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Old 11-11-2013, 02:39 PM
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Geordie Geordie is offline
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Default Shilbottle Pit Explosion

Being a new starter, I've found the info on this site memory-jogging and fascinating.
My wife's grandfather William Alder died (along with two others) following an explosion at Shilbottle pit. http://www.dmm.org.uk/individ1/i18064.htm

Sadly, his wife Maria died the following year leaving a young son and daughter orphaned. They were taken in by two families in Warkworth but were prevented from seeing each other while they were young.

William was born and lived his early years in Youngers Terrace in Warkworth - in the 1911 census there were eleven people living in a small terraced house. No doubt there was a long queue for the netty!
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:46 PM
janwhin janwhin is offline
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Geordie, welcome to the forum. I've had a quick look in the newspaper archive to see if I could find anything more than the Times reference on the Durham Mining Museum site. Unfortunately there are no NE newspapers in 1940 but there were a few mentions elsewhere:
Aberdeen Journal Wednesday 15 May;
"Seven men were removed to hospital following a slight iginition of gas at the Cooperative Society colliery at Shilbottle, yesterday.
Two of them, John Wilson, deputy and K (sic) Alder, coalfiller, were badly burned, while the others were treated for shock and minor injuries. Four of them were able to return home after treatment.
No material damage was done and work was continued at the colliery."
Hull Daily Mail 18 May;
"John Wilson, aged 52, died in Alnwick Infirmary, yesterday, from burns received in the Cooperative Wholesale Society's colliery at Shilbottle on Tuesday."
Gloucester Citizen 23 May;
"William Nicholson, 48, the third victim of last week's explosion....died in Alnwick Infirmary. He leaves a widow and 11 children."
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:08 PM
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Thanks for your digging Janwhin. Interesting to note that it was a 'slight' ignition of gas and 'No material damage was done and work was continued at the colliery.'
Nice to see the value placed on men's lives - not to mention three families devastated. Still, at least the pit owners could see the coal flowing and their bank accounts swelling.
Not much has changed, has it?
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:22 PM
janwhin janwhin is offline
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Pretty much the same thought process as me.
And it was all from the caring sharing Cooperative
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Old 22-11-2013, 11:43 AM
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Digging around, the record of the inquest into the incident is held (I presume) by Woodhorn: http://www3.northumberland.gov.uk/ca...3D%27may%27%29

Must go in and root it out next time I'm back in civilization.
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Old 22-11-2013, 12:37 PM
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You're lucky to come across that one. Most of the coroner's inquests for North Northumberland are missing, but I guess that this is actually notes from the Miners side.
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Old 22-11-2013, 12:53 PM
janwhin janwhin is offline
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I've just had a look at the Woodhorn catalogue and the document is there.
I've also noticed a photocopy of a document by a John Green of Shilbottle relating to old pits in the Shilbottle area produced in 1978 (NRO 02205/1). You put Shilbottle into their search engine and all sorts of good stuff comes out......loads of photographs of the colliery, the earliest being 1903 and some SANT (Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle) acquisitions which include colliery plans back to the 1760s.

Last edited by janwhin; 22-11-2013 at 01:04 PM. Reason: more information
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