The Gresford Disaster

Album: various (1934)
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  • Written in 6/8 time, "The Gresford Disaster" is a modern folk song and appears to have been published anonymously; it was distributed as a broadside shortly after its terrible inspiration.

    The song is discussed by Roy Palmer in his 1974 book Poverty Knock a picture of industrial life in the nineteenth century through songs, ballads and contemporary accounts, even though it is actually a Twentieth Century composition.

    On September 22, 1934, an explosion in the Welsh mine of Gresford resulted in the deaths of 265 men, one of the worst mining or any disasters ever in Britain. The original version of the song gives the death toll as 242. Gresford Colliery was closed in 1973; a commemorative service is held there every year.

    "The Gresford Disaster" has been widely recorded including by Ewan MacColl. It is included in the Roud Folk Song Index. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England

Comments: 2

  • John from Swansea The event is also covered by Seth Lakeman in the song "The Colliers", on the album "Freedom Fields".
  • Paula Penny Nee Tomlinson from Wirral, UkThis is the first time I’ve heard this song. I was told my ancestor Tomlinson was mentioned in a coal miners song & not knowing which one, I can confirm I’ve found it!
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