Many of those who crowd the streets of Bedminster during Upfest or for the Winter Lantern Parade are probably oblivious that they are actually deep in mining country. For many residents, the idea that this was once an area where several coalmines existed and men emerging from pits covered in coaldust was a feature of the working day, has long been forgotten. Above ground, there are no surviving reminders of that history except a single noticeboard in Dame Emily Park. But below the nearby concrete plinth that was once a bandstand lies a deep mine shaft that was the scene of a pit explosion that cost several lives, one of hundreds of deaths during Bedminster’s mining history.
Tony Dyer will explore the tragedy that took place at the end of the nineteenth century and the wider history of the Bedminster coalmines.