a parting in the roof at the ripping lip and this can result in several tons of debris. Anyone standing too close can be buried under the pile with dire consequences. This is known as a fall of roof.
Alternatively falls of roof can be away from the face in a roadway where the supports if any have become unstable and allowed shale above the supports to fall. Again being in the wrong place at the wrong time one could be buried under a fall of roof. Various types of support for that period are shown below.
Roadway With Single Cockering
Double Cockering With Roof Fall
Tail Gate Crushed
I do not know the exact circumstances but more than likely he would have been working in a stable hole at a gate end where such conditions existed. On the face line movable chocks were used and very rarely did any roof drop between them and then only small pieces. Falls could come only from the gobbing or the back of a chock or in a packhole at the gate ends.
This will give give you some idea as to the dangerous work that miners did in 1920s. Note the lack of roof supports under what appears to me to be very dangerous strata. Most men would find out the optimum gap between props or supports before the roof became unsafe so that the supports were not in the way of undercutting or loading out the coal. Unfortunately many miners did not cater for the unexpected as is proven by the thousands of deaths over the years due to roof falls. The scabby roof one is a more modern picture in the 1950s but will illustrate a fall of ground (roof). The bind or mudstone or siltstone is a dense heavy 'rock' and can crush a body easily or break a spine or head, causing death. The term 'fall of roof' generalised the result as published. Father and son or brothers and uncles did tend to work together as a gang at some pits.
Lip with scabby roof
Loading at face 1920s and 30s