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The Continued Rise Of The Industry
To 1913




The Explosives in Mines Order 1902 came into force from 1st January 1903 revoking Section 6 of the Coal Mines Regulation Act 1896. A list of permitted explosives for underground work was published. A few of the 47 permitted explosives are listed:

  • Ammonite
  • Arkite
  • Bobbinite
  • Carbonite
  • Dragonite
  • Kynite
  • Nobel Ammonia Powder No1, and No2
  • Nobel Carbonite
  • Roburite No3
  • Saxonite
  • Thunderite
  • Victorite

Cost Per Ton

Average cost per ton of coal at pithead in the Midland area in 1903 was 8s 2¼d (41p). The national average price was
7s 8d (38½p). In 1900 the price had been 10s 10d (just over 54p) and 9s 4d (app 46½p) in 1901 falling to 8s 3d (41¼p)
in 1902. It would fall even further in 1904 down to 7s 3d (36¼p) and even lower still in 1905 to 6s 11d (34½ p) a ton.

Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1903

  • Brierley Wood (Messrs Mosely Bros) Blackshale, 4 entrances
  • Clinton (Stoney Lane Brick Co)
  • Manton (Wigan Coal and Iron Co) sinking cont’d since 1898
  • Sherwood colliery, Sherwood Colliery Co, (Ellis family) sank 1902-1903 to the Top Hard seam at 435 yards (398m) (99 sinkers and 103 surface men). The Top Hard seam was reached on 23rd March 1903 and the two shafts were continued down to the Dunsil seam at 461 yards (421m). A Capel fan at 15 feet (4.57m) diameter and 8 feet (2.43m) wide with double-inlet was driven by a steam engine. No1 shaft winder had a partly conical, partly spiral and partly flat drum between 11 feet 8 inches (3.55m) and 16 feet (4.88m) diameter. No2 shaft winder had an 11 feet (3.35m) diameter drum and both winding engines were cross-compound steam made by Fraser and Chalmers.
    A bank of 6 Lancashire boilers provided the steam. Stables were constructed in the Top Hard pit bottom for ponies. Sinking was also completed at Stanley (Mapperley Colliery Co).
  • Upper Hartshay, sinking (Butterley Iron and Coal Co).

Donisthorpe Sold

Checkland and Williams sold Donisthorpe (Leicestershire) to Donisthorpe Colliery Co in 1903. It would later become part of Moira Colliery combine. Between 1903 and 1919 the wooden headgears were replaced by steel.

Coal Prep Plant

A coal preparation plant was erected at Newstead (Newstead Colliery Co).

Short Strike At Kirkby

There was sharp short strike at Kirkby Summit (Nottinghamshire) (Butterley Co) in February 1903.

Three Day Week

The Bentinck miners (New Hucknall Colliery Co) were on a 3-day week as orders dropped.

New Price List At Pinxton

A new price list was issued at Pinxton collieries (Pinxton Coal Co) in February.


Charles Paxton Markham was made Chairman of the Staveley Coal and Iron Co.

Moira Co purchased Donisthorpe from CE Checkland and Williams. The Manager was Jesse Arnson.

Teversal Fire

There was a serious underground fire at Teversal on Wednesday night 7th July 1903 where an engine house in the pit bottom was severely damaged. No one was injured.


During August and September 1903 there were major disputes at Teversall (Stanton Ironworks Co) over machine coal cutting rates. There was a further reduction in national wage rates when the advance made in 1900 was taken away. At Cinderhill and Clifton there were short stoppages in September.

Tommy Noonie’s Shafts

Tommy Noonies’ shafts at Tibshelf, (Derbyshire) between Main Street Newton and Tibshelf Bottom pit were filled after requests by the villagers stating that they were dangerous.

Bar Cutter Installed

The first bar coal cutter was installed at Pinxton No1 pit (Derbyshire) (Pinxton Coal Co) and put to work in Deep Hard seam.

Boy Killed At Watnall

At Watnall colliery (Nottinghamshire) a boy named William Wagstaff was killed on 13th October 1903. He was crushed to death between the cage and the sump boards at the pit bottom level.

Mrs Turner Sold Out

Mrs E Turner sold out, and the Waterloo seam was abandoned at Alma (Alma Colliery Co).

Sinking at Williamthorpe

By December 1903 the shafts at the new Williamthorpe colliery (North Derbyshire) (Hardwick Colliery Co) had only been sunk to 180 yards (165m) deep in 2 years, because the old Lings colliery flooded workings had to be drained before sinking could be continued to the deeper seams.

Colliery Closures in 1903

  • Abbey mine Beauchief, (George Longden and Son Ltd), situated on Abbey Lane leading from Woodseats,
    Manager J Longden, Undermanager W Liversage, coal and ganister, Surveyor SA Dewhirst, robbed pillars, fast with water, abandoned Sep 1903, mm 1901
  • Albert, Staveley, (Staveley Coal and Iron Co) and Managers: Reuben Allen, Thomas Fisher and Myles Hardwick. Undermanagers: William Dooley pre 1887- finish
  • Alderwasley (Alsop and Eley), First coal and clay
  • Alma No1 (Alma Colliery Co), North Wingfield, Waterloo, Manager W Tate (Cert No 58)
  • Beard and Bugsworth (Levi and Elijah Hall), Furness Vale, east of Beard Hall, almost 800 ft (244m) above sea level, Mountain seam, July, 39/8 originally sunk by James Braddock, took over by Stott and Hall 1856 – 30th June 1868, then L and E Hall June 1869 – 29th July 1903, exhausted, see Barn or Dolly pit (Levi and Elijah Hall) - Jan 1886, John Drinkwater - June 1899, Old Dolly, ancient works, Chain pit 19 yards (17m) deep, Lady pit, coal 2’ 10” (0.86m), coal got by JohnDrinkwater and Hall to 1855, Deans Piece pit, Blind pits (Staples), Furnace pit, 35 yards (32m), coal got by Drinkwater and Hall to 1856)
  • Bullbower pit at 122 yards (112m) deep to Yard seam lay to east
  • Bole Hill (JH Fletcher) Barlow, Silkstone stood
  • Brimington (Wheeldon Mill Brick Co) Silkstone stood
  • Bull Close (Ernest Dixon Fawcett Esq) Loundes Wood, Dronfield, Blackshale, dip 1in12, met old works, 2 adits,
    1 Air shaft, abandoned 18th Feb 1903, Surveyor William Deakin Wadsworth
  • Burnd Edge No3 (Ollersett Collieries Ltd) Mountain stood
  • Calow Oaks (Harrison and Stanley) 3 Silkstone 3 s/f, Manager: W Banting (839), Undermanager: T Blunt (2nd)
  • Cartwright (Cartwright Colliery Co) (South Derbyshire), Stockings seam, previous seams Woodfield 1887,
    Main 1896, Stanhope 1900 and Eureka 1901
  • Clinton (Peter Newton)
  • Cotes Park No1 (J Oakes and Co) Deep Hard, pillar left for Carnfield Hall, seam abandoned 1st Jan 1903 due to Royalty worked out, James HW Laverick Manager, property of John H Barker Esq
  • Donisthorpe (Messrs Checkland and Co) Four Feet seam 2 ft 7 in at 81 yards (74.75m) Surveyor George Lewis (Lewis and Lewis), 9th Feb 1903
  • East Hollows (Southwell and May – East Hollows Colliery Co), Dronfield Woodhouse, closed after only 2 years,
    1in7 dip, ran into old goaf, Silkstone 6/3, Joseph Keeling (cert Manager), abandoned 10th Oct 1903
  • Heage (Robert Hunt) Kilburn
  • Moor Hole (Sheffield Coal Co) Deep Hard
  • Plumbley (J and G Wells Ltd) Silkstone stood
  • Rutland (Booker and Smith), Barlow, Tupton Threequarters stood
  • St Johns (Staveley Silkstone Colliery Co), closed after 26 years, Yard seam 108/31
  • Salterwood (Denby Iron and Coal Co Ltd), Hard coal 90 yards (82.3m) – noted on plan that the magnetic meridian for base lines for the underground surveys was adjusted from time to time (many others weren’t) abandoned 31st Mar due to large amounts of water, Surveyor AJ Haynes of Belper
  • Spinkhill sinking (Spinkhill Colliery Co) stood
  • Springfield (Springfield Colliery Co), Eastwood, Top Hard seam 1902-1903
  • Turnoak (Turnoak Colliery Co - WO Plowright, George Shaw) (Wath Main Colliery, Yorks, George Edward Carline and Mrs JLC Wadsworth) started 1890, finished Feb 1903, Potters seam, (tender coal not worked), white bind, roof coal 1’ 0” (0.30m), smithy coal 9” (0.22m), middle coal 2’ 0” (0.61m), dirt/coal 3” (0.08m), bottom bed 1’ 6” 0.45m), total 5’ 6” (1.68m), met old works, robbed pillars, Footrill adit and 14 yards (13m) deep shaft, abandoned 25 Mar 1903, Surveyor William Deakin Wadsworth 29 Apr 1903
  • Wheeldon Mill (Wheeldon Mill Brick Co) Silkstone stood.(23)
  • Fernilee, Taxal, Yeardsley and Whaley (surrendered on 13th January 1903 due to exhaustion) the lease between committee and Thos Jodrell Phillips Jodrell of the Priory Roehampton of unsound mind, and Joseph Hall of Buckstone (Buxton?), Lady Ann Hall, Hannah Hall and Adelaide Ann Hall, all of Morlands near Hayfield.

St John’s Closed

St Johns (Derbyshire) sunk in 1878, (belonging to St Johns College Cambridge) abandoned July 1903. Shaft 15 yards (14m) to Two Feet or 1st St John’s seam and 22 yards (20m) to Yard or 2nd St John’s with shaft total depth 85 yards (78m) to Top Hard.Yard coal or High Hazel, 2ft 8in (0.81m) thick bright coal, about 65 yards (60m) above Top Hard was abandoned as unprofitable by Staveley Silkstone Co.
Manpower: after 1894: 217 in Yard seam, 35 s/f
1895: 209 u/g, 37 s/f
1896: 189 u/g, 34 s/f
1897: 118 u/g, 29 s/f
1898: 130 u/g, 28 s/f
1899: 149 u/g, 32 s/f
1900: 147 u/g, 31 s/f
1901: 145 u/g, 37 s/f
1902: 138 u/g, 35 s/f
1903: 108 u/g, 31 s/f, closed July (Staveley Silkstone Co).
Manager: William Bumpstead (1575).
Undermanager: WT Shipman (2nd).

Church Gresley

The Main seam at 271 yards (248m) deep at Church Gresley No3 (Moira Colliery Co) (South Derbyshire), was abandoned at the end of December 1903 due to bad trade, Manager and Surveyor Philip Beaumont.

North West Derbyshire

The Beard and Bugsworth colliery abandonment plan also shows Lady pit 66 feet (20m) deep
Chain pit 57 feet (17m) to Yard seam
Deans Piece pit
Blind pit
Furnace pit 108 feet (33m) deep
Old Dolly pit and Barn or Dolly pit. Levi and Elijah Hall owned the colliery. 

Midlands Pits

Mapperley (Mapperley Colliery Co) Deep Soft stood. Measham Main (Measham Collieries Ltd) Woodfield stood. Stanton (J and N Nadin) Woodfield stood.

Silverdale Colliery, Staffordshire

Silverdale Colliery, Staffordshire

Butterley Co exercised their option to terminate their lease at Silverdale colliery, Staffordshire. (shown). The pit was very steep and heavily faulted and although worked both coal and ironstone, had lost money almost every year since the lease had begun some 14 years before.

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Pit Terminology - Glossary