1950 Consett Steelworks Accident

Project Genesis, CDHI and the HCSW project team have helped to mark this event in various ways

The Memorial Wall was erected and opened in Sept 2020

Also there is a dedicated page on the Visit Consett website

HANSARD 1803–2005→ 1950s → 1950 → July 1950 → 4 July 1950 → Commons Sitting → TRADE AND COMMERCE


HC Deb 04 July 1950 vol 477 c260 260

§ Mr. James Glanville (by Private Notice) asked the Minister of Supply whether he has any statement to make in regard to the accident which occurred last weekend at the Consett Iron Company’s works and in which 11 men lost their lives.

§ Mr. J. Freeman I am sorry to say that an escape of carbon monoxide gas occurred at the No. 2 blast furnace of the Consett Ironworks Company, Durham, at about 10 p.m. on Saturday, 1st July, while the men were changing shifts. The cause of the escape is at present being investigated by one of His Majesty’s Inspectors of Factories. Forty-five men were rendered unconscious. 11 of whom died. Twenty-eight had to be taken to hospital and 21 have since been discharged. The remainder are expected to leave hospital today. I deeply regret the loss of life involved and, on behalf of my right hon. Friend and myself, and indeed the whole House, I should like to take this opportunity of expressing my sympathy with the relatives of the men who were killed.

1st July 2020 written by Brian Dodds

By today’s standards 45 works overcome by gas, 11 dead and 28 in hospital would make front page headlines, but in 1950 it got a mention on page 3 of the Derwent Valley Advertiser . As a former apprentice fitter at the blast furnace mechanics I was amazed it was never talked about. So over the last year or so I have been researching the subject, after reading the family members story’s, the safety officers and the coroner’s reports I would one day like to write the story in my own words but for now I think we should just remember those brave men who gave their lives to save work mates. Arnold William Ross (54) from Tyne Avenue, Leadgate , Married with four children. Richard Logan (54) from Villa Real, Consett. He was awarded a medal for gallantry from the D.L.I during the war . He was married with two children. John Jeffrey (46) from Park Villas , Leadgate, he worked at Consett Iron Company since the age of 15, married with tree children. Arthur Briggs (53) from Moorland Crescent, Castleside, married with three sons. Andrew Kirby (25) from Durham road , Blackhill, he served in the Royal Marines for a number of years and was married with a 21 month old child. Thomas Cook Eastern (45) from Hawthorne Terrace, Blackhill , married with one son . Thomas Heslop (32) from Eltringham Street Blackhill. Served in the army and was a prisoner of war. Married with a child aged 18 months. Francis Crawly (30) from Roger Street Blackhill was married with three sons . Henry Tucker (49) from Cedar Gardens, The Grove, married with three children. Joseph Edward Humble (44) from the Grove, married with one child. John Sheldon Craggs, (54) from Moorland Crescent, Castleside , married with three children. RIP and one day you will get a memorial


Thanks to John O’Connor Chair of Project Genesis for confirming the names of the 11 who died

1. Arthur Briggs (53), Castleside

2. John Sheldon Craggs (54), Castleside

3. Francis Crawley 30), Blackhill

4. Thomas Cook Easten (25), Blackhill

5. Thomas Heslop (32), Blackhill

6. Joseph Humble (44), Consett

7. John Jeffrey (46), Leadgate

8. Andrew Alan Kirby (25), Blackhill

9. Richard Logan (54), Villa Real

10. Arnold William Ross (54), Leadgate

11. Henry Tucker (49), Consett

Link to Album on the HCSW project Facebook page

If you would like to add content to the Visit Consett page and also the HCSW project Album please do get in contact historyofconsettsteelworks@gmail.com

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