I mentioned earlier today that I had a second article relating to the Grove Pit Disaster to come; well, here it is – Great War expert and longtime blog reader Richard Pursehouse has asked me to run the above photo, featuring his maternal Great Grandfather John Pattison, manager of the Grove Colliery, Lime Lane.
It is of course, a mines rescue team which is particularly sharp here as the Grove Colliery saw 14 men perish on 1st October 1930 in an explosion. The lost men are commemorated in Brownhills Cemetery, with ten of their number interred there.
I’ve featured lots on the accident here in the past; the search for John Bernard Whitaker’s grave in Walsall Wood Cemetery, the accident itself; film footage of the pithead, the results of historical research and more.
It would be great if we could help Richard here as he’s made some wonderful contributions to the blog, particularly on the question of Freda’s Grave and the Messiness Model, which Richard’s dog helped find!
At the Black Country Living Museum there is a photo of a Rescue Team in which MAY be Josh Payton – but more specifically has in it my maternal Great Grandfather John Pattison who was the manager of Grove Pit. Bizarrely I recognised him because he ‘sort of’ looked similar to my Grandfather (Matt Pattison) – how weird was that!
You can see from the additional photo of my great grandad how the disaster affected him – a shadow of his former self. I have a similar one from 1940 in the snow – white hair and a shrivelled man. The disaster detroyed him.
Anyway, I’d like to forward to you the photo and ask if anyone else can help by dating it and any of the names
I know Richard is preparing some work on the wider subject of the disaster, which I look forward to reading, and maybe featuring here if he’s agreeable – so if you have anything to contribute, please do.
Either comment here, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks, and my gratitude to Richard for a fascinating enquiry.