Halmer End, Staffordshire - Methodist Church

The church is a former Primitive Methodist Chapel.

It is always difficult to photograph brass plaques without including a reflected self-portrait!  This plaque lists all the men and boys who died in the 1918 Minnie Pit explosion disaster, their ages (many were aged only 14, 15 or 16), their abode, and the place where they are buried.  Most are buried at nearby Audley church and Alsagers Bank church.

The Minnie Pit disaster took place on 12 January 1918 in Halmer End.  155 men and boys were killed, and Hugh Doorbar, Captain of the Birchenwood Colliery No. 1 rescue team was also killed while attempting to rescue survivors, bringing the final death toll to 156.

Minnie was a dangerous pit because it had firedamp.  Two other explosions had already happened before the 1918 disaster.  A blast killed all the pit ponies but no miners on 6 February 1898.  Nine miners were killed by an explosion on 17 January 1915.

On Saturday 12 January 248 men were working underground when a huge explosion occurred.  155 men died from the effects of the explosion, roof falls or inhaling poisonous gases.  The explosions caused severe damage to the underground workings.  Methane remained a problem.  It took over 12 months to recover all the bodies.

The Memorial Garden is across the road from the Methodist Church.