In 1911 Nicholas Marr, aged 15, a pony driver at Andrew's House pit, was killed while riding on top of a set of wagons laden with coal going down Baker's Bank. His head hit Swan's Bridge and he fell onto the railway line. He normally travelled to work from his parent's home in Whitehall Road, Gateshead, by pushbike and had no authority to be riding on the trucks. The bank riders at this period were John Eltringham and Joe Harrison and they warned people not to ride on trucks but it went on just the same.
Another fatality occurred on May 7th 1909, when Mrs. Jane Courtley, aged 23, of the Teams, was killed by a coal wagon at the bottom of the bank near Watergate. She had ridden down on a set of wagons and was crushed as she got off. It was most unusual for a woman to risk life and limb in this way.
Explosion in Watergate Mine
On Thursday afternoon July 3rd 1947,an explosion of gas killed Henry Morgan, coal hewer, at the coal face in the North District, 3rd West, in the Stone Coal seam, about a mile from the shaft, 60 fathoms below ground. The under manager, Mr H.W. Storey, and some of the officials decided to go inbye at once to see if they could help, instead of waiting as was normal practise for the Fire and Rescue brigade. The outcome was that they got into difficulties and were overcome by gas.
The rescue teams from Elswick, Houghton and Crook duly arrived under superintendent F.Mills and rescued them but not before William Hopper, one of the fore-overmen collapsed and died.
Doctor Edward Smith, the colliery doctor, went below to give assistance while his brother doctor Wilkie stayed at the First Aid station on the bank. Seven men were sent to Newcastle Infirmary for treatment - deputy overmen R.Meek, G.Armstrong, R.Walters and S.G.Sinclair; Fore overman A.French, bargain man J.W.Thorpe; and H.Storey the under manager. They all recovered. Will Winter, stoneman and Bob Birkett, deputy were allowed home after treatment at the pit head.
Roof fall at Blaydon Burn Pit, December 1954
Swalwell resident, Patrick (Paddy) King, a Deputy at Blaydon Burn Pit and a Councillor for Whickham Urban District, was killed whilst trying to help another miner who had been killed by a roof fall. There was no compensation in those days but his widow did continue to get the regular coal allowance.