STAFFORDSHIRE-L ArchivesArchiver > STAFFORDSHIRE > 2000-11 > 0974715677
From: "J Roberts" <>
Subject: Re: [STS] Mining fatality
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 10:21:17 -0000
As you so rightly assume, fatalities in the mining industry were fairly
common occurrences. I worked at Florence Colliery as a Surveyor, and
whenever there was an accident or fatality, it was our job to go underground
to the place where the accident or fatality occurred, and carry out a
detailed survey of the site. From this a plan was produced for investigation
purposes by the Mines Inspectorate, and for compensation claim purposes. In
the case of a fatality, an inquest was held and it was part of my duties to
attend that inquest, to certify the plan as being correct, and also to
answer any questions that the Coroner or the deceased persons Mining Union
(usually the National Union of Mine Workers) might have. Almost invariably,
there was a report of the Inquest proceedings in the local newspaper - in
your case "The Evening Sentinel" - Only the basic details would be reported
on, unless there were some unusual circumstances.
Afterwards, these plans were kept at the survey office for a number of
On the closure of a colliery, we surveyors had to submit Abandonment Plans
of the workings which were deposited with the Mines Inspectorate. In the
case of all other documents and plans we were instructed by the National
Coal Board, to destroy every one, basically because they were considered to
be of no further use and of no interest to anyone, and also there was no
suitable place to store the vast numbers of documents etc. involved with
just a single colliery.
So, sad as it is for you, you will not find anything other than a newspaper
report of the Inquest. Stoke on Trent Archives have microfilmed copies of
"The Evening Sentinel".
As to finding the date of his death, have you tried looking in the GRO
Indexes of Births Marriages & Deaths? These should be available to you
through your nearest Mormon Family History Centre, From this, you should be
able to ascertain a date of death which will then enable you to search for
You may have to search for some time after the death date as the Inquest
very often took place some time afterwards. Another factor is that "The
Evening Sentinel" is and was a daily newspaper (except for Sundays).
As t the date of closure of Florence Colliery, it would be in the late
1980's. I was not there at that time having moved on in my career as
Colliery Chief Surveyor. I worked at Florence from 1963 to 1969.
There used to be a Mining Museum at Chatterley Whitfield Colliery which I
helped to set up. This has now been closed for some years. In any case, they
certainly would not have documentation such as that which you seek. I know
this for a fact as I was closely concerned with the Museum for some time.
I wish you luck in your quest, and hope that you find *some* information
about your gg uncle's tragic death.
In The Staffordshire Potteries Where The Mugs Come From
> I have a great grand uncle who was killed in Florence Pit, Longton around
> 1947. I have not been able to locate the death date, yet. I have enquired
> about disasters but the Florence has not had a major disaster. I
> accidents causing death happened frequently enough that it didn't warrant
> news item in the paper ( a sad situation). Arthur Shea probably met his
> death in a similar way as Lynda's ancestors - equipment breaking or
> something falling on him.
> My request is:-
> Has anyone any suggestions where I can look for information? Stoke
> can't help me. I've checked the Library. Does anyone know when Florence
> closed down? Would there be any archival material saved or is there a
> Mining Museum that might be able to help?
> Alberta Canada formerly Walsall
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