Parlington Hall :: The Gascoigne Mines in Garforth
A Sad Epitaph to the Garforth Mines
There are no reliable records of deaths which occurred in the mining industry prior to 1850. Thereafter the records have been extensively catalogued and my research has uncovered some 61 men and boys who died in the three Garforth Pits: Sisters, Isabella and Trench, between 1849 and the closure of the pits in the 1920's. Fortunately no disasters occurred on the scale of the pit disaster at Micklefield (Peckfield) in April 1896 when 63 miners died as a result of an explosion caused by firedamp.
Coal Mining Deaths at Garforth Pits 1850 - 1915
The following table is of miners who were unfortunate enough to be killed at work in the Gascoigne pits. The data has been obtained from the Coalmining History Resource Centre, by querying their online database. Should you wish to see the nature of the accident click on the miner's name link which will open a new window with the result from the Coalmining History site direct. If the data queries are changed in the future and these links do not work, please go to the home page of the site here:
The link will give a database listing which includes the query terms - surname and intitial or christian name. After that click on the name in the list you are interested in and an entry like the following example for the last entry in the listing:
Mining Accidents - Edgar Wilson
|Owner:||Owners of Garforth Colliery|
|Notes:||He was leading a pony which was drawing 3 tubs loaded with rails. He stumbled and fell in front of the tubs and the first one ran over him and crushed him against some pipes on the side of the road.|
I have to say on reading this last entry, where the victim was a fifteen year old boy, we don't know how lucky we are, basking in our post industrial world!
Table of Miners Killed in the Gascoigne Pits
|LEIGH James||Garforth (Sisters)||45||1915|
|PARKER Roland||Garforth, Isabella||45||1907|
|KERSHAW John||Garforth, Isabella||17||1915|
|YOUNG Samuel||Garforth, Sisters||22||1905|
|PLOWS Albert||Garforth, Sisters||20||1908|
|BACKHOUSE William||Trench||13||1911||WILSON Edgar||Isabella||15||1912|
There are sixty one names in the listing above, the majority of deaths occurring during the long tenure of Colonel Frederick Trench-Gascoigne from 1850 following his marriage to Isabella until his death in 1905. I've often wondered how he felt about the toll of deaths of his miners, fifty men and boys on your conscience regardless of the circumstances, could be the basis for a troubled mind. Fortunately nothing as devastating as the Peckfield disaster at Micklefield befell the Gascoigne mines.
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The full extent of the mines and the railway that served them, and Aberford, is detailed in an excellent book by Graham Hudson, sadly no longer in print. Title:
The Aberford Railway and the history of the Garforth Collieries published by David & Charles.
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A useful reference to the Arch of Constantine in Rome.
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