Here’s a quick one to get the researchers scratching their heads – and it’s a very long shot, but please do what you can, I’ve asked for more information from Gill, and I’m hoping she’ll comment here.
Gill Joesbury asked:
Do you know of any records in existence that recorded mining accidents in the Brownhills area? My Grandfather was a coalminer (loader below ground level) although I don’t know which pit he worked at, just that it was in the Brownhills area.
I believe that he lost a leg in a pit accident, probably sometime in the early 1900’s. Not much to go on I’m afraid and if there are no records then a dead end.
I look forward to hearing from you in due course.
Mrs Gill Joesbury
Hi Gill – if we could have a name to go on, that would be great. I’m unaware of any unified lists of pit accidents (but I am welcome to correction on that), but there may be stuff in the paper or other archives if we have a name.
Please folks, if you can help – comment here, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.
I suspect the only hope is the newspaper archive, but a name would be essential.
i have a couple of reports on accidents in the conduit colliery that were to my ancesters in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
I think you would need to look for the reports of the Mines Inspectors – these would be held at the National Record Office – although copies may exist in local Record Offices (Walsall or Staffordshire Record Office in this case). For this, you would need to know the Colliery name and date (unless you simply browsed). As above, newspapers would also be of interest, but you would need to know a date. I am not at my desk at the moment, so I cant advise as to what we hold – but drop an email to the Walsall Local History Centre and we can check our indexes at least.
I hope this helps.
See TNA guide
Cheers, Paul, thank you.
A credit to local history, as always.
Would love to know if there are any records myself my Grandfather William Smith worked in the mines for years also and I think he may have worked at Walsall Wood and Brownhills. Would they have anything at Walsall History Office?
Hi Emma, we have no staffing records for local pre-NCB mines. You would need to check with Staffordshire RO as to what they hold, but prepare for disappointment – staffing records are notorious for treading the primrose path to the everlasting bonfire (an archival term for being chucked out). Of course, you would really need to know dates and the colliery.
HI BOB I dont know if its of any help but I have a hand written portfolio going back to the i800 it was written by an elderly gentleman and covers indevidual fatal accidents omines in the cannock chase coal fields names how and when and ware pit ponies ballads opening and closiers also maps of pits and ginny pits miners were known to walk from brownhills to eights and the surrounding pits just to get a shift in bless them as usual my doors open if it helps
Ooh, Reg, cheers.
I’ll mail David and see if he’s up for a… wee project.
Cheers old chap.
Reg, that could be a treasure just like yourself!
Some accidents have been mis-reported by historians, and the Lichfield Mercury seems to have been, at times, a little economical with the truth.
All the best Pedro
My grandad died in a mining accident too, in this atea it may be the same time – around 1946… His name was Arthur Tennant.
…sorry forgot to say where, I know he worked in walsall wood, brownhills and coppice road mines. He used to frequent the Jolly collier pub that used to be on Pelsall road.
on my way to see Reg …teabags and cake at the ready…..
My mom used to clean for a Mr Cooper by the Catholic Church in Brownhills. He worked at Walsall Wood Colliery. and I remember her coming home and saying that he was upset because there had been a fatal accident down the pit I think that this was around 1958ish. When did the pit close? and would this have been the last accident there?
According to Brian Rollins the Walsall Wood Colliery closed in 1964. He also says that he witnessed a fatal accident there on the 9th October 1956
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WAS YER FATHER A MINER LIKE MINE AND WORKED IN THE MUCK AND THE GRIME.
WENT TO WORK ON A BIKE.USED A BOW SAW AND PIKE. TO DIG OUT BLACK DIAMONDS THAT SHINE. WAS YER FATHER A WRECKED BODY LIKE MINE ‘THROUGH WORKING IN DUST NO SUNSHINE HIS SHUKY HIS LIGHT’ DAMAGING GODS GIVEN SIGHT’ DEEP IN THE BOWEL FACE OF A MINE DID HE TAKE A PIECE OF BEST SUNDAY CAKE ‘ TO GIVE A PIT S ONYWHOSE POOR LITTLE LIMBS ACHED ‘ AS HE DRAGGED A PIT TUB THROUGH RUBBISH AND SLUDGE’ ‘ SO MINE OWNERS THEIR PROFIT COULD MAKE DID HE BATH BY THE FIRE IN THE TUB . UN YER MOTHER HIS MARKED BACK DID SCRUB . SCRATCH CAUSED BY LOW ROOF .SCARS PLAIN MAKING PROOF OF THE DAYS OF PIT PROPS AND HORSE HOOFE BUT IF YOU ASKED THIS OLD FATHER OF MINE OF THE DAYS OF THE MUCK AND THE TIME HIS OLD EYES WOULD SHINE NO TALE TO TELL OF THE STRIFE AND THE HELL . BUT WOULD PROUDLY SAY AR THEM DAYS WERE MINE. GOD BLESS THEM
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Thanks Reg for telling it as it was, and for me it puts some writers of coal mining history to shame.
When coal owners, living out in the sticks, “gave” employment to thousands they took the bodies and souls of the miners.