St. Hilda’s Colliery
The 1839 explosion
The picture shows all that presently remains of the St. Hilda’s Colliery in South Shields where an explosion of methane gas caused the deaths of 51 men and boys in 1839. In total 118 were killed at this colliery during it’s working life, you can read further details – here
They were amongst the high prices paid during the industrial revolution of the British Isles.
A dreadful explosion took place at the St. Hilda pit, the property of Messrs. John and Robt. Wm. Brandling, at South Shields. The first intimation of this sad event was given between eight and nine o’clock on the morning, by a rush of smoke mixed with small coals from the down-cast shaft, which was observed by the banksmen. Soon after this, men and boys, to the number of 100, were brought to the mouth of the pit; but all they were capable of explaining was, that there was an explosion in the west working of the mine. Several of these were nearly exhausted from the effects of “choke damp,” but in a short time many of them rallied, and, attended by some other men who had not been in the pit at the time of the explosion, courageously went down again to make what exertions they could to rescue their unfortunate fellow-workmen and relatives, who were in the immediate scene of danger and death. Melancholy to relate, not a solitary being was found alive !
Taken from Local Historian’s Table Book of Remarkable Occurrences Connected with the Counties of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Northumberland and Durham by M.A. Richardson. Published in five volumes in 1844. Extract available on this web page.
Two layers in Photoshop, black and white over the original colour, I used the eraser tool to reveal the poppies.
Camera details: Pentax K100D, 30mm lens, 1/125 second, f4, iso 200