DECEMBER 21, 1910 has gone down in history as one of the blackest days in mining history.

An explosion at the Pretoria Colliery on the Atherton/Westhoughton border resulted in the death of 344 men.

This photograph depicts a rescue team from Maypole Colliery, Abram at the Pretoria.

Two years earlier 75 men were killed in an explosion at the Maypole.

Former Leigh rugby player and Bull’s Head, Astley landlord Jim Fox, was awarded a medal for his daring efforts to help those injured in the August 1908 Maypole disaster.