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Emergencies and Memorials

Mines Rescue

List of Disasters
To be classified as a disaster, an accident or explosion at a mine has to claim at least ten lives.


Information about some disasters An explosion of firedamp at this pit killed 45 men and boys. One of the countries worst disasters.

The Brinsley Explosion
Sunday 10th June 1883

Broadsfield Colliery 1875
In July, 1843, a firedamp explosion occurred in which 9 lives were lost at Broadsfield Colliery in Fenton, North Staffordshire, located in what is now known as the Fenton industrial estate.

Bunker's Hill Colliery 1875
There were 43 miners killed by an explosion at Bunker's Hill Colliery on April 30th 1875.

Creswell Mine Disaster
Link to Memorial and a list of those who died in the disaster An account based on the official accident enquiry by Sir Andrew Bryan, D.Sc., F.R.S.E. The Derbyshire Times,Eighty Men Die in a Fire.

Diglake Colliery Flooding 1895,
One of the many hazards faced by miners is water, and no way could this be more emphasised than the flooding of Diglake Colliery in North Staffordshire on 14th January, 1895, with the loss of 77 lives.

Fauld Ordnance Explosion 1944
Fifty years ago 70 people were killed in an English country village in what was quite possibly the biggest unnatural explosion anywhere on earth until Hiroshima. Ilkeston Mines Rescue were called out to help.
Les Calladine was there.
A Seargent who was there.
Daily Herald. - 1958 - By Ronald Clark.

Felling Explosion - On 25th May 1812 there occurred the first great colliery explosion for which we have anything approaching really accurate records.

Holditch Coliery Explosion 2nd July, 1937
A certain amount of danger must always attend the operation of sealing off an underground roadway.

Five Trapped In Pit 9 Hours
FIVE men were trapped for nine hours yesterday at the bottom of a 2,700ft. mine shaft.

Knowls Pit No. 3 Accident August 1843
The spur wheel broke, as a result four men were hurled out of the shaft, and killed.

Knockshinnoch Castle Colliery accident in 1950 A large volume of liquid peat and moss broke through from the surface into a heading in the main coal seam.






I remember the day the cage went down - it was during the school holidays and there was a hell of a commotion at the rescue station as opposed to the normal ringing of various bells etc. so it was obvious something serious had happened.

Minnie Pit
This pit will ever be remembered as the most infamous in the North Staffordshire coal field due to the heavy loss of life it incurred.

Mossfield Colliery
On October 16th 1889, 64 miners at Mossfield Colliery became a statistics. But one must remember that each one of those who died in this tragic incident was a major disaster in itself to some one, - wife, mother, brother or sister.

Mossfield Colliery Explosion 1940
The explosion occurred shortly after 1a.m. on Thursday, 21st March, in the third hour of the night shift of Wednesday.

Oldfield Colliery Explosion 1855
On Friday morning May 24th at about 10 am. A most terrible explosion took place at Oldfield colliery in Fenton, North Staffordshire belonging to W. H. Sparrow.

Sheriff Pit, Silverdale 1870
On 7th July 1870 an explosion occurred at Sheriff Pit, which killed 19 men. The pit was situated near the blast furnace about half a mile from the village of Silverdale.

Sneyd Colliery 1942.
Their deaths were not caused by enemy action but by a horrific underground explosion.

Talke o' the Hill Explosion 13th Dec 1866.
About 11.30 a.m., an explosion of gas took place. A minute later 89 men and boys were corpses strewed in all directions; 14 horses were struck dead, and their stables were on fire.

Talke o' the Hill Explosion 1901
An explosion occurred about 7.30 p.m., on the 27th May 1901 and caused the death of four persons, along with twenty-seven horses and ponies.

Scottish Celtic band, Cutty Sark, One of our most popular songs is Knockshinnoch,3 killed by the inrush of water and 116 men were entombed.
An account of the Knockshinnoch Disaster

Whitfield Colliery
Explosion on 7th Feb 1881 at the of the Chatterley Iron & Coal Company, near Hanley, North Staffordshire.

I need more information. This site started off as Philip's scrap book but it is now expanding. As is so often the case we did not get enough information from Philip while he was alive. I need more information, stories and pictures so that those interested can find out more about the mining industry in the UK, what it was like to be a miner what it was like to live in a mining family, or as in Philip's case a mines rescue family.


Pit Terminology - Glossary