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Mines rescue gear and Howe Bridge certificate
Wikimedia Commons

Howe Bridge Mines Rescue Station, the first on the Lancashire CoalfieldThe Lancashire and Cheshire Coalfield in North West England was one of the most important British coalfields. Its coal seams were formed from the vegetation of tropical swampy forests in the Carboniferous period more than 300 million years ago., opened in 1908 in Lovers Lane Howe BridgeSuburb of Atherton in Greater Manchester, built as a model mining village in the 1870s by the Fletchers., Atherton, Lancashire, England. Before Britain’s first mines rescueSpecialised job of rescuing miners and others who have become trapped or injured in underground mines because of accidents, roof falls or floods and disasters such as explosions caused by firedamp. station opened at Tankersley in Yorkshire in 1902, pit managers and volunteers were the first untrained mines rescuers. They fought fires, rescued victims and recovered bodies after incidents and disasters in the collieries in which they worked. The provision of rescue stations was recommended by a Royal Commission in 1886, but they were not made compulsory until after the passing of the 1911 Coal Mines Act.[1]

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Howe Bridge Rescue Station
Wikimedia Commons

In 1906 a committee of the Lancashire and Cheshire Coal Owners Association decided to provide a mines rescue station in Atherton to attend accidents and disastersMining disasters in Lancashire in which five or more people were killed occurred most frequently in the 1850s, 1860s and 1870s. in their pits.[2] The first rescuers at Howe Bridge were provided with Siebe Gorman Proto breathing apparatus, which was selected by competition.[2] A team from the rescue station was tasked with training rescue teams from each colliery, and provided emergency assistance to collieries throughout the coalfield.

Teams from the rescue station attended disasters at the Maypole Colliery in Abram in 1908 and the Pretoria Pit Disaster in 1910.[3]

The station closed in 1934 when Boothstown Mines Rescue StationMines rescue station serving the collieries of the Lancashire and Cheshire Coal Owners on the Lancashire Coalfield, opened in 1933. , the central rescue station for the coalfield, became operative



Davies, Alan. Atherton Collieries. Amberley, 2009.
Healey Hero. The First Rescue Stations In The Country.

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