Tag Archives: miners

1911 census occupations

Just a short blog this time, thank goodness you might say!

Have you ever been a little annoyed that you can’t read what the occupation of someone in the 1911 census was.  It is either unreadable, has been struck through or written  over, but what you can see clearly are the 3 numbers written in red, or some other colour  by the enumerator.
1911 extract

This seems to be a good example of the numbers coming in quite handy.  The salt hawker, simple enough but the occupation of the lodger.  At first glance, the occupation looks like music as there is an ‘dot’ over what looks like an i, but the wording in brackets, monthly, why would someone involved with music be monthly.

A look down the list for 437 and it gives a totally different meaning to the occupation.  The reference of 437 is listed as ‘sick nurses, invalid attendants and other’. The wording looks more like music than nurse, but the enumerator must have been right!!

To view the census codes click here you may find them some help when using the 1911 census as a research tool.

1911 census code sheet

1911 census code sheet

Rhubarb Festival – Wakefield

This years Rhubarb Festival will be a 3-day event, running from from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th February.  This year is going to be bigger and better than ever with a market in the Cathedral precinct, cookery demonstrations, walks and tours.

Wakefield was traditionally the centre of rhubarb growing with the Rhubarb Triangle covering the Wakefield, East Ardsley, Rothwell, Carlton and Morley areas.  For over 150 years the fruit has been growing here, as conditions were ideal. There was plenty of local fuel – coal, and a large number of market gardeners.

A large amount of rhubarb was grown in ‘forcing sheds’, they bring an early crop and some can still be seen locally.  It is said that in the sheds, lit only by candles you can hear the rhubarb growing and as candles are moved to keep the rhubarb straight the light green tops turn to face the light – this could be the noise heard by the growers as the leaves are still uncurling. themselves

Years ago rhubarb was sent to Leeds on overnight trains full of rhubarb for the London markets.  Along with Champagne, Parma Ham, Yorkshire Rhubarb has protected status and joins British foods such as the Melton Mowbray pork pie, Stilton cheese, Arbroath Smokies and Jersey Royal potatoes to name just a few.

p.s. keep the event quiet as I want to be able to get a parking space!!

Wakefield – history and heritage here

Facebook page

For information and tours visit here E Oldroyd & Sons

Brothers, sons and dads – The Hester Disaster in 1862

A short time ago I was sent a link to a song written by a friend about a Chateau in France where we meet most years and dedicated to my husband, Ben.

This reminded me of a cd we had been given in late November 2010 and one of the tracks I found very moving, as from our house you are very close to  the mining shaft which was used in the rescue mission  of the Lofthouse Mining Disaster – one of my friends was in the team sent in just after to access the damage.  I also remembered a lady with whom I worked many years ago, her son was a miner in the Lofthouse Colliery, lucky for him he was not at work that day.  In  Woodkirk Churchyard, only a few miles away, there is a memorial to  some brothers who were killed in a mining accident in Morley.

Hartley pit calamity from Illustrated London News

The Hester

The Hester

Anyway, The Hester Disaster of 1862 – It was a normal day, the same as many others.  The men went to their work, the women went about their tasks and the children did what children at that time did, but this day would end very different from any other day in this, the small community of New Hartley.

That day, the 16 January 1862,  the fore-shift was just coming to an end there was  over 200 men and children  down the Hester, whose only entry and exit was via a single shaft.  During the process of lowering the new shift and bringing the old shift up to daylight an engine been snapped and fell into the one and only shaft, totally blocking the men’s exit with debris.

At this news, you can only imagine how the families of the trapped miners felt on hearing the news of the tragedy.  And it would be a very long 6 days before the rescuers, lead by Mr William Coulson,  managed to dig down with the hope of rescuing some of the men and boys.  How they must have felt when they were met with 204 people who were family, friends and fellow workers, who would never know the sensation of seeing daylight again after working in the dark for so long.

One of the men down ‘The Hester’ that day was George Hindmarsh, a man in his early 30’s, married with 4 young children.  In the 1861 census George and his family were living in Colliery Row, Bedlington where he probably worked down the local pit.  By the New Year of 1862 George and his family were in New Hartley and on 16 January 1862 was George’s 1st day at work and his last.  George along with the other brothers, sons and dads was laid to rest later that month.

Listen to John Leslie’s moving composition Brothers, Sons and Dads performed by Sawdust Jacks

Other sites about ‘The Hester’  you may find interesting

Names of miners who lost their lives with names of relatives

Names and mine information can be found here

Illustrated London News transcripts for the disaster

The Hartley Pit Disaster article in Tree Magazine 1993

Luss War Memorial

The village of Luss is known to many of us as it was featured in the 1980’s TV Soap ‘Take the High Road’.

Luss 2010 by K M Sklinar

Luss, in early records was known as Clachan Dubh, the dark village due to its mountain setting.  Many of the village cottages were originally built to house workers in the cotton mill and slate quarries of the 18th and 19th centuries.  The homes have now been fully restored and Luss is  now a designated Conservation Village.

I am pleased to say that Luss is now by-passed by the A82 making the village a very nice place on the banks of Loch Lomond.

The War Memorial on School Road is set upon three tiers of stone with a simple cross bearing a sword, surrounded by a low dry stone wall.

Some of the names set in stone are :- Ludvic Colquhoun ; James Colquhoun ; Archibald McBeth and Robert T Hamilton to name just a few.

To see Luss War Memorial click here

Pope and Pearsons, Altofts

Did your family come from Altofts in the West Riding of Yorkshire?

Well, if they did, there is a good chance that they could have attended Pope & Pearsons, West Riding Colliery School.

A few years ago, I was offered the transcriptions done by Eve Kubiak for my website, Wakefield Family History Sharing – well, would you have said NO !  Didn’t think you would.

Eve spent many hours in the local archives taking the names down in longhand and then adding them to a computer programme – when you visit the pages you will see what a task that was for one person.  The entries start in 1875 and continue up to 1914.  The earlier entries are two or three years to a section when in 1893 they are in  individual years.

The information includes for each entry :- ID no. ; Date of admission or re-admission ; Surname followed by Christian name ; Date of birth ; Fathers of Mothers Name ; Address, From where and finally but not always having an entry is the Date of Leaving.  In later years there is a Remarks section with some of the entries being very informative.

For example in the 1877 – 79 section we have Mary Em Shepherd entering on 10 Dec 1877.  She was born on 29 Jan 1870, the daughter of Joseph of 1 Pit Row and was from the infant school.

Or, we have Beatrice Goldsburg born on 25 Jul 1889 who entered school from the Hunslet Board School.  She was the daughter of William of Railway Houses and she enter school on 2 May 1898.  The remarks say that she left on 10 Oct 1902 as she was Wanted at Home ! Her younger brother and sister left school in 1909 and 1906.

The same year, 1898, we have George Buxton, born 18 June 1889. the son of William of 9 Co-operative Terrace who came from the infants school, left on 1 Nov 1900 to go to The Grammar School.

The year of 1902 sees Sarah Thompson born 31 Oct 1891, the daughter of Sarah of 69 Pope Street.  She was admitted to school on 1 July 1902 – she was re-admitted as she had been in Knottingly but on 23 Dec 1904 she was taken out of school due to illness on Doctor’s Orders.

In 1904 the children of William Shaw of the Canal Boat Eardsly of Leeds were attending school, previously been attending Green Lane Pro (?) School.  The family entered on 13 March 1906 and left of 26 March 1906 as they returned to the Knottingley Canal.

If your family are from the area, you will surely find these lists fascinating, especially as you will know the names of families from your research – they could be neighbours, employers or relatives.  On the other hand, with no family connections to Altofts, I am sure you will still find the entries just as interesting.

The school entries for Pope & Pearson, West Riding School can be found here.