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Maypole Disaster 1908 - Emails Page 4

In Memory of those who died in the 1908

Lionel Thomas - Those Who Died, James Gloghegan should be James Geoghegan.
Virginia Gretton - Maypole Disaster, Peter Fishwick? (newspaper report on recovered body)
Peter Shelswell - Is That George Allen In The Photo Of Those Who Died In The Maypole Pit Disaster?
Cathy Stockmeyer - Anthony Mulligan, from County Mayo, survived. Is there a list of names of the surviors?
Peter Wood - Maypole Disaster Richard Fairhurst
Stephen Fletcher Richard Fairhurst, Survived The Maypole Pit Disaster. Looking For The Newspaper Photo
Kathleen Quinn - John and Thomas Donlon were brothers of my grandmother

Emails Page   1   2   3   4   5

Lionel Thomas
1 September 2013
Those Who Died, James Gloghegan should be James Geoghegan

Great site.
Those Who Died, James Gloghegan should be James Geoghegan.

Best wishes,
Lionel Thomas
Montreal, Canada

Researching Geoghegan's of Leitrim family history

I really don't know much about James Geoghegan except that he was born in Carrick-On-Shannon, Leitrim, Ireland on August 14 1879.

His brother Michael was in the IRA and participated in the Sheemore ambush in 1921. There is a memorial to this fact.

His nephew James Charles Geoghegan (1922-1998) was a professional wrestler of note in Canada and the USA. He invented the "sleeper hold", A type of chokehold, and became a Doctor of Naturopathy. (See below)

Can't find reference on your site to the Clydesdale Colliery mine disaster, at the Coalbrook near Sasolburg, Orange Free State, South Africa where over 400 men lost their lives. I immigrated to Canada shortly after in 1960. Went to high school in Vereeniging not far from there.

My congratulations on a very informative site.

Best wishes,

James Geoghegan's nephew, James Charles Geoghegan (1922-1998), was a professional wrestler of note in Canada and the USA.

by Allen Pittman

Excerpt adapted from Martial Musings: A Portrayal of Martial Arts in the 20th Century by Robert W. Smith (Via Media Publishing Company, 1999).
Photos courtesy of Allen, except where noted.
Published in the Journal of Martial Arts, Volume 8 Number 4, 1999

Click Here to Read More At A Pittman Blog


Clydesdale Colliery Mine Disaster

At the Coalbrook near Sasolburg, Orange Free State, South Africa

417 deaths on 21 January 1960 at Coalbrook North colliery.

Coalbrook North colliery was one of the underground collieries of Clydesdale (Transvaal) Collieries Limited and was situated near Sasolburg in the Orange Free State province

In the worst mine disaster in South Africa, a large section of the Clydesdale Colliery, at the Coalbrook mine near Sasolburg, Orange Free State, caved in and trapped 435 (or 440) mineworkers 180m underground. There were no survivors. No machine capable of drilling holes large enough through which to rescue people was available anywhere in the country. Following this incident, the Chamber of Mines decided to purchase a suitable drill that would make it possible to reach men trapped underground in coal mines.

The accident was believed to have been caused by the disintegration of some 900 underground pillars which cause a massive collapse. No bodies were ever recovered and the shaft was abandoned and sealed with concrete.

More Information

1. Cover over the borehole drilled immediately above the trapped miners. The drill bit broke and this attempt abandoned.

2. Looking at the concrete which seals the ill-fated Coalbrook North Shaft.
From left to right: Lenning Makiwane (Zamdela coordinator of Khulumani),
ommy McClean, and Gregotry MaClean.

3. Old "compound" where all black were housed, 20 to a room.

4. Derelict houses for white miners close to the ill-fated Shaft.
The accommodation was for white miners.

(Click Here For More Information at The Golden Thread)

Virginia Gretton
29 August 2011
Maypole Disaster, Peter Fishwick? (newspaper report on recovered body) 


Mr S BRIGHOUSE held an inquest yesterday at Abram, Wigan, on five more bodies recovered from the Maypole Colliery. Seventy-five men lost their lives in the explosion of August 1908, but only 52 bodies have been recovered.

The bodies, which were largely recognised in each case by the clogs, were those of Samuel EVANS (56),
James WALKDEN (34), John PENNINGTON (42), William DAVIES (24) and Edward FISHWICK (sic) (59). The first four men were datallers; FISHWICK was a contractor. The verdict was that returned at previous inquests.

Dear Fionn
Newspaper report (Guardian 12 April 1911) discovered during research into the FISHWICK name.  I am convinced this refers to Peter FISHWICK.

Best Wishes
Virginia Gretton
Ilkeston, Derbyshire

I think you are right, the only FISHWICK who died in the disaster, shown on the Durham Mining Museum site, is
Fishwick, P. C., address: 50 Warrington Road, Abram

Peter Shelswell
30 January 2011
Is That George Allen In The Photo Of Those Who Died In The Maypole Pit Disaster?

I wonder if you could help me with some of my family history please.
One of my relatives, George Allen, died in the Maypole pit disaster, his body was found on 3rd June 1910, nearly two years after the original explosion.
On your website, you have a postcard picture of some of those who died. Unfortunately, the quality of the web image is not quite good enough for me to make out the names of the people, but I think it is possible that George Allen is
the third from the right in the top row, under the letter 'V' in lives.

Do you have access to the original postcard. If so, can  you tell me if I am right please?
I would be most interested to know, as the family has no photographs of him.

There is an interesting museum in Ireland - Hennigan's Heritage Centre which has a Maypole room. They have a copy of the postcard on their web site, so they might have an original somewhere.
Many thanks for reading this.

Peter Shelswell

It is a Warner Gothard Postcard and it is mentioned on their site but there is not an image of it.

Cathy Stockmeyer
8 April 2010
Anthony Mulligan, from County Mayo, Ireland survived. Is there a list of names of the surviors?

My grandfather, Anthony Mulligan, from County Mayo, Ireland survived a mine disaster in England at approximately this time.  Is there a list of names of the surviors?

Thank you, in advance, for your help.

Kathleen, USA

Stephen Fletcher
27 Sept 2009
Richard Fairhurst, survived the Maypole Pit disaster. Looking for the photo.

I have only recently discovered that my great grandfather Richard Fairhurst was a survivor of the Maypole Pit disaster, he unfortunately went on to die in the Pretoria Mining Disaster a couple of years later.

I have been told that there exists a newspaper photograph taken of the three survivors of Maypole Pit. I have been trying to find a copy of this picture and would appreciate any assistance that could be given in locating this picture.

Yours Stephen Fletcher

--See Email Below--

Thanks for the email regarding Richard Fairhurst, now this opens up a big question for me.   My Great Grandfather definitely died in the Pretoria mine disaster, as there were accounts of my Grandmother receiving relief from the fund whilst she grew up, and this is documented.  But it has been passed down in the family history that he was also involved in the Maypole disaster.  But according to Peter Wood’s research it was a different Richard Fairhurst, which will mean a trip to Wigan and more research.

I must take this opportunity to thank you for your assistance it has been greatly appreciated.

Yours Steve Fletcher 

Peter Wood
03 Jan 2010
Maypole Disaster Richard Fairhurst

I've just noticed a message from Stephen Fletcher 27 Sep 2009 in which he stated that his great grandfather Richard Fairhurst was a survivor of the Maypole Pit disaster, and unfortunately went on to die in the Pretoria Mining Disaster a couple of years later. The Richard Fairhurst killed at Pretoria was not the man who survived the Maypole disaster. He was a Boltonian who lived there all his life whereas the Maypole survivor was a younger man born in Ince who was living in Hindley in 1908.

Peter Wood

The two contact people responsible for organising the project
(and who take blame for any accountable errors) are Peter Wood and Pamela Clarke.

Kathleen Quinn
31 Jul 2009
John France

I am the great-granddaughter of Edward France who died in the Maypole Pit disaster and I have discovered through your web site that he was one of the few who were recovered. According to family memories his brother John France, of Dover Locks, also died in the disaster. John's name does not appear in your web site although a Jethro Frances does. I understand some of the names were difficult to read from the memorial and paper reports and I was wondering if Jethro Frances could be my great uncle John France. There were four years difference in the ages of Edward France and John France and there is four years difference between Edward and Jethro in your web site. If it can be verified that Jethro is John I would be grateful if your web site could include my great uncle John.

Thank you
Kath Quinn nee France.

Records were not good so it is quite possible that John Francis was left off the list or as with the list on the Durham Mining Museum France, J , was actually John France, his address was Dover Locks, Abram on the other hand Ian Winstanley's National Data Base specifies Jethro France.

Pit Terminology - Glossary