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mickypotts

Miners Killed In Bedlington Pits

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Very sorry to hear of your loss Keith. Thank you for sharing this.

Thanks John, I think sharing primary source info like this is important. When I tried to find out what had happened to my father many years ago - before computers and Internet - I was VERY restricted. Even with the Internet there was a limit to what I could find. My mother had kept all the cuttings and letters and I thought I would post them on the site to show the personal level as a sideline to the main knowledge. My father was a pigeon racer and my mother even got a letter of condolence from the Homing Society! I actually never knew him; all I have are photos and other people's memories. But my mother refused to talk about the incident. It must have been too painful.

Edited by keith lockey

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A relative of mine Kilgour Reavley worked at the Isabella Pit at the age of 9 years! (1861)

That must have been so hard Vic. He probably began on the surface (the screens) and odd jobs or underground as a trapper boy.

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Thanks John, I think sharing primary source info like this is important. When I tried to find out what had happened to my father many years ago - before computers and Internet - I was VERY restricted. Even with the Internet there was a limit to what I could find. My mother had kept all the cuttings and letters and I thought I would post them on the site to show the personal level as a sideline to the main knowledge. My father was a pigeon racer and my mother even got a letter of condolence from the Homing Society! I actually never knew him; all I have are photos and other people's memories. But my mother refused to talk about the incident. It must have been too painful.

Thanks Keith. I can only imagine what your mother went through. Very hard indeed. You know many miers were pigeon fanciers. If i get time i will post you the character of the working collier. It is very interesting. Again, Thanks for sharing your story.

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It is good to see the interest this new topic has garnered and my condolences to all who have lost someone dear to them, all of the war memorials in every town on Earth and not one is standing in all of the mining villages to say a kind word about the poor buggers who gave their all for the pits............

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It is good to see the interest this new topic has garnered and my condolences to all who have lost someone dear to them, all of the war memorials in every town on Earth and not one is standing in all of the mining villages to say a kind word about the poor buggers who gave their all for the pits............

Too right, Micky, the funny thing is I used to look out my bedroom window and see the pit heap everyday. That in itself was a kind of 'mountain' memorial to the miners. Mind you, I'm not sad to see it gone, it was a bit of an eyesore as well.

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As promised Keith,

The Character of the Working Collier

The working collier delights in gardening, he is a bird fancier, and a dog fancier also.

In all rural games of the district he excels.

He can throw the quoit well, and "thumb it in†most dextrously if required, he is the truest shot at a target, the best bowler in the summer, and sometimes the best jumper.

He keeps the best bred and fattest pig, the most choice and best singing canary, and sometimes, unfortunately for himself the best fighting dog.

He grows the best potatoes, the finest cabbages, and frequently cultivates the most choice and rare turnips.

The collier would not exchange his occupation for any form of day labour above ground, and give him full work, his regular pay, and the means of following the cherished pursuits afforded by a private garden with the comforts of a clean cottage, and few labourers are more contented and happy.

It is true a thoughtless and negligent employer may reserve much of this feeling.

If the man is sent day after day into a mine carelessly ventilated, he becomes himself careless.

If he has no means of home comfort above ground in house or garden, he may become dissipated and neglected, in respects it is not to be wondered at that under such circumstance he becomes reckless.

A deficiency of regular employment, from whatever cause, produces discontent, not only with the collier, but amongst all classes dependant on their labour.

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As promised Keith,

The Character of the Working Collier

The working collier delights in gardening, he is a bird fancier, and a dog fancier also.

In all rural games of the district he excels.

He can throw the quoit well, and "thumb it in” most dextrously if required, he is the truest shot at a target, the best bowler in the summer, and sometimes the best jumper.

He keeps the best bred and fattest pig, the most choice and best singing canary, and sometimes, unfortunately for himself the best fighting dog.

He grows the best potatoes, the finest cabbages, and frequently cultivates the most choice and rare turnips.

The collier would not exchange his occupation for any form of day labour above ground, and give him full work, his regular pay, and the means of following the cherished pursuits afforded by a private garden with the comforts of a clean cottage, and few labourers are more contented and happy.

It is true a thoughtless and negligent employer may reserve much of this feeling.

If the man is sent day after day into a mine carelessly ventilated, he becomes himself careless.

If he has no means of home comfort above ground in house or garden, he may become dissipated and neglected, in respects it is not to be wondered at that under such circumstance he becomes reckless.

A deficiency of regular employment, from whatever cause, produces discontent, not only with the collier, but amongst all classes dependant on their labour.

More than a lot of fiction in that John. My dad was a pigeon man but that was about it as far as the above goes. We never had a whippet or any other dog (except a corgi, somewhere!!!! - if that was ours). I don't think he was a garden man and methinks he might have opted for another job if given a chance. To be honest I don't know anything about him, really, I never knew the man outside of snapshots. Sad.

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is it not sick posting about miners being killed in the collierys the time i worked under ground there was 4 killed .it is not a nice thing to talk about

I won't get dragged into a dispute, but i think you are not understanding the topic.

I am an ex miner too, nearly killed underground, and two other near accidents. One when the water broke in at Ellington Colliery in 42 s flat at number four pit.

Might give you them stories one day.

We are not glorifying death underground or on the surface etc. We are discussing it, and the accidents are terrible whatever form and my condolences go out to anyone who lost loved ones whilst working in the mines, as i am sure other members of the forum are too.

However some of the replies from the start of the topic have had an interest in it, and i agree that something fitting should really be in place for the victims of mining accidents. Why not just like a war memorial, however, we do not know everyone who sadly lost their lives. But maybe something to say in their memory. When i look around and see a coal tub in the areas of mines i now rethink because of this topic.

We never know as something could always be forthcoming in the future to remember the sacrifice of those sadly killed and in the most tragic of circumstances as they all were when someone lost their life.

The final point i will put to you is that there are relatives out there who maybe would like to know what happened to a loved one that lost their life in the mines. More so with family trees being a big thing these days. This could be valuable information for them, but remember i dont think it is glorifying death, i believe it is important to record and share information as has another forum user on here about his father, bless him, that sadly he never knew, and was robbed of in his quest to bring a wage home to support his family and hoping to give his family a better future. I know i went to work for that same reason down the mine. It aint as if i loved it, but it paid canny money, and i thought i had a job for life.

Well, thats all i can say at the moment, but one final thing has just come to mind, just like war, death in the mines is so sad. And remember, Britain depended on coal and the sacrifice in the mines when the ultimate price was paid was the same as war, and in many other industries, very sad indeed. We are not glorifying death at all. We are discussing it, and bringing true stories to light for people to understand, and hopefull remember those who did pay the ultimare sacrifice when Britain needed coal.

God bless them all, and my heart goes out to all those who lost a loved one, and i know the forum members will feel just like i do, not only in the mines, but other industries too.

But recording these tragic events should continue, as it should never be forgotten what price they paid to support their families.

I was nearly one of those too.

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is it not sick posting about miners being killed in the collierys the time i worked under ground there was 4 killed .it is not a nice thing to talk about

Sorry you feel that way, Lone Ranger. For my part I could never find out any information about my father's death when I was growing up - except for the newspaper clipping and snippets other relatives told me. As I said, my mother flatly refused to talk about the accident. But when I was young and all my mates had dads - and I didn't - I wanted to know why and what happened to him. It would have been good to have had forums and sites like this to ask people about the pit and what took place. I don't think it sick, I think it is sharing and finding out and to many putting a conclusion to things in the past.

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My reason for starting this post was to remember just what these Lads gave to their towns and why the towns do not have a single memorial to thank them, both the living and the dead

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Yes Micky i agree with you. And, starting this topic has given food for thought on the memorial side of things.

Maybe Malcolm can come up with ideas. Like funding to get them made and erected in the area. Maybe the Coalfields Regeneration Trust can help ? In fact i am sure they can. Maybe start with one at a time and move on to other localities in our area.

Our website has now been updated with 3 pages of coal mining fataliteis. They are in our archives under coal mining deaths.

You know asking for funding is not hard, i believe, just get things together and off you go. I recon Malcolm may know the score on this one Micky, and a good and interesting topic it is.

One final comment to Lone Ranger, sorry if this topic offends you. However, same as war this is not nice too. Don't watch tele programmes on the WAr either. Mind you, i still think they are very interesting to watch. Luckily, i was never in a war, maybe i was, when Thatcher took the miners on 1n 1984-85. However luckily enough i was never a soldier, a miner ! yes, but still as you know a dirty, dangerous and hard graft it was. It cost lives, and robbed families of a loved one. Not nice at all, and it must have been so hard to pick the pieces up after a tragic death.

http://www.sixtownships.org.uk

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The Beven Boys were sent down the mine instead of war.

The dangers were great.

My memory of an accident at Netherton was how amazing everyone was at supporting the family.

Something I will remember all my life.

Basic friendship or neighbourliness and community spirt are often lacking from our modern life .

Remembering the people who have gone before, is accepting how important they were in our lives.

Even if we did not know them personally.

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Yes Micky i agree with you. And, starting this topic has given food for thought on the memorial side of things.

Maybe Malcolm can come up with ideas. Like funding to get them made and erected in the area. Maybe the Coalfields Regeneration Trust can help ? In fact i am sure they can. Maybe start with one at a time and move on to other localities in our area.

Our website has now been updated with 3 pages of coal mining fataliteis. They are in our archives under coal mining deaths.

You know asking for funding is not hard, i believe, just get things together and off you go. I recon Malcolm may know the score on this one Micky, and a good and interesting topic it is.

One final comment to Lone Ranger, sorry if this topic offends you. However, same as war this is not nice too. Don't watch tele programmes on the WAr either. Mind you, i still think they are very interesting to watch. Luckily, i was never in a war, maybe i was, when Thatcher took the miners on 1n 1984-85. However luckily enough i was never a soldier, a miner ! yes, but still as you know a dirty, dangerous and hard graft it was. It cost lives, and robbed families of a loved one. Not nice at all, and it must have been so hard to pick the pieces up after a tragic death.

http://www.sixtownships.org.uk

Coalfields Regen won't help John, best bet at the moment for something like this is the Creative People and Places initiative. (I have previously asked the NUM too.)

I already asked for Gateway Features for Bedlington, what better than one as a lasting memorial?

One extra bit along the same lines (excuse the pun!) is that Adam is trying to get the old pit tubs which are out in various places renovated before they completely drop to bits.

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Coalfields Regen won't help John, best bet at the moment for something like this is the Creative People and Places initiative. (I have previously asked the NUM too.)

I already asked for Gateway Features for Bedlington, what better than one as a lasting memorial?

One extra bit along the same lines (excuse the pun!) is that Adam is trying to get the old pit tubs which are out in various places renovated before they completely drop to bits.

The tubs are beginning to look a bit hard up. Its a shame really.

The Choppington High Pit has a cracking info on the place in a large case for people to read. Pics of people underground too. Very interesting. However, i believe it has been defaced in the passed. Just shows you what some people are like.

Disrespectful of their heritage. However, the good people do try and there are some very good and decent people on the is forum who care and want to see something done to remember certain aspects of their heritage. Coal mining is definately a good priority for the future.

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How about about every Pub from the Station up te Netherton gets involved and a Lottery is set up to raise funds, there would be a winner of course who maybe could dedicate a brass plaque memorial and the bar that raises the most could have the plaque inside on the wall so it would be safe. business for that bar should increase due to people wanting to see it.

Just an idea

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How about about every Pub from the Station up te Netherton gets involved and a Lottery is set up to raise funds, there would be a winner of course who maybe could dedicate a brass plaque memorial and the bar that raises the most could have the plaque inside on the wall so it would be safe. business for that bar should increase due to people wanting to see it.

Just an idea

Micky, a brilliant idea, about ten or more years ago. I don't want to rain on your parade but have you seen how many pubs are actually open in Bedlington now. The ones that are open are really struggling now; we'll be setting up a memorial fund for them before long.

Edited by keith lockey

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The tubs are beginning to look a bit hard up. Its a shame really.

The Choppington High Pit has a cracking info on the place in a large case for people to read. Pics of people underground too. Very interesting. However, i believe it has been defaced in the passed. Just shows you what some people are like.

Disrespectful of their heritage. However, the good people do try and there are some very good and decent people on the is forum who care and want to see something done to remember certain aspects of their heritage. Coal mining is definately a good priority for the future.

I have raised the issue with the county council and they are trying to get them repaired now.

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Chatting to Mark about 30 minutes ago and think this should be included in Mining Fatalities. I agreed with him.

On January 19th, 1957, at the Netherton Hall opencast coal site, 49 year old Irish ganger Martin McNicholson, of Co-operative Street, Chester-le-Street, was killed by a hail of rocks following blasting.

The story begins when at 9.45 a.m. on the morning of the unfortunate accident, Edward Bell, a shot-firer, drilled nine holes, 10feet deep into the stone and charged each with 6 ¼ lbs of Gelignite and two 10 lb bags of nobelite. Bell then told Mr. McNicholson that the charges were ready to be detonated and he gave instructions that the personnel and machinery had to be moved to a safe distance.

Bell then gave two warning blasts on a whistle as he was quite satisfied no one was nearby and retired 80 yards from the point of the intended explosion in the southerly direction. Mr. McNicholson, who was standing on a ledge about 30 feet from Bell, with another Irish ganger, Joseph Gallagher, then gave the signal to fire.

When the explosion went off a considerable amount of debris flew straight up and went towards the two officials and Bell, who put his hands over his head and fortunately nothing hit him. However, stones were in the air flying towards McNicholson and Gallagher who started to run to escape. The stones were falling all around them and McNicholson was struck down by the debris. Gallagher noticed a stone about 10 lbs in weight lying beside McNicholson and shouted to Bell who saw Mr. McNicholson lying face upwards on the ground. Bell then ran over to assist and saw he was unconscious and breathing badly after being struck in the lower back by the stones.

At the inquest the jury heard how previous explosions at the site had been perfect, but on this occasion the rock had gone up straight in the air. A verdict of accidental death as a result of shock and injuries received following an explosion was returned on the unfortunate man.

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