Monday, 25 January 2016

Jim ‘Manky’ Else

Walking the High Peak Trail near Wirksworth today we came across an information board with these tales about the hazards of local quarrying a century ago.

In the early 1900s Jim ‘Manky’ Else was working in Middle Peak Quarry as a shot firer. Instead of using a wooden ramrod for the gunpowder, he was using a metal rod. There was an explosion and the rod shot back and pierced his neck. A doctor was called but he refused to be lowered down the quarry face. Frank Gratton was lowered down and he shortened the rod with a hacksaw. Jim made a satisfactory recovery and died in his nineties in a house fire.

In the early 1900s both George Doxey and William Flint were killed in separate incidents in Killers Quarry when the face fell on them.

Killers Quarry eh? It isn't a comment on early health and safety issues but named after Killer Brothers of Wirksworth, owners of Middleton Quarry. Unfortunate name though.


Demetrius said...

In 1911 he is listed as a Limestone Quarryman, married with three sons and two daughters, four of them born after the accident. It is a long time since I heard the work "manky" used.

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - the accident didn't do any lasting harm then. I occasionally hear 'manky' but that's partly because I sometimes use it.