7:00 a.m., 1st hour of shift, aged 32, Machineman, While assisting to remove a drilling machine to another place it got off the way, tilted over, and killed him, Buried: Skelton in Cleveland, All Saints on 11 Jun 1894
1894 Mines Inspectors Report (C 7667), Durham District (No. 4) by Thomas Bell, H.M. Inspector of Mines, Page: 21
Number 5 on the list of accidents occurring at the Cleveland Ironstone Mines, occurred at Skelton Park Mines, on the 9th of June about seven o’clock a.m., causing the death of John Chambers, a drilling-machineman.
Deceased had charge of a drilling-machine, and it was his duty to see it moved from place to place. It was mounted on a tram, which ran on four wheels, fitted to the gauge of the tramway; on this tram there was a pillar, round which were two beams, with drilling-engines at one end, and balance weights at the other.
The machine was being moved to a place, and on coming on to a turn it got off the way; it was got on again and a horse attached to it. It got round the turn all right, and past the first straight rail, when it fell bodily over to one side, crushing deceased between it and the side of the place. The first straight rail on the right-hand side was canted, but whether this was caused by the horse getting his foot against it when pulling, or it had been canted over by the machine in falling, it is impossible to say.
It appears to me to be more than probable that when the beams of the machine after coming round the turn swung into the middle of the way, the momentum thus gained had carried the machine and canted the rail over.
The length of the beams was 15 feet, and the pillar on which they revolved was 7 feet high, and the weight of the whole machine was 2 tons 15 cwts.
It will readily be seen it was very top heavy; it was of an antiquated type, and I made representations to the management, and a promise was made that lower pillars would be adopted, and one of the beams done away with, and this has since been done; the pillars have been reduced 3 feet, and the weight by one ton, and I am therefore hopeful that a fatality of this kind will not happen again.
Parish records image by kind permission of Teesside Archives.