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Sally Heaven Any Information About Explosion at Fauld, Staffordshire in 1944?
David Anson MA Hons - Any Information About Skegness Derbyshire Miners' Welfare Holiday Camp?
David Anson MA Hons Collecting and Archiving Industrial Folksong
Douglas Blackmore Lamps, can we use lighter fluid?
Gary Kershaw You have a photograph of a lorry that I am currently restoring
Karen Barker Pit check, possibly relates to the Babbington rescue team of 1911
Neil Preston Thornycroft Winch Vehicle (Ex N.C.B), Any Information?
Paul C Any information about the fire at the Langley Mill Pottery during January of 1940?
Peter Woodward Any information about the trackway built between Strelley and Pit in 1603?
Pethar2 Gold Medal - J Belshaw 1935

Any Information About Explosion at Fauld, Staffordshire in 1944?
Sally Heaven
Mon 17/11/2003

Dear Fionn,
I am researching a programme for Radio 4 about the explosion at Fauld, Staffordshire in 1944. I am looking for anyone who still remembers the explosion, including anyone working for Ikeston Mines Rescue at the time, or anyone who might be able to put me in touch with those people.

Thanks very much for your help
Yours sincerely
Sally Heaven
BBC Radio and Music Factual
0117 9742470BBCi at

Any Information About Skegness Derbyshire Miners' Welfare Holiday Camp?
David Anson MA Hons
Sun 12/10/2003

Has anyone ever come to you with enquiries or entries about Skegness Derbyshire Miners' Welfare Holiday Camp? I know there's been some recollections in print etc but it was so integral to all our lives in the pit villages etc.
The 'Camp' boasted a huge convalescent and recuperation centre. As kids we were aware of the dangers both underground and on the surface but it really brought things home when you met some of those who had been severely injured, yet 'Camp' life was a time to be anticipated with pleasure each year and a time I look back on with fond memories.
You can find some information in the Family Section but we need more information.

Collecting and Archiving Industrial Folksong
David Anson MA Hons
Tue 07/10/2003

For the past seven years I have been involved in the research and preservation of certain aspects of the history and culture of coal-mining in Britain; my particular interest being folk song and music. I also work as a volunteer researcher with the Scottish Working People's History Trust, collecting and archiving industrial folksong with the emphasis very much, though not exclusively, on the heavy industries: coal, iron & steel, and shipbuilding.

I would value any help that you and your contacts may be able to offer. I would like the words and the music to which they're set, if possible, but I'd also very much like any recollections, anecdotes, associated stories to help set the songs in context. It's not simply a songbook I am writing. I want any background anyone cares to give me. Neither is it a book of old songs: I'd really appreciate later creations as well. If possible, I'd especially like recordings as all my work is being archived for use by future researchers and students.

Naturally, all rights, copyrights and ownership to any material will be fully honoured, acknowledged, and protected under the law of both Scotland and England & Wales.

Yours faithfully,
David Anson MA Hons

Gold Medal - J Belshaw 1935
Fri 03/01/2003

I am after information of a gold medal which says Doncaster & District Mines Rescue Brigade J Belshaw 1935

Any Info about the trackway built between Strelley and Wollaton Pit in 1603
Peter Woodward
Sat 21/12/2002

Hi Fionn,
Have you any information on the trackway built between Strelley and Wollaton Pit in 1603, I know who built it but any other information would be grateful.
I am researching Woodward, Annable, Morley, Falconbridge, Barnett,Blant, Langham, Strelley Village, Past & Present.

You probably have the only information I have:-
By 1604 transportation was improved when Huntingdon Beaumont constructed a wooden wagonway from the bell pits at Strelley down to Wollaton Lane, for carriage to the Nottingham market but it was the coming of the canals that really brought in the big expansion of the coal market.



There may be something in Peter Stevenson's book on the Nutbrook Canal, which can be found in local libraries, and maybe within the publication on mining in the Heanor area mentioned on your Website. Another local publication "Radford Colliery the bread and herring pit" has some info' for the area in question. This was compiled by an Eric Walker of Moor Road, Strelley. I really think this gentleman needs to consult his local reference library as a starting point for his enquiries - I'm sure he'll find them helpful.


ROGER WOOD - Wed 05/03/2003 11:28
Hi Fionn
With regards to Peter Woodward's search for information on the Wollaton Railway. I wonder if he has read "Stone Blocks and Iron Rails (Tramroads)" by Bertram Baxter page 181. Published 1966 David & Charles.
Information from this book reads:
Wollaton Railway. From West end of Wollaton Lane pits at Strelley. Opened 1604d (believed to be England's earliest surface railway). Track: Wooden Rails. Owner: Huntingdon Beaumont. O.S. SK54SW.
Also references are made to: "Huntingdon Beaumont: Adventurer in Coalmines" By S. Smith, 1957 (Renaissance & Modern Studies, Item 5 Volume 1).
"England's First Rails - A Reconstruction" By S. Smith, 1960 (Renaissance & Modern Studies, Item 6, Volume 4).
Both these references above refer to source " The University of Nottingham ".
(I hope these references will be useful).

Thornycroft Winch Vehicle (Ex N.C.B), Any Information?
Neil Preston
Fri 03/01/2003

I recently purchased a thornycroft winch vehicle in n.c.b livery believed to be from 1958 to 1960 and used for rescues. I am unable to find any information about it. There is a three ton winch mounted on the rear with a fold away jib.
Many thanks
neil preston

Pit check, possibly relates to the Babbington rescue team of 1911
Karen Barker
Wed 19/02/2003

I have a medallion which was attached to a chain with the initials WJ (Walter Johnson) inscribed BCC 1911-12. I am told it could be a pit check and possibly the dates relate to the Babbington rescue team of 1911 a photograph of which has been forwarded to me from your site. I wonder if there are any records of who is actually on this photograph or any records of pit employees from that time. Walter was my great grandfather and I only have 1 photograph of him in the late 30's some 25 years on. Any ideas how to track him or his details down?
Thank you for your help

Dear Fionn,
Thanks for your reply and support I am plugging away through several channels now, these searches become a bit obsessive sometimes don't they like a challenge!
Anyway the reason why I am replying, I don't know if you are aware but Hayes Information Services (Tel 0154 3570666) keep old NUM and Colliery work and training records which if you know the persons name and Date of Birth and or the National insurance number then they will release the work record information they hold for a fee (£11.75 I think), when I rang the guy was all ready to look up my G Grandfathers details but I did not have his exact date of birth so I have more hunting to do. I sounded as if it was quite straight forward to retrieve the information if it they had it!

You have a photograph of a lorry that I am currently restoring
Gary Kershaw.
Mon 10 Feb 2003

Hello there,
I have just visited your web site and I am delighted to see you have a photograph of a lorry that I own. I am currently restoring it back to its original mines rescue guise. The lorry is an Atkinson Borderer Reg No. KKU 655P. The photograph shows coupled to the emergency winder trailer that it use to pull.
The heading under the photograph is Modern Diesel Electric Emergency Winder. I would be very grateful if I could have a copy of the original photo or any other items of interest you may have about this wagon. I am more than happy to pay for any costs incurred.

Does any anyone have any photos or relevant information?

Thu 20/02/2003

Hello Fionn
Thanks for taking the time to e mail me. I realy hope you come up with that photo or any other info about the wagon. I thought Iwould just let you know a few more points about it. I believe it to be a one off, buit specialy for the ncb. It is classed as a heavy duty 50 ton tractor, fitted with a 280 horse power rolls royce engine. It is fitted with huge heavy duty axles and over sized tyres witch give it a real chunky look. Another unique feature is an anti lock braking system which was virtually unheard of in the 1970s. It shows the address of the first owners to be the ncb at Barnsley Main Colliery. It is such a distinctive vehicle I feel sure somone must remember it, but up to now I've had no luck. Your welcome to see it if you ever come to Wakefield (although its still in a stripped down state just now).
Thanks again for your interest.

Lamps, can we use lighter fluid?
Douglas Blackmore
Sun 15/06/2003

I have a Protector Lamp and Lighting Co' Type 6 M & Q, Safety Lamp - Eccles. (I think this is often called a Deputy's Lamp).
I have read, with reference to flame lamps, that the fuel to use is Lamp Spirit, Lamp oil and sometimes, kerosene. I have been advised that Lighter fuel is suitable for above ground purposes for this specific lamp. All this confuses me!
Can you tell me what fuel was actually used in my lamp in the mines?
Where can I obtain such fuel today?
If it is not available these days, can you say what would be the nearest working equivalent?
And finally, have you any idea how long a filled lamp will stay alight, on a low flame setting?
I sincerely thank you in anticipation.
Douglas Blackmore

Yes lighter fuel that you purchase in shops will be more than adequate for demonstration, it just cost a lot to do it that way.
Colzaline is the official stuff, more timely they use a solvent based stuff, called Solvent 40. Will get some more details to you later, but by ordering through your local oil central heating supplier, you should get a gallon (lasts long, long time) for about £25. A gallon in small lighter fuel tins = £150 or more. DO NOT USE PETROL

Ornament lamps are made to run on parafin, obviously more available, but a less luminous flame, and much smoke (unless you use Esso Blue, remember the old TV ad?).
On a full vessel, a lamp should last around 10 hours on a medium flame, so on low maybe 20 hours.

The Southern Refining were the manufacturers of the Sovent 20 modern equivelent.
I was kind of an unofficial dealer for them about 5 years ago, but not many folk want lamps now.
The Colzaline is a little heavier oil than the solvent, and as such could be a little more difficult to light with re-lighter.

On a gallon tin, the label is;
SAFSOL 2 (contains heptane)
UN 1206
EC 205 - 563 - 8
Protectors phone & fax numbers;
0161 789 3013 fax, 787 8257 ask for David Mather, there is always the chance they may have closed down though!!!
I was kind of an unofficial dealer for them about 5 years ago, but not many folk want lamps now.
The Colzaline is a little heavier oil than the solvent, and as such could be a little more difficult to light with re-lighter.
and as I said, I had it from local oil suppliers, at the time they were supplying small mines in Wales though.


More information about miners lamps

Any information about the fire at the Langley Mill Pottery during January of 1940?
Paul C
Mon 21 April 2003

Sorry its been a while since we conversed but I do keep looking at the site.
I have reason to believe that the Ilkeston team assisted during the fire at the pottery at Langley Mill during January of 1940. However where I gleaned this piece of information from escapes me at the moment and wondered if it was something that we had discussed at some time.
Have you access to the log of call outs made by Ilkeston if such a thing still exists?
I have nothing new to report in the way of pictures or gossip at the moment.
Paul C

Sorry Paul I do not have access to the logs

However Robert Mee writes:-

Re the query from Paul C.
According to the Heanor Observer, 18/1/1940: "The works fire brigade was quickly mobilised and began operations. Within a short time Heanor Fire Brigade arrived on the scene and were joined by Butterley and Eastwood Brigades. Members of the Heanor Auxilliary Fire Service also arrived and assisted."
Don't know if that's of any help to Paul and other readers.
Robert Mee
West Hallam

Pit Terminology - Glossary