My story may be very old and very simple too,
yet, I know it to be truthful, and the truth is always new.
Oh yes, I know its simple, and very very plain,
but there’s nothing half so beautiful as the old made new again.
God’s goodness and his mercy are old, yet ever new,
his promises of grace and love, are faithful just and true.
And when I’ve told my story, I know you will agree,
that God has been kind and gentle, and merciful toward me.
About half past two in the afternoon
I was brought up to attend the Sabbath school,
and very kindly taught to put my trust in Jesus who had my pardon thought,
and at a very early age, I gave my heart to him.
But soon, oh soon, I fell into wickedness, and sin.
Unmindful of my youthful vows, to live and spread his truth,
till face to face with death I stood, in the hopeful bloom of youth.
It was in a pit explosion at a place called Trimdon Grange/
When upward of a hundred men, were hurried to their graves.
Twas on the 16th day of February 1882.
Where I received such mercy, as I shalt tell to you.
while my comrades around me sat.
We had just finished eating and were having a jovial chat,
when there was a sudden calm, and then a rush of air,
that put our lamps all in the dark to leave us in despair.
The cries were most heart rending of those who bent their knee,
and cried, oh God, be merciful, oh God, my God help me.
Two or three lay weeping while! the others tried to pray,
“oh take me to my mother”, was all the little ones could say.
We all with one accord got up, and stood in single file,
though it seemed a long way to the shaft, very nigh a mile,
When we took hold of each other, and got ready to march away.
I could draw that picture to my mind until this very day.
We hadn’t travelled very far, when’ we heard someone behind,
it was a collier with a light, wind oh, he was so kind.
As he came running to us, to take us by the hand,
Doing all that lay within his power, to help our little band.
We had not taken many strides, it seems so sad to tell.
We stumbled over a fall of stone, and put his light out as well.
It was so dark and dismal and what solemn thoughts struck me,
as I thought of my dear home and friends that I never more should see.
But bravely we struggled on, and helped each other too.
While the little ones so sadly cried, “Do take me to my mother now”
What had really happened, we could not truly tell,
Only as we came to the fire damp we all knew seriously too well.
For as we reached the after damp the collier to us should say,
“my lads, be very careful, here is !someone lying on the way”,
“It is the rolley wayman” one little fellow cried,
and all our little group save two, were lying by his side.
Bravely we struggled on, the collier and I,
while the rest of our companions had laid them down to die.
Manfully, we pushed along, as still onwards we crept,
We just got through the after damp, and then fell down and slept.
We may have slept three or four hours, it is difficult to say,
when a party of exploring men, to us had found their way.
They kindly shook and woke us up, by taking us to the shaft.
But we were so cold and trembling with lying in the draft.
And when they brought us up to bank, I was insensible.
Then, as I gradually came round, my joy I could not tell
to see my parents with me, and my brothers and sisters as well.
The joy and gladness in our home could be described to you.
Sadly I forgot God’s mercies and the danger I had been in.
Rejected his offers of pardon, to keep living on, in sin.
But I do thank God now, I from my heart can say,
that my trust is placed in Jesus and my sins are washed away.
Now, whether my comrades have gone to heaven, is not for me to say.
Although they cried for mercy before they passed away,
Yet the thief upon the cross was saved at the eleventh hour.
And I hope to meet my companions upon your golden shore.
It may seem pleasant for a time to live in pleasurable sin,
but when death stares us in the face we stand in need of him.
Then let us all in Christ, united be, never let the world us sever.
So that in glory we may be for ever, and for ever.
Written by survivor George Robson
He grew up and became Alderman George Robson.
- Trimdon Snippets Inner Front Cover
- Evolution of the Trimdons (pages 2 and 3)
- Mining and Work (page 13)
- Mining and Work (pages 14 and 15)
- Mining and Work – Nursing (pages 16 and 17)
- Mining and Work – Pits (pages 18 and 19)
- Mining and Work – Trimdon Grange Pit (pages 20 and 21)
- Mining and Work – Trimdon Grange Pit (pages 22 and 23)
- Mining and Work – Trimdon Grange Explosion Song (pages 24 and 25)
- Mining and Work – Trimdon Grange Explosion Poem (pages 26, 27 and 28)
- Local Mining Terms (pages 29, 30 & 31)
- Trimdon Grange Tragedy (page 32)
- Trimdon Grange Pitheap (page 33, 34 & 35)