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Burntwood Family History Group
Pelsall Hall Colliery Disaster 1872
 
 
 
On the morning of Thursday 14th November 1872, a cry of “pull up” was heard coming from the pit shaft. The thought that a cage might have fallen on someone below lead to the cage being hauled up
 
As the cage reached the surface, three wet men were found clinging to it. The mine was flooded when the underground workings encountered old unrecorded workings which were full of water
 
The cage was lowered and hauled up again to find more wet men clinging to the cage. They were pulled to safety
 
There were still twenty two men in the mine and again the cage was lowered. The cage was hauled up again but this time there was no-one clinging to it
 
Pumping began immediately and went on continuously by day and night. By the following Monday the water had begun to drop. But on Wednesday the body of 18 year old Thomas Starkey was brought up. One by one the bodies of the miners were bought up
 
The bodies recovered were those of: -
 
Charles Astbury, Joseph Hollis, Tom Richards, George Baugh, Thomas Hollis, John Roberts, Charles Capewell, John Hubbard, John Starkey, Charles Cash, Richard Hyde, Thomas Starkey, George Cassel, Thomas Orcutt, Edward William, Frank Dilkes and John Quarters
 
The youngest miner was 13 years old and the oldest miner was 89 years old
 
The inquest was held at the Station Inn
 
On Monday 25th November the funeral cortege left the Station Inn and crossed the common to the church
 
On Wednesday December 25th Bibles were presented to all men who had risked their lives in the rescue
 
Fifteen widows and forty-five orphans were in need of help and a fund was set up. A great deal of money was donated to the fund. Each child under 14 received 2/6d per week. Each widow until re-married or otherwise provided for received 9/6d per week. No family was to receive more than £1 per week
 
The colliery re-opened in March the following year
 
An obelisk was made and erected in St Michael's Churchyard. On one side it says
 
'This stone is erected to commemorate the sudden and disastrous inundation of the Pelsall Hall Colliery on the 14th November 1872'
 
The names of the miners are recorded on the other sides
 
A. THOMPKINSON wrote an account and this was reproduced by Alan DEANE with additional facts which can be read at
 
         
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