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The Continued Rise Of The Industry
To 1913



Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1902

  • A new No5 shaft at 11 feet (3.35m) diameter was sunk at Cinderhill (Babbington), (Babbington Coal Co) to the
    High Hazels seam at 125 yards (114m) but was never equipped to wind coal and only served as an airshaft
    (Sheffield Coal Co) sinking
  • Brushes (H Waller) sinking
  • Finney (Finney Colliery Co) Dronfield, Silkstone
  • Gedling 108/78 was sunk from 1899-1902 to the Top Hard seam at 458 yards (419m) deep by the Digby Colliery Co. The bathhouse was the open type where clothes were hung on a hook on the end of a rope and then pulled up into the roof above the changing area and the rope fastened to the sidewall or wooden post
  • Manton (Wigan Coal and Iron Co) 63/93 continued sinking
  • Oxcroft No1 the sinking was completed at 1,603 feet (488m) to the Deep Hard seam for Sir Arthur B Markham MP, but firstly the Top Hard seam would be worked at 5 feet 4 inches (1.55m) thick
  • Pinxton No2 (Coke and Co) was sinking deeper 7/2
  • Rectory (Heage Colliery Co) Kilburn
  • Sherwood (Sherwood Colliery Co) the Ellis family began sinking at Mansfield Woodhouse with 2 shafts at 20 feet (6.1m) diameter in 1902
  • Springfield (Springfield Colliery Co) Eastwood, adit and 5 yards (4.5 m) deep shaft working Coomb 3 feet (0.91m) thick
  • Williamthorpe sinking (Hardwick Colliery Co).

Shaft Deepening

Kilburne colliery shaft deepening to the Norton and Alton seams in order to reopen the pit that had been closed in 1897. Mark Fryar the Mining Agent had permission from the Inspectorate in 1900 to work the mine from one shaft for 6 months when the deepening began in 1902. The contractor was Franklin and Co and supervised by Arthur Haynes Surveyor and Assistant Mining Agent.

South Derbyshire

Cartwright colliery (Cartwright Coal Co) was also known as Newhall Field, Alliance or Swannington at various times (South Derbyshire). New Swannington Colliery Co Ltd, in liquidation. Roaster seam 3’ 2” (0.97m) at 116 yards (106m) abandoned 29 Jul 1902, unprofitable, Manager FS Peake 30 Sep 1902.

Electric Lights

In 1902, Britain colliery at Ripley (Derbyshire) had electric lights underground, installed by the Butterley Co, and the blast furnaces were closed down, steel being bought in after this date, as and when required. Fitz Herbert Wright Managing Director of Butterley Co retired and was succeeded by Albert Leslie Wright (b 1862) until 1935 when he was promoted to Chairman and Managing Director of the firm, however he died in 1938.

The Stanton Iron Works Co had pioneered lights underground at Pleasley (Derbyshire) in 1882.

Wage Rates

Wages had remained at the February 1901 rates.

Now the last two advances of 5% were taken off, thus further reducing rates.

Unrest with Pit Boys

During 1902 there was unrest with pit boys who thought their wages were too low and a series of stoppages occurred in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire. The boys obtained better price-lists in the Leen Valley pits but Stanton Ironworks Co were paying boys less than the price-list rates. The situation was resolved when taken up by the union. Similarly, union officials were able to obtain better rates in the summer at Cotes Park, Pye Hill, Pollington, Selston and Stoneyford and in the autumn at some Butterley Co pits including Kirkby Summit also at Bentinck, Brierley Hill, New Hucknall and Pinxton.

Withdrew Labour Without Strike Notice

At Denaby Main in South Yorkshire the men withdrew their labour without first issuing strike notices and therefore the strike was termed illegal. They were out for 3 weeks before deciding to return to work but the management then tried to impose other conditions that were deemed unacceptable. It was reported that there was wholesale evictions taking place in January and many men had to store their furniture in barns. To make matters worse the owners decided to sue the Yorkshire Miners Association for damages but lost their case but it still cost the union some thousands of pounds for legal expenses. Collections were made throughout Nottinghamshire for the Denaby relief fund.

My Great Grandad and
Grandad White

At this time my Great-grand father Robert White aged 42 was a collier at Denaby and my Grandfather Eli White at 17 years old was a pony driver. He later went to Silverwood colliery nearby and was very proud to relate to me that he was in charge of a stall there when he was 19 years old.

Annesley Strike

At Annesley the men had decided to come out on strike in February when stallmen were asked to set extra supports than the customary number without any extra pay. There did not seem to be any cohesion as to the fact that by setting extra supports many accidents, particularly fatal accidents could be avoided. Even the men must have thought life was cheap. Mining was and still is a very dangerous occupation.

Further Strikes at Sutton and Pinxton

There was a further strike at Sutton (Nottinghamshire) (Blackwell Colliery Co) in July 1902 when the men held out for better hand and machine-holing prices in Top Hard, Dunsil and Deep Hard seams and better wages for banksmen and haulage workers (499 u/g, 145 s/f) and for the installation of an efficient automatic weighing machine at both pit heads. On 25th September the day-wage men returned to work and by 7th October the entire workforce had returned. Basic rate for 13 year old boys was 1s 6d (7½p) a day. A similar stoppage was held at Pinxton (Nos 1,2,3 and 6 pits, 943 u/g and 242 s/f).


Prime Minister Arthur Balfour (Conservative) 1902-1905 replaced Lord Salisbury.

Royal Commission On Coal Supplies, Plans

A Royal Commission on Coal Supplies 1902 plan of Chesterfield showed

  • Brampton colliery had an adit and shaft
    25 yards (23m), section: bat roof 8” (0.20m), coal got 1’ 9” (0.53m), dirt and coal 8” (0.20m)
  • Field House mine section: bind 1’ 0” (0.30m), bat 2” (0.05m), coal 6” (0.15m), ¾ coal 2’ 1” (0.62m), best coal 5” (0.13m), sloom 3” (0.08m)
  • Dowell pit, bind 9’ 0” (2.74m), bat 6” (0.15m), coal 1’ 10” (0.57m), bat 2” (0.05m), 13 yards (12m) deep
  • Reservoir pit 67 yards (61m) deep, coal 3’ 0” (0.91m).
  • Another plan showed Wollaton colliery, South of Wollaton Hall
  • Springfield adit and shaft 5 yards (4.5m) deep to the North West of the Hall, section Tops 1’ 3” (0.38m), Bottoms 1’ 9” (0.53m).
  • Also further to the North West Langley Mill Booths pit 22 yards (20m) deep, section binds 33 feet (10m), coal 2’ 7” (0.79m), clunch 8’ 7” (2.62m), shale 15 feet (4.5m), bind 4 feet (1.2m), Coomb coal 3’ 6” (1.07m).
  • To the North of Booths was Langley Mill Engineering Co’s colliery with 2 shafts 12 yards (11m) deep and 2 others 14 yards (13m) deep, section Top Soft coal 3’ 8” (1.11m), clunch 9 feet (2.75m), Top Hard coal, thickness ?
  • Worthington (Leicestershire) 297 feet (90.5m), Nether Lount 5’ 3” (1.6m), Shaft position E439800c N319150, position of workings uncertain.

A further plan showed pits at Kimberley, and East, Cloughs pit (not much worked here) and New Engine pit further East. There was a Level running from North West to South East stating that it had been abandoned 40 years in 1839.

The pit to the North was full of water.

Pay for All pit (at 29 fathoms or 53m) lay on this Level and Wigleys Engine pit (extent not known).

Further South East was another Engine pit sunk 143 yards (130m) to Hard Coal and even further South East was Harriss pit where the Engine pit was sunk 120 yards (110m) to the Hard Coal.

Burdetts pit lay South West of this. Another pit at 102 yards (93m) lay just to the North of the wood whereas the Machine House Engine pit was on the North East corner. These collieries had worked up to another ancient Level and it remarked on the plan that when Barber and Walker thurled the ‘Hollows’ (old workings), all the tools were left in the pit. This leads one to believe that the pit was flooded out and the miners had to leave quickly.

Barber Engine pit lay South of the Hollows, and an old Level lead from here North West to the pits at Kimberley, intersecting Lenton Sough Level. Several shafts were sunk along this Level and an Engine pit on the corner of the Bridle Road to Strelley and the Railway to Cinderhill was 70 yards (64m) deep.

All Pinxton Pits Using Electricity

All the 9 pits of the Pinxton Coal Co were using electricity.There were now 56 horses in the Langton No7 and No9 pits, whereas a few years before in the 1880s over 100 were in use.

The No8 and No9 shaft beam engine was replaced, and steel guides and cages with 3 decks installed.

At the new Waterloo seam, Stanley heading machines were installed and later a Diamond disc coal cutting machine.

A pair of steam driven air compressors provided the power.

At Pinxton No1 pit the first bar type coal cutter was introduced.

Winding Men On Strike At Bentinck

In September 1902 the winding engine-men at Bentinck (Nottinghamshire) (New Hucknall Colliery Co) went on strike for 8 days.

Change Of Hands

Daniel Bolton Lime Merchant took over the running of Shaw Wood (Derbyshire) from Capt Miles Halton Tristram from Oct
Shady Hall (John Mellor, died) was transferred to Mrs Ruth Mellor.

Clinton sunk in 1875-1876 by John Beardsley was being worked by Peter Newton in 1902. There was a tramway from the pit to the loading wharf on the Nottingham Canal.

Patent For Tar

During 1902 Edgar Healey patented the process of heating tar obtained from coal at Denby and by adding slag from the Denby furnaces and broken stone, the mix was then used to create a smooth road surface, something that had eluded road builders before.

Colliery Closures in 1902

  • Birchwood (Butterley Co Ltd), Blackshale 3’ 11” (1.19m), abandoned 25th Mar 1902, Agent FC Corfield, Surveyor John Holbrook
  • Bonds Main 2 (Staveley Coal and Iron Co), Deep Hard 43/5
  • Brimington (Wheeldon Mill Brick Co), Silkstone, stood
  • Bull Bridge (Jos Cockayne), Ambergate, Norton
  • Bull Close (wrought by Ernest Dixon Fawcett), Unstone, thin Silkstone seam 1’ 4” (0.40m), unprofitable, May, Mining Agent and Surveyor, William Deakin Wadsworth
  • California (Thos Pope), Killamarsh, High Hazles
  • Dronfield Silkstone Drift pit (Dronfield Colliery Ltd) 14/5, used 2 old shafts 43 yards (39.3m) and 47 yards (43m)
    to Silkstone, exhaustion due to old workings and water levels surrounding, Surveyor: John Denton, Manpower:…
    : 318 Silkstone, 66 s/f
    1895: 339 u/g, 78 s/f
    1896: stood
    1897: 24 u/g, 6 s/f
    1898: 36 u/g, 8 s/f
    1899: 37 u/g, 8 s/f
    1900: 40 u/g, 9 s/f
    1901: 36 u/g, 8 s/f
    1902: 14 u/g, 2 s/f (Dronfield was connected to Gosforth at 55 yards (50.3m) deep. Fallswood No2 pit was to
    South East, Plantation pit 12 yards (11m) deep, and Townfield abandoned Feb 1895, Messrs Lucass old workings to the East and connected to old works, Wreaks Lane pit 13 yards (11.75m) was connected, plus a Day hole. There was a water adit for Lucas. Surveyor A Smith Denton and Co ME. Dronfield Forge pit 12 yards (11m) and 10 yards (9m), near side of River Drone)
  • Glebe (William Redfern), Barlborough, Clowne, Undermanager E Tingle (uncert)
  • Gosforth (John Sheard and Co) Silkstone, exhaustion, abandoned 1st Mar 1902, found old shafts and old works all around, Surveyor A Smith Denton and Co
  • Gowhole (Levi and Elijah Hall)
  • Grasscroft (R Jackson and Co) nr Monkwood
  • Heage (Robert Hunt)
  • Lady pit (Levi and Elijah Hall), near Buxworth
  • Lount (Lount Fire Brick and Sanitary Pipe Co) Main, Smoile and Fireclay abandoned
  • Measham Newfield (William Oakley) Woodfield and clay, Manager W Oakley (356), abandoned
  • New Selston (Jas Oakes and Co), Deep Hard
  • Nutbrook near Shipley, closed after 32 years, Field shaft kept open for pumping, Manager ATC Savage (1137), Undermanager Charles Sims (service cert)
  • Old Birchwood (Butterley Co), Alfreton, Silkstone
  • Oxcroft 1 (Oxcroft Colliery Co Ltd), 4’ 1” (1.24m) thick Clowne headings from shafts 17 yards (15.5m) and 27 yards (25.5m), 19 men u/g 3 s/f, abandoned 31st Mar 1902, owing to large amounts of water from old workings,
    William Horsley Huntley, Agent and Manager, with statement that since 1899 proper allowances had been made
    for the change in the magnetic declination
  • Plumbley (Joseph and George Wells) Managers:Fred Hardwick (2277), Henry Burgin (398),Undermanagers: Henry Milner, Henry Burgin (398), RH Satterley
  • Rodmoor (Isaac Biggin and Son), Isaac Biggin owner, Vernon Biggin Manager,Dronfield Woodhouse, Blackshale 6’ 4” (1.93m) coal and dirt, met old works, abandoned 6th Dec, Surveyor William Deakin Wadsworth
  • Rutland (Booker and Smith) Cobnar Wood, Threequarter
  • Shaw Wood (Capt Miles Halton Tristram worked by Daniel Bolton) Alfreton, Tupton 6/2, coal being inferior and could not be worked at a profit as met old works, finished Oct, abandoned Dec 1902, Surveyor Mills Coke and Turner
  • Stubley (JT Liddell), Silkstone, Manager W Hutchinson (1565)
  • Swannington No2 (Synope) Yard abandoned June 1902 – position and extent uncertain, Middle Lount 5’ 2” (1.57m) abandoned 30 Sep 1902 FS Peake late Manager, Main seam 9’ 0” (2.74m) at 56 yards (51.2m), Middle Lount 5’ 2” (1.57m) at 96 yards (87.8m) and Nether Lount 4’ 0” (1.22m) at 101 yards (92.3m)
  • Swannington No3 (Clink) 3 shafts
  • Two Oaks (owners CF Yorke Esq, London, worked by Luke Lee), Unstone, Piper 2/1, started 1st Aug 1897, abandoned 16th Apr 1902, due to water and too close to surface and also old workings, shaft 7 yards (6.5m) and Air pit 12 yards (11m) deep, Surveyor FH Hollingworth ME.(24)

Lease Surrended

The lease for Fernilee, Taxal, Whaley and Yeardsley pits (North West Derbyshire) was surrendered on 13th January 1902 – due to exhaustion.

Demand For Coal

The second Boer War in South Africa 1899-1902 created a demand for coal no doubt for increased munitions production.

Foundation Stone For Church

The foundation stone for the All Saints Church at the top of Huthwaite Common Road was laid by the Duchess of Portland in November 1902 and the miners at New Hucknall colliery chopped out the stone and hauled it up the Church site in their own time for the building of same.

New Price List

A new price list was issued at South Normanton (Derbyshire) (South Normanton Colliery Co) in February 1903 and a strike threatened, but negotiations continued with the company until there was an amicable agreement reached on 27th June 1903.

Shot Firing

The Explosives in Mines Order, 20th December 1902 among other things, dictated that every charge was to be fired by a competent person appointed in writing by the Owner, Agent or Manager, and not being a person whose wages depended on the amount of mineral to be gotten.

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Pit Terminology - Glossary