In 1862, a pit disaster devastated the small, close-knit Northumberland mining community of New Hartley. [26] In her personal journal she recorded: "The accounts of the colliery accident are terrible, — such awful misery". [37], The Queen's telegram of condolence, after expressing sympathy for the widows and orphans had asked 'what is doing for them?'. The ‘shaft itself was 12 feet in diameter, and it was secured from .top to bottom by wood work called brattice. Their strength apparently served to prolong their agony. He had seen an axe, saw and sawn timber, indicating that trapped miners had attempted to escape along that route; but the tools were rusty. [5], With a single shaft colliery this simple arrangement could not be followed, and so a timber brattice[d] (B) was built from the top of the shaft to the bottom. Hartley Pit Disaster Memorial – Earsdon Churchyard. Those names marked with , Views of the Collieries in the Counties of Northumberland and Durham by T. H. Hair. The inscriptions should be readable if you zoom in on the full size version The Hartley Pit Disaster was a coal mining accident in Northumberland, England that occurred on Thursday 16 January 1862 and resulted in the deaths of 217 men and boys. When passing through Newcastle that morning he had learned of the accident; he sent a subordinate to see if assistance was needed. [3], Humble and a fellow-viewer (a Mr Hall from Trimdon) penetrated further and found all the miners dead, but on their return to the bank were severely affected by the gas. It would be impossible to conceive a more harrowing spectacle than that which was presented. The funeral that followed on January 26th was remembered for generations – for despite the fact that a few bodies were taken to Cramlington, Cowpen and Seghill for burial, most were buried together in the churchyard at Earsdon, four miles away, and it is said that the last coffin had not left New Hartley when the first was reaching the churchyard, thronged by 60,000 people who had come to stare or to mourn. [o] William Coulson, the master sinker who had supervised the sinking of the shaft in 1845–46, was on a train passing through Hartley station on his way to another job. Over £75,000 had been raised by early April from all over the country. G is the location of the blockage above the yard seam and covering the end of the furnace drift. Thomas Watson, a Primitive Methodist local preacher, had earlier descended from the cage to the men who had fallen. Thomas Clark; he had his own foundry and was also connected with the. The disaster prompted a change in UK law that henceforth required all collieries to have at least two independent means of escape. The lowest stage lifted water from a sump connected to an adit[g] below the low main seam up to the yard seam. Watson likewise ascended in a sling and was therefore the last man out alive.

One family, the Liddles, lost nine members. small)" (amongst many other meanings): above the yard seam, the shaft acted as the downcast; the staple (connected to the furnace of a boiler on the surface) acted as the upcast, Further supplies (together with air tubing) were offered unprompted by the manufacturer, and forwarded by passenger train from Manchester, but it is unclear when they arrived, similar delegations had gone down previously ; for example on Monday night, A number of the victims (eighteen according to the. As well as being the first man down, Chapman was one of the two longest lived survivors. Hester Pit at New Hartley was opened in 1845. //--> Women and young children were not employed in the pit and according to E. Raper (Social and Working Conditions in the village of New Hartley 1845–1900) this gave a higher standard of life for the miners: "the miner in New Hartley would return home after a hard day's work to a warm, clean, comfortable home and usually a substantial hot meal". Tyne and Wear HER (5247): Earsdon, Church of St. Alban, Hartley Colliery Dis. Rev France said: “This parish church of St Alban played a prominent role in the aftermath of the disaster, with many of the burials taking place here. //--> Memorial - "Memorial to the memory of 204 miners who lost their lives in Hartley Pit when the engine beam broke in January 1862. the largest pumping engine in the North of England.

[m] He remained with them to pray and comfort them until they died. He had been in post only ten weeks; in that time he had thought it desirable to change the beam bearings and had wanted to clean the pump sumps, which had not been cleaned for at least four years, according to Humble. [3], An ironfounder[y] considered the iron of good quality; its strength was demonstrated by the irregularity of the fracture surface, and its quality by the colour of the fracture surface when fresh. The beam had an effective span of 34.5 feet (10.5 m); its greatest height was 8 feet (2.4 m) at the central boss; it weighed over 40 tons. Many of the widows remarried, but twenty years after the disaster there were still over seventy recipients. Like Humble, he had a nephew trapped in the pit. he did not think that the earlier drop had any connection with the subsequent failure: the beam had fallen only 3 inches (76 mm) which he thought insufficient to initiate any fracture; the drop had occurred 33 days before the beam failed – he did not think a significantly damaged beam would have survived so long; the fracture surface after the beam failure had been uniformly bright, which ruled out any slow progressive failure or partial previous failure. Over the next six days 22nd sinkers were employed night and day to clear a passage, At last, when on the 22nd all difficulties had been overcome, and an entrance effected, not a living man remained of those who went down full of life and strength on the 16th. On bucket pumps heavy spears would add to the load on the pumping stroke; on plunger pumps heavy spears gave a quicker return stroke, and therefore there was always a tendency for bucket pumps to have less substantial spears. contact us The tragedy prompted a new law, requiring all collieries to have at least 2 means of escape.