Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Newbottle Colliery

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1815 The following is extracted from Sykes' Local Record, under date 31st July 1815, and shows that considerable reason existed for popular prejudice against the extended use of the "travelling engine: "A shocking accident happened at New-bottle Colliery, owing to the boiler of the locomotive engine bursting, from being too strongly charged. It was the first trial of the machine, which was intended to draw twenty waggons, a number of people had assembled around it to witness its setting off. The brakesman was dashed to pieces, and another man cut in two, by the fragments of the boiler, and a little boy thrown to a great distance and killed. About fifty others (of whom some died) were most severely scalded and wounded. [1]

1815 'Last week, another melancholy accident happened at Nesham and Co.’s colliery, at Newbottle, in the county of Durham. The proprietors had provided a most powerful locomotive steam engine, for the purpose of drawing ten or twelve coal waggons to the saith [staith] at one time, and Monday being the day it was to be put in motion, a great number of people belonging to the colliery had collected to see it ; but unfortunately, just as it was going off, the boiler of the machine, being heated too highly, burst. The engineman was dashed to pieces, and his mangled remains thrown above 100 yards; a little boy was also thrown to a great distance by the force the steam, and upwards of 50 men, women, and children, were dreadfully scalded, five of whom are since dead, and several remain with little hope of recovery. It will be recollected, that at the fatal blast which recently took place at this colliery, the first who arrived at the bank, holding by a rope, was a little boy, about six or seven years of age. This poor little fellow was among those scalded, and died on Tuesday morning.' [2]

1815 December. An offer published to sell Newbottle or Nesham's Main Colliery belonging to John D. Nesham and mentions an iron railway. [3]

For more information about the Newbottle mines and waggon ways, see 'The Newbottle Waggon Rail Way Map'[4]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Famous Engineers of the Nineteenth Century by J. F. Layson. Published 1884 by Walter Scott
  2. Gloucester Journal, Monday 14 August 1815
  3. The Times, Friday, Dec 08, 1815
  4. [1] 'The Newbottle Waggon Rail Way Map' Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums