Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1920 & 29

Robert Hanrahan (1906 - 1925)

Robert Hanrahan, of Rockley Street, Pendleton, was a 19-year-old Miner, who was killed in the Pendleton Colliery Disaster of 1925.


Pendleton Colliery was situated on Whit Lane. From the 1820s coal was mined from the Three Foot and Worsley Four Foot seams. After the sinking of deeper shafts in 1836 the mine had problems with water and was sold to Andrew Knowles and Sons in 1852. The new owner sunk deeper to the Rams mine at a depth of 1,545 feet. This seam had a 1 in 3 gradient and eventually went down to 3,600 feet, making it the deepest working mine in the country. Pendleton Colliery closed in 1939.


On 4th November 1925, a severe "crump" (floor upheaval caused by exploding methane gas) ripped through a section of the Rams seam. Five men were killed outright (including Robert Hanrahan) and another man died ten days later from his injuries.


The Inquest revealed that this seam was subject to small "crumps", but the miners regarded these as one of the hazards of a dangerous job. One of the witnesses at the Inquest, William Buckley, said that he had heard a loud report and a big red flash and was thrown about 10 yards. On further questioning he said that he had felt minor "crumps" before and one had disarranged railway lines. He had told other men who took no notice.


George Hassall said that he heard a terrific bang which had knocked him over. Asked about gas, he said that he hadn't seen any. However, he was aware of "crumps" and said that there were three in a week and one came through the floor and had lifted a wagon. John Gore said that a bang occurred and buried him in soft dirt. All the lamps went out. "Crumps" were pretty frequent, but not as bad as this one.


The Coroner's Officer, Sergeant W. Noddle reported to the Inquest that he had seen the bodies of the five victims. He said that Robert Hanranan had injuries to his head and wrist and his body was covered in bruises. The verdict was Accidental Death caused by a "crump".


Robert's funeral took place at Weaste Cemetery on 9th November 1925, where he was buried in a common grave in the Church of England portion. The principal mourners were his mother, brother Lawrence, sister Elizabeth and sister and brother-in-law Mr and Mrs Potts.