MORE than 380 locals died in a horrific mining explosion 150 years ago - but it still isn't known exactly who died in it.

Saturday (December 12) is the anniversary of the Oaks Colliery disaster - widely named as one of the worst mining disasters in history - and researchers are now pulling together to get a full named list of those killed. 

Among the many dead were the pit ponies and the boy handlers, who hauled waggon loads of coal from the workings to the mine shaft. 

Stephen Miller, from the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership, will be giving a free talk at Christ Church, Ardsley, about the disaster and how it was remembered.

And he is currently working with a team of local volunteers to research in detail those killed in the disaster.

A spokesman said: "After 150 years it’s about time we made the best possible effort to name all those killed in the Oaks Disaster.

"The research has shown that the men and boys killed in the Oaks Disaster came from across Britain and Ireland. Many moved to Barnsley from traditional mining communities in Wales, Derbyshire, South Lancashire and the North East whilst there were some more surprising migrations such as James Haycroft from Shoreditch in East London and George Long from Norfolk."

The Ardsley Oaks Memorial talk at Christ Church, Ardsley, will take place on Saturday 12 December, 2pm until 3pm.

For more information please visit, ring 01226 772139 or email