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Warrenby Boiler Explosion

Apparently Warrenby Steel works (sadly no longer in existence) which was pre-Dorman Long, British Steel, Tata and SSI (for our older viewers) suffered a major boiler explosion in 1895; the photograph (which came as part of a double image) postcard of the event still bears the handwritten inscription we have retained. It must have been a big one! Judging by the damaged remains shown. We have since been told that much information is held on the Communigate website, which includes the headline: ”North Eastern Daily Gazette: Saturday 15th June 1895.  AWFUL EXPLOSION NEAR REDCAR . THIRTEEN BOILERS BLOWN TO PIECES. FRIGHTFUL WRECKAGE. TEN MEN KILLED AND MANY INJURED. MIRACULOUS ESCAPES. LARGE IRONWORKS DESTROYED . 200 MEN THROWN IDLE.” There is an expansive section on this disaster contained on the Communigate site

Jackie Wray inquired: “Hi can anyone let me know how to find out more about this. I think my great great grandfather died in this explosion and would love to find out more.”

John Knaggs has advised in response to Jackie Wray’s inquiry: ”I have just been researching this as William Rowbottom left the following entry in his ‘Diary of a Cleveland Miner’ he kept between 1873 and 1925 and I am currently indexing the transcript and adding other information from various sources.
I have a list of 9 young men who were sadly fatally injured, but other sources mention 10 or 11 and the same seriously injured. More could be gleaned from newspapers of the time possibly held in Redcar Reference Library or The National Newspaper Archive online.
This is the information I have to date on your Great Grand father: WRAY Robert born 1864 Coatham, Yorkshire; General Labourer, 6 Decoy Street, Warrenby,Yorkshire 1891; Pigeon Street 1895, wife Mary Ann (WILSON) born 1863 Driffield, YorKshire; Robert died aged 32; leaving 4 children, “encouraged by his wife to work another man’s shift as a Slagger to help the family finances”.”

Image courtesy of Geoff Patton and thanks to Peter Turvey and John Knaggs for the updates.

 

2 comments to Warrenby Boiler Explosion

  • Hi Jackie,
    I have just been researching this as William Rowbottom left the following entry in his ‘Diary of a Cleveland Miner’ he kept between 1873 and 1925 and I am currently indexing the transcript and adding other information from various sources.
    I have a list of 9 young men who were sadly fatally injured, but other sources mention 10 or 11 and the same seriously injured. More could be gleaned from newspapers of the time possibly held in Redcar Reference Library or The National Newspaper Archive online.
    This is the information I have to date on your Great Grand father: WRAY Robert born 1864 Coatham, Yorkshire; General Labourer, 6 Decoy Street, Warrenby,Yorkshire 1891; Pigeon Street 1895, wife Mary Ann (WILSON) born 1863 Driffield, YorKshire; Robert died aged 32; leaving 4 children, “encouraged by his wife to work another man’s shift as a Slagger to help the family finances”.
    Hope it is of interest
    John

  • Stephanie Green

    Newspaper archives in Middlesbrough central library are useful for research on this event. My great grandfather Alfred Drinkwater died due to this explosion but not till days later. Most of the men are buried in the rear graveyard at Coatham Church.

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