Washington County Durham


Memories of Fatfield Pit Disaster  (1708)

A Poem by Arthur Ridley



The Eighteenth of August, Seventeen-O-Eight,
Please don't ever forget this date.
Sixty-nine souls were robbed of their lives,
Young children as well as husbands and wives.
We have records that tell of the force of the blast,
Names must have been listed, but as time has passed,
Alas not a single name can be found,
Of the sixty-nine souls, lost underground.
This day will forever be frozen in time,
Because of those people who died in the mine.
The gas has been purged, they got the 'all clear',
With their lives they paid, a cost very dear.
Let's pray for Joseph Noname, for James and Jack as well,
Who died that August morning in a pitch black gassy hell.
We'll call the women Agnes, Margaret and Clair,
But none of those youngsters should have been down there.
So close the coalhouse door lads, they say there's blood inside.
John Hedworth's pit blew up that day and all of Fatfield cried.
Then Maggie closed the Durham Pits, the industry has died.
Yes, close the coalhouse door lads, you know there's blood inside.

A Poem by Arthur Ridley