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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.
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
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.
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
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.