Farewell to the last pit widow – wife of colliery disaster victim dies aged 103

Eva Hunt on her 102nd birthday with her daughter Margaret McGann
Eva Hunt on her 102nd birthday with her daughter Margaret McGann

THE last of the women left widowed by a County Durham pit disaster has died at the age of 103.

Eva Hunt’s husband Billy and 80 other miners died in the explosion at Easington Colliery on May 29, 1951.

Billy and Eva Hunt with theire adopted daughter Margaret McGann

Billy and Eva Hunt with theire adopted daughter Margaret McGann

The couple’s adopted daughter Margaret McGann, now 67, was just three at the time.

Eva, who never remarried, worked in service at large houses in the village and was then a nurse in Surrey for children with epilepsy, before returning home to look after her parents.

She married Billy in 1938, enjoying 13 years of marriage before tragedy struck at the mine, killing her 43-year-old husband.

She became a grandmother-of-seven, earning her the nickname “Supergran” from the youngsters.

She was very much for her family and her grandchildren absolutely adored her.

Margaret McGann, daughter of Eva Hunt

Eva died in the Ashwood Park care home in the village.

Margaret, who is married to Eric, 68, said: “She was very much for her family and her grandchildren absolutely adored her.”

Eva was a member of the women’s section of the British Legion for 60 years, holding the post of treasurer for a long period, and helped make up the Silver Threads choir until she was 92. She was a devout Roman Catholic, attending Our Lady RC Church in Easington Village for many years.

Her funeral was held at Our Lady Star of the Sea in Horden last week. Her death earlier this month follows on from Jenny Blevins, who died in February aged 89. She was widowed when her husband Matthew, 27, was lost in the disaster and was mum to Carolle and Alan.

Jenny Blevins and Margaret Lippeat, another of the pit widows, on a day out.

Jenny Blevins and Margaret Lippeat, another of the pit widows, on a day out.

, who was due when the explosion happened.

Jenny Blevins with Margaret Lippeatt, another of the pit widows, who died in 2011.

Jenny Blevins with Margaret Lippeatt, another of the pit widows, who died in 2011.