An occupational disease particular to Crick Treacle Miners was said to be Erythema Sucrosis. If a highly adulterated seam was tapped there would be a flow of raw treacle around their legs. This was at a time before the invention of the modern “gum” boot and miners would wear leather jack- boots that did not protect from the treacle permeating their feet and ankles. Excessive exposure to the molasses would cause an angry bulbous eruption on the soles of the feet.
A description by an early 19th Century Physician has survived.“A poor wretch was carried to my rooms at midday swearing most damnably that he had contacted St Anthony’s fire, and that if his torment was not assuaged he would end his miserable existence in the Navigation.
I relieved him of two pints of blood to correct these morbid fancies and observed the afflicted members discovering a ruddy festering eruption from toe to ankle with premonitory signs of incipient mortification of the lesser two digits of the left foot. I applied a Salve – viztwice daily to the affected parts, within ten days the fiery inflammation was subdued and another week effected a complete cure.”
The condition is now rarely seen due to improved working conditions and modern local medical therapy quickly controls the odd sporadic case.For more information: Origin of the seams
, Mining and extraction
, Crick Mining Co-operative