Wednesday July 15th 1896
Last night, shortly before five o'clock, a fatality occurred at the Houghton-Le-Spring Colliery, resulting in the death of one of the best known inhabitants of the town, Mr. Nicholas Cowie, 59 years of age, married and residing with his family in Bowling Street, Houghton-Le-Spring. Deceased, along with another man named Stamp Widdowfield followed the occupation of a "secker man". They had descended the mine only an hour, and had gone to the Rector's Main coal seam. They had just commenced to work when it was found necessary to draw a prop for the purpose of bringing down some of the roof. Before they had time to get out of harm's way the "fall" came away. The deceased, who was standing about the centre of the fall, was completely buried, but his comrade (Widdowfield), being at the end of the fall, escaped with only slight grazing of his leg. Widdowfield raised the alarm, assistance was obtained, the fall removed, and the deceased extricated. Life, however, was found to be extinct, death being apparently instantaneous. His whole body was a mass of bruises. He was at once conveyed to his home. The colliery is idle today.
Friday July 17th 1896
This morning Mr. Coroner Maynard held an inquest at the Newcastle Arms, Houghton-Le-Spring, concerning the death of Nicholas Cowie, 57 years of age, residing at Bowling Street, Houghton-Le-Spring, who met with his death on Tuesday evening last in the pit. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death, exonerating all persons from blame.
Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette
Thanks to: Durham Mining Museum