From: Michael Gill, Main Street, Sutton in Craven, Keighley.
HAVING read Malcolm Barker’s piece (Yorkshire Post, December 17) on the explosions at Oaks Colliery with great interest, I thought that other readers might like to know that underlying the main disaster was another, perhaps even more poignant one.
Although it is hard to believe these days, in the 19th century, Ingleton in North Yorkshire was a coal mining town.
On October 21, 1866, however, the entire workforce at Wilson Wood Colliery in the town lost their jobs when the mine flooded.
This hit the area hard, and many families were forced to leave in search of work.
In a particularly savage twist of fate, a few Ingleton men found work at the Oaks in the weeks before the explosion.
Of these seven were killed instantly by the first explosion, while another, George Borrowdale, was among the 18 miners recovered, but he died a few days later from his burns.
Richard Remington was luckier – at first he was thought to have been killed, but it was later found that he hadn’t gone to work that day because of illness.
Few traces of coal mining now remain at Ingleton, but a memorial across the A65 from the site of the later New Ingleton Colliery commemorates the contribution made to the community by the coal mining industry for more than 300 years.