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The Hartley disaster of the 16th January 1862 was one of the first great mining disasters of Victorian times to catch widespread public attention when upwards of two hundred men and boys lost their lives after a shaft accident at the colliery.
Capped Mineshaft

The sealed entrance to the shaft and winding house of the 1862 pit disaster at Hester Pit in New Hartley

Plaque

The plaque is a memorial to the tragedy

Memorial

The memorial in the churchyard of St. Albans, Earsdon

Memorial 1 Memorial 2
Memorial 3 Memorial 4

Funeral procession Interment

The procession

The Interment

The ages of the 204 victims are in the references below. The youngest was 10 and the oldest 71 years old.
The funeral procession was 4 miles long with some coffins interred before others had left the colliery.  

References and illustrations:

  DURHAM MINING MUSEUM
(Very comprehensive site)

Reminiscences of a survivor Bob's History of Mining
(Good illustrations and photos)
Illustrated London News LEGACIES: Tyne
The Hartley Colliery
Disaster Medal
Wikipedia