Oaks Disaster Volunteers

The DVLP need your help to uncover the stories of the men and boys killed in the 1866 Oaks Disaster.


Start Date: 5th August 2015, 15:00
End Date: 5th August 2015, 17:00

Event Info

We are working with Barnsley Archives and Local Studies to look for volunteers to help them research those killed in the 1866 Oaks Disaster, the worst mining accident in English history.

Oaks Disaster

December 2016 marks the 150th anniversary of the disaster. To commemorate the tragedy a series of projects are being developed including an exhibition at Experience Barnsley, physical improvements to the Barnsley Main site and events involving schools and the local community.

Estimates of the men and boys killed ranges from 340 to 380 but no definitive list has ever been published.

Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet spokesperson for Place, said: “There are various lists dating back to 1867 but they often contradict each other. Different spellings, double counting and the general confusion about the disaster have all played a part.”

“We now need the help of volunteers to research the names we’ve compiled from different sources. These were real people, not just names in a list, and we want to tell their stories best we can.”

The project would like to hear from volunteers who can spare some time to help with the research, this may be from an experienced genealogist or complete beginner.

Those who would like to get involved will be given training as required and will be using local and national resources to build up short biographies of those killed, highlight errors and possibly even add some undiscovered names to the list.


Experience Barnsley Museum and Discovery Centre, Town Hall Church Street Barnsley South Yorkshire S70 2TA

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Map of Oaks Disaster Volunteers