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The Continued Rise Of The Industry
To 1913



There Was A Coal Mines Regulations Act Of 1886


Prime Ministers: William Gladstone (Liberal) 1886. Marquess of Salisbury (Conservative) 1886-1892.
President of Board of Trade
, AJ Mundella (Lib) Feb 1886-July 1886, when …? succeeded, (Con) -1892.

Basset Pit

In February 1886 at the Basset pit, Kilburn, the Newcomen pumping engine erected in 1817 was still in use. It was replaced by a steam engine, the ‘Lady Lucy’ in the pit bottom. It was named after the wife of William Drury N Lowe of Denby. The new pump was to last until 1929 when that too would be replaced by two Mather and Platt electrically driven pumps.


By January 1886 the output at Rawdon had risen to 310 tons a day and by February to 350 tons a day as assessed by WS Greasley Agent to the Marquis of Hastings having taken over from Francis Calvert Gillett (1187) (1878-1886).

The pit began production in 1886 after several years of development in bad strata. The shafts were completed in 1880. The mine ventilation was effected by a 12’ 6” x 4’ 9” (3.81m x 1.45m) Cappell fan.


At Molyneux, William Webster aged 7 was killed on 1st January 1886. This was more than likely an accident on the pit top, as the mine had supposedly closed down in 1879? It may well be that the boy was playing in the old buildings, as invariably in the past when a mine closed, only saleable items were recovered and the rest abandoned and allowed to drop into disrepair.
I remember the site in the 1950s, where the 3 old shafts adjacent to the old farm or original pit buildings were still open. 2 shafts had brickwork around them but I was able to climb up and peer down the waterlogged shafts and the other shaft had an old dilapidated barbed-wire fence around it but it was still possible to lob a stone down and hear the splash as it hit the water. – see 1950s / 1960s.


An ex-miner Edward James Gregory (..?) committed suicide by jumping down Silver Hill shaft on 1st May 1886


By June 1886 there were only 11 Branches left in the Nottinghamshire Miners Association. The Agent’s salary fell into arrears and Joseph Hopkin resigned from the post in the autumn. The Association issued members with a token or badge to sew onto their lapels or caps and the design of the badges were changed occasionally to show that the wearer was a paid-up member of the Association, and on occasion some members would not work with men who could not prove that they were paid-up members.

Other local areas where tokens were issued were North Derbyshire, South Derbyshire, Leicestershire and South Yorkshire.

Bathurst Main

Bathurst Main at Bolsover (Derbyshire) changed hands from Minnikin and Co to Bathurst Fire Brick Co.

Underground Fire At Teversall

There was a fire in an underground engine-house at Teversall (Nottinghamshire) in November, no injuries reported.


The average day-wage rates in November 1886 were between 4s 9d (23¾p) to 5s 3d (26¼p) for a 9-hour day in Nottinghamshire and in Derbyshire the miners were working 8½ hours for slightly less.

Corporal Severely Beaten

At Clay Cross No3 pit (Clay Cross Co), three colliers gave a haulage Corporal some of his own medicine, after he had severely beaten some young lads with an ass stick whip. A Corporal was a person generally experienced and in charge of the haulage system.

Langwith Colliery

Langwith colliery (Derbyshire) was now working fully and the 14ft dia shafts were 540 yards (493.8m) down to Top Hard. The DC shaft had 3 decks with two 10cwt tubs on each which were discharged simultaneously at separate levels. The UC shaft had 2 decks with two 10cwt tubs on each. The winder at No1 was a vertical type with a parallel drum 20ft (6m) dia and 9ft wide (2.74m) and steam was raised using 18 Lancashire boilers, and 2 Cornish boilers for pumping. The UC winder was horizontal type 14’ 4” (4.37m) dia and 11ft 6in (3.5m) wide. A Guibal fan 40ft (12.2m) dia effected the underground ventilation. 2 engines on the surface and ropes down the shaft droveendless rope haulages underground.

Beehive Ovens

Blackwell Colliery Co now had 74 beehive coke ovens at B Winning and there were 30 at Shirland colliery. The haulage system at both Blackwell A and B pits was main and tail. This system operated by full tubs descending towards the pit bottom on a steel rope that hauled the empty tubs up the slope inbye towards the coalface.

John King Died

John King the inventor of the ‘King plate’ safety device for shaft overwinds died on 19th June 1886 aged 72 and was buried in Pinxton churchyard. His invention would prevent many shaft incidents in the future when overwinds occurred and had the device not been in place then many a cage would have hurtled down a shaft.

Collieries Opened or Sunk in 1886

  • Awsworth Kilburn opened (FC Gillett Surveyor, Derby)
  • High Lane (Andrew Vardy) Silkstone
  • Lee (Thomas Bennett), New Mills, Mountain
  • Long Acre (Lucas and Son), Stubley, Silkstone
  • Marehay 2 (Marehay Colliery Co (Ford’s), Ripley, Tupton
  • Markham No2 opened (Staveley Coal and Iron Co Ltd)
  • New Winning (Butterley Iron and Coal Co), Langley Mill
  • Ollersett (Thomas Bennett), New Mills, Mountain
  • Turnoak (Samuel Lowe and Sons), Chesterfield, Deep Hard
  • Walton (James Pearson), Chesterfield, Tupton
  • Wheeldon Mill (SM Lancaster), Chesterfield, coal and clay.
    (10 Pits)

The Blackwell Colliery Co sank their third or C Winning named Alfreton colliery. Two shafts 15 feet (4.57m) dia were sunk to the Deep Soft seam, varied 2’ 9” (0.84m) to 3’ 8” (1.12m) at 153 yards (140m) deep. There was 76 yards (70m) of cast iron tubbing in the shafts to hold back the water. The rest of the sinking was 9 inches (0.22m) thick brickwork. West Hallam Colliery Co took over West Hallam colliery from Whitehouse and Son.

Snareston (Appleby Magna Colliery Co) sinking suspended

Lindridge (Desford Colliery Co) sinking. New shafts were sunk at Bagworth (Bagworth Coal Co Ltd) to the 8’ 0” (2.43m) thick Lower Main seam at 308 yards (281.6m)

Barber Walker and Co closed Underwood colliery at Selston, sunk in 1852 and deepened the 14 feet (4.26m) diameter shafts.

Colliery Closures in 1886
  • Avenue Wingerworth (Wingerworth Coal Co), Hasland, Deep Soft, 80 yards 73m), drawing pit, furnace shown in same roadway close by, bottom Soft coal 1863-1876, Surveyor Joseph Archer, Sheffield 16 Apr 1886
  • Boiley Lane (John Hall), Killamarsh, Dunsil or Dunston coal or Swallow Wood or (2nd Waterloo, observation by Jack B Milburn Mining Records Officer 12th Dec 1986)
  • Boythorpe No2 (Boythorpe Colliery Co Ltd), Walton, Piper (bat 6” (0.15m), coal 1’ 6” (0.46m), dirt 2’ 0” (0.61m), coal 3’ 0” (0.91m), total 7’ 0” (2.13m) and Tupton 72 yds (66m), 1in24 dip, 2 Drawing pits and Pumping pit, July 1886, abandoned 1st Sep, WB Hodgson
  • Bretby No2 (Countess of Chesterfield or Earl of Carnarvon), Bretby, Repton, S Derbyshire, sunk in 1866, Eureka 4’ 4” at 252 feet (76.75m), 6” to yard (0.15m to 0.91m) line of inclination S26ºE and Stanhope seam at 4’ 6” (1.37m) at 330 feet (100.5m), closed Aug 1886
  • Brickyard and Calley (Cally) E439385 N348860 (Butterley Iron and Coal Co), Ripley, UC Shaft Ell seam, Deep Soft 2’ 11” (0.89m) at 148 yards (135m) and ironstone, (at Whiteley 114 yards (104m) to Soft coal) signed Fitzherbert Wright, one of owners of Butterley Co, May 1886
  • Bugsworth Barn pit or Dolly pit (Levi and Elijah Hall) 103 yards (94m) to Yard seam 2’ 6” (0.76m) thick, dip 1in6, Little coal 1’ 4” (0.4m), c 6” (0.15m), Yard seam 2’ 6” (0.76m), warrant floor then rock, January ancient coal workings met, possibly from old Dolly, 20th Feb, Cross and Eagle Surveyors and Valuers
  • Dolley Tunnel (Thomas Bennett), New Mills, Mountain
  • Danes Moor (No8) (Clay Cross Co)
  • Fir Vale (John Crooks) Cutthorpe, Mickley / Ashgate, c 4” (0.10m), d 9” (0.25m), soft coal 1’ 6” (0.45m), batt 5” (0.13m), soft coal 8” (0.20m), 2 shafts 15 yards (14m deep)
  • Forty Horse (Butterley Co), Black Rake ironstone and Ell seam, 2 shafts 130 yards (119m), No1 shaft 115 yards (105m), No3 shaft sunk in goaf 95 yards (87m), part No1 and Western and 3,4,5,6 plan signed Fitzherbert Wright 21st July 1886, one of owners
  • Grassmoor (Grassmoor Colliery Co Ltd) the Tupton Threequarters was abandoned
  • Heather No2 UC, No3 DC Pumping (Heather Colliery Co) (Leicestershire), Ashby and Nuneaton Railway, Main or Roaster, 39 yards (35.5m) to Spire coal, No4 Winding shaft 400’ 0” (122m) coal worked 3’ 9” (1.14m), soft dirt and hard siliceous rock 1’ 3” (0.38m), coal worked 5’ 6” (1.68m), bat 6” (0.15m), coal believed to be Roaster of Coleorton Coalfield, dark pricking 9” (0.23m), light fireclay 1’ 6” (0.45m), clunch, 31st Dec 1886
  • Hill Top (W Lenthall and Co), Dronfield, near Hyde Park Inn, Silkstone or Blackshale, coal 2’ 0” (0.61m), dirt 1’ 6” (0.46m), coal 2’ 0” (0.61m) 2 shafts at 32 yards (29m), point of inclination 2” in a yard (0.05m in 0.91m), 1885 to 25th March 1886
  • Holmewood (Hardwick Colliery Co), Heath, the Hartington or First Waterloo seam was abandoned, also the Ell seam at 3’ 3” (1.0m) thick at 207 yards (189.25m) deep, workings suspended Nov 1886
  • Hucknall Huthwaite (Hucknall Huthwaite Co), standing
  • Hundall (Hundall Colliery Co), Unstone, Silkstone
  • Marehay Fords (Ford Bros), (or Marehay Main) (Butterley Co) Ripley, Soft coal 160 yards (146m) deep, 3’ 10” (1.17m) coal, 4” (0.10m) bat, 415 yards (380m) of drivage done in 2 heads before working coal, but very faulty, 17th Aug 1886
  • Millbrow (Ludworth Brick Co), Ludworth, Mountain and fireclay
  • Newbold (Newbold Iron and Coal Co), Newbold, Silkstone and ironstone
  • Newbold Nos 1,2 and 3 Potters (Newbold Iron and Coal Co), Newbold, Deep Hard
  • Newbold (Newbold Iron and Coal Co), Newbold, Piper, probably sunk in 1870
  • Oakerthorpe (Geo Pearson), South Wingfield, Silkstone and Furnace
  • Rutland No4 (James Bonsall), Ilkeston, Deep Soft and Roof
  • Selston (Barber Walker) at Underwood closed after 34 years (old pit shown)
  • Stoneyford (Butterley Co or Oakes and Co) Codnor Park (see 1887)
  • Sutton (William Arkwright), Sutton Scarsdale, Derbyshire, Top Hard, Manager William Brooks, Agent WA Byron
  • Thornset(t) Hey (Thomas Bennett), New Mills, Mountain seam 24 yards (22m) deep, and 85 yards (78m) to Yard at Cave Abdullum or Brooms pit, Oct, Manager David Ashworth (491), Little Mine 13” (0.33m) to 16” (0.41m) extracted by Mr Thomas Bennett, heavily faulted and surrounded by old works, Thornset Tunnel shown to south, 2 separate areas, Cross and Eagle Mining Engineers, Manchester Oct 1886
  • Underwood (Barber Walker) closed after 33 years
  • Plumbley, Mosborough, water burst into No4 shaft about 70 to 75 yards (64m to 69m) deep and drowned the pumps and being as the coal trade was bad, efforts to retrieve the 2 x 12” x 6” x 24” pumps (2 x 0.30m x 0.15m x 0.61m) were called off and the shaft was abandoned
  • Westfield (M Straw and Co) Piper, drift and air pit, sunk 1883, worked 1885-1886, Surveyor William Deakin Wadsworth
  • Whaley Bridge (Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd, Lime Division, Buxton, 16” White Ash seam, opened 1880, June 1886, Surveyor John C Strain, Buxton.
  • Calley (Butterley Co) Deep Soft 2’ 11” (0.89m) met old works from Mr Ford’s colliery. Cally pit 1876 May 22nd 131 yards (119.8m) Black Rake, Whiteley 114 yards (104.2m) Soft Coal Lady Day 1875, Brickyard pit 131 yards (119.8m) worked Black Rake ironstone and Ell seam to Lady Day 1887.
  • Oakthorpe Main seam workings were allowed to flood when the mine was abandoned.

Nottingham Guardian Friday 23 July 1886 

New Hucknall Colliery 

Under the Employers' Liability Act the widow of a man named Rudd claimed between £200 to £120 and £80 for a child aged 12. On 19 February 1886 Blood was the night chargeman of the colliery and superintendant. Whilst cheeking the side of a roadway there was a large fall at 8am and Rudd was fatally injured. Rudd earned 22 shillings a week (22/- is £1.10p). His widow received £5 from the Workmen’s Colliery Club.

An advert in the same newspaper.........Wright's Coal Tar soap, a safe prevention of infectious disease and can improve sanitary arrangements.

Fatal Accidents in 1886 Included

  • High Park, Edward Rowley repairing conductors in the shaft when he slipped and fell 300 feet (91m) and was dashed to pieces 18 Jan 1886
  • Bobbers Mill colliery, Nottingham, William Whittaker (17), on ? Feb 1886
  • Eckington, John Hughes (47) ? Feb 1886
  • Brierley Hill, Harold Stendall, aged 15, pony driver, was killed by a runaway empty tub on an engine plane on 17 Jun 1886
  • Greasley, Joseph Ball or John Hall (?) killed when a lump of coal fell down the shaft and hit him 24 Jun 1886
  • Greasley, George Turton hurrying to work stumbled on the railway track and fell on his pick and the point pierced his heart
  • Kilbourne, William Philipps (23) 4 Mar 1886
  • Marehay, Thomas Hemingway (24) 4 Feb 1886
  • Mexborough, George Radford (..?) 25 Feb 1886
  • Mexborough, George Beresford (63) 4 Mar 1886
  • Simon Field, George Woodhouse (..?) was killed on 20 May 1886
  • Riddings Thomas Gee (28) was killed in a cage accident 1 Sep 1886
  • Staveley, ? Green (.?) ? Jul 1886.

Tragic Accident

On 15 Oct 1886 a tragic accident occurred when the owner Mr John Lakin (60) with his son George (35), the Underviewer, entered the mine and went into some blackdamp escaping from an old mine. William Lakin (30)and John Stewart (14) a pony driver entered the Staunton mine to search for them and all four were overcome by blackdamp or chokedamp or carbon dioxide gas and died. Lakin’s widow continued to work the colliery with William Richards as Manager (previously Manager at Coleorton).

Babbington Colliery Company

The Babbington Coal Co was formed with the purchase of pits from Chas Seely in 1886.

Dispute At Wollaton

There was a dispute at Wollaton where the miners were on strike for a rise in coal getting rates. The owners claimed that the pithead price was 5s (25p) a ton but the merchants were receiving between 8s (40p) and 13s 6d (67½p) a ton.

Reservoir Colliery Changed Hands

Reservoir colliery sunk in 1874 near Chesterfield, (Derbyshire) owned by Gregory and Sharratt, Manager John Sharratt, Agent William Frederick Howard (1297) changed hands to James Fell, and Joshua Fell being new Agent and Tupton seam was worked.

1886 Was A Bad Year For Coal Throughout The Country

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Pit Terminology - Glossary