A local mining accident – more information available

The honest belief is generally that miners were the salt of the earth, and all the accidents were the cause of the managers, but occasionally, the pitmen were their own worst enemies. One cannot imagine the act of opening a naked flame to get better light – but of course, many miners suffered with their eyes, so the motivation can be understood. Remember that the Grove Pit Disaster was thought to be caused by a miner striking a light down below. Taken from ‘The South Staffordshire Coalfield’ by Nigel A. Chapman.

A couple of days ago I asked for information about a local mining accident, suffered by the Grandfather of reader Gill Joesbury, but the request it was a bit of a mission impossible, as we didn’t have a name to go on – since then, Gill has now been in touch with more information.

Gill wrote:

Hi Bob

My Grandfather’s  name was Solomon Fox and he was born in 1872 in Newhall, Derbyshire. In 1898 he married Elizabeth Dora Whitehouse who hailed from Pelsall.  

As far as the family knows, he worked in the Brownhills area before moving to Sutton-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire (don’t know if there was a particular reason for this move or whether it was just where the mining jobs were) and we believe he lost his leg prior to the move.

Hope this is of use and thanks for your help.


So, with that extra information, can anyone help further? I know lots of you enjoy a challenge, and any help gratefully received.

Please comment here, or email: BrownhillsBob at Googlmail dot com. Thanks.

I include Gill’s original enquiry below:

Dear Bob

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.

Thank you
Mrs Gill Joesbury

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6 Responses to A local mining accident – more information available

  1. Pedro says:

    Can’t see anything in newspapers concerning accident.

    Quick look at Ancestry shows Sollomon in the 1901 census as loader underground and with daughter Lois of 9 months.

    In 1911 he is in Clayhanger Road with William (under 1 month) and Lois (10) both born Lichfield Street Brownhills. There is also Solomon (6) and Elizabeth (8) both born in Bridge Street, Clayhanger. There is also John under 1 month, strangely down as born Oak Lane, Boney Hay.

    Solomon is down as Coal Miner and hewer in 1911, so perhaps the accident occurred after that date?

  2. Andy Dennis says:

    Some repetition here, but here goes …

    Solomon Fox and family were, going on the 1911 census, somewhat nomadic. Two children were born at Lichfield Road, Brownhills – Lois Rose 1900, William 1911. Two at Bridge Street, Clayhanger – Elizabeth Dora 1903 and Solomon 1905. Another at Oak Lane, Boney Hay – John 1910.
    In 1901 they lived at Poole’s Cottage, Bridge Street, Clayhanger, where Solomon was a coal miner loader below ground.
    In 1911 they lived at Clayhanger Road, Brownhills, where Solomon was a coal miner hewer. As Pedro suggests any accident would have to be later. You may have to wait for the 1821 census.

    Previously, in 1881 and 1891 he was in Albert Village, Ashby Woulds with his mother. His death is registered in 1938 at Mansfield and his birth in 1871 at Burton on Trent, which fits Newhall.

    I can find three local news articles, but they don’t paint him in a good light! He was had up variously for drunk and disorderly, refusing to quit licensed premises and assault, though he was acquitted of the last.
    Sadly nothing about mining accidents or lost legs. There seem to be no relevant articles via Findmypast for Nottinghamshire.

  3. Andy Dennis says:

    Typo – 1936, not 38.

  4. Pingback: Mining the information | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  5. malcolm farmer says:

    my father worked the walsall wood mine ,years between 1950 to 1956. and there was a roof fall on his shift. half the men ran one way and the other opposite, my father survived .but i remember him saying they were all very shook up.hope this may help.

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