I meant to post this on Friday 4 July as it was the 170th anniversary of this disaster which proved instrumental in changing the laws around the employment of children. On the 4th July 1828, 26 boys and girls aged 7 to 17 perished when a flash summer flood sent a torrent of water gushing down a drift which was used for ventilation in Moorend Colliery, known locally as Huskar pit. The children who had all been working down the mine when the flood struck are all buried at the site of the monument in Silkstone Church. Among the names is Eli Hutchinson aged 9.
Silkstone is about 5 miles away from where I live and it was at this church where my ancestors were baptised, married and buried, prior to the building of St John The Baptist Church in Dodworth, in 1847.
When I first began my family tree I thought that Eli Hutchinson was not connected to me as, according to records I am a descendant of George Hutchinson, who was allegedly the son of George and Mary and baptised at Silkstone on 24 April 1791. Subsequent searches for the marriage of a George and Mary have failed to reveal any such couple. However, in the Parish records are several children born to a Henry and Mary Hutchinson , all of whom fit in age wise around my George. It would appear that an error was made on the records – if I accept this assumption then I can go further back in time , but would also have to go back to the archives, this time including Henry and Mary’s descendants , which I believe will include young Eli.
Regardless of whether he is kin or not, all of these 26 children have touched many lives.
People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad. ~Marcel Proust