This record is held by Doncaster Archives

Details of MQ
Reference: MQ

The greater part of the archive comprises 87 registers, of which all but two are statutory registers, of accidents to workers in mines and quarries in the Doncaster area and beyond. These are catalogued in sections 1 to 8 below. There are also administrative records, catalogued in sections 9 to 25, which relate to mining accidents and disasters investigated by the Inspectorate. Section 26 comprises printed material related to the work of the Inspectorate.

Date: 1911-1997; 1911-1997 (manuscript); 1885-1938 (printed)

The registers have been arranged in date order. Those in obvious series, in sections 1, 2, and 3, have been listed in sequence. The administrative records were received in bundles by subject and have been so listed.

Related material:

Doncaster Archives holds no archives directly related to the Inspectorate, but has several accessions relate to the consequences of coal-mining disasters at Cadeby and at Bentley colliery. The records of the Cadeby Colliery Disaster Relief Fund Committee are to be found at Doncaster Archives references DD/MF/1/47-56, DS/70 and DZMD/448. Those relating to the Bentley Colliery Disaster Fund are to be found amongst the archives of Doncaster County Borough Council (AB/CLERK/14), Bentley-with-Arksey Urban District Council (UD/BEN/2/2-3) and Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council (MB/LEGAL/2/8-14).


An additional deposit includes a photocopy of the official inquiry into the Cadeby Main colliery disaster 1912 (reference DD/MF/ADD/9).

Held by: Doncaster Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

H M Inspectorate of Mines and Quarries

Physical description: 53 boxes/0.5856 cubic metres
Physical condition: All the records are suitable for use and are in good condition for their age.
Restrictions on use:

Photocopying depending on the condition and format of the original document.

Access conditions:

The standard thirty-year closure period governing public records applies to all the records catalogued here.

Immediate source of acquisition:

The records were received from two sources. Accessions 303 and 1853 were deposited by HM Inspectorate of Mines, then located at Silver House, Silver Street, Doncaster in February 1977 and March 2001. Its address from April 2001 is: Health and Safety Executive, Hazardous Installations Directorate, Land Division 5, HM Inspectorate of Mines, Sovereign House, 110 Queen Street, Sheffield S1 2ES.


Accession 1799, deposited in January 2000, relating to the Bentley Colliery Explosion of 1931, which is catalogued here as section 17, came from the same source, but through a lecturer at Doncaster College, to whom they had been loaned by the Inspectorate some years previously.

Selection and destruction information:

No destruction of records has been carried out by Doncaster Archives. Certain statutory registers for districts outside the area of the local Inspectorate have been transferred to the appropriate county record offices. A list of the records transferred is held by Doncaster Archives.


Further accruals are not expected at Doncaster Archives. The third deposit was made when the Doncaster office was being vacated prior to the move to new premises of the Health and Safety Executive in Sheffield.

Publication note:

The papers of J E MacFarlane (Doncaster Archives reference: DD/MF) also contain research materials on the same subject and a number of published works by local authors treat coal mining disasters. These include J MacFarlane, Blood on Your Coal, (Doncaster Library Service, 1985) and John Woodhead, The Bentley Pit Disaster, (Waterdale Press, Doncaster, 1991).


Other records relating to coal mining generally held by Doncaster Archives can be located in the published Guide mentioned above.

  • Coal mining
Unpublished finding aids:

This Catalogue


Place Index maintained by Doncaster Archives


B J Barber, A Guide to Doncaster Archives (2001), published before accession 1853 was received and the archive catalogued in its present form.

Administrative / biographical background:

The Inspectorate of Mines was established by an Act of Parliament in 1842 (5 and 6 Vict. Cap 99, section III). The Coal Mines Regulation Act (35 and 36 Vict., c. 76), the Metalliferous Mines Regulation Act, 1872 (35 and 36 Vict., c.77) and the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1887 (50 and 51 Vict., Ch. 58, sections 39 to 46) further extended the provisions for inspection. By the time of the earliest records catalogued here, regulation by inspection was governed by the Coal Mines Act, 1911 (1 and 2 Geo. V, Ch. 50). Part VII of the Act (sections 97 to 100) applied specifically to inspectors.


The earliest surviving records of the local division of the Inspectorate date from 1911. At this time, the Doncaster district was becoming a major coal-mining area with the eastward-moving exploitation of the Barnsley seam of the Yorkshire coalfield. Frickley, Bullcroft, Brodsworth and Bentley and Yorkshire Main (Edlington) collieries were all being sunk in the first decade of the twentieth century. The earliest records catalogued here show that the local inspectorate acted for the Yorkshire and North Midland Division, in which the north midlands comprised Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.


From August 1923, the area served was reduced to the South and West Yorkshire division. This was renamed the Yorkshire Division from 1927, and there were several other subsequent changes of name, the last of which seems to have been the South Yorkshire Division (see MQ/4/6 below). There are separate registers from the mid 1940s for what appear to be separate districts within the division: for a Barnsley District (MQ/4/7), a Rotherham District (see MQ/2/41 to 2/43, 3/1 to 3/3, 4/1 to 4/3 and MQ/5/5) and a South East Yorkshire District (see MQ/2/44, 3/4 to 3/7, 4/4 to 4/5 and MQ/5/6). It is not clear from the registers whether these changes of title were accompanied by a change in the area for which the local inspectorate was responsible.


The offices were located at Lancaster House, West Laithe Gate, Doncaster and finally at Silver House, Silver Street, Doncaster. The records contain only incidental information about the staff of the division. The divisional head in 1912 was T H Mottram (see MQ/9/6 and MQ/9/7), by 1927 was H M Hudspeth (see MQ/15/2), by 1931 was E H Frazer, by 1942 was H J Humphreys (MQ/20/3, who had been senior inspector by 1931, see MQ/17/4) and by 1957, W Scott (see MQ/21/14).


The continuing contraction of the coal-mining industry following the National Union of Mineworkers' strike of 1984-1985 and privatisation in the 1990s led to a diminution in the work of the Inspectorate nationally. When the Doncaster office closed at the end of March 2001, the Inspectorate staff who moved to Sheffield in April 2001 assumed responsibility for mines and quarries inspection duties throughout the country as a division of the Health and Safety Executive.

Link to NRA Record:

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