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Senghenydd Explosion - 14 Oct 1913

Gareth 14 Oct 03 - 07:05 PM
Helen 15 Oct 03 - 01:46 AM
sian, west wales 15 Oct 03 - 04:50 AM
Dave Bryant 15 Oct 03 - 10:09 AM
Gareth 15 Oct 03 - 04:47 PM
sian, west wales 15 Oct 03 - 05:22 PM
okthen 15 Oct 03 - 05:24 PM
Gareth 15 Oct 03 - 07:27 PM
GUEST,Guest 15 Oct 03 - 07:33 PM
Dave Bryant 16 Oct 03 - 04:27 AM
open mike 16 Oct 03 - 04:59 PM
Gareth 16 Oct 03 - 05:23 PM
Gareth 16 Oct 03 - 08:15 PM
GUEST,Chris Skelding 26 Jun 08 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,Cats 27 Jun 08 - 09:02 AM
GUEST,Mariner 27 Jun 08 - 12:48 PM
SINSULL 27 Jun 08 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,HughM 27 Jun 08 - 05:35 PM
GUEST,helenbridgetbarlow 26 Sep 09 - 04:08 AM
BillE 26 Sep 09 - 03:38 PM
BillE 26 Sep 09 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,Ian F 02 Oct 09 - 09:04 AM
GUEST,Alan Prosser 01 Apr 10 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,Taff 01 Feb 11 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,Noel Griffiths 19 Mar 12 - 12:40 PM
GUEST,Carys Pritchard 11 Nov 12 - 02:30 PM
GUEST,Square The Circle 12 Nov 12 - 07:55 AM
2581 11 Jun 13 - 09:42 PM
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Subject: BS: Senghenydd Explosion 90 years ago toda.
From: Gareth
Date: 14 Oct 03 - 07:05 PM

October 14th 1913. 439 men and boys were lost at a colliery explosion in Senghenydd, Nr Caerphilly. Brittain and Ireland's worst loss of life underground.

Now Councillor Reg Phillips, who represents Senghenydd, is also the volunteer curator of the small museam at Senghenydd.

He would appreciate any folk music commemorations of this explosion.

Any contributions - Any comments ??

I've done a rewrite of 'High Blantyre' but it does not really serve.

Facts.

The Universal Colliery was Welsh owned.

Virtually every safety rule on dust damping and counter presure ventalation was broken.

The manager was fined £24 ie 1/1-1/2d a life (=6p or 10 cents) in modern money

The pit closed finally in 1928 - And with that Senghenydd died as a town.

The memorial to the 1913 explosion, and the 1901 explosion (82 dead) was errected in 1991

There was not a house in Senghnydd that was not in mourning by the explosion.

Keir Hardy moved a motion of sympathy in Parliament - It was ruled out of order.

Enough matterial ?

If not PM me or E-Mail gcw72@hotmail.com

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: Senghenydd Explosion 90 years ago toda.
From: Helen
Date: 15 Oct 03 - 01:46 AM

My Grandmother's father Ernest Tidball and brother George(?) worked in the Senghenydd mine, and for some unexplained reason they did not go to work that day, so they survived. The family moved to Somerset not long after that when my Grandma was about 12.

Helen, in Oz


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Subject: RE: BS: Senghenydd Explosion 90 years ago toda.
From: sian, west wales
Date: 15 Oct 03 - 04:50 AM

I thought there were some ballads or songs about this. Gareth, contact Geoff Cripps who is now the Arts Officer for Rhondda Cynon Taf; he'll know, or know someone who does.

Very sad history, still very much remembered.

sian


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Subject: RE: BS: Senghenydd Explosion 90 years ago toda.
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 15 Oct 03 - 10:09 AM

Was this the explosion and fire where they "capped" the pithead and the cap blew off killing yet another man ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Senghenydd Explosion 90 years ago toda.
From: Gareth
Date: 15 Oct 03 - 04:47 PM

No Dave, the force of the explosion was such that the cage was blown up the shaft, killing the bankman on the surface.

14 souls are still down there, the bodies were never recovered.

Sian, Reg Phillips asked around, but I'll try RCT, the Rhondda Heritage Museam has a goodly collection on Ty Newydd, and Pontypridd on the Albion.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: Senghenydd Explosion 90 years ago toda.
From: sian, west wales
Date: 15 Oct 03 - 05:22 PM

I suggested Geoff as he was once a member of the group, The Chartists. I would think he'd know - perhaps the Chartists even had a song themselves.

sian


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Subject: RE: BS: Senghenydd Explosion 90 years ago toda.
From: okthen
Date: 15 Oct 03 - 05:24 PM

Here's one if I find anymore I'll post them


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Subject: ADD: The Senghenydd Explosion (M.Brooks)
From: Gareth
Date: 15 Oct 03 - 07:27 PM

OKTHEN - A superb find, Thank you. I will pass it on to Reg.

I must confide both Reg and I were looking for something contemperous, but that song will more than serve. Acurate, poignant and simple.

Coronation St., and High St are still there

I dare say it may well become part of the repetoir of the Aber Valley Male Voice Choir.

BTW - Here is a photo of the Memorial. It was errected over the "Cap" on the Lancaster shaft of the Universal Pit. Coranation St., can be seen on the hill in the background.

I trust 'Catters will forgive me for this "cut and paste" of the words, but I think this might well be worthy of inclusion in the DT, and the site holding it may not survive.

The Senghenydd Explosion (M.Brooks)
A true story, of course, about the biggest loss of life in any mining disaster in Britain.

On the fourteenth day of October
In the year 1913
At the Lancaster pit Senghenydd
Hundreds worked the black seam
Harry Wedlock was starting his first day at work
A young lad just fourteen years old
He heard a sound from under the ground
And the blood in his body ran cold

A mighty explosion deep in the mine
Spat the pit-cage out into the air
Young Harry started to cry
Confused, frightened and scared
One of the miners stopped him from crying
Told him to be brave and be strong
He said be tonight it'll all be alright
He couldn't have been more wrong

CHORUS
    Say four hundred and thirty nine prayers for the dead
    Or there won't be enough to go round
    For fathers and brothers and husbands and sons
    Claimed by the cold dark ground

A terrible fire swept through the mine
Spreading fear and panick and death
If fire underground doesn't burn you
It may still steal your last breath
The desperate one the families and friends
Prayed their husbands and sons and dads weren't amoung
The four hundred and thirty nine dead

CHORUS

Forty five died from Commercial Street
From High Street thirty five
Mrs Benjamin Preist lost her husband
She's had two sons, nethier survived
Mrs Twinings' three were amoung the young men
Killed that day at the black seam
Sixty all told less than twenty years old
Eight of them only fourteen

(c) 2001 Mike Brooks

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: Senghenydd Explosion 90 years ago toda.
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 15 Oct 03 - 07:33 PM

why is this in BS?
    I moved the thread and removed the BS tag. All ya gotta do is ask.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Senghenydd Explosion 90 years ago toda.
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 16 Oct 03 - 04:27 AM

Gareth, I think you'll find that they capped the Lancaster shaft to starve the fire of air and that the cap wasn't strong enough and was blown off, killing the man who was keeping watch over it. They then had to construct a much stronger one. It definitely happened in one pit disaster and I thought that Senghenydd was the one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Senghenydd Explosion 90 years ago toda.
From: open mike
Date: 16 Oct 03 - 04:59 PM

thanks for posting the song--
much easier to read in black
and white than red and black!

and the ad link below is for
"Construction site accident
lawyers" for Boiler accidents

and to "Buy Welsh music"

yes should go in the music threads..


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Subject: RE: BS: Senghenydd Explosion 90 years ago toda.
From: Gareth
Date: 16 Oct 03 - 05:23 PM

Dave - No, all contmporary accounts refer to the 1913 Explosion as sending the cage up the Lancaster, killing the Banksman, the few survivors were evacuated up the York shaft. A rescue party was lowered down the Lancaster in baskets. They had to cut through the debrise and into the workings wearing an early form of Breathing Apparatus.

The horror of the esplosion was magnified by the ripple effect. Dust had not been cleaned from or dampened down in the roadway. The blast wave from the original explosion at the Lamp shelter raised coal dust, and the explosion proagated down the dustin the air. That was one of the charges the manager was convicted of.

Regulations then stated that the ventalation should be reversable. The owners had not made any arrangements of traps and cross drifts to enable the ventalation to be reversed, and the old air was still being drawn up the York shaft. Fresh air was being drawn down the Lancaster. Through the fire, and the smoke and gasses were then drawn into the workings, choking and "cooking" those trapped in the workings.

At one stage I believe the York was capped to avoid the through flow of air.

I'll have to drive across the hill to Senghenydd and check with the museam records, for reasons reported below this will not be possible for a day or so.

Tradgically Silvia, Reg's wife suffered a stroke and died on the night of the 14/15th. She had been confined to a wheel chair for some months previously. I have only just been informed.

I am sure all Mudcatters will wish me to express thier sympathy to Reg Phillips, and his fammilly.

Silvia is to be intered at Penrheol Cemetary, where so many of the victims of the to explosions rest.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Senghenydd Explosion 90 years ago today
From: Gareth
Date: 16 Oct 03 - 08:15 PM

BS ??? Ooops - force of habit !!! Sorry.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Senghenydd Explosion 90 years ago today
From: GUEST,Chris Skelding
Date: 26 Jun 08 - 06:26 PM

Friends, check this site. It is the official inquiry report into the disaster. It should answer some of the points raised in this thread

http://www.gtj.org.uk/en/item6/26511

Regards


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Subject: RE: Senghenydd Explosion 90 years ago today
From: GUEST,Cats
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 09:02 AM

Jon Heslop wrote the song Senghenydd 1913 which was the title track on the Voices From The Earth CD. He found the account of it in a newspaper in Cardiff when he was at the Welsh Office and was horrified at the graphic detail in which it was covered. He was also touched by the story of the miner who was rescued who thought he was drowning in water but it turned out to be blood of the other miners who had been crushed to death. The miner ended up as a street preacher in the east end of London. I'll find the words and post them here next week. Sorry I can't do it before but it's his 60th birthday this weekend and we have 'a bit of sing' happening!


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Subject: RE: Senghenydd Explosion 90 years ago today
From: GUEST,Mariner
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 12:48 PM

There is a reference to Senghenydd in the song "Maggie's Hitman" written by Colin Davies and recorded by Dave Burns on the excellent "Last Pit in the Rhondda "


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Subject: RE: Senghenydd Explosion 90 years ago today
From: SINSULL
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 01:01 PM

Found this on line:
http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=site:www.welshcoalmines.co.uk+Senghenydd+song&lf=0&rf=0&FORM=MSRE

The site is blocked - I am at my office. But there songs and poems on Senghenydd here.


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Subject: RE: Senghenydd Explosion 90 years ago today
From: GUEST,HughM
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 05:35 PM

One of the techniques in use today for preventing electrical equipment from causing explosions is known as "intrinsic safety". (Voltages and currents are limited to a low level so that any sparks which occur are too feeble to ignite the surrounding gas-and-air mixture.) One of the standard textbooks on the subject says that the technique has its origins in an inquiry into a mining disaster which occurred in South Wales in 1913, in which there was some uncertainty about whether the switching on and off of a signalling bell could have caused the explosion. Was this the Senghenydd disaster?
(On the site given above I could only see the front page of the report.)
My reason for asking is that intrinsic safety is involved in my job.


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Subject: RE: Senghenydd Explosion 90 years ago today
From: GUEST,helenbridgetbarlow
Date: 26 Sep 09 - 04:08 AM

gareth I am researching my family tree and according to a late elderly family member my 2xgreat uncle edward davies born abt 1865 at llanidloes montgomeryshire was killed in the senghenydd explosion of 1913 i have visited senghenydd and the southwales mining museum but he is not listed amongst the victims i was wondering if he was a victim of the earlier explosion and this has been confused in the family story i would be very grateful if you could help solve this mystery for me


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Subject: RE: Senghenydd Explosion 90 years ago today
From: BillE
Date: 26 Sep 09 - 03:38 PM

I have just visited Caerphilly this week, and found a leaflet in the Tourist Office telling the stories of the two disasters at Senghenydd. The first and lesser known happened on 24th May 1901. An explosion killed 81 of the 82 men underground at the time - fortunately it happened during the night shift so fewer men were involved. Sadly the lessons of this disaster were not learned and improvements were not made which aggravated the losses in 1913. After 1913 the Pit Manager was fined a meagre £24 - five and a half pence for each miner lost!

A sad tale of its time. I don't know where the records of those lost in 1901 would be kept.

Good hunting!

Bill (on holiday from York)


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Subject: RE: Senghenydd Explosion 90 years ago today
From: BillE
Date: 26 Sep 09 - 04:00 PM

I should have said that the leaflet had an email address: senghen.heritage@btconnect.com

Also the Coal Mining History REsource Centre hosts the Ian Winstanley database of Mining Deaths, at http://www.cmhrc.co.uk/site/home/

Bill


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Subject: RE: Senghenydd Explosion - 14 Oct 1913
From: GUEST,Ian F
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 09:04 AM

My Grandfather and Great Uncle were 2 of the few survivors that day - saved because they were late for work!

A list of the dead can also be found here:

www.welshcoalmines.co.uk/deathrolls/SenghenyddDead1913.htm


There is also a similar list for the 1901 disaster at:

www.welshcoalmines.co.uk/deathrolls/SenghenyddDead1901.htm

Ian


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Subject: RE: Senghenydd Explosion - 14 Oct 1913
From: GUEST,Alan Prosser
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 08:39 AM

The developement of Intrinsic Safety systems is said to be a result of the explosion at Senghenydd, where bell signals were initiated by the coalface miner touching his shovel across two bare wires running along the wall. We are now installing Intrinsic Safety systems at a massive chemical complex in China, belonging to a company from Barry Island!
Sadly 6000 coal miners a year lose thier lives in China, we are still trying to pass on the lessons learned at Senghenydd!


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Subject: RE: Senghenydd Explosion - 14 Oct 1913
From: GUEST,Taff
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 03:24 PM

They Capped the Gresford pit after the 1934 explosion, and that blew out killing a watchman. I have relatives still underground there.254 were never recovered.
There is a song, The Gresford Disaster


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Subject: RE: Senghenydd Explosion - 14 Oct 1913
From: GUEST,Noel Griffiths
Date: 19 Mar 12 - 12:40 PM

To
Helen bridget barlow
There was a Edward Davies killed 28/o3/1907 the universal Colliery Senghenydd which would have made him 42, but the report stated that he was 31.
I hope this can be of some use to you


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Subject: RE: Senghenydd Explosion - 14 Oct 1913
From: GUEST,Carys Pritchard
Date: 11 Nov 12 - 02:30 PM

How many survivors were there?? Im doing a school project on it so I need to know pretty soon!! thanks


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Subject: RE: Senghenydd Explosion - 14 Oct 1913
From: GUEST,Square The Circle
Date: 12 Nov 12 - 07:55 AM

Winford Jones has recently written and recorded a new song about this called the Universal, he and Laurence Eddie go out as Lauford and were members of the group The Chartists.

This was recently performed at Newport folk club

Try    http://thechartistsriseagain.com/

And www.Lauford.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Senghenydd Explosion - 14 Oct 1913
From: 2581
Date: 11 Jun 13 - 09:42 PM

The group Here Be Dragons perform a powerful version of Mike Brooks' "The Senghenydd Explosion" on their album "Celtic Bonding". Has anyone else recorded this song?


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