Amble and District
     Local History



The Amble and District Mining Memorial

Acklington Broomhill Hauxley Longframlington
Newburgh Newton Radcliffe Shilbottle
Togston Whittle Other Collieries  


ALDER William  1940
BAXTER Charles 1914
BOYD Andrew 1973
BOYD Stephen 1941
BROWN David 1814
BROWN Thomas 1775
CHICKEN Lancelot W 1925
CONNELL Joseph 1939
CUNNINGHAM William 1934
DAVISON Thomas 1905
 DOBSON John 1814
DONALDSON Henry 1951
GRAY Ralph  1957
HANNAN Albert Edward 1920
HENDERSON Joseph 1858
HEWITT David 1953
JEFFREY John 1814
JEFFREY Thomas 1814
MILLER Frederick J 1941
MITCHISON William A 1922
NEWTON Thomas 1905
NICHOLSON William 1940
OGLE Thomas 1863
PEEBLES Norman  1938
PRINGLE William R 1920
QUEEN Kenneth 1960
RYAN Martin 1917
SCOTT John R 1958
SELBY George 1905
SHELL John E 1916
SHELL Robert S 1938
SKINNER James E 1921
SNAITH Robert 1856
STEWART Henry 1934
STOREY John 1911
TAYLOR Charles 1892
TAYLOR William 1915
TERNENT James 1923
TERNENT Thomas 1901
WEIGHTMAN Frederick 1881
WILSON Henry 1937
WILSON John 1940
YORK Robert H 1973
YOUNG Frederick W 1968
YOUNG Matthew 1876


William Alder

Died 16 May 1940 (accident 14 May 1940) 

Filler, aged 46 years, of Church Lane, Warkworth.
    At the 1911 census, William, born at Warkworth, is a pit driver, one of 8 children, living with his parents, Thomas, a miner, and Margaret, in Youngers Terrace, Warkworth. His younger brother, Thomas, would be a witness at the inquest.

   Cause of death was shock, as a result of burns arising from an explosion of gas at Shilbottle Colliery. Six fillers, one deputy and one helper were injured, three of whom died. The injured were taken to Alnwick Infirmary, and were seen, once, by a doctor, who administered first aid.
An inquest, enlarged to cover the purposes of a Governmental inquiry, was held, over three days, 24th to 26th July, 1940, at Alnwick Courthouse. The quality of the powder used for firing shots and ventilation were brought into question. The particular (black) powder was not supposed to be used but Shilbottle Colliery had applied for an exemption in 1937. An accumulation of gas had occurred whilst the filler was drilling out and the firing of the shot ignited a flame which travelled approximately sixty yards down the face. Coked dust, singed props, burned papers and clothing showed the intensity of the heat.
“Some of the miners who were amongst those injured by the explosion, described how, following the report of the explosion, a sheet of flame swept past, and the roar of flames was heard.”
At the end of the inquiry, the Coroner recommended that the existing law should be amended so that where any inflammable gas was discovered in a coal mine, that it should be reported to the Inspector of Mines, and the Inspector should be empowered, in his discretion, to order that, first, of all safety lamps must be used, and second, that permitted explosives only should be used, until he permitted to the contrary.

Morpeth Herald, 24 May 1940
     “Two of the miners who were seriously injured in the gas ignition at the C. W. S. Colliery at Shilbottle, last Tuesday, have since died at Alnwick Infirmary.
……….William (Kit) Alder, coal filler, Warkworth, died on Saturday morning.
The inquests on both men were formally opened at Alnwick on Saturday, and after evidence of identification had been taken they were adjourned.”


Charles Baxter

 Died December 1914

Aged 54 years, of Shilbottle.
 Buried St James’, Shilbottle, 10 December 1914 “died on the Shilbottle Tramway near the Coal Depot.”

    At the 1911 census, Charles, born at Alnwick, is a market gardener, living in Correction House Lane, Alnwick, with his wife, Sarah, and his six children.

Newcastle Journal, 9 December 1914
   “An inquest was held at Alnwick, yesterday, before Mr Chas. Percy, Coroner for North Northumberland, on the body of Charles Baxter, gardener, 54 years of age. It appeared that the deceased worked in the gardens of Mr John Macfarlane, through which the tramway from Shilbottle Colliery passes. At one place a small arched footbridge crosses the tramway. It is surmised that Baxter got on to a tub to ride from one part of the garden to the other, and had been caught at the bridge and crushed to death between the tub and the roof. – The jury found that Baxter was accidentally killed. As the widow is in poor circumstances, with a young family, all the fees were given to her.”


Andrew Boyd 

 Died February 1973

Aged 57 years, of 2, High Hauxley, Amble.
 Buried West Cemetery, Amble, 24 February. (Grave Plot 70G)

  A former Radcliffe and Hauxley colliery overman.


Stephen Boyd

 Died 8 September 1941

Deputy, aged 54 years of South East Farm, Shilbottle.
 Buried St James’, Shilbottle, 15 September.
   At the 1911 census, Stephen, is a hewer, born at Alnwick, living with his wife, Edith, in Church Street, Shilbottle.

Morpeth Herald, 26 September 1941
     “A 54 year old deputy, fatally injured in Shilbottle Colliery when he was hit by a tub which jumped the points, lost his life because he failed to observe all precautions for safety, was the conclusion of the coroner, Mr H. J. Percy, at the inquest at Alnwick.
Evidence of identification was given by James Gray, South East Farm Cottage, Shilbottle, who identified the body as that of his uncle, Stephen Boyd, 54, deputy of South East Farm, Shilbottle.
James P. Baxter, stoneman, employed at Shilbottle Colliery said that on September 8th he heard Boyd shouting. He had heard a set of empty tubs moving. Boyd, he explained, would have to press the bell for the tubs to be released. This bell was in a refuge hole, and after he had given the signal Boyd would be in the refuge hole.
Mr Percy: If he had stayed in the refuge hole nothing would have happened to him? – No.
For what purpose would he come out? – I could not say, unless it was to watch the set in.
After the empty tubs had gone by what would his next job be? – He would follow the set into the landing and remove the lock.
Could he not watch the tubs go by from the safety of the hole? – Yes.
Did you hear any suspicious sound before you heard him cry out? – I heard a sound suggesting that a tub had jumped the rail.
Baxter told the Coroner that he found Boyd lying on the opposite side to where the refuge hole was. He was clear of the tubs, two of which were standing off the rail, and it looked as though the sets had slipped the points.
He was lying on his back and he said he had been in the man hole, and that the tub had hit him.
Mr Percy returned the verdict that the death was due to misadventure and was caused by internal injuries sustained by Boyd at Shilbottle Colliery, on September 8th when he had been accidentally crushed by a tub which jumped the way while he was working there as a deputy.
Mr Percy commented that this was obviously yet another instance of which they had so many, - of men being forgetful of potential dangers. He could not conceive how Boyd could have been killed if he had taken all the precautions. It was, he said, publication of the facts in such cases as these which might do a little good and serve as a constant reminder of the dangers of this vocation, and it was tragic that these dangers should be increased by dangers which were quite unnecessary if the precautions were followed and appliances for safety used”


David Brown

 Died 24th December 1815

The Durham County Advertiser, 7 January 1815

“On the 24th ult. Four men lost their lives in Shilbottle Colliery, by the choak damp.”

The register of burials for St James’, Shilbottle, records the following burials on 27 December 1814:

John DOBSON, aged 74 years, of Shilbottle

David BROWN, aged 52 years, of Shilbottle

Thomas JEFFREY, aged 44 years, of Shilbottle

John JEFFREY, aged 16 years, of Shilbottle.

John Jeffrey was the son of Thomas, born in 1799 at Shilbottle. Thomas was a native of Felton.


Thomas Brown

 Died 1775


Buried March 6, 1775: Thomas Brown, of Shilbottle, sinker, killed by foul air in a pit.


Lancelot Wilkinson Chicken

 Died April 1925

 Colliery Manager, aged 46, of 33 Fenkle Street, Alnwick.
 Buried Alnwick Cemetery, 1 May.



Joseph Connell

 Died 24 June 1939

Aged 28 years. Joseph’s older brother, John, had been killed at Broomhill Colliery in 1924.

   At the 1911 census, Joseph, born at Chevington Drift, and his older brother, John, are living with their parents, John, a hewer, and Isabella, in 55, Hedgehope Terrace, Chevington Drift.

Morpeth Herald, 30 June 1939
   “Suggestions for safer methods of coal-cutting were advanced at an Amble inquest on Monday. These largely dealt with the provision of more side stays. The inquest was held on an Amble miner killed by a fall of stone in Shilbottle C.W.S. Colliery early on Saturday morning.
The deceased was Joseph Connell (28), of 2, Eastgarth Avenue, Amble, a coal-cutter. He leaves a widow and child. His elder brother was killed fifteen years ago at Broomhill Colliery.
Mr H. J. Percy, coroner for North Northumberland, conducted the inquiry with a jury in Amble Courthouse. There were present: Mr C. S. Anderson (representing the owners of the colliery); Mr T. A. Rogers, Mines’ Inspector; Supt. Spratt (representing the police); and Mr G. W. Bartram (representing the Northumberland Miners’ Association).
The Coroner told the jury that it was their very painful duty to inquire into the death of a young man, well known to them, and greatly esteemed in the town of Amble, Joseph Connell, who was killed in an accident at Shilbottle Colliery on Saturday.
The cause of death would give them no trouble; it was the purely technical part of their verdict. The cause was the general bodily injuries which he received. He was killed outright, or substantially outright, by a fall of stone which occurred whilst deceased was following his vocation as a coal-cutter.
Mr Percy read the report of the local representatives of the workmen, which stated: “The inspectors descended the Downcast Shaft, and found the shaft to be in a safe working order. They inspected the place where the accident had happened. It was well-timbered and the ventilation was good. The workmen could not have foreseen the fall of the roof which had caused the accident.”
Evidence of identification was given by John Henderson, father-in-law of deceased, of 16, Leazes Street, Amble. He said that the deceased had always enjoyed good health. He had worked as a coal miner all his working life. He had been at Shilbottle seven months, being at Broomhill before that.
William Redhead, Amble, the second man on the coal-cutting machine, said that he was kneeling at the back of the engine, at the blade end, when the fall occurred. He had gone down the pit along with the deceased, at 6.30 p.m. on the Friday night. Up to the time the witness last saw him he appeared to be quite all right as regards health, and in everything.
“When we descended we went straight to this working-place. We could not get the machine into position at once owing to the stone being down”. He went to the Number Three Dip heading and helped the stone-man there.
“After the stone-men had finished I asked Connell to pass the rope back. He did so. The “jockey” was put on to tighten the engine. He pulled it back about four yards and I threw three planks and six props in to him and told him to put them in, which he did.”
“After he put the timber in he took it back to the fast end and swung the knife into the cut. I loosed the rope off and set another “jockey”. He started to pull, pulled about two feet, then stopped the engine. He set a stay to keep the engine to the face.”
“He had cut about three or four yards when I heard a shout. At the same time I heard the stone fall. I ran out but could not see Connell. I stopped the engine, and when I looked he was underneath the stone. He never moved, or anything.”
Redhead added that when he switched the engine off he could not see Connell lying at first. There was a stone lying, and witness crawled over it, then saw Connell lying with two stones over him. It was a big fall. He never shouted after the first time.
Two of them lifted the stone off Connell, then witness sent the other man away to seek the deputy. The accident would take place early on Saturday morning.
Witness agreed with the Mines Inspector that the supports underneath did not fail in any way; the big stone at the side fell out and rolled over the timber.
Mr Rogers: In the light of this accident, do you agree with me that when getting underneath the side of a canch with the machine it is advisable to set in some stays to the side of the canch?
Witness: It would have been advisable.
Replying to Mr Anderson, Redhead said that deceased was an experienced and careful workman. He had had previous experience with the machine. Witness considered the stone was good in that district.
Coroner: Had either of you made any personal examination of the roof at this place?
Witness: I jowled it before we went in; it was hard and rang true.
Mr Bartram remarked: “We are very anxious to reduce accidents. The other local inspector and I saw this plank which was set, and we thought that the end of the plank was definitely marked with the running of the rope. We feel that, seeing the nature of the stone, which was very strong, and the way this stay was set, we feel that the strain would be such that it would actually lift the stone over these planks. Do you think that would be possible?”
Witness agreed that the stone would lift.
Mr Bartram: We are worried about that stay, because we realise you are both practical men and we are wondering whether in the future it would be better for that kind of stay to be avoided, or at least put upright, which would not then have that thrusting effect.
Witness: Putting it upright would not have kept the stone back.
Coroner: Is there anything which could have been done to avoid or obviate this accident?
Witness: Looking back now, I would have set the stay at a different place.
Mr Anderson said he had asked the men in future to use a short jockey rope in places like that. A short jockey would have avoided the stay and would minimise the danger. It rather impeded their work, however.
Coroner: The men won’t grudge a little extra work if it is going to make their lives safer.
Ralph Gibson, chargeman, said that he went down the pit on the Friday afternoon at 3.30. He inspected this place amongst others. He made his first inspection of the place about 4.23, and the stone-men followed him in. On his instructions Connell and Redhead assisted the stone-men prior to starting to cut. It would be about 11.20 when they were finished.
Witness was last in, prior to the accident, after 11.25. The stone-men had just finished their job, and the men were just starting to fetch the cutting engine back. Witness had inspected the place before he came away and everything was in proper order then so far as he could see. Everything was securely timbered, and he did not see any fault.
Coroner: Is there anything which you can add further to the discussions we have had about the additional safety methods which could be employed at places like this?
Witness: No; everything was in perfect order to my mind when I left.
Coroner: Yes; but, despite that, a man has been killed. In the light of that tragedy, do you agree with what has been aid, with the recommendations made? We are speaking of the future now, - to minimise the risks.
Witness: Yes.
Coroner: You will see that these instructions are carried out in the future? – Yes.
Mr Bartram: Do you think, when you get such an extensive area, about twelve feet, that under such conditions it would be wiser to get stays put in on the canch?
Witness replied that he had jowled the place just before he came away and everything was hard.
Mr Bartram: Do you think that jowling would be sufficient in cases like this? – I do.
Mr Bartram: Do you think the effect of that plank which was put in as a guide plank, and we understand the rope was underneath and practically lifting that stone, do you think that is a correct assumption?
Witness: I wasn’t there at the time, but it would lift the stone and help it to come off, with the stay being set that way.
Mr Bartram: We feel these stays should not be used either at the front of the canch or in a place like this. We think they could be used with advantage where they are backed up, but we think there is a distinct danger here, and we respectfully suggest that it could be considered with advantage.
The Coroner remarked that he was sure these discussions would have done a great deal of good. They had discussed very fully the additional safeties, and those in charge had satisfied the jury that they were impressed with the danger of the method of working employed. He thought they could all be satisfied that it would be very thoroughly gone into, to obviate any parallel accident in the future.
The chief thing that they had to be satisfied upon was the sufficiency of the timber.
A verdict of accidental death was returned.
Sympathy with the relatives was expressed by Mr Anderson and by the Coroner.”
Morpeth Herald, 25 June 1943
   “In loving memory of our dear sons, Joseph, accidentally killed at Shilbottle Colliery June 24th, 1939, aged 28 years, also John, killed at Broomhill Colliery February 24th 1924, aged 15 years. A loving smile, a heart of gold, no better sons this world could hold. – (Always in the thoughts of their loving mother, father, brothers and sisters, also brother-in-law and nieces.)


William Cunninghsm

 Died 28 June 1934


  At the 1911 census, William, born at Radcliffe, is a putter, one of 3 children, living with his parents, William, a colliery blacksmith, and Jane, in Long Row South, Radcliffe.
   According to the Liverpool FC website, he signed for the club in 1920 and played, at left-half, three times for the first team. His other clubs had been Blyth Spartans, and after leaving Liverpool, Barrow and Mid Rhondda.

Nottingham Evening Post, 29 June 1934
“William Cunningham, a miner, and former Liverpool professional footballer, was killed while working in Shilbottle Colliery, Northumberland.”


Henry Donaldson

 Died 9 May 1951

Coal filler, aged 52 years, of 3 Colliers’ Close, Shilbottle.

At the 1911 census, Henry, born at Alnmouth, is one of 2 children living with his parents, Edward, a hewer, and Mary, in White Hart Yard, Alnwick.

Morpeth Herald, 11 May 1951

“Henry Donaldson, aged 52 years, of No 3 Colliers’ Close, Shilbottle, a coal filler in Shilbottle Colliery, was killed on Wednesday morning by a fall of stone while following his employment. He leaves a widow and a grown up daughter.”


Ralph Gray

 Died 2 May 1957

Aged 27 years, of Alnwick.


Albert Edward Hannan

Died 30 April 1920 (accident 22 April 1920)

Putter, aged 20 years, of King Street, Alnwick.


Morpeth Herald, 7 May 1920

 “At an inquest at Alnwick, on Monday, it was stated that Albert Edward Hannan, 20 years of age, who resided in King Street, Alnwick, and had been employed at South Shilbottle Colliery, near Alnwick, as a putter, was on April 22nd injured by being crushed between a tub and a prop. He was, however, able to cycle home. His condition became worse, and his death occurred on Friday. The coroner, after medical evidence, found that Hannan died from heart failure, following pneumonia, excited by injuries and strain.”



Joseph Henderson  

Died 31 March 1858 

Aged 15 years, of Shilbottle.
Buried St James’, Shilbottle, 1 April. “Killed in descending the pit.”
Newcastle Courant, 2 April 1858
    “An inquest was held before Mr Hardy, coroner, on Wednesday the 31st, at the house of Mr Muers, innkeeper, Shilbottle, near Alnwick, on the body of Joseph Henderson, a boy, about 15 years of age, who was killed that morning while descending the shaft of the pit there. He was a stranger in the district, but had been employed in the colliery for the last few months, and it is believed his mother is now residing in Berwick. The inquest was adjourned to the 9th of April, for the purpose of giving notice to the Government Inspector of Mines.”
Alnwick Mercury, 1 May 1858
    “On Friday, 9th ult., an adjourned inquest was held at Shilbottle before Mr Hardy, coroner, on the body of John Henderson, (sic) aged 15 years, who was killed on Wednesday morning, the 31st March, while descending the shaft of the pit there. He was a stranger in the district, but had been employed in the colliery for the last few months, and it is believed his mother is now residing in Berwick. From the evidence it appeared that on the 31st March, a man and five boys, of whom the deceased was one, descended the shaft of the colliery, a depth of fifty fathoms, by attaching themselves to the loop of a chain or rope. When they arrived at the bottom it was dark, and the man with four boys came off the chain, and a light was struck. One of the boys shouted up, and the chain was drawn up, when it was discovered that the deceased still remained attached to it. They called again from the bottom, and the engine was stopped, and the rope reversed, when the deceased immediately fell down into the pit and was severely crushed. He was brought to bank, carried to his lodging, and medical assistance procured, but he never spoke, and died in about an hour. The men in most collieries descend in a cage, and had that plan been followed on the present occasion the accident could not have happened. Verdict “Accidentally killed.””


David Hewitt

 Died 7 May 1953

Aged 35 years, of Alnwick.


Frederick J Milller 

 Died 31 October 1941

Aged 31 years, of Church Street, Amble.
Morpeth Herald, 7 November 1941
  “Practical suggestions for improving the timbering under certain conditions of “roof” in Shilbottle Colliery were made by Mr. F. W. Bartram, Miners’ Association, and accepted by the Deputy (Mr. J. Stuart) at the inquest last Monday on Frederick J. Miller (35), of Church Street, Amble who was killed by a fall of stone in the pit on October 31.
When the Coroner (Mr. Hugh J. Percy) intimated that he felt sure that they could leave the matter to the wise discretion of the agent, Mr. C. S. Anderson responded: “Yes, sir. We take every precaution and act on any sound suggestion for the better protection of our men.”
A verdict of “Death by misadventure” was recorded.”


William Alexander Mitcheson

 Died August 1922

Aged 48 years, of Shilbottle.
 Buried St James’, Shilbottle, 11 August.
   At the 1911 census, William, born at Seaton Delaval, is a hewer, living with his wife and two sons, in Shilbottle.


Thomas Newton

 Died 16 June 1905

Aged 26, of South Moor, Shilbottle.
 Buried St James’, Shilbottle, 18 June. “Accidentally killed by a fall of stone in Shilbottle Pit.”

    At the 1901 census, Thomas, born at Kirkley, is a farm steward, living with his step father, Walter Davidson, a shepherd, and Rebecca his wife, in Shilbottle Woodhouses.

Morpeth Herald, 24 June 1905
    “On Friday last week Thomas Newton and George Forster were working as stone drifters in the engine way of Shilbottle Pit, when an unexpected fall of stone occurred, which caused the death of Newton, and so terribly injured Forster as to bring about his death on Sunday night.
On Saturday, Dr C. Clarke Burman, deputy coroner for North Northumberland, held an inquiry into the circumstances attending Newton’s death, at which the following evidence was taken:-
Walter Davidson deposed that he was a farmer and resided at Shilbottle South Moor. The deceased was his stepson. He was working as a shifter at Shilbottle Colliery, and was 26 years of age. He saw him last Thursday about 3 p.m., when he came home from his work. He was brought home dead on Friday. He had been working about a month at the colliery previous to which he had been a worker on a farm.
John Storey, overman at Shilbottle Colliery, stated that on Friday he went to work about 10 a.m., and began work by filling stone, which was lying ready from the previous shift. Before the men began working he examined the place, and was quite satisfied as to its soundness. It was solid sandstone, and he considered it in a good condition. About 12 mid-day the deceased and his mate went in-bye until a shot was fired about 15 or 18 feet from the place at which the deceased had been working. The shot was successfully fired by Robert Emery. Three or four minutes after the shot was fired the deceased returned to his work in the original place, but before he began, he (witness) carefully examined the place, and found everything safe before allowing the men to resume work. About 25 minutes after the shot was fired, that would be about 20 minutes they had worked, he saw the stone fall, without any warning. It slipped down from the side; it was 30 inches by 30 inches wide and 13 inches thick, and would weigh about 18 cwts. It fell as far as he could see, upon the deceased, and then upon George Forster, who was working beside him, and who was seriously injured. The deceased was completely covered by the stone. Finding that he and Emery could not remove the stone, he sent for assistance and got it removed. He thought the deceased was dead when they got the stone removed, but he was busy attending to George Forster at the time. He never heard Newton moan. This was the first fatal accident he had had in his experience as overman
. – By the Inspector of Mines: The work they were busy with was a widening of the engine road, upon which they had been engaged for about two years, in taking the side stone away. The road was entirely in stone, no coal seam was present. This particular work was carried on when the pit was idle, as it was on that day. The deputies who had been working during the previous shift did not report anything to him when he went down. The road had been in use for upwards of 30 years. After the stone fell he noticed a black sooty stop showing there had been an old crack not seen from the front. The work was not bargain but shift work, and there was no immediate pressure. There was a haulage rope, which the falling stone would catch first. He was standing about 10 yards from the place of the accident. The noise of the pumps and the water falling might have prevented the men hearing any sound if it was produced. He did not think it necessary to stop the pump. The men had everything necessary to stay the place if he had considered it advisable, but he saw no necessity for doing so. The deceased had nothing to do with getting the stone down, only with the filling, because he was not sufficiently experienced. The shot contained 1lb. compressed powder; it was an ordinary shot. It might have helped to loosen the stone.
   Robert Emery, miner, residing in Pottergate New Row, Alnwick, but working at Shilbottle Colliery, said he was working at the place where the deceased was filling stone. Before he began work he ascertained that the place was safe; the particular place where the stone fell had been examined by him and found perfectly safe. About noon-day he had a shot ready to fire, and told the deceased and other men to go away. The shot, which was not a large one, was successful. Subsequently he examined the place near where the deceased was working, and found no difference in its appearance, and, in his opinion, it was quite safe. He was working near the place himself. He never heard any sound, but he saw the stone fall. It struck the deceased, and a portion of the fall slipped over him on to Forster, who was seriously injured. Storey and he found they could not lift off the stone without help, which they got at once. He did not think Newton was alive when the stone was got away.
– By the Inspector of Mines: They had everything necessary for supporting the stone after firing the shot. They “jowled” the place, and found it solid after the shot was fired, and, in his opinion, it was pretty safe.
James Edward Riddle, under-manager at Shilbottle Colliery, produced a plan of the place where the deceased was working. Between 6 and 9 a.m. on Friday morning he personally examined the place, and was of opinion that it was quite satisfactory. The class of work to which the deceased was put was quite within his power.
George Waddell, miner, stated that as one of the representatives of the workmen he had examined the place, and was of opinion that it was a pure accident, and no blame could be attached to anyone.
The jury returned a verdict of “Accidentally killed.””


William Nicholson

 Died 22 May 1940 (accident 14 May 1940)

Filler, aged 48 years, of 8 Colliers Close, Shilbottle.
 Buried St James’, Shilbottle, 25 May.

Cause of death, shock resulting from burns.

Gloucester Citizen, 23 May 1940
   “William Nicholson, 48, the third victim of last week’s explosion in the Co-operative Wholesale Society’s colliery at Shilbottle, Northumberland, died in Alnwick Infirmary. He leaves a widow and 11 children.”
See entry for William Alder.


Thomas Ogle

 Died 16 January 1863

Aged 30 years, of Shilbottle.
Buried St James’, Shilbottle, 19 January.
    At the 1861 census, Thomas, born at Shilbottle, is one of 2 children, living with his parents, Thomas, a butcher, and Elizabeth, in Shilbottle.
Newcastle Courant, 23 January 1863
    “On Saturday, an inquest was held at the house of Mr Joseph Wrigglesworth, innkeeper, Shilbottle, near Alnwick, before Mr Hardy, coroner, on the body of Thomas Ogle, aged 30 years, one of the workmen at Shilbottle Colliery, who was so severely injured on the day preceding, by the fall of a piece of coal, which struck him on the back part of the head, that, although he had the prompt assistance of Mr Bradley, surgeon, he died the same evening from the effects of the injury. The proceedings at the inquest were confined to the identification of the body, to enable the coroner to give a certificate of burial; and it was adjourned to Friday, for the purpose of furnishing Mr Matthias Dunn, the Government Inspector of Mines for the district, the requisite notice for his attendance at the adjourned inquest.”
Morpeth Herald, 31 January 1863
   “The adjourned inquest on the body of Thomas Ogle, who was killed by the fall of a piece of coal in Shilbottle pit, on the 16th inst. was held by John James Hardy, Esq., coroner, on Friday, the 23rd inst. It appeared from the evidence that the coals are brought to bank by means of corves, one going up as the other goes down; and that pieces of coal often fall down the shaft, the banksman always taking care to make it known to those at the bottom of the pit; but as no coal, on this occasion, fell from the corve when landing, it was clear that it had fallen from mid shaft, when the corves meet. A piece of coal, with human hair attached to it, was found close to Ogle. The jury unanimously returned the following verdict: “That Thomas Ogle was accidentally killed by a fall of coal in the Shilbottle shaft, on the 16th day of January, 1863; but we recommend, as a means of safety, that no time be lost in fixing slides into the shaft.””


Norman Peebles

 Died 22 August 1938

Aged 33 years, of Shilbottle.
 Buried St James’, Shilbottle, 25 August.

   At the 1911 census, Norman, born at Alnwick, is one of 6 children, living with their parents, John, a tailor, and Mary, in Dodds Lane, Alnwick.


William Rogers Pringle

 Died June 1920 (accident 16 January 1917)
Aged 22 years, of Green Batt, Alnwick. Buried Alnwick Cemetery, 20 June.
At the 1911 census, William, born at Belford, is one of 4 children living with their parents, Adam, a market gardener, and Isabella, in Bilton. 

Morpeth Herald 25 June 1920

“Mr. Hugh J. Percy, at an inquest on William Pringle, aged 22, held at Alnwick on Saturday, found that deceased died from bronchial pneumonia and heart failure, the result of an accidental crush on the left hand, while working in Shilbottle Colliery on January 16th, 1917.
Mr. C. S. Anderson, manager, represented Shilbottle Colliery Company; and Mr. M. Wade, solicitor, Alnwick, appeared for the relatives of the deceased.
The evidence showed that the deceased had happened an accident in the pit, his left hand being crushed between a tub and the roof of the pit, when at work on January 16th 1917, two and a half years ago. He was off work for several months, but returned to work again. He had the misfortunes to suffer another accident to the same hand, a septic condition later supervened, and he never appeared to regain his normal health. In March, 1919, he collapsed when at work, and never returned to the pit.”


Kenneth Queen 

 Died May 1960

Aged 40 years.


Martin Ryan 

 Died 24 October 1917

Aged 29 years, of Queen’s Head Yard, Alnwick.
 Buried Alnwick Cemetery, 27 October.

Alnwick and County Gazette, 3 November 1917
    “Mr Chas. Percy, coroner for North Northumberland, held an inquest at Alnwick Police Court, on Friday afternoon last week, on the body of Martin Ryan, a miner, 29 years of age, who was killed by a fall of stone in Shilbottle Pit on the previous Wednesday afternoon.
The jury was composed of Messrs. Robt. Graham (foreman), Andrew Sanderson, Ben Thompson, Geo. B. Bell, T. Snowdon, Geo. Brown, and Robt. Peebles. Mr Ashley, Inspector of Mines, and Mr Straker, Secretary of the Northumberland Miners’ Association, Newcastle, were present, also Mr C. S. Anderson, manager of Shilbottle Colliery.
Sarah Morris, widow, deposed that deceased was her son-in-law, a miner, at Shilbottle Colliery, but living in the Queen’s Head Yard, Alnwick.
Joseph Hedley, Victoria Buildings, Alnwick, and John Varty, deputy overman, gave evidence.
The Coroner, in summing, pointed out that from the evidence, this was one of those unfortunate accidents, which no ordinary foresight could have averted.
The jury found that Martin Ryan had been accidentally killed by a fall of stone while working in Shilbottle Colliery.”


John Robert Scott 

 Died 12 April 1958

Aged 36 years, of Amble.
Buried West Cemetery, Amble, 15 April (Grave Plot 123H)


George Selby (alias Forster) 

 Died 18 June 1905 (accident 16 June 1905)

Aged 39 years, of Alnwick.
 Buried Alnwick Cemetery, 20 June.
  At the 1901 census, George, born at Alnwick, is a general labourer, living with his wife, Esther, and 3 sons, in Pottergate Place, Alnwick.
Morpeth Herald, 24 June 1905
    “Dr C. Clarke Burman held an inquest at the Alnwick Infirmary on Monday on the body of George Selby, better known as George Forster, who was fatally injured by a fall of stone in Shilbottle pit on Friday, whilst his “marra”, Thomas Newton, was killed. Selby, who was 39 years of age, had sustained such terrible injuries as to bring about his death in Alnwick Infirmary on Sunday night, about half past seven o’clock.
Evidence was taken very similar to that given at the inquiry into the circumstances of Newton’s death, additional evidence being received from Dr Archbold, house surgeon, in respect of Selby’s death. He stated that the injuries caused to Selby’s head were of a very extensive nature; one of his arms was seriously fractured, and his left leg considerably bruised. After his admission to the Infirmary on Friday he never rallied, and was most of the time unconscious.
John Storey, overman at the colliery, in giving evidence, said that Selby examined the place himself after the shot was fired, and was satisfied as to its safety.
The jury found a verdict of “Death from shock, the result of injuries accidentally received.”
Mr H. A. Paynter, one of the owners of the colliery, remarked that while they lamented the accident, it was satisfactory to know there was no blame to be attached to the deceased men or to the colliery officials. He also praised the work of Nurse Smith, the Shilbottle district nurse, for the manner in which she had attended to Selby’s injuries.
These remarks were endorsed by the Deputy-Coroner.”


John Ernest Shell

 Died September 1916

Aged 16 years, of Bilton Banks, Lesbury.
 Buried St James’, Shilbottle, 30 September.

  Brother of Robert, killed at Shilbottle in 1938.

   At the 1911 census, John, born at Newcastle, is one of 6 children living with their parents, Edward, a hewer, and Cicely, in Bilton Banks.
Morpeth Herald, 6 October 1916
    “A coroner’s jury at Alnwick, on Friday, found that John Shell, pony putter at Shilbottle Colliery, “died at Alnwick Infirmary from inflammation of the ankle and septic poisoning accelerated by shock, but how the septic poisoning occurred there was not sufficient evidence to show, but the shock was caused through the overturning of a tub.””


Robert Septimus Shell 

 Died 1st March 1938

Coal Filler, aged 33 years, of 17 Percy Road, Shilbottle
 Buried St James’, Shilbottle, 4 March.

   Brother of John, killed at Shilbottle in 1916.

   At the 1911 census, Robert, born at Shilbottle Longdyke, is one of 6 children living with their parents, Edward, a hewer, and Cicely, in Bilton Banks.
Morpeth Herald, 11 March 1938
“Reference to a new regulation regarding timbering, which is being adopted by the management of Shilbottle C.W.S. Colliery, was made at an Alnwick inquest on a miner who was fatally injured by a fall of stone in Shilbottle Colliery.
The inquest was on Richard Septimus Shell (33), coal filler, 17 Percy Road, Shilbottle. The accident occurred about 6.30 a.m. on March 1st.
Mr. Hugh J. Percy, Coroner for North Northumberland, conducted the inquest in Alnwick Courthouse on Tuesday. Others present were Mr. T. A. Rogers, Mines Inspector; Mr. G. W. Bartram, representing the Northumberland Miners’ Association; Mr. Bewick, representing the Northumberland Deputies’ Association; and Mr. C. S. Anderson, manager of Shilbottle Colliery.
The Coroner read the report by the local workmen, who stated that in their opinion it was accidental. The stone which fell on Shell was approximately 9ft. by 3ft. 9ins. by 14ins. deep.
“He must have died almost instantaneously when he was crushed by this fall,” the Coroner told the jury.
Henry Ogle, deputy at Shilbottle Colliery, and living at 19 Hawthorn Terrace, Shilbottle, said that prior to the shift on which deceased was working, about 1 a.m. on March 1st, he inspected the place at which Shell would commence work. The place was put right before Shell came down. The coal had been undercut, but had not been filled away.
When he saw the place the stone was not exposed. Generally speaking, the area was not good.
Coroner: It would be potentially dangerous? – Yes.
“But it was sufficiently timbered, as far as possible, to make it safe?” – Yes.
“Was that area, potentially dangerous, rendered safe in your opinion, by the timbering which was there?” – Yes.
Ogle added that the last time he saw the place was about 4 o’clock, by which time Shell had got one tub filled away. Shell knew the place was dangerous, as they had discussed it before. He had always been a careful timberer, and had plenty of timber when witness left him at 4 o’clock.
The Coroner asked Ogle if he would consider it safe timbering for a man to work the distance Shell did, with only one prop close up against the end of his filling.
Ogle: If I had one prop in, four feet from the filling, I would consider it safe.
Replying to the Mines Inspector, Ogle said that normally the roof was a fairly strong one.
Inspector: In the light of this accident, do you think it would tend to prevent similar accidents if you set the planks systematically, say every four feet, as the cut coal was removed? – I think so.
The Inspector mentioned that this regulation was now being adopted by the management at Shilbottle.
Mr. Bartram: Do you think in this case it would definitely have avoided an accident if he had put a prop in every yard or 4ft. 6ins? – Ogle: Yes.
Thomas Sordy, coal filler, said he was working on the same shift as Shell, and was in the main gateway, about 10 yards from the gateway in which Shell was. He agreed that Shell, whom he had known all his life, was a safe, cautious workman.
“About 6.30 a.m. I heard a dull thud,” continued Sordy, “and I heard Shell shout ‘Oh!’ I crept down through my timbering and saw a large stone over Shell. He was covered bar his head. I immediately ran for help.”
He definitely remembered hearing Shell jowling the roof during his work, Sordy said in reply to the Coroner.
Regarding the new regulation for systematic timbering every four feet, Mr. Anderson told the Coroner that many of the men did it now, but hitherto it had not been compulsory.
“You will have heard with great satisfaction of this tightening-up of the timbering regulation,” Mr. Percy told the jury. It will be infinitely more satisfactory now when the men know they will have to comply with this rule.
“It is impossible to say whether timbering would have prevented such a huge fall as this coming away, but it is perfectly obvious, even to a layman, that systematic timbering at regular distances in unexplored territory, is infinitely preferable to the other system.”
Mr. Percy added that, of course, there had been no breach of regulations, the man having worked in a perfectly legitimate way.
The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.
On behalf of the Colliery Company and himself, Mr. Anderson expressed sincere sympathy with the widow and family.
“It will be the wish of everyone attending this inquiry that we should jointly covey our deep sympathy to the widow and relatives. He was a man greatly respected in the district, and his loss will be a very great one,” said Mr. Percy.

James E Skinner 

 Died February 1921

Aged 32 years.


Robert Snaith

 Died 23 January 1856

Aged 13 years, of Cawledge Park, Alnwick.
Buried St Michael’s, Alnwick, 27 January.
  At the 1851 census. Robert, born at Cawledge Park, is one of 4 children living with their parents, Joseph, a forester, and Margaret, in Cawledge Park.
Newcastle Courant, 1 February 1856
    “On the 24th ult., an inquest was held before Mr Hardy, coroner, at the house of Mr Richardson, farmer, West Cauledge Park, and by adjournment on the 28th, at the Willow Tree Inn, Alnwick, on the body of Robert Snaith, aged 13 years. Deceased was a rolley driver in the Shilbottle Colliery, and, on the morning of the 23rd descended the pit as usual, and, while following his regular employment, a stone, about three tons weight, fell from the roof of the mine, partially upon him, breaking both of his legs and one of his arms, and otherwise mutilating his body. He was immediately extricated, brought to bank, and medical assistance procured, but he was so severely injured that he died in a few hours. Verdict – Accidental death. Matthias Dunn, Esq., Inspector of Mines, attended to watch proceedings on the part of government.”


Henry Stewart 

 Died November 1934

Aged 38 years, of Shilbottle.
Buried St James’, Shilbottle, 11 November.

   Henry, born at Shilbottle, is the son of Storey, a hewer, and Jane.


John Storey 

 Died 19 April 1911

Deputy, aged 25 years, of Bilton Banks, Lesbury.
 Buried St James’, Shilbottle, 22 April.
  Eldest son of John Storey, under manager of Shilbottle Colliery, killed by a fall of stone.
  At the 1911 census, John, born at Shilbottle, is a deputy, one of 8 children, living with his parents, John, under manager, and Ann, at Bilton Banks.

Charles Taylor

 Died 4 February 1892 (accident 29 January 1892)

Aged 44 years.
Morpeth Herald, 13 February 1892
   “An inquest was held on Friday week at Alnwick before Mr Charles Percy, coroner for North Northumberland, on the body of a man named Charles Taylor, a sinker and drifter, who died in Alnwick Infirmary on Thursday from injuries received on the previous Friday while at his employment in Shilbottle Pit. From the evidence adduced it appears that Taylor had drilled and loaded three shots in the drift, and when they were ignited only two had exploded. On Taylor going forward to see what was causing the delay the third shot went off, and the unfortunate man received the clay stemming of the hole in his breast. He was conveyed to the Alnwick Infirmary, and after suffering great agony died on Thursday forenoon. The jury returned a verdict “That deceased died from pneumonia, the result of injuries accidentally received by him while working in a drift at Shilbottle Colliery on the 29th of January.””


William Taylor

 Died 21 January 1915

Aged 59 years, of Bilton Banks, Lesbury.
Buried St James’, Shilbottle, 24 January.

   At the 1911 census, William, born at Bamburgh, is a hewer, living in Bilton Banks with his wife, Eleanor.
Newcastle Journal, 23 January 1915
     “An inquest was held at Alnwick Infirmary, yesterday, on the body of William Taylor (59), a miner, living at Bilton Banks. On Thursday, Taylor, with other men, was going to his work “in-bye,” and was passed on an incline by sixteen tubs laden with coal. The wire rope drawing the tubs broke, and the tubs coming swiftly back, two men were struck before they could get out of the way. One was the deceased, who was conveyed to Alnwick Infirmary, and the other, Wm. Noble Goodfellow, who was taken to his home in Clayport, Alnwick. Attending the inquest were Mr T. A. Forster, Mines Inspector; Mr W. Weir, representing the Northumberland Miners’ Association; and Messrs. H. A. Paynter, director, and J. A. Dixon, manager, representing the Shilbottle Coal Company. – After hearing the evidence, the jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death.””


James Ternent 

 Died April 1923

Aged 45 years, of Garden Terrace, Shilbottle Grange.
 Buried Alnwick Cemetery, 3 April.


Thomas Ternent  

 Died 9 December 1901

Aged 54 years, of Bilton Banks, Lesbury.
 Buried St James’, Shilbottle, 11 December.
   At the 1901 census, Thomas, born at Shilbottle, is a hewer, married to Mary with 4 children, living in Bilton Banks.
Sunderland Daily Echo, 10 December 1901
“Early yesterday morning, at Shilbottle Colliery, a few miles out of Alnwick, a man named Thomas Tranent (sic). 54 years of age, lost his life. Tranent was busy stripping his clothes when a fall of stones took place, completely burying him. His mates, standing not far off, heard one weak cry as the stones fell.

 Morpeth Herald, 14 December 1901

“On Tuesday, Mr. Chas. Percy, coroner for North Northumberland, held an inquiry at Shilbottle Colliery, into the circumstances attending the death of Thomas Ternant.
John Roscamp, agent of the Shilbottle Colliery, deposed that deceased was a hewer, and worked at Shilbottle Colliery. He lived at Bilton Banks. He was 54 years of age.
William Storey, deposed that on Monday, the 9th inst. about 4.45 a.m. he was down the colliery in No. 3 district, north east, at the face, just going to start work. Deceased was his mate, and had just got his clothes off to start work. He was two or three yards off, and gave a shout and heard a fall of stone. On going to deceased he found him buried beneath the fall, with two large pieces of stone lying on him, which had fallen from the roof. It was a thin and grey metal roof, and a very good one. There was no timber there. Witness at once called for assistance, and deceased was got out, but he was quite dead. Witness passed the place a minute before and all seemed safe. There was stone packing on each side, and a plain jack at the fall. The roof was damp, and there were two falls, one after the other. He had been up the face, but went back a little to put off his clothes.
Thomas Temple, deputy overman, deposed that he knew the place where the accident occurred. He examined it at 3.15 the same morning with the safety lamp and axe and neither saw nor heard anything dangerous. The fall was about 3 or 4 yards from the face. The last shot was fired there on Saturday.

The jury found a verdict of “Accidentally killed.””


Frederick Weightman 

 Died 4 July 1881 (accident 17 June 1881)

Aged 14 years, of Shilbottle.
 Buried, St James’, Shilbottle, 7 July.
  At the 1881 census, Frederick, born at Shilbottle, is living with his uncle, Thomas, and family, in Shilbottle.

Shields Daily Gazette. 8 July 1881
   “Yesterday, an inquest was held at Shilbottle, by Mr Geo. E. Watson, coroner for North Northumberland, on the body of Frederick Weightman, aged 14, a boy who was helper to a putter in Shilbottle Colliery. On the 17th June last, deceased was helping a putter named Gibbinson at No. 5 cross cutting. About four in the afternoon a stone fell upon the leg of the deceased, who was standing against a loaded tub. Gibbinson and a boy named Wilson went up to him and got the stone off, and he was brought to bank. He died on Monday night. A shot had been fired about 40 or 50 yards from the place where the accident happened. This was a stone shot, and was fired about twelve hours before. A coal shot was fired about six yards from the place, about two o’clock; and another about half-past two at the same place. The deputy did not tell them whether the place was safe after the shot. Gibbinson never saw the deputy after one o’clock, but considered the place quite safe, and could not account for the stone falling. The overman, about two o’clock, visited the place, which was properly propped. There was timber lying about which could have been used if necessary. – Verdict, “Accidental death.””


John Weightman 

Died 4 May 1860

Aged 48 years, of Shilbottle.
 Buried St James’, Shilbottle, 8 May.
   At the 1851 census, John, born at Shilbottle, is a coal miner, living with his wife, Mary, and 6 children, in Shilbottle.

Newcastle Courant, 11 May 1860
   “On Saturday, the 5th inst., an inquest was held before Mr Hardy, at the house of Mrs Muers, innkeeper, Shilbottle, on the body of John Wightman, aged 47 years, pitman. From the evidence, it appeared that deceased had for several years been suffering from asthma and inflammation of the lungs, and for the last few months had been unable to attend to work. He had for some time been particularly low-spirited, labouring under a desponding dread of poverty, and on Friday evening was much afflicted. He retired to bed early, but it appeared that after the other members of the family had gone to sleep, deceased had risen and left the house, and gone to a limestone quarry, near the cottage, where there was a deep pond, and thrown himself in, as he was found there next morning, floating on the surface, but quite dead. There was a small incision, as if inflicted by a sharp instrument, on the left side of his neck, but the instrument was not found, and there was no other mark of violence on his person. Verdict – “Temporary insanity.””


John Wilkinson 

 Died 1 February 1951

Stoneman, aged 28 years, of 2 Percy Road, Shilbottle.



Henry Wilson  

Died 5 June 1937 (accident 25 January 1926)

An invalid, aged 52 years, of 2 Monkhouse Terrace, Alnwick.
Buried Alnwick Cemetery, 8 June.
Morpeth Herald, 11 June 1937
    “An inquest at Alnwick Courthouse yesterday (Thursday) was into the death of a man who had been badly injured in a colliery accident over 11 years ago, since when he had suffered permanent paralysis.
The subject of the inquest was Henry Wilson (52), 2, Monkhouse Terrace, Alnwick, formerly a stoneman employed at Shilbottle Colliery.
Coroner Hugh J. Percy told the jury he felt inclined to apologise to them for having troubled them in a case of that sort, but unfortunately it was one in which the law allowed a coroner no option. “No discretion is permitted to a coroner – as there is in most cases of sudden death – where death is the result of an accident in a colliery. That law is very wise, inasmuch as it is generally supposed to cover cases where an inquiry into the facts of an accident is necessary.”
“In this case, this poor man was injured in an accident as far back as January 25, 1926, and has remained a cripple as a result of serious injuries which he then sustained as a result of a fall of stone.”
“You will see that it would be quite unnecessary and futile to investigate the facts of an accident which occurred so long ago, and in practice no accident which has occurred more than a year ago is ever now investigated by a coroner’s jury. At the time, the facts would be fully examined by the Inspector of Mines, whose report would be made, and anything which might at that time come to light to explain the accident, or make safer similar workings in future, would be fully investigated.”
Thomas McLain, 2 South View, Shilbottle Grange, master shifter at Shilbottle Colliery said that at 9.30 on the morning of January 25, 1926, he received a report of a fall of stone having occurred. He proceeded to the place and found that a stone 7ft. by 2ft. by 1ft. had fallen from the roof of the seam, and partly on Henry Wilson. Wilson was treated at Alnwick Infirmary for some time. Witness had seen him from time to time, and he had been totally crippled as a result of the accident.
Dr R. A. Blaiklock gave evidence that he had attended Wilson for about six months. He had had the history of the accident in 1926, from which Wilson suffered permanent paralysis of the limbs. As a result of that, various bodily ailments resulted, all of which were the result of the injuries sustained. Wilson died on June 5 from septic infections, the direct consequence of the injuries which followed the accident.
Mr C. S Anderson, manager of Shilbottle Colliery, on behalf of the employers, said he was satisfied with this report.
The coroner recorded a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.”


John Wilson  

 Died 17 May 1940 (accident 14 May 1940)

Deputy, aged 52 years, of 15 Hawthorn Terrace, Shilbottle.
 Buried St James’, Shilbottle, 20 May.
   Cause of death, shock resulting from burns.

Aberdeen Journal, 15 May 1940
   “Seven men were removed to hospital following a slight ignition of gas at the Co-operative Society Colliery at Shilbottle, Northumberland, yesterday.
Two of them, John Wilson, deputy, and K (sic) Alder, coal filler, were badly burned while the others were treated for shock and minor injuries.
Four of them were able to return home after treatment.
No material damage was done and work was continued at the colliery.”
See entry for William Alder.

Hull Daily Mail, 18 May 1940
   “John Wilson, aged 52, died in Alnwick Infirmary, Northumberland, yesterday from burns received in the Co-operative Wholesale Society’s colliery at Shilbottle on Tuesday.”

Morpeth Herald, 24 May 1940
    “Two of the miners who were seriously injured in the gas ignition at the C. W. S. Colliery at Shilbottle, last Tuesday, have since died at Alnwick Infirmary.
John Wilson, a deputy, Shilbottle, died on Friday morning……..
The inquests on both men were formally opened at Alnwick on Saturday, and after evidence of identification had been taken they were adjourned.
The funeral of Mr John Wilson, one of the victims, took place at Shilbottle on Monday, when there was a very large attendance of mourners, including colliery officials, many workmen, Freemason, and representatives of all the institutions of the village.
The vicar, the Rev. H. G. Cutter, conducted the service and the interment at the churchyard. Mr C. S. Anderson (manager), and Mr J. G. Charlton (under manager), of Shilbottle Colliery, and Mr T. Dobson, under manager at Hampeth Colliery, represented the officials of the Co-operative Wholesale Society, and Mr C. H. Brockbanks (chairman) represented Shilbottle Deputies’ Association.”


John Wrigglesworth  

 Died 2 April 1881 (accident 1 April 1881)

Stoneman, aged 40 years, of Bilton Banks, Lesbury.
 Buried St James’, Shilbottle, 4 April “killed in Shilbottle Pit.”
   At the 1871 census, John, born at Shilbottle, is an agricultural labourer, living with his parents, Joseph, an innkeeper, and Isabella, in Shilbottle. He married in 1876, leaving a widow but no children.
Alnwick Mercury, 9 April 1881
   “On Monday forenoon last, an inquest was held at the Colliery Office, Shilbottle, before Mr Geo. E. Watson, Coroner for North Northumberland, on the body of John Wrigglesworth, touching whose death the following evidence was adduced:
-Jas. Stewart said: I reside at Shilbottle, and am a stoneman. I knew the deceased, who was a stoneman at the colliery; he was 40 years of age. On Friday night, the deceased and I were working down the pit. We were redding the shot away, between nine and ten at night. The deceased was redding under a stone, when it fell upon him. I got assistance and got him out. The stone was about 10 cwt. He was taken out of the pit to his own home, and he died early on the following morning. We both went down the pit at 5 o’clock that night. Thos. Robson put in a shot about 7 o’clock, which was fired about that time. It is Robson’s duty, after the shot is fired, to see that the place was safe to go into. He told us on this occasion that it was safe. The deceased examined the stone before he went in below, and said “he did not think it was that bad.” He “jowled” the stones.
-James Gray said: I reside at Shilbottle South East Farm, and am a miner. I went down the pit on Friday night last. Between 9 and 10 at night I saw the deceased underneath the stone, and saw it fall upon him. No-one was working at the stone at the time it fell. I saw the deceased “jowl” the stone before he went in. I heard him say he thought there was no danger from it.
-Thomas Robson said: I reside at Shilbottle Colliery, and am a miner. I have charge over the stone work. I was down the pit on Friday last. It is my duty to fire the stone shot. I fired one on Friday night at No. 11 where the deceased was working. I fired the shot about 7 o’clock. After the shot was fired, I examined the place, and I considered it perfectly safe. I did not consider it necessary to put in props. I reported to the deceased that the place was safe. Verdict, “Accidentally killed.””


Robert Henry York

 Died January 1973

Coal filler, aged 40 years, of 2 York Road, Alnwick.



Frederick William Young 

 Died 19 July 1968

Aged 50 years, of 42 Newburgh Street, Amble.
Buried West Cemetery, Amble, 23 July. (Grave Plot 146 L)
  Deputy, formerly employed at Hauxley, killed by a fall of stone on his way in bye.


Matthew Young 

 Died 4 November 1876

Aged 17 years, of Shilbottle.
Buried St James’, Shilbottle, 8 November.
   At the 1871 census, Matthew, born at Stannington, is the youngest of 3 sons, living with their widowed mother, Ann, in Shilbottle.
Morpeth Herald, 11 November 1876
    “An inquest was held on Tuesday at the Black Swan Inn, Shilbottle, before Mr George E. Watson, coroner for North Northumberland, on the body of Matthew Young, aged 17, a pitman. He was last seen alive on Saturday night by John Laing, fireman, who met him at Alnwick about seven o’clock. They went to the Beehive Inn, and were afterwards “knocking about” together. They left Alnwick to go home to Shilbottle about half-past ten or eleven. Deceased was not drunk, but was under the influence of drink; he was not at all low in his spirits, but was quite merry. They went as far as Jemmy Wilson’s house end, where deceased stopped, and they parted. Deceased was missing on Sunday morning, and on search being made his body was found on Monday afternoon in a disused coal pit, not far from the place where he was last seen alive. The pit is protected by a stone wall, and the top covered with 3-inch planks. There are two doors leading to the pit, which are kept open for the purpose of ventilation. The jury’s verdict was that deceased was “Found dead in a disused coal pit; but how he got there, there is not sufficient evidence before the jury to show.””