OLD CASTLE. Llanelli, Carmarthenshire. 3rd. July, 1862.
The colliery was the property of Messrs. Simms, Williams, Neville and Company. The collieries were the most extensive in Carmarthenshire and at the time and produced over 200,000 tons of coal a year. No expense had been spared for the safety of the mine and improved machinery had been introduced a short time before the incident.
On the morning of the 3rd. July there was a sudden inundation of water from old workings that surrounded the pit and had been abandoned for a large number of years. There were 60 to 70 men in the pit at the time and all those from the upper workings escaped through the second shallow shaft that had been sunk a short time before, to be used as an emergency escape shaft, except six. Water from the Brea Colliery broke into the Bussy seam killing four men, and two more were drowned in the Golden Vein some 19 fathoms higher.
The shaft was 90 fathoms deep and the water reached 60 fathoms. Large pumps were brought in a pumping continued at the colliery for several weeks before the bodies were recovered
The victims were listed as Benjamin Harry and five others aged between 24 and 39 years:
- David Christopher
- Benjamin Harry
- David Harry
- Walter Hoskins
- David Thomas
- William Thomas
Mr. Evans, the Inspector, examined the colliery several months after the accident and found that there were boreholes on each side of the face but an old top hole had so weakened the barrier that it could not hold back the water.
The Mines Inspectors Report 1862. Mr. Evans.
The Colliery Guardian, 12th July 1862. p.38. 19th July, p.55.
The Morning Post, Monday, July 7th, 1862, p.3
Information supplied by Ian Winstanley and the Coal Mining History Resource Centre.Return to previous page