Information and photographs submitted by subscribers are posted in good faith. If any copyright of anyone else's material is unintentionally breached, please email me

The Continued Rise Of The Industry
To 1913


1898 - Page 1

Boundary Line Established

A boundary line was agreed by Colonel Coke and Walter Salmond Esq dated 29th April 1898 between South Normanton Colliery Co and Pinxton Colliery Co. It was always important that trespass into other colliery companies was avoided as many times in the past various lawsuits had been issued at other mines where trespass had occurred into another lease area.

Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1898

  • Bole Hill (JH Fletcher) Barlow, Silkstone
  • Bonds Main (Staveley Coal and Iron Co), Temple Normanton, Silkstone
  • Bretby brickworks was established (Perkins, Warren and Barnes) and they drove adits into the Nether Main and Little Woodfield below Windmill Spinney for use in their kilns
  • Briton (Hosea, Tugby and Co) Moira, 7 u/g, 3 s/f, mainly fireclay
  • Bull Bridge (William Eaton) Ambergate, Norton
  • Cotes Park (James Oakes and Co) a third shaft was opened. At the time the manpower was 224 men in No1 and No2 pits and 68 on the surface. At the new pit there were 34 underground and 8 men on the surface
  • New Langley (Butterley Co) Heanor, Deep Hard
  • Manton (Wigan Coal and Iron Co) sinking No1 Pumping shaft 118 yards (108m), No2 UC and No3 DC
  • Radford, Nottingham (Wollaton Colliery Co) sinking began
  • Speedwell, South Wingfield, 15 ft (4.57m) dia Blackshale shaft
  • (Shipley) Woodside shaft to 3’ 4” (0.94m) Kilburn at 480 yards (439m) (EM Mundy).

Closures in 1898

  • Avenue (Wingerworth Coal Co) Deep Soft stood.
  • Awsworth (Awsworth Colliery Co) sunk to 287 yards (262.4m) in 1875-1877 was closed down after 21 years. Seams worked were Piper, Low Main, Blackshale and Kilburn. The pit became waterlogged eventually and water rose up the shafts. In the 1950s brick 'chimneys' (tall walls) were built around the shaft for safety.  William Farnsworth (40) was killed on 15 Feb 1893 (see list of fatalities below).
  • Bretby (The Right Honourable the Earl of Carnarvon) Nether seam 2’ 6” (0.76m) 30 yards (27.5m) deep, several shafts and 3 day holes, Surveyor Hewitt and Co.
  • Bridge House (E Wright and Co) Brampton, Tupton.
  • Brimington Common (SM Lancaster) 3 Silkstone, 1 s/f.
  • Clay Cross No7 (Clay Cross Co) Deep Hard 3’ 8” (1.12m) Charles Parkin Surveyor, solar meridian Feb 1898
  • Coton Park (Coton Park and Linton Colliery Syndicate Ltd) (South Derbyshire), Main, Stockings and Eureka abandoned Oct 1898, 220 yards (201m) to Stockings.
  • Heage (John George Beighton and David Wainwright) Kilburne coal – 8’ 0” (2.74m) blue bind, 9” (0.23m) coal tops, 2’ 9” (0.84m) coal, 6” (0.15m) bats (holing), 10” (0.25m) coal bottoms, clunch floor, Drawing pit 36 yards (33m), abandoned 1 Jan 1898 due to old works and water, Samuel Allsop Colliery Manager and Surveyor.
  • Holme Close Chesterfield (Ashmore and Soar), Percy B Houfton ME, Tupton 2’ 2” (0.66m), fireclay 2’ 0” (0.61m), shaft 6 yards (5.5m) worked round old hollows got by CJ Saunders, shafts 21 yards (19.25m) and 18 yards (16.5m), Surveyor William Deakin Wadsworth in 1883 and 1897.
  • Inkerman (Inkerman Brickmaking Co) Tupton Threequarters, shaft 50 yards to Blackshale, entrance to mine from quarry, WF Howard AMICE.
  • Kimberley (Babbington Coal Co) sunk 1852/55, opened 1860, closed 1898.
  • Lings (Hardwick Colliery Co, which in 1864 was property of Hon Mrs Hunloke) sunk in 1788, (Wingerworth Coal Co in 1847), Top Hard at 80 yards (73m) exhausted, section: gee 1’ 2” (0.35m), branch 3” (0.07m), hards 1’ 9” (0.53m), softs 1’ 11” (0.58m), total 5’ 1” (1.53m), 17 Feb 1898, Managers Arthur Brealey (816) Fred C Chambers, closed after 110 years.
  • Monkwood inc Crowhole (Monkwood Colliery Co) (CH Plevins and Others), Township of Great Barlow, Staveley, Silkstone, 66 yards (60m) and Mickley 81yards 2ft 6in (75m), standing 1896, abandoned 11th Feb 1898, unprofitable, men transferred to Grassmoor (A Barnes Grassmoor Co), (William Wilde ME, Sheffield – first noted that the wording -
    I certify after thorough examination and inquiry that to the best of my knowledge and belief this is an accurate plan of the mine at time of abandonment, received by Arthur H Stokes Inspector 1st Feb 1900.
  • Mouse Park Wood (Thos Leak) New Whittington, Tupton 2’ 0” (0.61m), 3’ 6” (1.07m) fireclay, shaft 22’ 0” (6.75m) and air pit 19 ‘ 0” (5.75m), met old hollows, 9/1898, Surveyor JA Verner.
  • Nesfield (Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Co), Silkstone.
  • New Foxley Oaks (Herbert Waller) 8 Silkstone, 7 s/f, Deep Hard or Potters, exhausted June, worked from outcrop, incline entrance and air shaft, (there was a trespass from William Osborne’s Bridge Lane pit prior to 1891).
  • Norman (S Shaw), Ilkeston, drift to Hard coal, under 30 men employed
    Hardwick Colliery Co abandoned the Top Hard workings at the small Owlcotes pit, Heath 61 yards (56m) deep 15/4, Manager Henry Leeson (2173), Undermanager H Rowarth (1838).
  • Peacock (Peacock Colliery Co) Ilkeston, 46 yards (42m) to Waterloo, Managers: AD Mitton (2161), WEC Wilson, Undermanagers: William Lacey (1471), James Knighton Junior.
  • Peawit (or Wingerworth No6) (Wingerworth Coal Co) was closed after 49 years following a strike from 1st April to 31st August 1898, 80 yards (73m) to Top Hard, Manager: Henry Leeson (2173), Undermanager: Herbert Haslam (327).
  • Pentrich (William Coates Haslam) 95⅓ yards (87m) deep to Soft coal 3’ 10” (1.17m) (Deep Soft) 95⅓ yards (87m) worked out to faults, 22 Feb 1898, signed Charles M Haslam, 4’ 0” (1.22m) Hard coal (Deep Hard) at 112 yards (102m) got from 1840 to 1880, signed John Bromley, True meridian 20 Apr 1898, 33¼º North East and dip 1in7 South 69¾º East, part of surface purchased by the Midland Railway.
  • Sheepbridge (Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Co), Sheepbridge, Deep Hard.
  • Springwell (Staveley Coal and Iron Co), Silkstone.
  • Stanton (J and N Nadin and Co) Over coal and Nether coal forming the Main coal was abandoned 9th Dec, Manager and Surveyor William Hay.
  • Star (AM Waterhouse), 26½ yards (19.25m), Upper Brampton seam 1’ 5½” (0.44m), 2 separate areas worked, finished 25 Dec 1898.
    (18 Pits)

Clay Cross No7 Deep Hard at 3’ 8” (1.12m) thick was abandoned in April. Surveyor Charles Parkin (Clay Cross Co). Grassmoor (Grassmoor Co Ltd) 1st Piper at 345 yards 1 ft 1½ in (315.75m) dip 1in12 due E, abandoned 31st Dec 1898, signed ATN Barnes, Surveyor JH Saxton, (Mines Inspector Arthur H Stokes 19th Mar 1902).

Mapperley (Mapperley Colliery Co Ltd) – district known as ‘Old Soft coal’ was stopped suddenly in June 1892 by reason of gob fires which had broken out some time earlier. The Hard coal at 148 yards (135m) was accessed by stone drifts from the Soft coal, (abandoned 25th August 1898 by George Spencer, Agent and Manager).

Owlcotes pit (Hardwick Coal Co) was closed to the western edge of Heath village and brought to an end a series of around 80 shafts sunk in the village area. Mining had begun at neighbouring Scarsdale in 1294 with the sinking of bell pits.

At the pit at Whaley Bridge that had been leased to Buxton Lime Co in 1876 the ground opened (subsidence). The pit was later leased by Imperial chemical Industries Ltd, Lime Division, Buxton, who had 12 lime kilns, Edwin Heaton Surveyor.

The Soft coal workings 3’ 10” (1.17m) thick and 95½ yards (87m) deep at Pentrich (William Coates Hallam) were worked out to the faults, the Hard coal 4’ 0” (1.22m) thick at 112 yards (102m) started about 1840 was got to 1880,
Charles M Haslam (Manager or Agent) signed the abandonment plan.

The average cost of a ton of coal at the pithead in the Midlands area was 6s 0d (30p).


Wages now were 4s 6d (22½p) a week for boys aged 11 to 12 and 18s 6d (92½p) for colliers.  Beer was 4d (1⅔p) a quart.  At some pits in the country in the past, beer was given as part payment of wages (how very strange that in the 1911 Coal Mines Act, all alcoholic drink would be banned at a mine).  Cold tea in bottles or dudleys would be a favourite drink to slake the thirst.

Whitwick Disaster

 The photograph shows the crowds at the pit top awaiting news following the disaster at Whitwick No1 19 Apr 1898. 35 miners died

On Strike Again

In March 1898 Warsop Main was on strike again for a week.

Chain Belt Installed

Around 1898 at Denby (Derbyshire)  (Drury Lowe) a chain belt was installed on the screens for loading the large choice lumps of ‘best brights’.  The miners’ coal allowance was not to be found among this coal.  Only the poorest quality left was given to them.  The allowance was not a generous gesture, only a means of allowing the colliers to dry their wet pit clothes so that they would not miss the next shift. The old fireplaces in the miners’ cottages had large fenders round for the purpose.

1898 there were 344 men working in the Deep Soft seam and 88 in the Deep Hard seam at Alfreton (Blackwell Colliery Co) with 80 men on the surface. 

Conciliation Board

At a joint meeting on 6th July 1898 the owners offered a 2½ % increase on condition that the National MinersFederation would agree to the setting up of a new Conciliation Board.  This was eventually accepted and came in from 1st Jan 1899.

Compensation Act

The Workmens Compensation Act was introduced.

Annual Demonstration

The Annual Demonstration of the Nottinghamshire Miners Association was held on 13th August 1898 on Bulwell Forest. There were several speakers as usual but this time included Moses Severn of South Wales who had been sent by his association to express gratitude of the Welsh mining community for the magnificent support whilst the Welsh miners were on strike the Nottinghamshire Miners Association had sent at least £50 every week into their strike fund.


Staveley Coal and Iron Co stopped the Deep Hard seam workings at their Markham No2 pit. 

The total output of saleable coal for the Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Company had reached 3.5m tons for the year.

The management of the New Hucknall Colliery Co agreed in September that union membership was a condition of employment. Brass motties or tallies were sewn onto the miners’ caps or coat as recognition of this.

The Wingfield Colliery Co purchased the South Wingfield Colliery Co and South Wingfield colliery name was changed to Wingfield Manor colliery.


There was a strike that lasted 6 weeks from September to 12th November 1898 at the Pinxton pits, following the new company’s decision to dismiss their elderly employees, who had applied for relief.  Of course at that time there was no old age pension.  The Pinxton Coal Co relented and agreed that elderly employees would not be dismissed unless they were infirm.  Miners at other mines around withdrew their labour for a while in sympathy. There was a four-day walkout at Kirkby Summit (Butterley Co) over this issue.  There was another strike at Kirkby Summit beginning on 1st Nov 1898 that lasted to 3rd June 1899.  This was over the getting rate for coal which was 1s 7½d (8⅛p) per ton against the 1s 9d (8¾p) received at all the other Leen Valley pits.  An upswing in trade followed this and peace reigned at the pit for a while.

There was strike at Shirebrook (Derbyshire)  (Shirebrook Colliery Co) over bad roof conditions and a price list addition of 2d (app 1p) per ton of coal mined and also for the removal of an Undermanager.  He was suspended. 

On 25th May extra police were drafted in and strikers were given notice to vacate their houses. From 19th June the Enginemen and firemen joined the non-unionists in their grievances and on 8th August all the surface men came out as well.

Blacklegs from Scotland and Wales were drafted in. The stoppage lasted 17 weeks.

Forced To Work Double Shifts

William Hallam of the Derbyshire Miners Association presided at a meeting of the Council at Chesterfield attended by all delegates on 9th December 1898 where complaints were made regarding some colliers being forced to work double shifts. If the men refused, the next day was made a holiday. The Council then recommended that no miner in the county was to work more than one shift in 24 hours.

New Hucknall Colliery

The Steam Winding Engine Bed broke on 13 Nov 1898 and it took 6 hours to get it working again but the 450 workmen were wound safely out of the pit.

Unable To Obtain Compensation

At the same meeting complaints were heard regarding men being unable to obtain compensation regularly.  In future all accidents were to be recorded with duration and amount of compensation given. However note in the photograph above how the setting of the different sized wooden props seems haphazard and the obvious dangerous position of the collier working under hanging coal.

Number Of Companies

In 1898 there were

88 companies working 161 mines in Derbyshire
22 companies working 39 mines in Nottinghamshire.

Company Wagons

Many companies had their own wagons with the name of the colliery or company emblazoned on the side of the trucks to differentiate the wagons from the ones owned by the railway companies. In a way it also advertised the company’s product. These wagons were wooden on a steel chassis and constant filling and shunting etc would render a truck unusable until repaired. However even so in the long term it would work out cheaper for the firm as each wagon owned by the railway company had a fee to use it as well as the haulage price. The colliery trucks had to be returned to the place of origin at the pithead for further use. It did not matter so much if wagons were held on the empty sidings for several days in readiness to be filled because the truck belonged to the mine but had it belonged to a railway company demurrage would have to be paid for each truck for each day stood at the mine and this could add up to quite a sum if it was a full train of wagons.


Avenue (Wingerworth Coal Co) was stood in 1898 and in 1899 was taken over by the Clay Cross Co and re-named Avenue No11 colliery and re-commenced work.

Fatal Accidents 1898

  • Coleorton No3┬áJohn Edwards (44) Roadman, run down by a set of 4 runaway tubs on 13/6/1898, died on 14/6/1898.

Fatalities At Awsworth

  • George Grainger (51) crushed by cage 28 Jul 1875
  •  Isaac Wheatley (14) struck by coal falling down the shaft 19 Dec 1881
  •  Anthony Gregory (37) fall of roof 15 Jan 1884
  •  Edward Charles Atkin (14) crushed by tubs 22 Aug 1887
  •  Reuben Smith (45) fall of roof 1 Dec 1888
  •  William Farnsworth (42) caught in machinery 13 Feb 1893.

Return to Top

Pit Terminology - Glossary