This subject is raised by an earlier clipping offered by David Egginson living on the Isle of Man. Inquest into an ancestral death at the New Hucknall pit highlights the dangers faced by underground workers. My research will likely uncover other fatalities and injuries, adding found links to those fully transcribed reports.
An inquest was held before Mr. D. Whittingham (District coroner) at the Workpeoples' inn, Hucknall Huthwaite, on Saturday, on the body of Thomas Marshall, aged 50 years, who died on Friday from injuries sustained whilst at work at the New Hucknall colliery on Thursday. Mr. Hepplethewaite (Government inspector) and Mr. S. Watson (manager New Hucknall colliery) were also present.
The first witness, Alice Brown, widow, Hucknall, deposed that deceased was her brother, and was 50 years of age. He was a collier, and worked at the New Hucknall colliery. He was a widower, and lived alone in Harper Lane. He had been a collier all his life. She was at his house when he was brought home in the ambulance on Thursday. Dr. Hirwin came directly and said that her brother was seriously hurt at the back of his head. The doctor did all he possibly could. Her brother died at ten minutes to five on Friday morning. During the time he was at home he said that he was in much pain. She heard him tell William Adlington, collier, who was in the room, that it was a bit of batt that fell on him. She did not hear him blame anyone. Deceased was not very strong.
William Adlington, collier, Hucknall, said that he worked at stall No. 14 New Hucknall colliery, where the accident happened. Deceased had worked under him for two years past. ..... He (witness) was in the stall at the time the accident happened, about a quarter to four. Deceased had been holing coal. He was just starting to go home when a piece of the roof fell and hit him over the back of his head and knocked him down. About a quarter to a half hundredweight fell. Deceased could speak afterwards. He was taken out of the pit and brought home, and the doctor sent for.
By the coroner: There was no room at the colliery where an injured man could be taken.
Continuing, witness said that deceased had been holing before the accident next to Simeon Allsop. They had naked lights. They fired shots there, but had not done so for a fortnight. They had not had any special falls of the roof previous to the accident. One tram line ran into the stall where he was working. The height of the place where deceased was at was four feet six inches, and the width about a yard from the packing. The roof was packed with timber. He (witness) examined the roof that morning, but found nothing the matter. The packing was properly done. The deputy had been through that day before twelve at noon. The piece that fell leaned over the coal. Deceased had examined it and said it was all right when he set on. Deceased said that the batt had hit him over the back of the head. He did not make any complaint.
By Mr. Hepplethwaite: The deceased had been holing about four yards away before the accident. He (witness) had been and examined the corner that morning. He (witness) had lowered some coal ten minutes before the accident. He did not think that would affect the place where deceased was. The piece which fell was over-hanging. Deceased had examined and said it was safe. There was no room to prop it up. Sprags were set about a yard from where the bind fell. They had had one accident in that stall before, three months ago, by a fall of coal. There was one more stallman in the place, and three other workers.
By Mr. Watson: Deceased tried to get the piece which fell down, but could not. He said it was safe for another week.
Simeon Allsop, collier, said that he worked in No. 14 stall at the New Hucknall colliery. He had worked in that stall eighteen months. He was near the deceased when he was hurt, being about six or seven feet away, holing. A piece of batt fell on his head. The roof looked all right and safe. The stallman saw to the packing and timbering. He did not think anything else could have been done. Deceased was a very careful man, and always examined his roof. He could not see deceased where he was working. He (witness) heard the batt fall. Deceased cried "Sim," and witness went to him, and found a piece of batt on the deceased. The stone would be about half a yard long and eight inches deep.
The coroner, in summing up, said that good care should always be taken by stallmen when examining the roof.
A verdict of "Accidental death" was returned.
Written 25 Jan 13 Revised 24 Sep 13 © by Gary Elliott