The Houghton Main Fatality

February 1907

Barnsley Chronicle February 16 1907

The Houghton Main Fatality

At the Old Crown Inn, Great Houghton yesterday, Mr P.P. Maitland, coroner, held an enquiry into the fatal accident which befell Matthew Halpine, miner, aged 50, residing at Vaughan Terrace, Great Houghton, who was buried by a fall of roof at the Houghton Main Colliery on Wednesday.

There was present at the enquiry Mr F Hall, M.P., on behalf of the Yorkshire Miners Association; Mrs J Mellors HM Inspector Mines; and Mr Lydall, manager of the company

Samuel Gelder, of Ardsley, a night Labourer, said about 3 o’clock on Wednesday morning he saw deceased packing, and everything appeared to be safe.

He returned about three quarters of an hour later and found that a fall of roof had taken place.

Charles Spencer, deputy in charge of the district, said he last visited the deceased’s working place at 12.30 (midnight). He examined the place and sounded the roof with a pick. It then sounded solid. Witness considered the place sufficient late timbered and safe. It was probably a bump that caused the fall. He considered that the accident was quite unforeseen, and not due to carelessness.

Mrs Halpine, deceased’s widow, said her husband had complained several weeks ago about the place he was working in being rather dangerous. He made no complaint against the pit, or about negligence. He did not complain that he could not get timber

Halpline’s body was not recovered until about four hours afterwards.

A verdict of “accidentally killed” was returned.