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Pelsall Hall Colliery Disaster
150th Anniversary Memorial Service
St Michael and All Angel's Churchyard
Monday 14th November 2022


Mr Andrew Weller - Chairman of Pelsall History Centre


Revd Michael Claridge Ecumenical Minister

Pelsall Hall Colliery Disaster 
Thursday 14th November 1872

Pelsall Hall Colliery disaster, which occurred on Thursday 14th November 1872 was considered to be the worst mining disaster in the history of the South Staffordshire Coalfield.
That day around 30 miners were at work when disaster struck.
One of the miners, Michael Cash tapped into old and unknown workings which released thousands of gallons of water and poisonous gases.
As soon as the men saw the torrent of water coming through, they shouted for help and those who could get out did.
Steam sirens were sounded to alert families who stopped what they were doing and rushed straight to the pit.
A roll call was made which established that there were 22 miners in the pit.
As news travelled fast people travelled for miles to get into Pelsall to see what was going on.  Extra trains were put on to accommodate.  
Sister Dora arrived to comfort wives and families. The Bishop of Lichfield, The Rt Revd G A Selwyn arrived too.  On his arrival the Bishop of Lichfield emptied his pockets into the collection boxes then went on to hold a sermon and say prayers on the pit bank.
It was five days before rescuers were able to enter the pit due to water and choke damp which remained in the pit.
Eventually, 21 miners were found in three different parts of the mine, but one miner a 13 year old American Samoan known as Stephen Lawton remained missing and was never found.
Those bodies found were laid out in the long room behind The Station Inn.
20 miners were interred into the purpose built vault in St Michael and All Angel's Churchyard.  John Hubbard was buried with his sister in Aldridge.
The inquest which was held at the Station Inn concluded that the disaster was a tragic accident.
45 children lost a father and 15 wives lost their husband.
A fund was set up immediately by the industrialist and owner of Pelsall Coal and Iron Company, Boaz Bloomer together with other industrialists and entrepreneurs.  The fund went on to pay affected families the equivalent of £1 per week until the widow remarried or moved away from the village. 



Courtesy of Mr Andrew Weller - Chairman of Pelsall History Centre


Pelsall Hall Colliery Widows with Rt Revd G.A.Selwyn, Bishop of Lichfield receiving Bibles

Clara Starkey & Her Bible

Courtesy of Mr Andrew Weller - Chairman of Pelsall History Centre


George Cassell


Charles Astbury

Courtesy of Mr Andrew Weller - Chairman of Pelsall History Centre


Ben Walker - Rescuer


Bible Given to one of the Rescuers

Courtesy of Mr Andrew Weller - Chairman of Pelsall History Centre

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