The Pentregasseg Quarry Mishap

 

The Pentregasseg Quarry Mishap

 

On a cold & frosty morning with some snow on the ground. Two men were working at the quarry loading carts with building stone, which they had fallen from the face the day before, one was named John Dymond the other very young Morgan Roberts. They were employed by Rees Davies the Builder, on this particular day Rees Davies called to see how they were getting on about half past eight. He was talking to John when the face of the quarry slipped from the top. Must have been caused by a ‘fault’ in the ‘Rock’ and Buried John up to the Neck even his shoulders were covered. Rees Davies was buried up to the waist, but the young man was able to free himself. He immediately ran shouting for help, as there were very many tons of heavy stone and silt which would have to be removed to free them. He came to the building, where we as employees were were working, a fair distance away, we all to the quarry, and started to free them by working with our hands. We could not use shovels as there were very large stones mixed up with the soil from the top.

Eliza ‘Daffyd’ was first on the scene. She ran back to her home for brandy and a blanket, to cover Mr. Davies. Then men came from all quarters, drivers of coal carts etc. tying the reins to lampposts and others to other carts. Then night shift colliers who got up from bed to assist. It was very difficult for fear of another fall. So all the big stones, some which took 4 men to shift were placed to try and form a buttress to hold the mass of stone & debris from a further slide. The Doctor from Llansamlet now arrived in this pony & trap examined Mr. Davies, who was now not far from being freed. Then to John who was able to move his shoulders. With Eliza and plenty of woman helpers with jugs of tea, handing out to all taking part. In 2 ½ hours Mr. Davies was released. The Dr. ordered his removal at once to Swansea Hospital, where he was detained with a double fracture of his leg. 

Still working very hard in relays, we are now able to see Johns arms & hands, but tons more had to be shifted to free him. The Doctor coming to examine him, and speaking very kindly. Basins of soup were now arriving for John who was wrapped in blankets, the part we had just uncovered, then handed around to all helpers, who numbered now about a hundred, children out of school stood around the top.

After been pinned for 5 hours he was released examined again by Dr. Jones, he was taken to Swansea Hospital, he was now examined by two Doctors after being stripped, naked, he was bruised, not very much, after what had happened, I was with him all the time, instructions from Mr. Davies. The Doctors asked if he could stand and helped him to stand up. He now started to talk and walked a little. They were amazed when I told them what had happened, I asked permission to see Mr. Davies, which was granted leaving John with the Doctors who had been testing him for making water etc to see there was nothing wrong internally, by the weight of the stone against his back. Mr. Davies was in bed, and had been told that John was freed and was not so bad as we expected. He gave me orders to see that everything was done for John and his family, when I returned to the Doctors, they told me I could take him home, it was only shock. I got a cab from Bullins. In three days I took John to see the ‘Boss’. He started work with us on the buildings in a weeks time. He worked for the firm for twenty eight years.