Leycett Collieries

Madeley Pit, formerly Fair Lady Pit – In operation from 1860 until 21st September 1957 when coal production ceased, dismantling continued until finally on July 25th 1958 the last pumps were withdrawn.

News articles from the Evening Sentinel, listed in brief. Colliery Deaths, Union Officials, Managers, Tonnage & Seams & Photographs

Bangup Pit – Awaiting Information.

Fair Lady Pit Explosion 1879

12th September 1879.

Four men and a lad were killed and three men were seriously injured.

Fair Lady Pit Explosion 1880

Wednesday 21st January 1880

The following article and the accompanying illustrations have been donated by

Terry Bostock
West Yorkshire

from The Illustrated London News
with the report of the Leycett colliery disaster of 1880. The issue of 31st Jan 1880

The Leycett Colliery Disaster - The Explosion


The explosion at the Leycett Colliery, near Newcastle-under-Lyne, Staffordshire, on Wednesday of last week, by which sixty or seventy lives were lost, is the subject of three of our illustrations. These represent the appearance of the actual moment of the explosion, viewed from a short distance above ground; the assemblage of an excited multitude at the pit’s mouth, when the terrible event had become known in the neighbourhood; and the distressed friends, wives, and children, or parents, brothers, and sisters, of the unfortunate men who were known to have been at work below, despondently awaiting the result of a continued search in the subterranean galleries and recesses. That part of the Leycett Colliery belonging to the Crewe Iron and Coal Company, in which this disaster took place, is the Fair Lady Pit owned about a twelvemonth ago; and its levels were driven through the seven foot Bambury seam of coal, which is very “fiery” or productive of carburetted hydrogen gas, called by the miners “fire-damp.” Its depth is 410 yards and the workings extended in one direction 300 yards, in another 200 yards, from the downcast shaft. There had been complaints of insufficient ventilation, and there was an explosion, by which eight men were killed on Sept. 12 last year. The late manager with the “fireman” in charge of the pit, had been summoned before the magistrate, but the case had been adjourned for a week. On the day of this recent greater calamity, seventy-seven men and boys went down to begin work in the morning; the fireman, William Burgess, was among them, and Mr. Greener, the actual manager, with his son, who was an “onlooker”, The explosion of gas occurred at half-past eight in the morning, with a great noise, which alarmed the inhabitants of the neighbourhood three miles round. A new ventilating fan had bee fitted up at the pit’s mouth since the explosion last September. The roof of this fan was blown off, but the machine itself was uninjured, and the ventilation below was so far maintained that persons could go down with safety; but the guide-rods for the descending carriage were broken and it was several hours before they could reach the bottom, using ladders for part of the way. Mr. Lawson, manager of another colliery, with seven men, was the first to descend, and about noon four men were brought up alive, one of them Burgess the fireman. Some others were brought up more or less hurt, but several of these have died. The dead bodies of Mr. Greener and his son were sent up in the afternoon, with nine others, and this sad work continued next day. The burial of sixty-two of the dead took place in Madeley churchyard on Sunday. An inquest has been opened, and a subscription to relieve the distressed families has also been commenced.

The Pit After the Explosion

I. Bailey S. Lamsdale
J. Beesley J. Lawton
J. Bergess R. Lear
G. Boulton W. Lear
J. Boulton A. Loundes
W. Burgess T. Madders
H. Cartledge T. Mayer
G. Clews J. Morris
H. Darlington G. Nixson
T. Darlington J. Nynerson
J. Davis W. Picking
T. Dean J. Salisbury
T. Edwards G.. Salmon
J. Evans J. Salmon
J. Eysley J. Scott
H. Fernihough A. Smallwood
G. Greener J. Testall
H. R. Greener G. Thorley
H. Grocott E. Thornton
T. Gross G. Tomkinson
J. Hall T. Turner
B. Harrison J. Turnock
J. Haywood E. Viggars
J. Highfield F. Viggars
P. Hutchinson J. Viggars
W. Huxley H. Walker
J. James J. Webb
R. Jenkinson J. Whaling
F. Jervis J. T. Williams
I. Johnson W. Winkle
L. Knapper W. Yardley

Fair Lady Pit Explosion 1883

An explosion occurred at the Fair Lady Pit pit owned by the Madeley Coal and Iron Co at at Leycett, on Sunday the 21st October 1883. This caused the death of six men and the injury of three others.

Madeley and Leycett Collieries, by Allan C. Baker. (Issue 161 of the Industrial Railway Record). Published [1999 or 2000] by The Industrial Railway Society.

Copies available from R.V.Mulligan, Owls Barn, The Chestnuts, Aylesbeare, Exeter, Devon. EX5 2BY.

Points out the importance of the Madeley Branch Railway as one of the first private industrial railways in 1839. Many illustrations of locos, detailed maps, references to Leycett generally and to the blast furnaces at Madeley Heath 1841-54. Includes some interesting photographs of the landsale yard (wharf) in Wharf Terrace before the sidings were removed in the late 1950’s.


Men Leaving Shift - Madeley Colliery

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