Tyne and Wear HER(4013): Coxlodge Colliery, Regent Pit - Details
Coxlodge Colliery, Regent Pit
Coal Mining Site
Opened before 1821, closed 1894. Coxlodge Colliery had three pits Bower Pit, Jubilee or North Pit and Regent or Engine Pit. Owners of the colliery in the 1850s were Messrs Bell and Brandling and Co (Matthew Liddell was viewer), then Joshua Bower, then Burradon and Coxlodge Colliers, and lastly NG Lambert & Co. An explosion on 9 July 1821 killed one man. In September 1863 2 men were killed and 3 scorched when firedamp came through a blowhole into old workings and was ignited by a surveyor's candle. On 7 October 1863 6 men were badly burnt when a deputy was testing for gas with a candle. Several days later one of the injured men, William Collins, died and an inquest had to be held. The inquest was held before Coroner Stephen Reed at the Duke of Wellington Public House. The inquest resulted in a drawn out argument between the coroner and WP Roberts, the 'Pitmen's Attorney-General' (who had represented the 95 deceased miners and their families at Haswell Colliery at an inquest into an explosion there on 28 September 1844). On 14 October 1844 there was an ignition of gas. An explosion on 6 March 1863 killed 20 people and 6 more died later from horrific burns and delayed effects of monoxide poisoning. The inquest was held before Coroner Stephen Reed at the Brandling Arms at Bulman Village. By then the colliery was owned by Joshua Bower of Leeds, who also owned Burradon where 76 men had died 3 years previously. The Regency Shaft was the downcast, Jubilee Shaft was the upcast. An old pit at Fawdon also provided air. The explosion occurred at Leonard's Cross-cut, when an unexpected rush of gas was ignited by candles. A putter boy named Simpson was the first of the injured to be be brough up. He had burns. A driver lad, William Kendrick was also badly burnt and had broken legs because the tubs had ran over him as he lay unconscious. He soon died. One pony, Hamlet, was alive, but the other 7 ponies were dead. 24 men were missing. Of these, 9 were rescued via the Jubilee Shaft, but the other 15 died. 76 year old HM Inspector Matthias Dunn remained down the pit until all bodies had been recovered. This was Stephen Reed's last inquest at the age of 79. He said 'I am against the use of candles at all'. He recommended a ban of the use of candles and smoking underground. The jury gave a verdict of 'accident' with no blame attached to the owners, but they recommended that naked lights should not be used.
<< HER 4013 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey map, 1864, 6 inch scale, Northumberland, 88; Durham Mining Museum www.dmm.org.uk; TH Hair, 1884, Views of the Colleries in The Counties of Northumberland and Durham; Roy Thompson, 2004, Thunder Underground - Northumberland Mine Disasters 1815-65, pp 83-88 and 103-105; St. James' Heritage & Environment Group and the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, 2012, Waiting at the Pit Head - Coal Mining Disasters on Tyneside (leaflet)