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The Continued Rise Of The Industry
To 1913



Weighing Exemption

In January 1888 the price of pithead coal in Nottinghamshire was 5s (25p) a ton, but merchants were charging between 8s (40p) and 13s 6d (67½p) a ton to customers. Certain remote pits in NW Derbyshire such as Burnd Edge and Pingot for example were given a weighing exemption in 1888 that allowed them to continue selling coal at so much a load instead of by the ton.

Nottinghamshire Miners Demonstration

The second Nottinghamshire Miners demonstration took place at Bulwell Common on a wintry Easter Monday on 2nd April 1888. The pits were making good time and there was a good attendance with an estimate of over 2,500 people attending. C West was the Nottinghamshire Miners Association President.

RP Carter took over as President from Henry Jarvis in the Derbyshire Miners Association 1887-1890. The chair was taken by Thomas Bayley a local coal owner and prospective Liberal MP for the Chesterfield Division. A similar demonstration is shown in the photo.

Strike At Wollaton

In November the Wollaton Co decided to take away the wage advance conceded in the previous year at Wollaton colliery and the miners came out on strike for 3 days and were offered a rise of 2d (1p) per ton in the Soft Coal and 1d (1/2 p) a ton in the Hard coal.

There was a strike at Wollaton (Wollaton Colliery Co) on 30th May 1888 over wage rate reductions to the old level. Only 6 men attended work on that day out of 700. Strike pay was paid at the rate of 8s (40p) per week, plus 1s (5p) for every child under 12 years of age. However by July there was only sufficient money to pay 2s (10p) a man, from the strike fund.

On 2nd July the men were back at work. Some had started returning to work earlier despite the activities of pickets. The pickets assaulted some of the ‘blacklegs’ who worked throughout the strike. Two men on picket duty had already been fined for assault in August. During 1888 new wage rates were agreed. This basis would be used for many years in the future.

Pay Rates

Piecework coal getting was 5s 4d (26⅔p)
Coal getting on day wage 4s 6d (22½p)
Haulage 4s 0d (20p)
Timbering and ripping 4s 8d (23⅓p)
Deputies 4s 5d (22p) and labourers 3s 5d (17p) a shift.

Pinxton Pump

There was a Bull's Pumping engine working at Pinxton colliery.


Pleasley (Stanton Iron Co)

First Pit To Use Electricity Underground

There were only 88 pits in the country using electricity for lighting, but at Pleasley (Stanton Iron Co), being the first to introduce electricity underground in 1881, one of the electric engines used for sinking was installed underground for haulage and ran a rope 850 yards (777m) long at a gradient of 1in12 and dispensed with 12 horses.

Electricity First Generated By Burning Lump Coal

Electricity was first generated by burning lump coal on a grate in boilers to raise steam which at high pressure was passed into a turbine with blades that were propelled round at high speed. (Later in the 20th Century the coal and a certain amount of dirt mixed with it would be milled to a fine powder in a pulveriser and blasted into the ovens under high pressure).

Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1888

  • Alderwasley (James Alsop), Alderwasley, First coal
  • Birley East colliery was sunk in 1887-1888 to 261 yards (239m) (Sheffield Coal Co)
  • Bobbin Hole (John Blair) Walton, Silkstone, Threequarter
  • Bridge Lane (Lowe and Osborne) Whittington, Potters coal
  • Broomfield (Broomfield Colliery Co), Chesterfield, Ashgate Church, Heanor (Edwin Gillott) Comb
  • Broomfield (WG Jenkinson Broomfield Colliery Co), Unstone, Silkstone
  • Dolly Lane (John Drinkwater) Yard
  • Kirkby (Butterley Co)
  • Lindridge (Desford Colliery Co) sinking suspended
  • New Pit Pingot, (Aspenshaw Coal Co) (North West Derbyshire)
  • Oak Close Wheeldon Mill, (JW Hopkinson and Partner), Chesterfield, Silkstone
  • Ollersett Hall (Aspenshaw Coal Co) tunnels started under Big Mine, magnetic meridian May 1888
  • Owlcotes (Wingerworth Coal Co) Top Hard
  • Pingot (Ollersett Collieries Co Ltd) Yard mine start about March 1888
  • Sinking (Hucknall Colliery Co)
  • Sinking (West Hallam Colliery Co)
  • Unstone (Unstone Coke and Coal Co) Piper
  • Waterloo Oakerthorpe (Barlow and Seed), Tupton
  • West (John Oates) Brampton, Tupton seam
  • Wood Pit (Aaron Hawksley and Partner), Oakerthorpe, Tupton. (19)

At the new sinking at Kirkby Summit, (Butterley Co) 92 yards (84m) of cast-iron tubbing was necessary at the No1 shaft and 110 yards (100m) at the No2 shaft as sinking was continued through the water-bearing measures of the concealed coalfield.

Brierley Hill

At Brierley Hill the owners Skegby Coal and Lime Co name that had changed to the New Skegby Colliery Co previously, now changed to Skegby Colliery Co. The estate was in the name of Robert MEW Dodsley in 1887.


Peawit colliery (Wingerworth Coal Co) was referred to as No6 pit also.

Refused To Negotiate
The Stanton Iron Co had refused to negotiate on the 8 hour shift question and tried to get the men to work from 6 am to 3.30 pm instead of from 6.30 am to 3.45 pm. It was finally agreed with William Clark (985), Managing Director that the hours would be 6.30 am to 3.30 pm, a total of 9 hours, but there would be no snap time. The Tupton Low Main seam was being developed from the shaft at Silver Hill. At Butcherwood, surveys of the workings were being carried out by George Wilson.

Union Membership

By December there were 1,959 members of the Nottinghamshire Miners Association.

Collieries Closed in 1888

  • Bretby No3 (Earl of Carnarvon) Eureka 4’ 6” (1.38m) at 428 feet (130.5m) June 1888, Woodfield 5’ 0” (1.52m) at 270 feet (82.25m), 9/1885, William Johnson Agent and Manager
  • Burnd Edge No3 (Aspenshaw Coal Co) Yard mine, inc Ladder pit, met old workings, Cross and Eagle Surveyors, Oct 1888, Magnetic Meridian 1888, plan deposited as required by the Coal Mines Regulation Act 1887
  • Clinton (Brinsley Brick and Tile Co) Comb met old hollows
  • Clay Cross No1 (Clay Cross Coal and Iron Co) Blackshale worked to basit, lead point 345º, solar meridian 2º East, magnetic meridian 350º, dip 1in14 North East
  • Clay Cross No2 (Clay Cross Coal and Iron Co) Blackshale worked up to No1 pit workings 18 Jan 1888
  • Clay Cross No8 (Clay Cross Coal and Iron Co) Tupton, too costly to work, 18 Jan 1888
  • Comber Wood (John Shirtcliffe) Sough coal 2’ 6” (0.76m) 15 Dec 1888
  • Coton Park (Henry Green and John Taylor) Linton, South Derbyshire, shaft 198 yards (181m) to Stockings, 7 feet (2.13m) thick, and Woodfield 4’ 6” (1.37m) stopped 13th Sep 1888, Main seam, dams of 14 feet (4m) brick and 2 feet (0.61m) wood, water broke in at Stockings seam horizon causing abandonment, George Lewis Surveyor (26th Feb 1879)
  • Cutthorpe (Charles Hancock) Tupton
  • Dolly Lane (Thos Bennett) nr Buxworth
  • Dore colliery (Duke of Devonshire) near Black Wood, DC shaft 47 yards (43m), UC shaft 51 yards (46.6m), ganister coal, William Wilbraham, abandoned Apr 1888, Surveyor William Deakin Wadsworth Feb 1890
  • Drift (Henry Rangeley) Unstone, Silkstone
  • Gomersall (John Sheard) Dronfield, start 1878, Blackshale, Hards 1’ 5” (0.43m), middles 1’ 6” (0.46m), bottoms 1’ 10” (0.56m), Manager Elijah Houfton (352), Undermanager John Mosley, discontinued 28th Nov 1888 – reference made to Dronfield Silkstone Incline, old works met, George Parker Surveyor, Arthur Henry Stokes (1505) Inspector 1st Apr 1889
  • Granby pit (Butterley Co) at Ilkeston, (Waterloo abandoned previously in 1855), worked by AM Mundy, Deep or Main Soft 3’ 3” (0.99m) abandoned 22nd June 1888, Deep Hard 4 feet (1.22m), 3” (0.07m) Jay, 1’ 0” (0.30m) Scud, 2’ 9” (0.83m) Hard, and Brown Rake and Black Rake ironstone, abandoned Apr, DC shaft 162 yards (148m), two UC shafts at 133 yards (121m), dip of mine 1in12 NW, plans signed by Fitzherbert Wright Director and Frederick Channer Corfield (426) Agent
  • Holme Close (Ashmore and Soar) Manager E Houghton, Undermanager W Soar
  • Lodge (William Hall) Threequarters, 1/5, 75 Yards (69m) closed 23 Mar 1888, defray expenses
  • Marehay (Butterley Co) Soft coal, Lady Day 1888
  • Millbrow (Ludworth Brick Co) Mountain and fireclay
  • Old Deeps Riddings (James Oakes and Co) Kilburn 2’ 5” (0.73m) c and d, 240 yards (220m), worked up to New Deeps old workings Alfreton Ironworks, closed April 1888
  • Pasture Lane (Chambers and Morgan, Diminsdale Colliery Co) Blackwell, to W of Pasture House on corner of road leading to Hilcote, referred to as Pasture pits, 35 yards (32m) and 36 yards (33m) deep to Top Hard - tops 1’ 0” (0.30m), steam 1’ 3” (0.38m), spires 10” (0.25m), bottoms 1’ 6” (0.45m), total 4’ 7” (1.39m), drift 9” (0.22m) to the yard (0.91m) to Dunsill, brights 9” (0.22m), hard 1’ 3” (0.38m), bottom soft 7” (0.18m), total 2’ 7” (0.66m), Top Hard dip 4” to 1 yard (0.10 to 0.91m) worked out, met old ancient workings to E and W and an old sough, Dunsil at 55 yards (50m ) and 56 yards (51m) deep, too thin and faulty to work, quantity of water being pumped from both seams
    150 gallons per minute, 3rd Dec, Surveyor JW Fearn noted – scaled to Mix 1888, plan scale 2½ chains to 1 inch
  • Sheepbridge (Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Co) Chesterfield
  • Speedwell and Digby (Digby Coal Co) standing and closed
  • Stanley Kilburn (SR Cox) pits 70 yards (64m) and 65 yards (59.5m) to Kilburn, June 1889, William H Sankey Surveyor
  • Totley Moor (Totley Firebrick Co)
  • Victoria (Richard Barrow) (Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Co-op) at Stanley Common, Furnace coal? There was a gang line or road from West Hallam. Arthur H Stokes Inspector of Mines signed the abandonment plan 17th Dec 1888
  • Wash House (WT Badger), Brampton, Silkstone, top coal 1’ 4” (0.33m), tinker or coal and dirt 1’ 8” (0.36m), bottoms 2’ 2” (0.62m), bat 2” (0.05m), water and old works, 19th June
  • Wash House (or Washhouse) (John Blair) Ashgate Thin, hard coal 4” (0.10m), dirt 2” (0.05m) main coal 1’ 8” (0.36m), bat 2” (0.05m), old workings met to both north and south and water and outcrop to south, 19th June, Air pit 9 yards (8m) to Blackshale and 11 yards (10m) to Ashgate Thin, adit at summit of incline, William Deakin Wadsworth Surveyor.
  • Clay Cross No2 pit (Derbyshire) the Blackshale at 136 yards (124m) deep was abandoned in Jan / Feb having worked up to Clay Cross No1 pit workings at 102½ yards (93.75m) coal tops 1’ 11” (1.22m), dirt 1” (0.02m), tinkers 8” (0.20m), dirt 3” (0.08m), coal 1’ 8” (0.50m), total 4’ 10” (1.47m) finished also
  • Clay Cross No8 (The Clay Cross Coal and Iron Co) the Tupton at 5’ 5” (1.65m) was abandoned also on 18th Jan 1888 because of unprofitability. No7 DC shaft 32 yards (29m), No8 shaft DC and No7/8 shafts.
  • Bretby (Earl of Carnarvon) (South Derbyshire) the Nether seam at 7’ 6” thick (2.29m), stood since 1876 was restarted. The Earl had taken over the pits from the Countess of Chesterfield.

Management Changes

At Winks Bank (South Normanton Colliery Co) (Hugh Browne Esq) (leased by James Hanson), the management was changed, Manager William Mannikin (410) succeeded J Kenneth Guthrie and Undermanager George Holdsworth was appointed. Small’s heads met J Hanson’s workings and water. The shaft was 92 yards (84m) deep to the Top Hard. A further attempt was made to work the mine, known previously as Winkcobank (Derbyshire) .

John Alfred Longden (service cert No 16) Manager of the Blackwell Colliery Co became Agent of Stanton Iron Works Co succeeding William Clark (985) who was appointed Managing Director. George Crompton was Chairman of the Co.

JCB Hendry was appointed Manager of Teversall (Butcherwood) and Silver Hill (Nottinghamshire) . Josiah Ball was transferred to Teversall as Undermanager and William Winterbottom succeeded at Silver Hill as the Tupton was opened to supplement the output from the Silkstone seam.

Maurice Deacon (463) was appointed Manager and Agent for Blackwell Colliery Co. He had previously been Manager at Manners Colliery Co Ilkeston (Derbyshire) .

First Course In Mining

The first course in mining was held at Nottingham in 1888. The first head of Mining was Charles Latham (1894), the first Professor would be William Hutchinson McMillan (1911) at University College, Shakespeare Street.

Certificate Numbers First Published

1888 was the year when Managers’ and Undermanagerscertificate numbers was first published in the Mines and Minerals, Mineral Statistics of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, with the Isle of Man, prepared by Her Majestys Inspectors of Mines, by direction of the Secretary of State for the Home Department. Printed for Her Majestys Stationery Office by Eyre and Spottiswoode and issued in 1889, priced 1s 4d (5½p).

Prior to 1873 for Managers and prior to 1887 for Undermanagers with at least 5 years practical experience were issued with 'Service Certificates' instead of sitting an examination.

  • Holme Close, Ashmore and Soar, Manager Elijah Houfton (406 service), Undermanager William Soar (374)
  • Burnd Edge and Pingot, Aspenshaw Coal Company Manager George Wayne (1591), Undermanagers James Burdekin (1935 service), Joseph Pott (1936 service)
  • Shady Birchwood, Babbington Coal Co. Manager George W Chamberlain (713), Undermanagers Matthew Hayes (328 service), William Powiss (362 service)
  • Tibshelf No1, No2, No3 Manager and Agent Stewart Crawford Wardell (506 service), Undermanagers William Armstrong (961 service), William Coupe (960 service), JR Maddison (962 service)
  • Mickley WF Badger, Manager (1323 service), Undermanager Matthew Coupe (2232 service) Barlow and Seed
  • Waterloo Oakerthorpe Manager James Rothwell (1545 service)
  • Grassmoor No1, No2, No3, No4, No5, Messrs Barnes, Manager Benjamin Bamford (1492 service), Undermanagers George Austin (747 service), Paul Wheatcroft (385 service), Arthur Saxton (743 service), Agent Alfred TH Barnes
  • Bathurst Main Bolsover, Bathurst Fire Brick Co , Undermanager Samuel Moon (no cert)
  • Birch Vale and Ollersett,Thomas Bennett New Mills, Manager David Ashworth (491 service), Undermanager John Ashworth (284 service)
  • Clay Pit, JH Birkumshaw, Clay Cross, Manager JH Birkumshaw (no cert)
  • Alfreton, A Winning, B Winning, Blackwell Colliery Co. Manager and Agent John Alfred Longden (16 service), Undermanagers William Winterbottom (593 service), William Elliott (594 service), William Askew (595 service)
  • Bobbin Hole Brampton, Manager John Blair (no cert)
  • Denby Ryefield Bourne and Son, Manager Jesse Harrison (no cert), Agent JH Topham
  • Boythorpe No3 Boythorpe Colliery CoChesterfield, Manager WH Hodgson (1666), Undermanager WB Smith (489 service), Agent Alfred Southall (85)
  • Broomfield, Broomfield Colliery Co. Old Brampton, Manager John Kay (no cert)
  • Bailey Brook, Butterley Iron and Coal Co, Manager William Sutton (1445), Undermanager William Beresford (982 service)
  • Brands Undermanager Thomas Brown (979 service)
  • Butterley Park No5 Undermanager Alfred Millhouse (978 service), Manager for all George Lamb (73)
  • Calley Manager Samuel Allsop (418), Undermanager Joseph Massey (983 service)
  • Denby Hall Undermanager Thomas Tagg (300)
  • Forty Horse Manager George Lamb (73), Undermanager Edwin Cox (980 service)
  • Hartshay Manager Samuel Allsop (418), Undermanager Henry Bailey (981 service)
  • Loscoe Manager William Sutton (1445), Undermanager James Walker (988 service)
  • New Winning Undermanager William Hogg (990 service)
  • Old Birchwood Manager Henry Stevenson (1575), Undermanager William Rowe (301 service)
  • Railway Manager Sam Allsop (418), Undermanager Joseph Massey (983 service)
  • Ripley Manager Sam Allsop (418), Undermanager George Stone (302 service)
  • Waingroves Manager Sam Allsop (418), Undermanager James Cresswell (1051 service)

…….. as one can see the vast majority of the Undermanagers were granted service certificates, having been in post for some time and similarly for a few of the Managers. Some pits were so small and not mentioned as they did not require a Manager who was certificated.
Total number of Managers in 152 Derbyshire pits with service certificates…15 (certificated by exam….53)
Total number of Undermanagers with service certificates …93 (certificated by exam….8).

Total number of Managers in 24 Leicestershire pits with service certificates….2 (certificated by exam…..13).
Total number of Undermanagers with service certificates….17 (certificated by exam…2).

Total number of Managers in 35 Nottinghamshire pits with service certificates…7 (certificated by exam….18).
Total number of Undermanagers with service certificates….37 (certificated by exam…1).

Certificated personnel were not required at pits with less than 30 persons employed below ground.

At Tibshelf No2 Deep Hard, R Coupe (2nd) was appointed Undermanager, replacing William Coupe.

Morton No5 Silkstone Undermanager Thos Dunn (2nd), No6 Deep Hard Undermanager William Heywood (2nd), Manager WBM Jackson, Agent John Jackson.

At Pilsley, HE Maltby (2nd) was appointed Undermanager in the Tupton seam.

Charles Paxton Markham (1865-1926) bought the Broad Oaks Works of Oliver and Co in 1888, and in the same year was made a Director of the Staveley Coal and Iron Co.

Miners Federation of Great Britain (MFGB) Founded

In 1888 the Miners Federation of Great Britain (MFGB) was founded, and emerged during 1889. The average pithead price of coal had risen from 4s 10d (24p) in 1887 to 5s 1d (25½p) in 1888.

Fatal Accidents in 1888 Included

  • Albert, Newbold, Deputy Frederick Buxton (34), fall of roof 12 May 1888
  • Grassmoor, John Jacques (28) 23 Feb 1888
  • Bulwell, Enoch Aram (56) 26 Mar 1888
  • Grassmoor, Samuel Mee (42) 12 Apr 1888
  • Shady pit, Ilkeston, George Parkin (47) 7 Aug 1888.

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Pit Terminology - Glossary