Report - Oaks Colliery - South Yorkshire - June 2014

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Will Knot

28DL Regular User
Regular User
May 29, 2013
Preston, Lancs
The Explore........

After a slow start to the day, decided to visit family in Sheffield late afternoon and take the opportunity to visit the afore mentioned site.

It's recently been re-opened by the 'metal fairies' as was plain to see, so had to be swift it callin' to see the Colliery.

A solo explore round the place until I was joined by another explorer making his way to the building, Wakey Lad, nice to meet you mate :thumb

A Bit of History.........

Oaks Colliery, which was one of the largest coal mines working the Barnsley area in South Yorkshire Coalfield, mined a seam that was notorious for firedamp. Almost 20 years before, on 5 March 1847, The Oaks colliery suffered its first disaster when a blast killed 73 men and boys. As mine management was aware of firedamp, there were strict rules about the use of safety lamps. A ventilation system was also used to carry any gas that emerged from the seam out of the mine. However the coal in this seam was known to contain methane making it a very dangerous working environment.

On Wednesday 12 December 1866, 340 men and boys were working the day shift. With less than an hour of the shift remaining, a huge explosion ripped through the workings. The force of the blast blew the cage up No. 1 shaft into the headgear, breaking the coupling. The cage was recovered and replaced to enable a party of "pit deputies" (foreman) to descend the pit to see the devastation. At the bottom of the shaft, they found a number of badly burned men who were sent up to the surface. The dead were taken to their homes and the survivors were given medical attention. By midnight, the exhausted rescuers withdrew to continue their work the next day.

The next morning, 27 rescuers went down the pit with Mr Minto, the underviewer, and mining engineer Parkin Jeffcock to inspect the conditions under which they were working. But as Jeffcock finished inspecting the upcast shaft, another huge explosion occurred killing all the rescuers. The blast was powerful enough to rush up all three shafts at the colliery. A third explosion took place a few hours later, again affecting all three shafts.

In total the explosions killed 361 miners and 27 rescuers. Among the many dead were the pit ponies and their boy handlers, who hauled wagon loads of coal from the workings to the mine shaft. They had all been killed in the first explosion.

A thorough investigation into the disaster could not conclusively ascertain what had caused the explosion or what was the source of the first ignition. But some survivors mentioned an exceptionally violent blast just before the main explosion. This may have been caused by the driving of a drift near the main seam, meaning the digging of a new workings may have ignited pockets of firedamp. An initial blast may have caused a chain reaction triggering the firedamp and coal dust explosion that devastated the rest of the pit.

Although the cause was never properly discovered, a further 17 explosions would be recorded in the Oak Colliery's history until it closed in the 1960s.

On with the pics.......:)
















I hope you enjoyed the report......I Will Knot :D
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Likes: Paulxsplore

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