Washington County Durham


Memories of the Glebe Pit

The Glebe Colliery Disaster  -  Thursday, 20th February 1908

Washington Glebe Colliery Explosion

(Thursday, 20th February 1908)

Commemorative Postcard No.1

Commemorative Postcard No.1:  Thirteen of the Fourteen Miners who died in the Glebe Colliery Disaster of 1908.

Alfred Wood does not appear on this commemorative postcard.  See Postcard No.2 on Tab 2 - The Miners.

( Please hover your cursor on the centre of a portrait to identify the miner and his cause of death. )

(by J. B. Atkinson MSc - H.M.Inspector of Mines)

1. "On Thursday the 20th February, 1908, about 9.30 p.m., an explosion occurred in the Washington Glebe Colliery, in the County of Durham, causing the death of 14 persons and injury to one person."

2. "The inquest was opened in the Wesleyan Hall near Washington Station by Mr. A. T. Shepherd, Deputy Coroner for the Chester Ward, on the 22nd February, when only evidence of identification from 14 witnesses was taken and it was adjourned to the 23rd March at the same place on which day it was concluded."


3. "That on the 20th day of February in the year aforesaid the said . . {names of 9 of the miners} . . employed as a . . {their jobs} . . within the Low Main seam, Glebe Pit, Washington Colliery, died from shock the result of an explosion of gas and coal dust which took place on the said 20th day of February and was accidentally caused by the firing of an overloaded shot in the said Low Main seam."

4. "With respect to . . {the other 5 miners} . . a similar verdict was returned except that the cause of death was given in these words 'died from poisoning by' carbon monoxide gas generated by an explosion of gas and coal dust."

One miner was seriously injured - James Yeardsley, aged 29. He suffered burns and shock.

( Anyone wishing to read the full report will find a copy at the Durham Mining Museum website:  http://www.dmm.org.uk/reports/4183-02.htm )

Commemorative Card

Commemorative Card

[ Thanks to Dr Stafford Linsley ]

The Cortège in Washington Station Road

The Cortege

Glen Terrace   • ◊ •   The Funeral Cortège moving up Washington Station Road   • ◊ •   Wear Terrace
The Gates of the Methodist Church can be seen bottom-left.

[ Note the Man with the Cap, far right, centre.  He and his companions are in the picture below. ]

The Cortege

A Few Moments Earlier
These pictures indicate that at least one Funeral Service was held in the Methodist Church on Station Road.

•   •   ◊   •   •

The Cortege

[ Exact location not yet identified. ]

•   •   ◊   •   •

The Mourners

Mourners walking up the bank where the future Emmerson Terrace will be built.
The rear of the Procession is passing Glebe (JFK) School.

Glebe School

Washington Glebe (JFK) School.
[ Compare the Apexes and Chimneys in this picture with those in the Procession picture above.  They match! ]

The Cortège in Washington Station Road

Glebe Colliery

Glebe Colliery

Commemorative Cards

Commemorative Card

[ Thanks to Dr Stafford Linsley ]

Commemorative Card

[ N.B. Durham Mining Museum lists: James Ambrose Madden. ]

Holy Trinity Cemetery, Washington Village

Headstone of Charles Chivers

Charles Chivers

Ken Reay says, "Charles Chivers was the father-in-law of my first cousin, once removed, Violet Reay.
Charles's widow, Isabel Mobray Webb later married James Edward Dwyer in 1912.  James fell at Ypres in 1917.
Two incredibly sad and tragic events in Isabel's life."

"This Graveside Photograph must have been taken shortly after Charles's burial.
The grave no longer exists in a recognisable form."

•   •   ◊   •   •

Headstone of Thomas Agar Errington

Thomas Agar Errington


[ Thanks to photographer Dr Ken Reay for contributing this 2017 photograph and the above family information. ]

Poem by K. Gregson

Please Note: This poem, as I found it, named the survivor as Michael Yeardsley.
Durham Mining Museum names him as James Yeardsley.