Old Hyde

Old Hyde
Pole Bank 1910 ----------------------------------------------------------Town Hall 1937 --------------------------------------------- Cenotaph 1990

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Hyde Colliery Explosion 1889

An explosion just after 9am on Friday 18th January 1889, at the Hyde Lane Coal pit, the shaft of which was situated between the canal bridge and Alfred street. The owners of the pit were Mr. J.W. Sidebotham, M.P. for the Hyde Division, and his brother, Mr. J. Nasmyth Sidebotham. The explosion took place at some distance from the shaft in what was known as the "Two Foot Level" The depth of the shaft was 270 yards, and from the bottom of the shaft there was a decline of 1,400 yards, very steep indeed, the inclination being 'one in two.' Then there was a level about 300 yards long leading almost under Haughton Green. The disaster was confined to this level, and of the men who were working in it 23 were killed and few escaped without injury. A rescue band was immediately organised, and by evening the mine had been cleared of all the victims, whose names were as follows


  1. Frederick Howles, 17. 1 Ann Street, off Manchester Road.
  2. Arthur Wildgoose, 15. 116 Hyde Lane Hyde. This lad probably met his death by having his head dashed against the wall.
  3. Thomas Davis, 46. 6 Norbury Street Hyde. Left a wife and six children. Davis was found with his shirt wrapped round his head, as if to avoid suffocation by fire damp whilst trying to escape.
  4. James Broadbent, 19. 6 Charles Street Hyde.
  5. Frank Ashton, 15. 10 Queen Street Hyde.
  6. Henry Slater 43. of Cheapside Hyde. Left a wife and large family.
  7. Henry Slater, son of above.
  8. George Harry Wild 19. 15 Syddall Street Hyde. His brother, John William Wild was among the injured.
  9. Emmanual Bailey 50. Formerly of Waterloo Ashton. Left a large family.
  10. Joseph Fish 24. 2 High Street Stockport Road Hyde
  11. William Haslam 20. 24 Read Street Hyde.
  12. James Hall 65. 7 Nelson Street Hyde. Several Children.
  13. James Bradley 20 of Haughton Green.
  14. William Cattrall — known as Cattrall Platt 63. Lived Read Street Hyde
  15. Thomas Shaw 35. Kingston Brow Hyde. Left a widow and 3 children
  16. John Bailey 57. Edna Street Hyde. Left Wife and 3 children.
  17. Samuel Watson 24. 18 Cotton Street Hyde
  18. Joseph Wilde 31. Married of Hyde.
  19. Joseph Gee 34. Married of 54 Fountain Street Godley.
  20. William Slate 36. Of Whites Court Water Street Hyde. Left a large family.
  21. Thomas Gee 27. 110 Manchester Road Hyde. Son of Wm. Gee. Was married.
  22. John Ridgeway 19. 4 Norbury Street Hyde.
  23. Peter Gee 27. Married with several children.


  1. John W Wild 21. 15 Syddall Street Hyde
  2. John Davis of Newton.
  3. Tom Brown of Kingston Brow.
  4. Etchells of Knott Fold Hyde — a boy
  5. William Gee High Street Stockport Road Hyde. This man lost a son and two nephews in the explosion.

Dr. G W Sidebotham and Dr. Griffiths, accompanied the rescue party, and both afterward gave graphic accounts of the scene below. Having walked three-quarters of a mile to where the first five bodies were found, they had to halt at a door which was closed until the fire damp could be got away through the ventilating galleries. In the words of Dr. Griffiths:

The air war terribly close owing to 50 men being seated there, the lack of ventilation and the remains of the after damp. When the door was opened, we went through and came to six or seven bodies, and the pathos of the sight was greatly increased when it became evident how strenuously several of the men had tried to escape before death came upon them. The body of one lad was in a bad state. He had been blown down with such force that there was a great fissure at the back of his head. Another of the dead had a cap before his face; he had most likely been trying to protect himself from the after damp. Others of the corpses had closed, clenched hands held before their faces.

On Saturday, January 19th, the Mayor Hyde, Alderman Peter Green. J.P. presided over a meeting of ratepayers in the Town Hall, and it was decided to open a Relief Fund. Public meetings were held in other towns for the same object. Mr. J.W. Sidebotham and Mr. Nasmyth Sidebotham gave £500, and other members of the family increased the amount to £850. Ultimately a sum of £6,907 8 shillings and 2 pence was raised.

A photograph of the blue plaque erected near the site can be found on Hyde DP.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

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