South Sketon Fatality – William Barker – 07 Jan 1895

11:30 a.m., 6th hour of shift, aged 44, Deputy, while preparing to set some timber a fall of roof took place, Buried: Skelton Cemetery

1895 Mines Inspectors Report (C 8074), Durham District (No. 4) by Thomas Bell, H.M. Inspector of Mines, Page: 9
No. 1 on the list occurred at South Skelton Ironstone Mines, on the 7th of January, at about 11.30 a.m., causing the death of William Barker, a deputy.

This accident was caused by a fall of stone while deceased was engaged cutting a baulk hole, with the intention of putting. in some timber to protect himself, as he knew the roof was insecure, owing to the presence of two slips running along each side of the stone which afterwards fell. A shot had been fired just before, and this, no doubt, had loosened the stone, and in using his pick to make the baulk hole he caused it to fall.

The overman at this mine, at the inquest said: “I was in the place about 10 minutes before the accident occurred, and warned deceased that the stone was very dangerous, and he said, he had sounded it, and it was solid; it was a horse back with slips at both sides. I told him to keep from under it, and to make it safe. He was about the most experienced and careful man we had in the pit.”

This, perhaps, is one of the accidents which could not be prevented, but it goes to show how very necessary it is to use the utmost care and caution where slips do, or are likely to occur, This unfortunate man lost his life while he was preparing to set timber for his protection.

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