Mining a seam for history in Hemsworth

THE relatives of coal miners were digging deep to find out about their ancestors at an event run by the National Coal Mining Museum at Hemsworth Library.

Anisha Christison, a librarian with the museum, helped people answer questions about their mining relatives during a drop-in session at the library, on Market Street, last week.

Mrs Christison said: "Lots of people want to know about their family history.

"We have lots of resources like inspector reports, details about mining deaths in Great Britain and journals.

"We've been asked questions about employment records from the 19th century but we don't keep them.

"We've also been asked how some pits got their names and how people can start tracing their family members.

"The drop-in session has been very popular. We are really pleased."

She managed to help get people started in their search for their ancestors.

David Tipton, 74, of Springvale Rise, Hemsworth, visited the session in the hope of finding out about two relatives who had worked at Frickley Colliery, South Elmsall.

Mr Tipton said: "My brother, Albert Tipton, was in an incident where a cage got stuck halfway down the mine shaft.

"My brother-in-law, Arthur Woolford, was also in an accident where he injured both his legs. He was in hospital for six months. I wanted to see if there was any record of it."

And Christine Watkins, 56, of Westcroft Road, Hemsworth, attended in the hope of finding out more about her great-grandfather.

She said: "My grandma told the story about my great-granddad getting killed in South Kirkby pit in 1914.

"He was down the pit when a runaway tub hit him, so I was trying to find out if there was any record of it."

The National Coal Mining Museum Library, at Caphouse Colliery, New Road, Wakefield, has records of mining disasters, conditions, unions, welfare, training, technology, coal statistics and regeneration.

For more information, visit www.ncm.org.uk or call 01924 848806.

More information can also be found at Wakefield Learning and Local Studies Library, Balne Lane, Wakefield.

To find out more about the National Coal Mining Museum click here.