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W. & D. Downey
Hartley Colliery after the accident
[New Hartley Pit Disaster, Northumberland, England]
1862, 30 January
Private collection of Billy Embleton
On Thursday 16 January 1862 204 miners were trapped in the Hartley Colliery in Norhumberland, England, with no means of escape.
Hartley Colliery disaster, Wikipedia (Accessed: 26 August 2018)
There is also a copy in the Royal Collection, UK (RCIN 2935024).
Curatorial description (accessed: 28 August 2018)
Photograph of Hartley Colliery Disaster, 30 January 1862. Two chimney towers stand on right with main Engine House standing in the centre. The machinery over the main shaft stands to the side of the Engine House. Men stand by with a covered carriage in the foreground. The tragic events at Hartley Colliery began on 16 January 1862 when part of the pumping mechanism fell into the pit shaft, trapping over two hundred miners, and ended over a week later with the recovery of their bodies. The imagination of the public was captured by this disaster, and for the Queen, who had become a widow herself on 14 December 1861, the agony suffered by the wives and families of the trapped miners must have seemed particularly heart-rending. She followed events with great concern and was quick to subscribe to the relief fund set up to provide support for the dead men's families. W. & D. Downey had taken four photographs at the mine, and these were sent to the Queen with explanatory details.