Honour the past to inspire the future
FIVE MEN DIE, FOUR INJURED, IN PIT FIRE EXPLOSION
OFFICIAL, HURT HIMSELF, SAVED FAINTING MAN
One of the worst colliery disasters in the Tyldesley district took place on the afternoon of June 6th, 1939. Five men lost their lives in a series of explosions and a further four were injured. The fatalities included the pit manager who died while leading the firefighting operations. Rescue attempts were hindered by the build-up of toxic gasses below ground, but many men risked their lives to bring victims and the bodies up to the surface. Astley as one of the newer pits to have been sunk (in 1908), was employing 2,000 men at the time of what was the first multiple serious accident to happen.
Earlier this year the Trustees of the Red Rose Ltd, who run the Lancashire Mining Museum at Astley Green, commissioned a small art installation of five black roses, which is in our Garden of Remembrance.
As we are approaching the 80th anniversary of the Pit Disaster we would like to produce something more substantial to commemorate those lives lost and the acts of incredible bravery with a permanent memorial which would involve a black pedestal and a plaque with the names of the men who lost their lives.
J.H.Hewitt, Manager of the Pit, Allenby Street, Atherton.
G.Griffiths, Under-looker, of Coach Road, Astley.
J.Keegan, fireman, of Henry Street, Tyldesley.
Eli Smith, collier, of Tyldesley Road, Atherton.
William Warhurst, collier, of Second Avenue, Astley.
We would also like to give to the families of the men involved a memento relating to the disaster and hopefully their attendance at the remembrance service, on the anniversary of the disaster.
The Dean of Atherton, the Rev. Julian Hartley is to preside over the service.