ALBION. Hindley Green, Lancashire. 28th. August, 1848.

The colliery was the property of Messrs. Wood and Company. Soon after six in the morning, the men went down to work with lighted candles although lamps were provided. The gas fired at half-past six and a terrific explosion took place, driving coals up the shaft and shaking all the surrounding buildings. The headgear was undamaged and several men immediately volunteered to search for the men below. They were speedily let down the shaft and twelve persons were found in the pit but fortunately, the whole of the workforce had not arrived at the pit.

Four were found dead and dreadfully mutilated, the fifth, a boy named John Houghton was found alive but his thighs were broken and his body penetrated by a pick handle. This was taken out by Mr. Bridecake, surgeon of Leigh but he did not survive more than half an hour and other medical men arrived at the colliery to render what assistance they could.

Those who died were:

  • John Ashcroft aged 49 years of Hindley Green who left a wife and six children.
  • Richard Goulding aged 21 years who left a wife and child.
  • William Hampson aged 13 years, drawer.
  • John Broughton aged 13 years, drawer.

Those seriously injured were:

  • Bryan Tickle aged 25 years with a wife and two children.
  • Joseph Gregory aged 35, very severely bruised.
  • Martin Wild left a wife and three children.
  • Thomas Topping.
  • A man named Tatton.

The inquests on the first four were held by Mr Heyes of Prescot and on Houghton, before Mr Rutter of Manchester or his deputy as he died in the township of Leigh.


Annals of Coal Mining. Galloway. Vol.2, p.84.
Mining Journal. Vol. xviii, p.419.
The Third Report 1853. p.178.
Manchester Guardian.

Information supplied by Ian Winstanley and the Coal Mining History Resource Centre.

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