Mining Texts

DAY IN THE PIT, 1879
A wonderful contempory desciption from the 'Colliery Guardian'. (Text file)

WEEP MOTHERS WEEP .
The story of the Wood Pit explosion, Haydock, 7th June 1878. Out of print.
Approx 34 A4 pages. (PDF file)

THE DAVY LAMP
A FEW WORDS on the Nature and Utility of the DAVY SAFETY LAMP, Addressed to the Coal Miners.
Book of instructions as to the uses of the Davy lamp given to all colliers. (Text file)

THE UNFORTUNATE COLLIERY
The High Brooks Colliery was situated at Ashton-in-Makerfield, near Wigan. In the 1860's, accounts of accidents and dangerous occurrences appeared so often in the local press, that it was referred to as 'The Unfortunate Colliery'. During this time, there were two serious underground fires, an entombment of the men and two violent explosions.
The book gives an account of these incidents and records the day to day life of a Lancashire colliery at this time from contemporary records.
Out of print. c.22 A4 pages (PDF file )

GRESFORD AND AFTER .
An eye witness account of the resue and recovery work written shortly after the events by a rescue man. 25 A4 pages. (Text file)

INCE HALL EXPLOSIONS. WIGAN, 1854.
Evidence Taken Before The Coroner's Inquest At Wigan, Relating To The Explosion Of Gas Which Occurred In The Ince Hall Coal And Cannel Co.'s Arley Mine Pit, February 18, 1854. With Introductory Remarks By James Darlington The Company's Mining Engineer. Prepared for private circulation.
Approx 98 A4 pages. (PDF file)

COLLIERY RULES FOR THE HAYDOCK COLLIERIES 1865 . CONDITIONS OF SERVICE BETWEEN RICHARD EVANS & COMPANY AND THE COLLIERS AND OTHER WORKMEN EMPLOYED AT AND ABOUT THEIR COLLIERIES.
BEING SUPPLEMENTAL TO THE GENERAL AND SPECIAL RULES UNDER THE COAL MINES INSPECTION ACT.


These rules were printed in the Inspector of Mines Report 1855 and were the blueprint of the rules that were drawn op for the collieries in the area. The Mines Inspectors were the instrument that enforced the Mining Legislation and were very concerned with safety. Much of their time was spent going from inquest to inquest into the death of men and boys who had been killed in the mines in their areas. They had very large areas to cover and there were a great many accidents but they were in a position to see an overall view and were uniquely positioned to remake recommendations as to safe practice in the civilities.
The reader will get a very clear idea of the jobs of the workforce of the mine and the names that appear may sound strange when you first meet them but as you read on it will become clear what was expected of the man or the official in the colliery. Every man that was employed in the colliery had, by the rules, to be given a copy of them and it was assumed that he would read and understand them. In the early days many could not read and there are many records in the Inspector's Reports and in the local papers of the time of men appearing in court charged with a 'Breach of the Special Rules'. The cases are reported with headlines like 'Reckless Collier Charged'. Most were found guilty and were fined and costs awarded against them.
A few early copies have survived for some collieries and this book is a near copy of those that were given to the men in the early days of mining so become a drawer, collier, engineman, underlooker, or fireman and learn what your duties would have been in a nine in the mid nineteenth century.
Approx 32 A4 pages. (Text file)

AN ESSAY ON COLLIERY EXPLOSIONS AND SAFETY LAMPS.

by WILLIAM PURDY, Eastwood, Notts. (Inventor of the 'Purdy Safety Lamp)
(PDF file)

THE WALL'S END MINER OR A BRIEF MEMOIR OF THE LIFE OF WILLIAM CRISTER By JAMES EVERETT, AUTHOR OF 'TIlE VILLAGE BLACKSMITH,' 'EDWIN, AND OTHER POEMS,' ETC., ETC., ETC.
Fifth Edition.
Approx. 66 pages. (Text file)

The coal from Wallsend Colliery - 'best Wallsend' - had such an enviable reputation and was in such demand in London and elsewhere in the early nineteenth century that soon all top quality coal from Tyneside pits was given that name. The Colliery itself had a reputation for innovation and good management - the famous inventor and entrepreneur John Buddle was Viewer at one time. But his and the colliery's reputation suffered, along with the men and boys, and their families, in the afternoon of Thursday 18 June 1835, when a disastrous explosion occurred at the colliery. 103 miners, as well as 11 horses were killed.
One of those who lost his life - one of Wallsend's best - was William Crister. Crister, a native of Newcastle upon Tyne, was orphaned at an early age and had little schooling. He began working down the pit aged seven and, by 1835 he had become a deputy overman, a 'deputy', a position of responsibility, in the colliery at Wallsend. He was a popular Wesleyan Methodist local preacher whose teaching and preaching had won many converts for Christ, his sayings and similes becoming 'household things on the banks of the Tyne'. He himself having been converted in 1809 at the age of 29 Crister's life, being so commendable, was acknowledged and recorded by the publication of this Memoir only three months after his death. The author, Rev. James Everett was one of Methodism's most prolific writers and his memoir of Crister was 'a religious biography of an illiterate but religious man', directed towards 'persons in the more humble walks of life' as a devotional and spiritual aid. Achieving five editions by 1868 seems to be an indication of its success. More than purely biographical, however, the appendices include a full list of those who, like William Crister and his son, were killed in the explosion at Wallsend; the many disasters in the Northumberland and Durham Coalfield up to the same date; and a brief history of Wesleyan Methodism from the time of John Wesley himself to 1835. John Wesley was a frequent visitor to the North East. As his Methodist movement began to expand he was concerned to control the reading and writing of his preachers by publishing devotional literature of all kinds, believing that religious and spiritual biography was especially important. Everett, at two periods of his life, had to leave the ministry and become a bookseller and writer due to indifferent health. He became increasingly critical of Wesley's autocratic successor, Jabez Bunting and began to publish anonymous satirical sketches about the Methodist hierarchy. In 1846 the anonymous Fly Sheets began to circulate. They were intended to expose alleged maladministration in the affairs of Conference, but in such a slanderous fashion that, in 1849, three men, including Everett were expelled over the matter. The three went on to found the United Methodist Free Church, and Everett became its first President in 1857. But in 1835 Everett had just resumed his ministry in the Newcastle Circuit. Eleven church members were killed in the explosion and he tells us that he spent much time visiting the families of the bereaved, including that of William Crister, whose funeral was delayed until the body of his son was found. There is a touching description of the funeral of the victims, as some of Wallsend's best were buried.

David Tonks
August, 2000.
(Text file)

COLLIERY SCRAP BOOK 1

ACCIDENTS AND INCIENTS IN ST. HELENS COLLIERIES ALEXANDRA, ASHTONS GREEN, BISPHAM HALL, BOLD, BLACKBROOK, BROAD OAK, CITY COLLIERY (WINDLE), CLOCK FACE.
Compiled by IAN WINSTANLEY
These notes have been compiled from St. Helens, and Wigan Newspapers, magazine and perodical articles and official and unoffical sources.
About 95 pages with an index of surnames (PDF file).

COLLIERY SCRAP BOOK 2

ACCIDENTS AND INCIENTS IN ST. HELENS COLLIERIES COLLINS GREEN, CRONTON, CROP & DEEP, CROPPERS HILL, ECCLESTON HALL, FRODSHAM , GLADE HILL, GERRARDS BRIDGE, GILLERS GREEN, GIN LANE, GREEN LANE, GREENGATE, HALSNEAD, HARDSHAW, HOLLIN HEY, LAFFACK, LAFFACK-GARSWOOD LEA GREEN, MILL LANE, MOSS HOUSE, NUTGROVE, PARR STOCKS, PEASLEY CROSS, PHOENIX, POCKET NOOK, PRESCOT, PRESCOTT BROOK, THE RAINFORD COLLIERIES, VICTORIA, CRANK, VICTORIA, MILL LANE, MOSS HOUSE, RAVENHEAD, RED GATE, ROYAL, SANKEY BROOK, SHALEY BROW, SHERDLEY, SMITHY BROW, ST. HELENS, STANLEY, STOCKS, SUTTON HEATH, SUTTON MANOR, UNION, WINDLE.
Compiled by IAN WINSTANLEY
These notes have been compiled from St. Helens, and Wigan Newspapers, magazine and perodical articles and official and unoffical sources.
About 132 pages with an index of surnames (PDF file)

COLLIERY SCRAP BOOK 3 ACCIDENTS AND INCIENTS IN HAYDOCK COLLIERIES EDGE GREEN, GOLBORNE, HAVANNAH, KING, LEGH, LYME PIT, NEW BOSTON (Ram Pit), OLD BOSTON, FLORIDA , OLD FOLD , SENLEY GREEN, PEWFALL, PRINCESS, QUEEN, SOUTHPORT, WOOD.
Compiled by IAN WINSTANLEY
These notes have been compiled from St. Helens, and Wigan Newspapers, magazine and perodical articles and official and unoffical sources. They are 'notes' and any errors, inaccuracies and mistakes are mine.
About 95 pages with an index of surnames (PDF File)

LONGWALL COAL CUTTING MACHINERY (File 1)
LONGWALL COAL CUTTING MACHINERY (File 2)
LONGWALL COAL CUTTING MACHINERY (File 3)

A PRACTICAL TREATMENT, COMBINING EXPERIENCE OF THE COAL FACE WITH MACHINE SHOP PRACTICE FOR MINING STUDENTS, ENGINEERS AND ALL ENGAGED IN COAL MINING
By C.E.F. Eagar (formerly General Manager of the Maderly Wood Company)
(3 PDF files)

A TREATISE ON WINNING AND WORKING OF COLLIERIES 

INCLUDING NUMEROUS STATISTICS REGARDING VENTILATION AND THE PREVENTION OF ACCIDENTS IN MINES AND ILLUSTRATED WITH EXPLANATORY ENGRAVINGS AND COLLIERY PLANS.
BY MATTHIAS DUNN 1852
Approx. 202 A4 Pages with many illustrations (Folder with PDF file)

FELLING COLLIERY, 1812 .
An Account of the Accident By the Rev. John Hodgson.
A contemporary description of the Felling colliery, A list of the Persons killed by the Explosion, An Account of the Accident, and of the Recovery of the Bodies of the Sufferers and a List of the Names and Employments of the Thirty Persons who escaped. (PDF file)

MEMOIR OF THE HARTLEY COLLIERY ACCIDENT and Relief Fund.
Prepared by request of the General Committee for the Fund.
Edited by TE Forster (1912). 149 pages, illustrated. (PDF file.)