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"What the Papers Said"

"What the Papers Said"

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Publications & Research "What the Papers Said"

Shropshire, March 1858

Shropshire, March 1858


Colliery Guardian, 20th March 1858
Continued Depression in the Iron Trade — A Useless Search for Coal.
Serious Accident — Explosion of Fire-damp at Dark Lane Colliery.

I REGRET to say the depression in the iron trade still continues. A short time after the panic, an improvement was observable, and orders for castings and for bar-iron at some of the principal works were more numerous, but a reaction has since set in. No reduction in the price of coal, however, has taken place. I may also remark that little diminution has taken place in the general make of iron in this district, so that upon the whole we may be said to have been better off than many of our neighbours. Indeed, one or two of the firms that have contented themselves with making a superior article with cold blast, have commanded high prices, and have been driving a respectable and profitable trade.

THE RECKLESS, and, in this day unparalleled piece of folly which was alluded to in a former communication, of sinking for coal where not only experience but geological evidences forbid the supposition of its ever being found, is still persevered in. Deceived by the “clod” as the colliers term the upper Ludlow shale, practical men have given unwise advice, and insisted upon its analogy to the carboniferous measures.

ON TUESDAY LAST an accident of a serious nature occurred to a young man named Joseph Bailey, in one of the Randley stone pits. It appears that the young man at the time was standing with his back to the face of the work. A quantity of earth fell from the roof, burying him. No doubt was entertained of his death, but one of the chartermasters, Noah Rhodes, who was upon the bank at the time, went down, and, with others, succeeded in extricating him, after an hour’s hard labour. They had the gratification of finding that life was not extinct; air, it is supposed, by some means had access to the unfortunate fellow. He recovered sufficiently to walk home shortly after.

ON SATURDAY an explosion of fire-damp took place at the Lawn pits, belonging to B. Botfield, Esq., M.P. Two men, when about to leave the pit in the morning, after their night’s work, came in contact with a portion of carburetted hydrogen gas, which immediately fired, and one of them was so much injured that he died about two o’clock on Wednesday last.

Submitted by Steve Dewhirst

Note: The “Tuesday Last” would have been the 16th March. While the explosion 'On Saturday' would have occurred on 13th March, with the victim dying on Wednesday 17th March.

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