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Arrival of the Rescue Parties

Thursday 5th March 2.30 p.m

The two rescue parties from Yorkshire arrived at Hamstead in the afternoon of Thursday, the day following the accident, at about 2.30 p.m.

One group was from the Altofts station, Normanton, Yorkshire, bringing Weg breathing apparatus and consisted of James Whittingham, John Welsby, James Cranswick, and James Hopwood. The Weg apparatus was charged by the Altofts own force pump with oxygen to 120 atmospheres. The Altofts station was the home of the first mines rescue school set up in 1901.

The mine rescuers
Rescuers from Altofts, Normanton, Yorkshire

The other group was from the Tankersley station and they brought Draeger breathing apparatus. This group consisted of John Henry Thorne, Walter Clifford, John Taylor, Joseph Ortram, and Arthur James Winborne. The Tankersley had forgotten their pump in the hurry to get to the scene so their cylinders had to be sent into Birmingham to be recharged by the British Oxygen Company. One problem was caused by the foreign fittings meant that a maximum pressure of 90 atmospheres could be achieved limiting the time they could spend down the mine.

Draeger breathing apparatus
The Draeger Breathing Appartus

The rescue parties were under the guidance of Mr. W, E. Garforth, the Chairman of Messrs. Pope and Pearson's Collieries, Yorkshire. Mr Garforth displayed the greatest zeal and energy in organising the rescue operations, as well as assisting the management with his valuable advice.
The Tankersley Brigade Rescuers
The Tankersley Brigade Rescuers

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