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



Ventilation Fans To Be Able To Reverse Diversion Of Air

Under the Coal Mines Act 1911 as from 1st January 1913 there was to be at every mine in which a mechanical contrivance is used for ventilation to be able to put the ventilation current underground into reverse. This law was passed after 25 men were killed in Hamstead colliery near Birmingham in 1908 when a box of candles stored in a wooden box at the bottom of the DC shaft set alight and the fire spread inbye. The Guibal fan was connected to the DC shaft through a culvert and the air current reversed and the mine was cleared of deadly gases and the fire was put out by driving it back through the already burnt out section.

Butterley Company Pits

The Butterley Co had 22 collieries in 1913, plus 3 on lease: Bailey Brook, Birchwood, Britain, Codnor Park No3,
Denby Hall
, Hartshay, Kirkby, Loscoe, Fords Marehay, New Langley, Ormonde, Plumptre, Pollington, Portland, Riddings (Codnor Park), Ripley, Salterwood, South Normanton, Stoneyford No1, Upper Hartshay, Waingroves, Whiteley, plus the leased pits were Bentinck, Seelys Birchwood and Birchwood. Shipley at Lacey Fields was added by 1914.

 Strike at Moorgreen

There was a strike by the miners at Moorgreen (Nottinghamshire) (Barber, Walker and Co) in 1913.

Mansfield Railway

The Mansfield Railway connected Mansfield colliery (Nottinghamshire) to Clipstone in 1913 and Mansfield colliery to Mansfield town in 1914.

Tragic Sinking Accident At Rufford

A serious sinking accident occurred at Rufford (Nottinghamshire) on 28th February 1913, when 14 men were killed and 4 others were injured when the 7 ton sinking water suction barrel fell down the shaft following an overwind.

By a bizarre accident a faulty nail allowed a temporary awning to fall on to the head of the winding engine man, Sidney Brown, as he was winding the barrel out of the shaft.

Unfortunately he was unable to steady the speed and the barrel went up into the headgear where the Ormerod kinging hook failed to hold the heavy water laden barrel and it plunged swiftly back down the shaft where 18 men were working on the sinking platform.

The men who were fatally injured were Frank Dagnall (27), Andrew Dagnall (37), Joseph Bettney (41),
Jesse Hart (26), William Hollins (22), Thomas Jordan (32), John Knowles (33), Patrick Mulligan (33),
Frederick Paddon (36), Henry Scott (47), Walter Storey (38), John Tomlinson (40), James Wigman (43), and Herbert Woodward (25).

-<More Information Here>-

Sinking was carried out at Rufford from 1911 to 25th October 1913 to the Top Hard seam. This sinking by the Bolsover Co was their 4th colliery. Master sinker was William Cook. No1 downcast shaft was 21 feet (6. 4m) diameter and No2 upcast shaft 18 feet (5. 49m) diameter. Height above sea level is 355 feet (108m). Markham’s Ltd of Chesterfield manufactured both steam-winding engines. The Waddle ventilation fan at 16 feet (4. 88m) diameter worked on 2 inches (0. 05m) of water gauge.

The new colliery was situated about a mile east of the proposed model pit village of Rainworth. Like the other Bolsover Co villages, everything was catered for to appease the workforce and their families. The Institute was used by all. Dances and other indoor activities were held, such as whist drives, dominoes, darts etc. There was a Boys Brigade and Girls Brigade. First Aid was encouraged by joining the St John’s Ambulance Brigade. Football teams and cricket teams vied with other Bolsover Co colliery teams. The Robin Hood pub as well as the Welfare ensured that the miners could slake their thirst after a gruelling shift. Two rows of cottages were built on the hill on the main road from Mansfield first. The model village was built later to house the workforce. JP Houften JP, Mayor, was Managing Director of the Company. Several houses for the management team were built near to the mine.

Company Changes

Clay Cross became a Limited Company in 1913 and the name Clay Cross Iron and Coal Co was changed to Clay Cross Co Ltd.

Staunton or Worthington was taken over from Hardy and Co by the Leicestershire Colliery and Pipe Co Ltd after a short time.

Senghenydd Mine in South Wales
Britain's Worst Mining Disaster

During 1913 the worst colliery disaster in Britain occurred when 440 men and boys were killed in an explosion at the Senghenydd mine in South Wales. This mine was one of the most modern in the country having been opened only 18 months before, and this was the second gas explosion. It seemed to me that very little had been done to alleviate the problem of gas in the first place and obviously nothing had been done about it after the first explosion.

Manager Fined Over Pit Ponies

At Clay Cross colliery (Derbyshire) (Clay Cross Co Ltd) the Manager was fined £20 for allowing 4 horses to be worked whilst they were in an unfit condition and for allowing them to work in roadways that were not high enough for them to pass. Dinting had been done between the sleepers. Five ostlers were fined £3 each and costs and two others were fined for not keeping records of the horses in their care. Clay Cross No7 had 63 ponies, the company as a whole had around 300.

Pit Pony Derby

At certain pits during the Wakes Week holiday, some ponies were brought to the surface and a ‘Pit Pony Derby’ would be run with the young gangers as jockeys. Alfreton colliery (Blackwell Colliery Co) was one such venue. Carthorses were used at other collieries such as Oakwell at Ilkeston (Ilkeston Colliery Co Ltd) for surface duties, such as pulling railway trucks in sidings. Most large pits had a horse on the surface for general duties.


James Haslam MP for Chesterfield died and was succeeded as MP by Barnet Kenyon the General Agent of the Derbyshire Miners Association. William Edwin Harvey (1852-1914) took over as Secretary. He had been elected MP for North East Derbyshire in 1907.

Sinkers Killed

A sinker was killed at Welbeck (New Hucknall Colliery Co) on 16th December followed by the death of another sinker at Rufford (Bolsover Colliery Co) on 24th December 1913 (Nottinghamshire).

Staveley Coal And Iron Company

The Staveley Coal and Iron Co now had 27,400 acres of lease excluding joint holdings at Newstead (Nottinghamshire), and Brodsworth (Yorkshire). (Staveley Co and Hickleton Main Co had formed Brodsworth Main Colliery Co).

Wage Increase  And Hours Of Work

Two further wage rate advances of 5% each were made in 1913, but no more until 1915. Miners’ hours were limited underground to 8 hours from 1913-1919.

Colliery Name Changed

The name Hartshay colliery (Butterley Co Ltd) (Derbyshire) was changed to Lower Hartshay.

(More Information)

Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1913

  • Denby Pottery (Bourne and Sons) Denby, Deep Soft
  • Bowmers (Joseph Bowmer) Nether Heage, Norton
  • Hazel (Hazel Colliery and Brick Co Ltd) Barlborough, High Hazel
  • Hirst Hollow (Hirst Hollow Colliery Co) Dronfield Woodhouse, Ashgate
  • Newthorpe (Newthorpe Colliery Co) sunk
  • Stanley Kilburn (Derby Kilburn Colliery Co Ltd) Stanley
  • Swadlincote Drift driven by J and N Nadin, pit sunk 1852, (South Derbyshire).
  • Snibston, Stephenson shaft (South Leicestershire Colliery Co) sinking.

The Following Mines or Seams Were Abandoned or Stood in 1913

  • Bestwood (Bestwood Coal and Iron Co Ltd), High Main abandoned.
  • Bull Bridge (William Eaton) Ambergate, Norton.
  • New Dunston (Mr ED Fawcett), Deep Soft, top coal 8” (0. 20m), dirt 1” (0. 025m), coal 3’ 6” (1. 07m) met old works, Surveyors Coke, Turner and Co.
  • Ford Lane (William Horrox) Chesterfield, abandoned December, 11/3.
  • Grassmoor No3 (Grassmoor Colliery Co) Ell seam stood, 3.
  • Ford Lane (William Horrox) Silkstone 35 yards (32m), heads driven through old works, met other old works, 11/3 finished 31 Dec 1913.
  • Hall Flash (Hall Flash Coal Co) Robert Hackett, Lower Calow, Silkstone abandoned 25th September, 7/2, adit and air shaft, Surveyor Joseph H Harrison ME.
  • Inkerman (Inkerman Colliery Co) Chesterfield, sunk after 1908, abandoned.
  • Kings Wood (Aaron Cooper), Newbold, Potters seam, 2/1 abandoned.
  • Mickley (Mickley Coal Co (Dronfield) Ltd) Dronfield, Mickley coal.
  • New Langley (Butterley Co) Deep Hard stood.
  • Norbriggs (Lowton Bros) Staveley, Bassett seam (or 1st St John’s) coal 1’ 6” (0. 45m), holing dirt 5” (0. 13m), coal 1’6” (0. 45m) and Hazel seam (2nd St John’s or Lower St John’s or Catnob Two Feet) coal 3’ 0” (0. 91m), 7 yards (6. 5m) above Hazel at Staveley village, litigation with land owner caused colliery to stop, non-payment of rent, stopped June 1913 (abandoned 23 Mar 1915), Surveyor Joseph Henry Harrison.
  • Oakwell (Ilkeston Colliery Co Ltd) Kilburn.
  • Parkside (Marson Bros) Dronfield, Blackshale abandoned March 1914.
  • Pingot (Ollersett Collieries Ltd) Birch Vale, start 1892 abandoned December, Mountain, 33/8, Dec.
  • Portland No2 and No4 pits (Butterley Co Ltd).
  • Renishaw Park 1,2,3,4,5 (J and G Wells) all stood.
  • Ripley (Butterley Co Ltd) Silkstone stood.
  • Shady Hall (William Horrox, then John Mellors), drift and 2 shafts 14 yards (12. 75m) and 21 yards (19. 25m) Blackshale, met old works,13th Feb, 11/3, Surveyor Benjamin Blackburn (cert).
  • Springfield, Hill Top closed again.
  • Wheeldon Mill (Britt and Carrington) Brimington, Tupton, 4/2, day hole and air pit, (some coal and clay got prior to 1900, Surveyor FG Buxton), colliery sunk 1877 and commenced 25 Mar 1877 and worked to 25 Mar 1886 got by SM Lancaster, Surveyor William Deakin Wadsworth, (previous owner late Mr G Dawson for Wheeldon Mill Colliery and Brickyard Works).
  • Whiteley (Butterley Co Ltd) Marehay, stood, E439845 N348790. (20)
  • Pentrich (Maurice H Walker) (1817), Manager W Walker, Soft coal 3’ 9” (1. 14m) finished Apr, abandoned 5 May 1913 along with Deep Hard seam.

The Alma colliery (Derbyshire) (Alma Colliery Co) was taken over by the North Wingfield Colliery Co owned by Granville Chambers.


  • WB Hague pre 1883-95
  • JW Richardson – 1901
  • W Tate – 1903
  • Jos Cunliffe -1913.


  • George Knowles 1887-1903.
  • W Barlow, Sam Day, J Hancock, HM Tarlton.

At Bretby (Earl of Carnarvon) the Stanhope seam was abandoned on 30th June 1913. Manager and Surveyor Andrew Mein (3730) (1st Class and Endorsement).

Stanton (J and N Nadin and Co Ltd) abandoned Eureka seam 21 Feb 1928, Surveyor Arthur A Hook (63)
dated 27 Jan 1914.

Collieries in Derbyshire

  • Alfreton
  • Ambergate
  • Ashgate
  • Avenue No9
  • Avenue No11
  • Bailey Brook
  • Barlborough
  • Barlow Commonside
  • Blackwell A Winning
  • Blackwell B Winning
  • Bolsover
  • Bonds Main
  • Bowmers
  • Brampton
  • Brierly Wood
  • Britain
  • Broadfields
  • Brookhill
  • California
  • Campbell
  • Clay Cross No2
  • Clay Cross No4
  • Coombes Valley
  • Cobnar Wood
  • Coppice No1, No2
  • Cotes Park No2, No3
  • Creswell
  • Cutthorpe
  • Dale Abbey
  • Denby
  • Denby Hall
  • Denby Pottery
  • Ford Lane (abandoned Dec)
  • Glapwell
  • Grasscroft No3
  • Grassmoor No1, No2, No3, No4, No8
  • Gun Lane
  • Hall Flash (abandoned Sep)
  • Hartington
  • Hazel
  • High Lane
  • Hirst Hollow
  • Holbrook No1, No3, No4
  • Holly Bush
  • Holmewood No2, No3
  • Hornthorpe
  • Horsley Kilburn
  • Ireland
  • Kings Wood (abandoned)
  • Langar Lane
  • Langwith
  • Loscoe
  • Lower Hartshay
  • Manners No1, No2, No3
  • Mapperley No1, No2
  • Marehay No2, No3
  • Markham No1, No2
  • Marsh Lane
  • Mickley
  • Moor Edge
  • Moorhole
  • Morley Park
  • Morton No5, No6
  • Newbold
  • New Dunston
  • New Langley
  • Norbriggs
  • North Wingfield
  • Norwood
  • Old Birchwood
  • Ollersett Hall
  • Orchard
  • Ormonde
  • Oxcroft No1, No2
  • Park House No7
  • Parkside
  • Pentrich
  • Pilsley No1, No2, No3
  • Pingot (abandoned Dec)
  • Pinxton No2
  • Pleasley
  • Renishaw Park No1, No2, No3, No5
  • Ripley
  • Salterwood
  • Seymour
  • Shady Birchwood
  • Shady Hall (abandoned Feb)
  • Shallcross
  • Shirebrook
  • Shirland
  • Southgate
  • South Normanton
  • Stanley
  • Stanley Kilburn
  • Streetfield
  • Swanwick Deep
  • Swanwick Old
  • Thatchmarsh
  • Tibshelf No1, No2
  • Tibshelf No3, No4
  • Turnoak
  • Unstone
  • Unstone Silkstone
  • Upper Hartshay
  • Waingroves
  • Wallsend
  • Walton
  • Walton
  • West Hallam No1, No2, No4
  • Wheeldon Mill (abandoned Sep)
  • Whiteley
  • Whitwell
  • Williamthorpe No1, No2
  • Wingfield Manor
  • Woodside No1, No2.
    (113 Pits)

Collieries in South Derbyshire

  • Bretby No1, No2
  • Cadley Hill No1, No2, No3
  • Church Gresley No1, No2
  • Granville No1, No2
  • Hillside
  • Netherseal
  • Stanton No1, No2, No3, No4
  • Swadlincote No1, No2.
    (8 Pits)

Collieries in Leicestershire

  • Bagworth
  • Coleorton
  • Desford
  • Donisthorpe
  • Ellistown
  • Ibstock
  • Measham Main
  • Nailstone
  • Rawdon
  • Reservoir
  • Snibston
  • South Leicestershire
  • Whitwick
  • Worthington.
    (14 Pits)

Collieries in Nottinghamshire

  • Annesley
  • Babbington (Cinderhill No1)
  • Bentinck
  • Bestwood
  • Brinsley
  • Broxtowe
  • Bulwell
  • Cinderhill No4
  • Clifton No1, No2
  • Cossall
  • Digby
  • Gedling No1, No2
  • High Park
  • Hucknall No1
  • Hucknall No2
  • Kirkby
  • Langton No7, No8, (No9)
  • Linby No1, No2
  • Lowmoor
  • Mansfield
  • Manton No2, No3
  • Moor Green
  • Newcastle
  • New Hucknall No1, No2, No3
  • New London
  • New Selston
  • Newstead
  • Pollington
  • Portland No2
  • Pye Hill No1, No2
  • Radford
  • Rufford sinking
  • Selston
  • Sherwood
  • Shire Oaks No1, No2
  • Silver Hill No1, No2
  • Steetley
  • Sutton No1, No2
  • Teversal
  • Trowell Moor
  • Warsop Main
  • Watnall
  • Welbeck
  • Wollaton No1, No2.
    (44 Pits)

Supervision Of Pits

During 1913 due to the Regulations imposed by the Coal Mines Act 1911, sweeping changes were to take place in the running and supervision of coal mines. At Eastwood (Barber Walker and Co) Mr Fryar created the post of Agent and appointed Leonard Cliff Hodges, and Charles F Hoyle promoted from Bentley in Yorkshire and they succeeded as Manager for Brinsley and Selston collieries in Nottinghamshire.

Annual Demonstration

The Annual Nottinghamshire Miners’ Demonstration attended by around 20,000 was held on the Lawn Pleasure grounds at Sutton-in-Ashfield (Nottinghamshire) on 11th August 1913 the main speaker again was Lloyd George MP (Lib) the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Pit Ponies

More than 70,000 pit ponies were employed throughout the country but there were only 8 Horse Inspectors. Some of the larger collieries employed upwards of 100.

1913 Was A Good Year For Coal Overall

It was a good year for coal overall throughout the country. 46,713 Derbyshire miners produced 18m tons.

Britain's Maximum Output

In 1913 the greatest output ever was recorded for mines in Britain, when 1, 127, 890 men and boys from 3,015 pits produced 287, 430, 028 tons. From now on the number of mines and production of coal would fall, (except for Yorkshire which produced a maximum ever output of 46½m tons in 1924) but the number of miners would rise until 1924, when over 1¼ million miners were employed. Exports amounted to 93 million tons.

More Explosions

But on a more sombre note, the total number of fatalities in the country was 462 from 12 explosions, showing that although many Acts, Regulations and Rules had been brought in, it was still probably the most dangerous occupation to be in.

Drafting a Bill for Nationalisation

Robert Smillie obtained the agreement of the Executive Committee of the MFGB for drafting a Coal Mines Nationalisation Bill.

World War

However the impending World War would have such an impact on the industry with loss of markets abroad that it would never fully recover. Also many skilled miners joined the forces and unfortunately many of them would not return.

At Barber Walker Co for example at Eastwood, 450 workmen left and management personnel also enlisted including the Chairman Major Thomas Philip Barber, and Messrs Hodges, Dixon, Hoyle and Routledge leaving the oldest colliery Manager John Robert Harrison to carry on.

The demand for coal increased now as it was needed to fuel the fires for ships, coke ovens, industry, gas works, power stations, munitions for war etc. It was an insatiable market.

Return to Top

Pit Terminology - Glossary