DOUGLAS BANK. Wigan, Lancashire. 6th. April, 1888.

Douglas Bank Colliery was the property of the Rose Bridge and Douglas Bank Collieries Company, Limited. The accident occurred during the sinking of the shaft. The sinkers descended in the hoppet, which by some means, started to sway and struck the side of the pit. It turned over and three men were sent down the shaft. It then fell to the bottom of the shaft and killed two men who were working there.

Those who died were:

  • Thomas Morris aged 45 years, contractor,
  • Edward Gwatkin aged 36 years, sinker,
  • Patrick Kief aged 36 years, sinker,
  • William Baines aged 52 years, sinker,
  • Barnard Haigh aged 36 years, sinker.

At the inquiry, Mr. Hall, the Inspector stated:

Last Saturday I made an examination of the colliery. I heard of the accident almost as soon as it happened and I went to the pit. I made an examination and called again on Monday. I examined the winding engine and the rope and found them perfectly satisfactory. We went down the pit and were run up and down two or three times, quickly and slowly to see how much clearance there was for the hoppet and I found it generally four feet clear of the walling. The tank was something like two feet six inches and the top of the pipe a little more. I found the hoppet ran very steadily, indeed more steadily than ever I remember one down a sinking pit before. I did not find any marks on the tank. The dust had accumulated on it. We examined the top of the pipe and the dust had accumulated there. I came to the conclusion that the hoppet did not strike the pipe or tank. I saw the signal wire was broken and I came to the conclusion that through some means which it is impossible to explain when these men were going down in the hoppet, it began to sway, the hooks got entangled in the signal wire and the accident was caused this way. I do not say that it was so, but I may add that I was satisfied as to the sides and the machinery.


Mines Inspectors Report, 1888. Mr. Hall.

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

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