Posts Tagged ‘1850’

7.50 am 21st December 1910, there was an underground explosion at the Hulton Bank Colliery No 3, in Lancashire. Lancashire is the North West of England and the place I call home (see my Pendle Post for more intriguing tales!)

On the day of the explosion there were around 900 workers on the site of five coal seams. 345 of those workers went to pit shaft three to work, four of those survived, one died immediately and one the next day. The two survivors from that were Joseph Stavely and William Davenport. One man died in the Arley Mine at pit 4 and a rescuer died in pit 3. This meant there were 344 fatalities from the disaster.

Which also leads into the reason I picked this one, Platt Lane in Westhoughton, Lancashire. The road passes close to where the miners died. Reports have come in that says that there are eyes in the hedges, miners walking along the road and an eerie mist that comes down even on the sunniest of days. There are however reports before the disaster that stated the noises of running horses would pass alongside people.

A short film on this can be located here – Link

There are reports of other haunted Colliers too.

Just across in the County of Yorkshire the Barnsley area suffered nine deaths in the 1850’s. The reports of their sightings continued until the 20th Century as the mine continued to be in operation.

Also in Yorkshire, Maltby had a report that two lads walking around the local quarry found a half-naked man drinking from a bottle of cider. The figure disappeared into the shaft, and one of the witnesses later learnt that a former miner with a drinking problem had been found dead in the area, at the slurry pit.

Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, has a slightly different legend around its pits. A tin mine shaft was named Roaring Shaft as bangs and thuds were heard from it. Not placing the matter in the hands of ghosts the noises were given to be made by Kobolds or Bucca.

Castleton in Derby had another problem in their pits; Odin Mine was supposedly traversed by Shuck. This phantom black hound might well have come in to play as the hunting hounds linked to the name of the Mine’s Norse god, Odin. Shuck appears to like travelling as he has also been reported at Matlock Bath area in Derbyshire too.

Down the road we used to have Cotgrave Colliery in Nottingham, around 1987 there was a report of a man dressed in black wearing a helmet who walked through the wall. The miner/stranger was said to have no face. Unfortunately the Colliery no longer stands and I haven’t found any other notes about it. Correct me if you have!

Dead Drunk

“Spirits served here” was the message above the cemetery stations of the London Necropolis Company (LNC), the sign was to show the mourners that they could have alcoholic beverages. I’d suggest it was also a good bit of comedy for permanent residents of Brookwood.

Drunken behaviour was reported but not specific to the stations, on one occasion in the 1850’s a caretaker refused to allow two mourners to board as they were too intoxicated. On another a ticket collector found a group of passengers were so drunk they were dancing around their carriage on the return journey.

12th January 1867 a Necropolis train driver had a liquid lunch at the local whilst waiting and when he returned was clearly incapable of driving. The fireman took over until they reached Waterloo and the driver was handed his notice.

The company said that they would supply all future train crews with a ploughman’s and beer for lunch. I think that’s a lunch many of us could agree too.

Other London funeral Trains

There were rival trains that ran between King’s Cross and the Great Northern Cemetery at New Southgate, started in 1861 that carried on for at least six years. The service ran from Rufford Street, N1 which is not demolished. It had the advantage of being only a fifteen minute journey.

Just like the LNC the King’s Cross terminus had it’s own mortuary facilities. The funeral trains there ended some time between the years of 1867 – 1873. The station at the cemetery end was then demolished In 1904.

South Station Chapel

The station chapel has been carefully restored by St Edward Brotherhood, who are an orthodox order of monks. They worship at the chapel and maintain a shrine there containing the bones of St Edward the Martyr.