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Maypole Pit Disaster Aug 18th 1908   Views: 1102
Maypole Colliery Disaster Diagram   Comments: 3
Photo: Keith   Item #: 30608  
Maypole Colliery Disaster Diagram
  The Maypole Colliery disaster has been very well documented on Wigan World but I’ve taken the liberty of using a previous diagrammatic representation of the tragic disaster of 1908, posted by Ron Hunt, and tried to clarify the information by simply printing it larger.
Here’s a summary of the terrible event…..
An underground explosion occurred at the Maypole Colliery, in Abram, near Wigan on August 18 1908. The final death toll was 76.
Maypole Colliery was owned by the Pearson and Knowles Coal and Iron Company Ltd which had taken over the pit from the Moss Hall Coal Company in 1907.
The miners were mainly drawn from the local area but many workers had moved to the area from County Mayo in Ireland.
An explosion occurred just after 5pm in No 1 Pit, shortly after the night shift began. Most of the men below ground at the time were shot-firers and maintenance workers. The explosion happened in the area known as the Four Feet mine.
Colliery manager Arthur Rushton reported that when some distance away he heard a rumble and saw a cloud of dust rising from the pit shaft. The head gear was largely destroyed and the fan house, which provided ventilation, was badly damaged.
John Knowles, the general manager immediately led organised rescue parties but after two days, attempts to locate survivors and recover bodies were abandoned when fire broke out underground. The pit was flooded to quell the fire. The last bodies were not recovered until 1917.
It was initially reported that 75 men had been working in the pit at the time. Three survivors were working in the Seven Feet mine, a different coal seam, not the Four Feet mine where the explosion occurred.
Many of the victims of the disaster were buried at St John the Evangelist's Church, Abram.
King Edward VII sent a telegram expressing his sympathy towards those who suffered as a result of the disaster.

 [<< Back] 3 user comment(s) below:-  [Leave a comment]

Comments by Albert., 24th June 2018  
I read in this well versed report that access was gained to a Maypole Colliery seam via the Junction colliery. Was this a planned item in the construction of the collieries underground workings just in case such a tredgedy occurred.?

Comments by JohnB, 24th June 2018  
An interesting point Albert. Surely I would have thought, it would make sense for any responsible coal mine owners to try and make as many provisions as possible for any accidents if they could, regardless of the tragic one that occurred here, so that no matter how major or minor an incident, there could be alternative means of trying to help anyone endangered, or am I being naive.

Comments by PeterP, 25th June 2018  
John B even in those days colliery owners would do anything to make money and if they thought they could pinch coal near to another colliery they would do.Tunnels were not driven over night so both colliery's would be aiming for the same coal.

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