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“Pitshaft death that shocked the Potteries” (1903)
The Sentinel, 18th January 2003


This year marks the centenary of the death of Thomas Holland in one of the most horrifying accidents in Potteries history.

He was swallowed up by an old pitshaft which opened up beneath his feet in St John Street, Hanley, as he walked to work one morning in 1903, Poor Thomas was never seen again and a funeral service was held around the gaping hole.

It was claimed the victim, a keen Salvationist, was singing the well known hymn "When the Roll is Called Up Yonder" at the very moment he disappeared down the shaft. Afterwards Hanley Town Council agreed to conduct an inquiry into disused pitshafts in the area, but the investigations made little progress because many had never been mapped"


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