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Horse Follower

Pedrocut

Master Barmy
There is the case of a lad who was killed in an 1889 underground Colliery explosion, and his occupation is given as horse follower.
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmy
I can only see one other mention of a horse follower in the press. It is in 1872 and again an underground worker had been killed by a “clumper” that had fallen on his head. It looks as if there may be a chap called a jockey who was at the lead of a number of horses, and the follower made sure that the horses safely passed through the mine.
 

badpenny

Deleted Upon Request
The term does not appear in my bible of Durham mining terms, but may of course be a local term...
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
In mines there were doors to separate parts of a mine as a precaution to the spread of gas and thus limit risk of explosions. Possibly the follower's job was to make sure the doors were closed after passage of the horses
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Presumably in mines the small animals that were once employed were followed by a person and maybe shovelled droppings.
There is also the person following a horse which was hauling a narrowboat.
There were ploughmen who followed their horses but I do not think that would apply here.
 

badpenny

Deleted Upon Request
It was usually a childs job to man the doors, but unfortunately because of extreme tiredness in many cases
the doors were inadvertently left open and accidents happened.

Child labour was cheap but it was a very responsible job and folly to leave in the hands of a youngster....
 

mbenne

master brummie
Doesn't appear in Janes Dictionary of Old Occupations either.

The most unusual, and the only one of its kind appeared in Birmingham 1891 census Folio 113 Page 25 - and this is as it appears (Huminex ancestors project refers)

177,63 St Mary St,Arthur Young,Lodger,S,22,,Zyboyrapter & Leleneatr,Employed,Birmingham Warwickshire,,"Occupation classified Screw". Was this an actual entry or just the transcriber having some fun?
 
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Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
what a tragic accident pedro and so many under 21 lost their lives...no doubt that mining back then was so very dangerous...i have a 14 year old ancestor who was killed instantly when he was crushed between 2 wagons

lyn
 

Lady Penelope

master brummie
Thanks to everyone - a real 'mine' of information this site!
Lyn, that's dreadful - I just can't imagine how his family felt. Catherine Cookson wrote about a very small boy who was employed to keep the air circulating in the mine shaft. He had to sit in the dark and pull on a rope to waft the air for long days at a time, in the book he was paid something like a penny a day (from memory). Gives me cold shivers just thinking about all the little ones who had to do this and other awful jobs.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
i know pen very sad...acutally i have 3 newspaper articles about the accident and john woods age ranges from 12 to 15 think i checked the records and decided he was nearly 14..

dated 1885

john wood 1885 2.jpg john wood 1885 3.jpg john wood 1885.jpg
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Very sad indeed, but all too common in the days of mining. A few years go I did some research into monuments. One disaster in 1838 at Moorend Colliey, Silkstone, Barnsley struck a chord with me.


26 children, both boys and girls with an average age of 12 were all drowned following a thunder storm that flooded the pit workings.
 
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