BLACKROD. Bolton, Lancashire. 6th. October, 1836.

The colliery was the property of Mr. Blundell and the pit was worked with lamps but naked lights were taken in as well. The fireman, Thomas Challender, made his inspection and let the men down.

James Garswood said that he was working with James Green when there was a gust of wind and he tried to make his way to the pit bottom but was greatly affected by the afterdamp. He came across the bodies of Thomas Challender and Alice Wilkinson as he made his way out of the pit.

Those who died were:

  • Thomas Challender, fireman aged 38 years.
  • Catherine Wilkinson aged 16 years.
  • John Marsden aged 17 years.
  • William Moor aged 38 years
  • Edward Bentham aged 56 years.
  • James Gore aged 72 years.
  • Margaret Anderton aged 16 years
  • Alice Anderton aged 10 years.
  • Thomas Moss aged 60 years
  • James Grayson aged 16 years.
  • Sarah Grayson aged 20 years.
  • Ellin Sherrington aged 18 years.

Official records say that eleven lives were lost in the explosion but from the local press reports of the inquests at Adlington, New Springs and The Cock Inn, Blackrod under three different Coroners, twelve victims the listed. At the inquest at the Side of the Cock Inn at Blackrod before William Smallwood, Coroner, a verdict of “Accidental Death” was returned.


Annals of Coal Mining. Galloway. Vol.2, p.73.
The Mining Journal.
The Wigan Gazette 14th. October 1836.

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

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