Being most interested in the coal mining heritage of our area,
your site has great personal appeal
9 January 2002
Has Erewash Council Forgotten Out Coal Miners?
Being most interested in the coal mining heritage of our area, your site has great personal appeal. I haven't worked through all of it yet, but so far its been excellent. It sometimes annoys me that the Erewash Valley and its major contribution to the industrial wealth (not just coal related) and heritage of this country is seemingly overshadowed by other areas. As far as I'm concerned, it compares with anywhere - there just hasn't been the foresight to preserve it in any way, and soon, without efforts such as yours, it will be forgotten.
I remember Philip
(or Rosie's dad as I knew him). I seem to recall that amongst all the other things, he had a hand in TV repairs, and also being particularly impressed with a fairly large calibre bolt-action rifle he had. He gave me two bullets (presumably not live) which I later took to Chaucer infants school. It was found necessary to poke fellow pupil Arthur Butler with one of these items, and consequently they were confiscated by teacher Mrs. James. The promise of their return at the end of term was never realised. Shame.
Wasn't there also a dog (Trixie).
It used to bolt for my older brother Gary whenever he went past the Healy's house on his motorbike. At least until the unfortunate Trixie went for a rotatonal ride with the front wheel. Not so keen to chase after that I recall.
Markham disaster of 1973. I remember the day the cage went down - it was during the school holidays and there was a hell of a commotion at the station as opposed to the normal ringing of various bells etc. so it was obvious something serious had happened. Years later I was on a training course in Wales. Another delegate was an ex-mining engineer who had been involved in the investigation following Markham. According to him the winder's manual braking handle had sheared, and the drum's emergency stop was incorrectly wired preventing this working either. These devices would not have stopped the cage plummeting to the pit bottom (the result of the failure of the other safety devices) but would have reduced the consequential damage that led to so much other stuff falling a) down the shaft and b) being rocketed up the shaft wrecking the winder and winding house. The winder operator just had to wait, unable to do a thing. Understandably, I don't believe he was able to work again. Another account (amongst other horror stories) tells of the bottom deck of the fallen cage being only 18" high when recovered.
Ventilation Furnace Cupola
As a point of interest, the ventilation furnace cupola now at Lound Hall (under local pits) stated to be from Shipley Newcastle pit was actually from the Shipley Nutbrook pit (operating c.1845-1900). It was removed in the 1970's prior to the opencasting that devastated most of that area. Lound Hall museum is now closed, but the cupola still stands there as a last relic. I've been trying to get the NCM interested in preserving it before that too disappears. I'll forward you a copy of the details. The Shipley Newcastle pit was situated NNW of the Deepfields/later Woodside drift mine and had probably closed by 1860 or so. It was in the news a few years ago when the overgrown site caught fire due to spontaneous combustion, presumably in ancient pit spoil.
Click here for more information about the Ventolation Furnace Cupola
Disappointing news about the old Nutbrook Colliery ventilation furnace cupola,They have decided not to list the structure!
The first full-time job I applied for was down the mines. I was turned down for doing too well in the aptitude tests at Moorgreen, being told that I was wasting my abilities. This was really annoying as, unlike many of my fellow applicants, I actually wanted to work there. Having failed to play the nepotism card by informing the interviewers that my uncle was a deputy there, my mining career was over. Still, had I got the job, I would have most likely been sacked by1984/5 due to my differences with scab labour.