​ Coal Mining in Rishton | Rishton Colliery | Coal Mining Accidents | Arthur Gerald Shaw 
William Henry Shaw | Coal Mining Bibliography



 Coal Mining in Rishton


 View of Meadowhead Cottages at Rishton.

To the side of Meadowhead Cottages in Rishton is the site of an old coal mine.  Messrs. Haworth & Barns sank this mine in around 1838 to a depth of around 390 feet.  In 1882 P. W. Pickup was Manager of the company and the pit was abandoned in August, 1884.
At the time of abandonment the pit top was home to a pair of vertical horse power winding engines 30' - stroke 9' - bore; a boiler feed engine 18' by 7' and a boiler 31' by 8'.
At the bottom of the pit was a pair of vert engines 22' by 10'.  On this site today is a concrete cap on the site of the shaft,  there is also the remains of a coal staithe (a waterside coal depot equipped for loading vessels) at the side of the canal.
Originally Meadowhead was where canal barges were loaded with coal for transportation to mills and power stations.  There were stables at Meadowhead where two horses were kept.

This is an extract from a newspaper article in the Blackburn Standard 29th November 1884.
Discovery of Coal
On Saturday a dinner was held at the Walmsley Arms, High Street, Rishton.  The dinner was to celebrate the finding of coal at the new colliery at Rishton that is being worked by Mr. P. W. Pickup.  About two years ago the old mine which had been worked in the style of the Dunkenhalgh Colliery Company.  Fourteen months ago a number of the workmen of Mr. P. W. Pickup sunk a new shaft and on Thursday last came across a good seam of coal.  (The first turf was cut for the start of this new shaft was on the 7th of November, 1883.)  Rishton Pit was on Walmsley Street, Rishton and was owned by P. W. Pickup.
Rishton Colliery was 525 feet deep. They also worked the lower mountain seam under the Tottleworth area.  In 1908 around 250 boys and men worked at Rishton Pit.  You would have had to travel about 2 miles to reach the coal face and the seam was 18 to 32 inches wide.  You would have used a sledge to get to the coal face.  The basic tools used to get mine the coal would have been a pick and a shovel.  The miner had to buy his own tools and local miners used to purchase these from Gibson's Ironmongers at the corner of Spring Street, Rishton.
By Gordon Hartley
View of the colliery site at Meadowhead, Rishton. You can see a side view
of the cottages and to the right side of the chimney is the pit shaft.


Rishton Colliery

 View of Rishton Colliery

An old miner told me that 500 feet below the War Memorial in Rishton was a point called "West One".  At this point four different haulage roads branch.  Before the pit closed on the 5th of May, 1941 they broke into the old Whitebirk workings.
The two shafts at Rishton Pit were filled in August 1991.  This was so a new road could be built for the South Side Estate.  When they filled the shafts in they came across a small ginny track running from the number one shaft.  Some of it still survives and runs beneath the top playground of the Rishton Methodist Primary School.  The ginny track would have originally run down to the canal.
Water had been pumped from the number one shaft from 1970 until 1983.  This water was pumped to Rishton Paper Mill until it closed.
The only remaining building on the site now is the Manager's house and office, this has been converted into residential properties (Walmsley Cottages).
In 1934 a pipe was laid from Rishton Colliery that ran to the Dean Reservoir at Great Harwood and water was taken from the pit to this reservoir.  As this water was being used for drinking purposes this meant special lubricant was used so it did not contaminate the water.
There were several fatal accidents at Rishton Colliery.
There was another pit in Rishton, this one sited at Norden.  It had two shafts that were 51 feet and 80 feet deep respectively and were mined for fireclay.
There were several mine shafts on the Dunkenhalgh Estate, three of which were part of the Dunkenhalgh Park Colliery. Two shafts were sunk in 1835, one at 300 feet and the other at 171 feet.  A ventilation shaft was sunk at a later date.  The site was abandoned in 1883.
By Gordon Hartley
Picture51.jpg    Picture52.jpg    Picture53.jpg
                     © BwD - terms and conditions                                                © Gordon Hartley - terms and conditions
                                                          Two View of Rishton Colliery.                                                        View of the capped mine shaft
                                                                                                                                                                   on the Dunkenhalgh Estate.


Coal Mining Accidents

In December 1819 there was an explosion of a steam boiler at a coal pit near Little Harwood Brook and four men (John Landlas, Thomas Pilling, John Tithrow and William Woods) were killed and three men were seriously injured.  An inquest was held on the 17th December, 1819 and a verdict of accidental death was recorded.
This coal pit (for obvious reasons) came to be known as "Blow Up" pit.  It was situated to the side of the old Great Harwood Loop Railway line, near the arterial road.  There were also cottages at the site that became known as "Blow Up" Cottages.  
On the 3rd March, 1833 a man was killed and another injured whilst demolishing the coke ovens at "Blow Up" pit, Little Harwood.  William Bradley (66) who lived at Peacock Row, Little Harwood was killed and Daniel Hoole was seriously injured.  They were removing bricks from the coke ovens when the whole building collapsed on them.
In January 1885, at Whitebirk Colliery a man named James Howson opened his lighted lamp, he was giving a friend Hugh Silcock a light.  This was strictly forbidden in the pit.  There was an explosion of gas that set fire to the mine.  Both men were burned and another man was injured.  The fire was eventually extinguished.  At the time there were 80 men in the pit but all managed to escape safely.
On the 29th May, 1839, a girl named Ann Booth was killed in a coal mine in Rishton, she was 12 years old.
Edmund Ashton, aged 46, of Feilden Street Rishton was injured whilst helping unload a winding drum that weighed 4 tons from a canal boat.  The packing around the drum slipped and the drum fractured Mr. Ashton's leg.  His leg was amputated at Blackburn Royal Infirmary but he died a few days later.
On the 2nd May, 1883, Robert Taylor was repairing the pump-tree that would raise the water in the coal mine at Rishton Pit.  A scaffold had been erected at the mouth of the pit and a rope fixed to the 'jenny'.  Mr. Taylor stepped onto the scaffold and directed a Mr. Ward who was in control of the 'jenny' to lower him into the mine.  He had been lowered about 27 feet when Mr. Taylor called out to Mr. Ward to tell him to stop the lowering operation.  Something went wrong and Mr. Taylor fell from the scaffold to the bottom of the pit that was around 150 feet deep.  Mr. Taylor's right leg was lost in the fall and he had serious head injuries.  He died almost immediately.
On the 14th April, 1894, Jonathan Taylor of 2 Haworth Street, Rishton was removing a prop in Rishton Colliery when the roof collapsed without warning.  He was found dead an hour later lying under a stone weighing ten tons.  His head had been crushed and his face disfigured.  He was 28 years old.
Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Standard, 14th April, 1894. Page 6, Column 3.
Rishton Colliery
Fatal Accident at a Rishton Colliery.
Crushed by a ten tone stone, a colliery fireman named Jonathan Taylor living at 2 Haworth Street, Rishton met with a terrible death while at work on Tuesday afternoon in the colliery belonging to Mr P. W. Pickup of Blackburn.  At half past two three or four men were drawing the props when Mr. Taylor joined then and began to remove the props in the accustomed manner when without any warning the roof fell in, completely burying him.  Assistance was sought and the clearing away of the fallen earth commenced but it was not until an hour later that he was found dead, lying under a huge stone.  His head was frightfully crushed and his face totally disfigured.  He was twenty-eight years old.

Herbert Charley, aged 20 of Edward Street, Rishton, a pit drawer, pleaded guilty to throwing a safety lamp endangering the lives of other miners.  He threw the lamp in temper at a workmate.  245 men were working underground at the time.  He was fined 40s. and gave an undertaking that nothing of that kind would occur again.
On the 14th October, 1871 the 17 year-old son of John Ramsbottom of Hicks Terrace Rishton was buried in shale from a roof in the mine.  It took five minutes to uncover his head but a further twenty minutes to release him.  The accident occurred at 1 o'clock in the morning but it was six o'clock before they managed to get him out of the pit.  He died three days later, the inquest found that his spine had been broken just below the neck.  The inquest also stated that he had not been taken from the pit until six a.m. because there was no requirement by law for a man to be at the pit top during the night.  Once you had started your shift in the pit, you could not get back out until your shift ended because there was nobody to wind you back up.
Newspaper Article in the Northern Daily Telegraph, 26th March, 1924.  Page 4, Column 3.
Miner Killed.
Fall of roof at Rishton Pit.
The death of a Rishton man occurred just before midnight at Messrs. Pickup's Colliery, Rishton.  John Luke, aged 59 of Knowles Street, Rishton was killed when there was a sudden roof fall-in in one of the main haulage ways.
Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Times, 3rd August, 1929.
A drowning fatality took place at Rishton Colliery last January.  Henry Neville Dobson was breaking through the coal to let some of the water from a flooded part of the pit. 
A deputy named Whittaker had told him that the place had not been worked for three months.  Dobson worked there all Tuesday afternoon and came back on the Wednesday to work the same place that was along a passage 27 inches high by eight feet wide.  This passage branched in two one tunnel heading upwards and one downwards about 8 yards from where Dobson was working in a sitting position in a place about four feet wide.  It was noticed that Dobson was missing at 6.30 on Wednesday and the passage was found to be full of water.  A pump working at a rate of 100 gallons a minute was immediately brought in but it wasn't until 11.50 a.m. the following morning that the water was cleared.  Dobson's body was found in the sump a mere 35 yards from where he had been working.  The Manager of the mine, Mr. Maden was fined £5 with costs of £8 11s. for breach of the Coal Mines Regulations.
Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Times, also the Bacup Times, 14th October, 1871.
On Monday Mr. H. U. Hargreaves, Coroner, held an inquest at the Roe Buck Inn, Rishton on the body of John Ramsbottom who was killed at Rishton Pit belonging to the exores of the late Joseph Barnes, on Wednesday night last.  Henry Clegg, of Rishton Colliery said he was working in the pit on Wednesday last with the deceased.  They were let down by Richard Grimshaw at 8 p.m.  Halstead and another boy were also in the pit.  The deceased was drawing for him and they were working all night.  Between 12 and 1 o'clock some shale fell from the roof on the deceased and covered him.  They uncovered his head in about five minutes, but it took about a quarter of an hour to release him and it was 6 a.m. before he was taken out of the pit.  He complained that he had hurt the back of his neck.  There had been no one at the pit top because it was not practice for a man to remain at the top during the night.  A witness who had worked there for 14 years said it was in the old workings that the roof fell.  John Ramsbottom of Hicks Terrace, Rishton said that the deceased was his son.  He was 17 years old and a drawer in the Rishton Pit.  He had worked there since he was nine or ten years old.  William Kennedy of Rishton Colliery said he had laid out the body of the deceased and Mr. Deaden had examined it and stated that the spine below the neck was broken.  The deceased died at 4 a.m. on Friday.  Edward Pilkington, of Rishton, said he was the Manager of the Pit.  At the time of the fall of the roof the deceased and Henry Clegg were getting one of the pillars for the purpose of ventilation.  There was a space of only 4 feet between the pillars where the roof fell.  The roof generally was a good one and he could not account for it falling except from extra pressure.  They were not required by the rules to keep a man at the pit bank during the night.  The jury returned a verdict of 'accidental death'. 
Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Times, 9th June, 1934.
Plunge down pit shaft.
Rishton Local Preacher's Tragic Act.
Mr Hubert Hall (30) of 16 Blackburn Road, Rishton was a local Methodist preacher, met with a tragic death on Thursday morning at Rishton Colliery where he had been employed for 15 years as a clerk.  His dead body, terribly mutilated, was recovered from a water-filled sump.  An inquest was held at the Council Office on Brook Street. Rishton.  The jury found that Mr. Hall had committed suicide by apparently jumping into the shaft.
Newspaper Article in the Accrington Observer, 18th June, 1940.
An inquest on John Thomas Caulfield (36) was killed at Rishton Colliery when a stone weighing about 30 cwts. fell from the roof on top of him.  The jury recorded a verdict of accidental death.
Newspaper Article in the Accrington Observer, 10th September, 1940.
Robert Walton (55) cut his eye on a piece of coal on the 6th October, 1931 whilst working at Rishton Colliery.  He has not been able to work since the accident.
Newspaper Article in the Accrington Observer, 22nd October, 1940.
Oswaldtwistle miner Richard Marsden, age 43 of Stanhill Lane was killed around 8.30 a.m. on Sunday at Rishton Colliery by a large stone which fell from the roof.  He sustained injuries to his spine and died almost immediately.
Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Times, 7th January, 1938.  Page 12, Column 3.
Robert Henry Buet (49), a coal cutting machine demonstrator of Stephen Lane, Greenside near Sheffield, died as a result of an accident at Rishton Colliery on the 22nd December, 1937.
Newspaper article in the Blackburn Times, 5th December, 1925.  Page 9, Column 4.
Two miners were killed instantly at Rishton Colliery by a huge boulder that fell from the roof.  Victims were Joseph Alfred Jones, aged 42, of Sudell Cross, Blackburn and John Whittle, aged 18, of 27 Cross Street, Oswaldtwistle.
Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Times, 4th December, 1912.  Page 12, Column 2.
Rishton Colliery fined 20/- for using an unjust weighing machine.
Newspaper Article in the Accrington Observer, 3rd May, 1941.  Page 4, Column 5.
Rishton Colliery closes after 70 years.  It was uneconomical to continue because the seams were nearly two miles from the shafts and were nearly worked out.
Newspaper Article in the Accrington Observer, 14th October, 1916.
Mr. William Pickup F.G.S. of Rishton Colliery elected president of Geological and Mining Society for the ensuing year.
Reports from Commissioners, Inspectors and Others, Volume 37, 1910.
2nd October, 1909-10, 5th hour, Huncoat.
Thomas E. Rhodes (41), chain road inspector.  Crushed by endless chain and forks leading to wheel whilst between the chains where he ought not to have been.
12th January, 1909-10, Bankhall, Burnley.
William Gregory (23), jenny tenter.  Caught behind by full tubs thrust through beneath jenny wheel.  Tubs accumulated to another jenny.
12th November, 1909-10, Moorfield, Altham Colliery.
Walter Hartley (27) Fireman.  He was in the roadway preparing to make it a chain road.  He had taken down a long length of roof to increase the height and this was almost removed.  The fireman was passing along preparing to leave when a huge stone crashed on to him from the roof.  There was no indication of slips, it was strong shale although several good men had examined the place no danger was discovered.
2nd July, 1909-10, 3rd hour, Moorfield, Altham Colliery. 
Adam Hill (23), dataller.  In the working place whilst building a pack the roof fell.  A collier had withdrawn props.  They should have been re-set by the deceased before commencing to work large space unsupported.
14th January, 1909-10, 2nd Hour, Cranberry Moss.
Thomas Walker (19), drawer.  When taking a tub down a steep road, the tub swerved and caught a prop, breaking it and allowing a large piece of fire clay to fall from a slip.  Three weeks before on the opposite side of the road a similar prop was removed and the clay was taken down.  It was unfortunate that both sides were not done as the slip was very pronounced.
1909-10, Cranberry Moss, R. Entwistle & Co.Ltd.
Richard Harwood (44) Collier.  A fall of clay from the side of the drawing road had gone 60 yards from his own working place to speak to a collier.  This person was engaged prising with a crowbar the loose fire clay from a side road by direction of the fireman.  Although levering a piece of clay he allowed the deceased to come close to the tub when a larger piece than was expected fell crushing R. Harwood's head on the tub.
Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Standard from 26th January, 1859.  Page 3, Column 6.
Fatal Colliery Accident.
John Waterhouse, a 15 year-old met with his death on Friday last.  He was working in a pit belonging to Mr. John Pickup of Marsh House Lane in the township of Over Darwen whilst in the act of filling the tub.  A portion of the roof fell upon him and suffocated him.  A coroner's jury returned a verdict of accidental death.
Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Standard, 10th September, 1862.  Page 3, Column 1.
For some time past a Mr. A. Bullough has been engaged in sinking a shaft to a bed of coal that lies under his estate at Waterside.  Thursday saw the successful finding of it and on Saturday he commemorated the event by giving a dinner at the Anchor Inn, Darwen Street for about 40 of the colliers and others who have been engaged in the work.

Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Standard, 28th February, 1885.  Page 5, Column 3.
Little Harwood Colliery Company.
The above company has sunk shafts and are now working the celebrated lower mountain coal seam.  The coal is of a very superior quality and for either domestic or steam purposes will be found much more economical than most other coals on the market at present.  The price list is from the colliery at Little Harwood, Blackburn.

Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Standard, 23rd February, 1889.  Page 7, Column 2.
Fatal accident at Clayton-le-Moors.
Accident that proved fatal, occurred at the Whinney Hill Colliery, Clayton-le-Moors.  William Henry Taylor, age 12, son of Robert Taylor, collier of 8 Back House Lane, Oswaldtwistle was working with his father at the pit.  Around 9.30 the lad left his father with a wagon for the purpose of taking it to the shaft bottom and on his way there he came in collision with an empty wagon which was in the charge of a lad named William Osborne, a drawer.  The collision caused Taylor's wagon to rebound and knock him down.  He was seriously injured and was immediately conveyed home and attended by doctors Illingworth and Loynd.  Despite their efforts he succumbed to his injuries.  The next day of Thursday afternoon and an inquest was held at the Printers Arms in Oswaldtwistle.  The occurrence was accidental and a verdict in accordance with the facts was returned.
Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Standard, 28th February, 1891.  Page 6, Column 7. 
Colliery accident at Clayton-le-Moors.
Joseph Rhodes (14) a labourer of 6 France Street, Church, died in Blackburn Union Workhouse on the 9th December, 1891.  The deceased sustained a scalp wound working in the Moorfield Coal Pit, Clayton-le-Moors.  He had also contracted typhoid fever and was admitted into the Union Infirmary.  Dr. Pollard confirmed that the cause of death was exhaustion from typhoid fever.
Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Standard, 24th August, 1895.  Page 6, Column 8.
Fatal fall down a shaft at Clayton-le-Moors.
A youth named John Hitchon Pilkington, aged 16 was killed by falling down the shaft at Moorside Colliery, Altham.  Edward Pilkington the proprietor of the colliery from 138 Blackburn Road, Clayton-le-Moors said the deceased was his son and he was employed as a drawer at the pit.  His other son aged 20 was in charge of the machinery.  The shaft was nineteen yards deep.  The eldest son was raising the platform that John Hitchon Pilkington was standing on.  The platform went right to the top of the pulley gear that jerked and caused John Hitchon Pilkington to fall to the bottom of the shaft, he sustained severe injuries that led to his death.
Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Standard, 22nd August, 1855.  Page 3, Column 3.
Fatal Accident.
An inquest was held on Saturday last at the Duke of Wellington Inn, Waterloo, regarding the body of Anthony Charnley who was killed by a fall into an old coal pit near Mr. O. Brothers' works at Livesey.  The pit was used for the purpose of draining water from the clay pits that are situated near the clay pits.  It was the duty of the deceased to see that the machinery used for the letting down of persons into the pit was working correctly.  It seems that there was something wrong with the machinery and when the deceased attempted to get down he slipped through the first scaffold in the pit and fell onto the second scaffold.  He broke both his arms and had other severe injuries.  He later died after being hoisted up the bank.  A verdict of accidental death was recorded.
Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Standard, 9th January, 1856.  Page 3, Column 3.
Death in pit.
On Thursday last, John Holding was working in a white earth pit belonging to Mr. C. Brothers, a Retort Manufacturer at Waterloo, Livesey.  A portion of the earth gave way and knocked down the prop which supported the roof causing the latter to give way.  Holding was partly covered with earth and was found dead when extricated.  There was an inquest on Saturday and a verdict of accidental death was returned.
Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Standard, 24th December, 1856.  Page 3, Column 1.
Death from an explosion of firedamp at Church.
An inquest was held yesterday before H. U. Hargreaves, Esq. Deputy Coroner regarding the body of Joseph Marsden of Church, a collier aged 48.  The deceased and a man named Day were at work in the Enfield coal pit belonging to Joseph Barnes.  It was the duty of the deceased to examine the workings and see that all was safe.  He had examined the pit but could not perceive any damp.  He then began work and immediately there was an explosion.  After the explosion a lamp belonging to the deceased was found with the top off lying about a yard away.  The deceased was very burned and was taken home immediately and medical assistance procured.  He lingered in great agony until Saturday.  Before his death Joseph Marsden stated that he could not tell how the explosion took place; it was so sudden that he thought his lamp must have fallen over after he put it on the ground.  A verdict in accordance with the facts was returned.

Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Standard, 30th January, 1892.  Page 6, Column 6.
Strike at Clayton-le-Moors.
The men employed at the Moorfield Colliery Coke Ovens at Clayton-le-Moors are out on strike owing to a dispute about wages.  Other workmen have filled their places.
Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Standard, 8th October, 1892.  Page 6, Column 6.
Explosion at Huncoat Colliery.
On Wednesday an explosion of firedamp occurred in a new shaft that is being sunk at Huncoat Colliery near Accrington belonging to Messrs. George Hargreaves and Co.  A sinker named John Loch who was working in the shaft had his face and hands burnt.  No other person was injured, the scaffold in the shaft was blown down but no further damage was done.  The fire was extinguished in a few minutes.
Newspaper Article in the London Times, 6th August, 1875.  Page 2, Column 1.
Fatal Mine Accident.
A shocking accident occurred early yesterday morning at the Great Harwood Colliery, near Accrington.  Two overlookers, John Standing and Jonathan Fleming had been inspecting the air passages and last went down the mine at 2 o'clock in the morning.  They did not return and at about 6 in the morning a search party went down.  Both were found to have died from chokedamp.  Both men were married with families.
Newspaper Article in the London Times, 1st July, 1882.  Page 9, Column 1.
Colliery Explosion.
On Thursday night an explosion occurred in the Alice pit in Towneley Colliery, Burnley.  This resulted in the death of a collier named William Lord aged 23.  Lord appears to have taken the top off his lamp and worked with the naked light.  A quantity of gas was ignited and the man was burnt to death.  All the other workmen were uninjured with the exception of one, who was slightly hurt.
Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Standard, 28th January, 1888.  Page 8, Column 3.
Lower Darwen Coal Company.
There is a dispute at the colliery where the miners allege they were being under paid a certain price.
Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Standard, 2nd April, 1888.  Page 5, Column 5. 
Lower Darwen Coal Company.
Miners have returned to work without apparently achieving anything.

Colliery Guardian, 12th April, 1862.  Page 290.
Colliery Guardian at Church.
On Saturday last, James Brindle, a collier 37 years of age, died from injuries received on the second inst, on which day the deceased was at his work at the bottom of the Moss Coal pit belonging to Mr. Thomas Simpson.  The deceased was working with a naked candle in the pit.  When James Brindle entered an old road with his lighted candle there was an instant explosion of firedamp that burned the deceased very badly.  The overlooker of the Pit has since stated that all the colliers in the pit work with naked candles and the deceased was told not to go into the road in question.
Colliery Guardian, 12th April, 1862.  Page 290.
Fatal Colliery explosion near Blackburn.
On Wednesday afternoon Mr. J. Hargreaves, coroner for the Blackburn Hundred held an inquest at Yate and Pickup Bank, near Blackburn on the body of James Brindle, collier, who died on the previous Saturday from effects of an explosion that he recklessly caused in Moss Colliery, Oswaldtwistle.  From the evidence adduced it seemed that colliery is worked by Mr. Thomas Simpson, of Church and that the consequence of the general absence of firedamp means the colliers are all allowed to work without the ordinary safety lamps.  Brindle, on Thursday week, was employed getting coal in a place adjoining old workings.  These had been closed for three years and Brindle had been cautioned against the old workings, not from fear of firedamp but to prevent a quantity which lodged in the old workings penetrating in the part of the mine then being worked up.  At six o'clock on the morning of the 3rd he was visited at his work by William Yates, the underlooker, who found that Brindle had violated his instructions and made a small opening into the old workings with his pick.  He at once ordered him to make up the aperture with clay and to refrain from getting more coal from that direction.  Instead of attending to these instructions he proceeded to enlarge that opening and afterwards passed through the hole he had made with his lighted candle in his hand.  An explosion of firedamp followed and he was seriously burned on his arms, legs and lower body.  His moans attracted the attention of a fellow-workman named Lomax who went to his aid and removed him to the pit eye in a tub as he was unable to walk.  He hoisted to the 'bank' and conveyed home, wrapped in flannel and attended by a surgeon up to his death.  He has left a widow and eight children.  The verdict was returned as 'accidentally killed'.

Newspaper Article in Blackburn Times, 7th March, 1941.  Page 7, Column 3.
Colliers Fate at Darwen.
Inquest on Thomas Webster buried by shale.  A coal getter at Redearth Drift, Shaw's Waterside Colliery.
Newspaper Article in Bacup and Rossendale News.  Page 4.
Wedding of Haworth and Pickup.
At the Parish Church near Whitechurch, Salop.  John Edward Haworth of Spring Side House, Rawtenstall married Miss Catherine Jane Pickup the only daughter of the late Peter Pickup of Timber Hill, Burnley.
Fatal Accident at Towneley Colliery on 6th February, 1879.
Robert Billman, age 24 of Annie Street, a banks man died of lockjaw that resulted from an accident at work.  A few days previously on the 11th inst, he and another man Thomas Shutt were pulling wagons out of a cage as they reached the mouth of the pit both men had their fingers caught between the wagon and the cage.  Billman broke four fingers on his left hand and later had to have a finger amputated.  He died at half-past three on Saturday afternoon.

Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Express, 28th September, 1895. Page 7, Column 6.
An inquest regarding the body of Joseph Heap, a ginny tenter at Burnt Hills Pit.  The inquest took place at the General Williams Inn, Manchester Road, Burnley.  He was found lying across a tub with the chain on top of him.  A verdict of accidental death was recorded.
Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Express, 6th November, 1948.  Page 1, Column 10.
A fall of stone in a colliery killed a miner.  He was trapped by a stone fall at Clifton Colliery and later died.
Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Express, 15th May, 1948.  Page 1, Column 5.
A 90-foot chimney was demolished at Cliviger Colliery situated on the railway side of the pit.  It was built in 1870 and served haulage power plants for Union and Railway pits.  These pits closed some four years ago.  The chimney was the last survivor of the stone buildings of the old colliery.
Newspaper Article in the Blackburn Express, 6th November, 1948.  Page 3, Column 4, 5, 6.
Towneley Colliery closed in February 1948.
Newspaper Article in Bacup and Rossendale News, 26th June, 1869.
Pole Lane Colliery.
Thomas Harwood (aged 13) died falling down the shaft of an old coal pit that was being reopened to give a draught of air to the Pole Lane Colliery.  The deceased fell a distance of twelve yards and landed on his head.  He died from his injuries.

Newspaper Article in Bacup and Rossendale News, 12th March, 1864.
Scholes Fold Colliery, Over Darwen.
A miner named John Adcroft employed at Scholes Fold Colliery at Over Darwen has died from an accident.  He was being hoisted out of the pit on Friday morning in a basket.  As he was being carried over the hoist gear he attempted to jump on the 'pit eye' but missing his mark he fell down the shaft and was dashed to pieces.
by Gordon Hartley

Ar​​thur Gerald Shaw


Arthur Gerald's grandfather was Lawrence Ormerod Shaw who was a Solicitor and Magistrates Clerk.  Arthur Gerald's father was Reverend John Shaw who worked at Newchurch, later becoming the Bishop of Waltham.  He died at Winchester.  Arthur Gerald's brothers were William Ormerod Shaw, Robert Edmund Shaw and Miles Edward Todd Shaw.  Arthur Gerald went to the famous Charterhouse School and after he left school he went to live in the West Indies.  He was married in June 1904 to Miss Amelia Robertshaw.  His brother Miles Edward married Amelia Robertshaw's sister.
He played cricket for Haslingden and they won the Lancashire League championship in 1900.  He had on more than one occasion played against W. G. Grace.  Arthur Gerald came to Haslingden in 1890 to work for his Uncle William Henry Shaw.  In 1890 W. H. Shaw bought Whitebirk Colliery at Blackburn and Belthorn Colliery.
Arthur's uncle William Henry Shaw died on the 25th May, 1893 and Arthur took over the running of his uncles business.  In 1894 two of his brothers (Miles Edward and Robert Edmund) came from London and joined him in the running of the business.
Also in 1894 Robert Edmund and Miles Edward formed a partnership with Richard Bentley and they began brick and tile manufacture at the Ganister Fire Clay Works at Whitebirk, Blackburn.  In 1896 they were producing glazed fire bricks at Whitebirk, at this time Arthur Gerald was running his deceased uncles side of the business.
In 1896 the Shaw brothers and Richard Bentley decided to make Shaw's a limited company and in January 1897 the company became Shaw's Glazed brick Company Limited and Arthur Shaw was the managing director.  Shaw's Glazed Brick Company Limited moved to Waterside in June 1909.  The first sod for the new building at Waterside in Darwen was but in May 1908.  Arthur Shaw and his family lived at Moorside, Hud Hey Road in Haslingden.  He died at Accrington Victoria Hospital on Friday the 9th June, 1951 and was cremated on Wednesday 14th June, 1951 at Carleton.

Newspaper Article in the Accrington Gazette, 27th May, 1893.  Page 4, Column 6.
Death of Mr. Shaw of Haslingden.
Mr. W. H. Shaw of Haslingden, uncle of Councillor Mrs Dewhurst (Richmond Hotel).  He died yesterday at Lytham aged 69.  He was the cousin of the late Richard Shaw, the first liberal Member of Parliament for Burnley.  Mr. Shaw was a staunch conservative and took the deepest interest in the Haslingden Conservative Club from the establishment of the institution and was closely associated with the late Major Hardman.  He regularly attended the Haslingden Parish Church.

Newspaper Article in the Accrington Gazette, 3rd June, 1893.  Page 8.
On the 26th May, 1893 at Arley House, Lytham.  William Henry Shaw, Esq., Colliery Proprietor of Haslingden died in his 69th year.  He was interred on Tuesday the 31st at the Parish Church, Haslingden.  No cards.
Newspaper Article in the Accrington Gazette, 3rd June, 1893.  Page 4, Column 6.
The funeral of Mr. W. H. Shaw of Haslingden, whose death at Lytham we briefly announced in our last issue took place on Tuesday, his remains being interred in the burial ground of the Haslingden Parish Church.
By Gordon Hartley
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​​William Henry Shaw

William Henry's father was Lawrence Ormerod Shaw was a Solicitor and Magistrates Clerk.  Lawrence Ormerod Shaw died on the 9th of December 1912 aged 63.  Lawrence had a brother called Richard and they were members of an old Burnley family.
William Henry's mother was named Ellen Shaw, she died on the 16th March 1842 aged 53.  His brothers and sisters included Reverend John Shaw, Mary Ellen Shaw, William Henry was the third child, Isabella Shaw and Betsy Shaw.
When William Henry left school he started his business life in his father's office, he didn't care for the legal profession he left before completing his articles.  He took up a position at the Haslingden Railway Station after some time he was transferred to Bury and Croston stations.  He was later despatched back to Haslingden to take a position as stationmaster.
Mr. Shaw started in business as a hay and straw dealer.  During the Crimean War he supplied the government with hay and straw from Liverpool.  He later extended this business to Rossendale.  In 1863 he retired from the hay and straw business and started in business as a coal merchant.  In the early 1890s his business was very extensive, covering the whole of Lancashire. He conducted large amounts of business in china clay both in England and the United States of America.
He was a partner in Whitebirk Colliery and in W. H. Shaw's and Co. Collieries at Belthorn.  He was also a director of the Hazel Mill Spinning Company, The Calf Hey Weaving Company and The Haslingden Gas Company.
He was a freemason and a staunch conservative and one of the founders of Haslingden Conservative Club.  William Henry's cousin, the late Richard Shaw was the first liberal Member of Parliament for Burnley.  William Henry had been ill for some time and went to Arley Terrace, Lytham, hoping this would benefit his health.  He died at Lytham around 4 p.m. on Friday the 26th May, 1893.  He had never married and was buried on Tuesday 30th May, 1893 at Haslingden Parish Church cemetery, grave number a444.
By Gordon Hartley
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Coal Mining Bibliogr​​​aphy

Blackburn Mail  
Blackburn Standard 
Accrington Times   
Blackburn Weekly Express
Blackburn Times
Northern Daily Telegraph
Other newspapers used in my research:
Petre of Dunkenhalgh Papers: Lancashire Record Office
Feilden Papers : Lancashire Record Office
Geological & Ordnance Survey Maps
Plans of abandoned mines at Mines Record Office
Staffordshire House, Berry Hill Road, Stoke-on-Trent, information from Mr. William Smith.
Secondary Resources:
Geology of Burnley Coal Field
Co-operation in Darwen
London National Association of Colliery Managers, 1936, Volume 33 pp. 107 – 118
Manchester Geological Society, Volumes 21 & 30.
Thanks also to the staff of Blackburn and Accrington Libraries and the staff at the Lancashire Record Office.
By Gordon Hartley

Information from these pages has been taken from Gordon Hartley's updated work on the coal mining history of the Blackburn and Darwen with the Author's permission. Gordon can be contacted at: jam.man@tiscali.co.uk

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