Princess Royal Colliery (General)

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Friday, August 30, 2013, 13:24 (2507 days ago) @ downunder

Hi again DownUnder,
my your family got around didnt it :-), but as you say the joys of the research.
As Slowhands has said it seems very little employee records for any of the area's collieries seem to have survived, enquiries such as yours sadly rarely if ever seem to produce results (this prior thread contains suggestions as to the best websites for gaining more general history of the Dean pits which you may find usefull).

Probably the best online history is from the superb Lightmoor site, I see the Preest name is prominent

Also this Princess Royal page from the excellent Durham Mining Museum website

I guess even in the big C20th pits the records maintained when operational weren't too detailed beyond name and addresses, this was all pre NHS, National Insurance was still in it's infancy, etc etc. When the collieries were closed it was very much a case of the scrapmen and bulldozers moving in, I recall reading about bonfires of such paperwork when Northern United (northwest Cinderdord) closed in the 60s, think this was the norm :-(
Any employee records that do survive usually refer to those who suffered accidents, or those in senior positions, plus maybe old photos of members of the Rescue teams etc. Any of the local welldocumented "old photos" websites are worth scouring for possible family, not yours I know but this photo carries names, for example

Re accidents, this excellent site has an extensive UK database.
Be warned the site's search engine, like many others, can be temperamental and often best results are obtained by inputting minimal info then browsing thro the forthcoming results eg "Princess" gives 81 results, but not all are the Dean pit. One of the Dean results is a LEWIS, altho not a rare Forest name of course but maybe one of yours ?

"Mining Accidents - LEWIS Charles
Name: LEWIS Charles
Age: 30
Date: 18/01/1865
Year: 1865
Occupation: Collier
Colliery: Princess Royal
Owner: Samuel Morgan
Town: Forest of Dean
County: Gloucester
Notes: A rope by which he was ascending the pit broke and he fell to the bottom and lost his life."

Looks like him from this site's PRs:
Record_ID: 52042
Entry_Number: 484
Year: 1865
Month: Jan
Day: 22
Surname: LEWIS
Forenames: Charles
Residence: Darkhole
Age_at_death: 30
Officiating_Minister: Cornelius Witherby Incumbent
Event: Burial
Register_Reference: P57 IN 1/17
Page_No: 61
Parish_Chapel: Bream
Soundex: L200


I wonder if any such general miner's Employee Records that do exist are held at the Heritage Museum, altho I suspect not or Slowhands would have said so ?.

PS nice to see your boys gave some good entertainment for the post-Ashes rounders social last night.... shame it wasn't in the Forest they could have a skittles beer-match too ;-)

atb Jeff

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