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Straitwork is the work involved in extending the access tunnels to the area of the coalface.Fatal Colliery Explosion at Low Laithes - December 3rd 1859 Smithson's colliery had a low fatality rate, although in 1859 when the Low Laithes colliery business had been bought by Benjamin Roberts, there was a fatal accident at Bull Pit and this was recorded as follows: "Mr.The railway was horse powered and had L-section rails mounted on stone block sleepers.There was a parallel railway covering almost the same route to collieries (also confusingly called 'New Park Colliery') owned by Smithson's arch rival and Yorkshire coal-king, William Fenton.In 1818, Robert Smithson's farm and malt business (valued then at £8,906) was bequeathed to his son, also Robert.A three-quarter share in Smithson's collieries and tramway (and the debts due to them) was passed to Smithson's youngest son Joshua Smithson (1791-1867) who continued with the coal business under difficult circumstances until he failed financially in 1850.
Benjamin Roberts, under the direction of John Noble, the steward.
By 1823, this had risen to eighteen at Gawthorpe and seven at Paleside.
In 1833, there was a prolonged strike at Smithson's colliery in Ossett.
During the early years, the relatively small numbers of colliers working in Smithson's pits can be illustrated in the case of Ossett-cum-Gawthorpe by the use of the poor rate assessments as a basis for rating of the number of colliery face workers.
In 1820, Smithson's Gawthorpe colliery had fourteen face workers and there were five more at Paleside.