Huskar Pit Disaster Memorial...
In 1838 Huskar was connected to Moorend Colliery, and used for ventilation. It had a vertical shaft to the surface and a drift shaft (known as a "dayhole") leading to Nabs Wood. On 4 July 1838 heavy rainfall struck the area, disabling the winding engine on the vertical shaft. The workers stranded at the pit bottom were instructed to remain there until they were able to be brought up to the surface, but a number of children decided to try and escape via the dayhole to Nabs Wood. A nearby stream had burst its banks in the rain and a torrent of water entered the shaft, drowning 26 children aged 7 to 17. Some were able to escape via a passage that lead to Moorend and alert colliers on the surface.
The children's bodies were brought up from the pit and buried together in the churchyard of All Saint's Church, Silkstone. A memorial was erected bearing the names and ages of those who died, which today is the logo of the village's primary school. Nationwide, the disaster shocked public opinion, and the resulting inquiry led to the 1842 Mines Act which sought to introduce some protection for child miners and meant that all girls and boys under the age of ten were prohibited from working underground.
(c) Copyright Andy & Tyna Milner 2017 All Rights Reserved