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The Ambulance

This vehicle in the museums collection was last used at Lumpsey Mine in Brotton around 1920.

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Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museums Ambulance

In the early 90’s this ambulance was found in an allotment where it was reportedly being used as a shed or chicken coop. The museum purchased the ambulance and due to its dilapidated state apprentices from ICI’s training centre restored the vehicle.

Accidents down the mine were common and often fatal. Pease and Company, the management and owners of Skinningrove Mine were a Quaker industrialist family who wanted to create a ‘model mining village’. They erected a small hospital for the miners, a school, a Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist Church and a miners’ institute. Mine owners cared for their men, they were their workforce and means of profit. The hospital stood in Marine Terrace near to the sea in Skinningrove. Ambulances like ours at the museum were built to carry miners from the mine to the hospital.

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Ward in Skinningrove hospital

The sounds of the horse drawn ambulance would provoke gossip around the village as wives, mothers and children would step into the street to see if it was their loved one being brought out of the mine. If the injured emerged head first on the stretcher he was alive. However, if he was brought out feet first he was dead.

Those miners who were seriously injured and unable to return to the mine were forced to leave their miner’s house within a month. Although harsh the mine owners needed the accommodation for new workers and to not cease works in the mine. The mine unions were able to help a miner and his family for the first few weeks but not much longer after that.

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Lumpsey Mine