The Gresford Mining Disaster North Wales September 22, 1934

The Gresford Mining Disaster North Wales September 22, 1934

   The Gresford disaster occurred on September 22, 1934, at Gresford Colliery, Gresford, near Wrexham, in North East Wales, when an explosion killed 266 men and boys. Its cause was never proved but an inquiry found that failures in safety procedures and poor mine management were contributory factors. Gresford is one of Britain's worst coal mining disasters. Only eleven bodies were recovered, the rest were left entombed in the colliery's permanently sealed damaged districts.

The good people of Brighouse also did their bit help the families.   

   Messages of sympathy and donations came from all over Britain and from overseas. Over £566,546 was donated during an appeal aided by the press who kept Gresford in the public eye. A relief fund paid allowances to the dead miners' widows, children and dependents. 

I am sending you some comics which I wondered if you would distribute amongst some of the children who fathers and brothers were killed in the mine.                                                                                                                                               

 Rachel Booth, letter to the Gresford Colliery Disaster Relief Fund

 

   The Gresford miners who had survived were also in need. With the pit closed, they were all unemployed by the Monday morning. It would not be easy finding a job in economically depressed Wrexham.

   The nation's response to the disaster varied from the political to the personal. Workers, trade unions, businesses, church congregations, schools, community groups and individuals sent in money and gifts in kind. Many people gave what little they had. For many sympathy was tempered by anger at the reality of the miners' working lives. Anger was so strong that many people gave money directly to the miners' union as they feared otherwise it would never reach those in need.

   Anger was felt closer to home. The miners' families wanted answers and, most of all, they wanted the miners' bodies brought up from the Dennis section. They were to be disappointed twice over.

   The good people of Brighouse also did their bit help the families.

Gresford Disaster 22 9. 1934 Brighouse Donation 2.10.1934 0002

 Just one example of a single donation to the mayor's fund in Brighouse 

   At the Brighouse Borough Council's General Purposes Committee on November 19, 1934 the Town Clerk Mr Ernest Clegg, reported that the Mayor's Fund in aid of the Gresford Colliery Disaster had reached the sum of £320. 6s. 5d and submitted a letter, dated the 8th from the Joint Hon  Secretary (Wrexham) Colliery Disaster Relief Fund intimating that they were directed by the Lord Lieutenant and their committee to convey their heartfelt thanks and sincereappreciation of the steps taken to help the dependants and relatives of the men who lost their lives in the Gresford Colliery Disaster.       

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