Posted by: Graham | July 12, 2009

Tues Nov 8th 1910 John McDuff Injured and James Killed by Exploding Shot Busty Seam Burnhope

This is the first item in the book which relate directly to Burnhope. It is quite possible that James knew both John and James McDuff. It is also the first mention of the danger and human cost of coal mining in the early 20th century.

The two brothers were Stonemen, a job which involved excavating rock other than coal in the pit. They had set a shot (explosive) which had not gone off and seem to have tried to drill another hole for another shot, when the original went off, injuring one brother and killing the other.

They were discovered by a deputy, who found one of the brothers crawling injured out of the dark. When the deputy investigated he found James on top of the exploded shot together up with the drilling equipment. There was an inquest into the death and also a report by the Mining Inspectorate.

Such accidents and deaths were an all too common occurence at this time in mining.

Sources

Durham Mining Museum

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