Washington County Durham


Memories of  Mining

Fatfield Colliery Disaster - 1708

Fatfield Colliery Disaster Memorial

( Dedication Ceremony:  18th August 2018 )

Blue Plaque
Blue Plaque Commemorating the Disaster at Fatfield Colliery

[ Photographer: Keith Cockerill, 19th August 2018 ]

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Group Photograph
Blue Plaque Commemorating the 69 People who died at Fatfield Colliery in 1708

[ Photographer: Tom Copeman, Member of Washington History Society, 18th August 2018 ]

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Group Photograph
Members of Washington Miners & Community Heritage Group.   The D.M.A. and Washington Glebe Banners.

Les Simpson (Chairman, left)   -   Alex Mason (centre)   -   Derek Sleightholme (right)

[ Photographer: Tom Copeman, 18th August 2018 ]

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Plaque on Substation Wall
Original Plaque - on nearby substation wall

[ Photo: J.G. 20th August 2018 ]

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Small Plaque at tree base


This White Willow (Salix Alba) was planted
in 1987 in memory of the 69 people who died
in the Fatfield Colliery Disaster
on 18th August 1708 which occurred
close to this spot.

Small Plaque - see next photograph

[ Photo: J.G. 20th August 2018 ]

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Blue Plaque Location
Blue Plaque Location:  The Junction of Biddick Lane with the Road to Fatfield Bridge.

[ Photo: J.G. 20th August 2018 ]

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The Eighteenth of August, Seventeen-O-Eight,
Please don't ever forget this date.
Sixty-nine souls were robbed of their lives,
Young children as well as husbands and wives.
We have records that tell of the force of the blast,
Names must have been listed, but as time has passed,
Alas not a single name can be found,
Of the sixty-nine souls, lost underground.
This day will forever be frozen in time,
Because of those people who died in the mine.
The gas has been purged, they got the 'all clear',
With their lives they paid, a cost very dear.
Let's pray for Joseph Noname, for James and Jack as well,
Who died that August morning in a pitch black gassy hell.
We'll call the women Agnes, Margaret and Clair,
But none of those youngsters should have been down there.
So close the coalhouse door lads, they say there's blood inside.
John Hedworth's pit blew up that day and all of Fatfield cried.
Then Maggie closed the Durham Pits, the industry has died.
Yes, close the coalhouse door lads, you know there's blood inside.

A Poem by Arthur Ridley

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1922 Press Cutting
Shocking Discovery at Fatfield Colliery

[ This News Item is the only one relating to our part of the UK. ]