On this day in Yorkshire 1950

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A Wakefield Bang Mystery is Solved

Late yesterday afternoon I solved the mystery of the three explosions that have shaken windows in a large area of Wakefield during the last two days. The discovery of their source came just before a fourth explosion occurred.

I was making investigations near the disused Newton Colliery, Newton Bar, off the Leeds Road, when a workman waved frantically and shouted: “Take cover. We are blasting here.”

Within few seconds the streets near by echoed to the sound the final explosion.

Public curiosity about the origin of the explosions was aroused on Thursday evening when hundreds of people ran from their homes after their windows had been rattled by blast, the force of which was described “ terrific.”

Inquiries were made at the city and county police headquarters, the Mines Rescue Station, hospitals and ambulance depots, but although many had heard the explosion none could supply an explanation, because they had received no emergency calls.

All day yesterday Wakefield people were asking: “Did you hear that bang? What earth can it be?” Everyone seemed baffled.

Following the line of inquiry to the district where the blast appeared most intense, I heard a further explosion about 2 p.m. and the mystery heightened.

A couple of hours later the origin of the explosion was traced. Blasting operations were taking place on the site the old Newton Colliery where a derelict coal washer, about 70ft. high, is being demolished make way for offices for the National Coal Board.

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