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The Decline Of The Industry
And Nationalisation 1947


1916 - Page 1


Prime Minister David Lloyd George 1916 - 1922 Liberal - Welsh-speaking: only Prime Minister whose mother tongue was not English.
Principal Secretary of State
Sir George Cave MP 1916-1918.
President of Board of Trade, Sir Albert Stanley MP (Conservative Coalition), Dec 1916-1919.

Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1916

  • Arden No2 (JW Swindells) Silkstone
  • Bankend No1 (SL Williamson and Son Ltd) New Mills, Yard seam, Jan
  • Sinking was still suspended at Clipstone (Bolsover Colliery Co), but surface work continued with 158 men
  • Dale Abbey (The Stanton Ironworks Co Ltd) Kilburn seam tops 8” (0.20m), best 1’ 3” (0.38m), hards 1’ 8” (0.50m), flush 8” (0.20m), bottoms 1’ 3” (0.38m), sloom floor
  • Furnace Hill (Wm Horrox) Eckington, Flockton seam
  • Grassmoor Nos 11 and 12 shafts sunk (Grassmoor Colliery Co Ltd) Piper and Waterloo and the Ramcroft Colliery Co (c/o Bullcroft Main Collieries, Doncaster) completed sinking to the Top Hard at Ramcroft near Heath (Derbyshire)  in 1916, 47/86. 
    (5 Pits)

Sheepbridge Company

Sheepbridge Co., through subsidiaries, continued to develop Firbeck Main, Maltby and Rossington The Sheepbridge Co had taken lease of the lower seams at Glapwell, having worked the top seams for 30 years. They were also sinking Palterton and Edington (Doncaster).  In conjunction with Bullcroft Main Co were to develop Markham Main. The sinking at Warsop Main and plans to sink another pit to Blackshale in Staveley works yard, where there was a new blast furnace, 150 coke ovens, 140 tons of sulphuric acid being produced per week, 15,000 gallons of Benzol and 80 tons of sulphate of ammonia.


99 boys (gangers) were summoned at Nottingham Court, on 20th April 1916, for leaving their job without notice. 34 were fined £1 (100p) each for being absent for 2 days in March 1916 and the others were fined 10/- (50p) plus costs 3/6d (62.5p) for being absent for 1 day. The boys were taking empty tubs to the coal face and full tubs back to the main haulage road, this meant that the pit was idle and 206 men could not work and 900 tons was lost on the 1st day and 600 tons on the 2nd day. Altogether this was the 6th time this had happened, giving a total loss of output of 5000 tons.


30 Belgians working at Clifton Colliery since the war began.

Upper Hartshay

3 men were fined for absenteeism at Upper Hartshay Colliery. The first one £2.5.0d (£2.25p). The second one fined £2.4.0d (£2.20p). The third one was fined £1.17.0d (£1.85p). All were fined 10p a day damages.

Old Pits Closed Previously at Mastin Moor Included

  • Woodhouse Lane and Redding Lane collieries
  • At Dronfield there was Plantation, Dronfield Silkstone, Fallswood, Gomersal and Summerley pits. 
  • In the Barlow area known old pits were Crowfield, Barlow Lees, Monkwood New and Barlow Commonside
  • In the Cutthorpe area Wildaygreen, Barlow and Nesfield.

Women Drafted

The War continued and many more miners left to join the forces as volunteers.  Because of the shortage of men, the introduction of women into the engine house and lamp cabin at Waleswood colliery caused a lot of problems, because previously the work was done by a disabled man who had been put on to heavier work which had proved too much for him. 

Strike Threat at Waleswood

A strike was threatened and the women were withdrawn from those duties.  Waleswood lies just over the border of North Derbyshire into South Yorkshire.

Pit Lads On Strike at Wollaton

Photo from The Railway and Canal Historical Society

300 pit lads went on strike at Wollaton Colliery putting 1,500 miners temporarily out of work. The industrial action was sparked by the owner’s of the colliery effectively scrapping August Bank Holiday that year.  The lads were told that they would have to work, and at their normal pay rates rather than the agreed Bank Holiday rate of time-and-a-quarter.  The Nottinghamshire Miners Association intervened and met with the bosses later in the day to settle the dispute.

Socialist Labour Party

Jack Lavin an Irish immigrant working as a miner at Welbeck formed the Socialist Labour Party and denounced union leaders as ‘class traitors’.  Sutton born George Spencer MP was the leader of the more moderate league of miners.  My Grandad Eli White was a founder member.

Clashes would arise as will be seen later in the 1920s.

Sir Arthur Markham died on 5th August 1916 and succeeded by Sir Charles Seely Liberal MP for the Mansfield constituency.


A new pump house was constructed in Teversall pit bottom during 1916.  A deep-water cistern by the side of the Shonkey shaft pit bottom collected all the water made underground. Two high-speed turbine pumps at 200gpm were installed at the shaft side.  Two electrical mixed pressure turbo generators each at 500kW were installed on the surface to supply power for Teversall and Silver Hill (Nottinghamshire) (Stanton Iron Works Co Ltd).  The Silkstone or Blackshale seam at 3 feet 3 inches (1m) thick that had been continually worked at Silver Hill since 1878 was discontinued.  A new electric shaft cable was installed, the power being conveyed by overhead line from the new generator at Teversall.  The DC (Direct) current was changed to AC (Alternating) at the time in readiness for the introduction of coal cutting machines. 

The following Top Hard districts and stalls were surveyed at Teversall and carried out in December 1916 on several night shifts by A Tagg on dial with J Matthew,
P Needham and A Bowen as assistants on the chain.

In those days most measurements were done by steel chain, a distance of 22 yards, a cricket pitch length, and equating approximately to 20m.

The Gunter’s chain was divided into 100 links, each link being 7.92 inches (0.20m).

Hardwick Dips district: 27s, 86s, 13s, 32s, 24s, 40s, 78s, 83s, 76s, 41s, 46s, 12s, 71s, 28s, 29s (13s), 25s, 47s, 44s, 33s, 36s, 62s, 80s, 63s, and 67s stalls. 
(24 working places)

South Dips district: 90s, 8s, 95s, 51s, (old 81s), 73s, 56s, 50s, 48s, 16s, 3s (old 42s), 54s, 7s, 61s, 108s, (old 82s), 58s, 96s, 109s, 38s, 57s, 87s, 1s, 6s, 17s, 31s, 65s, 110s, 106s and 30s. 
(28 working places)

Skegby Dips district: 9s, 2s, 54s, No2 level, 10s (old 10s), 39s, 103s, 52s, 19s (stood), 43s, 74s, 113s, 100s, (old 94s), 94s, 53s, 5s, 85s, 111s, 3s, 60s, (old 14s), 14s, 21s, 26s, 89s, 84s, 5s, 34s, and 87s. 
(28 working places)

South district: 36s, 104s, 107s, 59s, 101s, 66s, 36s, 49s, 79s, 15s, 4s, 105s, 112s, 75s, 64s, 11s, 64s, 35s, 99s, 22s, 96s, 48s, 93s, 92s, 91s, 37s, 36s Road, 102s, 53s, 93s, 20s, 77s, 72s and 69s. 
(34 working places) 114 total.

Note the comparison with the surveys of March 1918, showing the decrease in number of stalls due to less manpower during the Great War.

At Sutton (Nottinghamshire) (Blackwell Colliery Co), the Dunsil seam was abandoned as ueconomical.


Absentee committees were set up at colliery and district level due to increasing levels. Some men would deliberately stay away from work on a Monday, in order to go to the Cattle Market at Mansfield, or other such venue, whereas others who had collected their wages earlier would go to the pub on a regular basis then fail to turn up for the Friday night shift and other men would just ‘holiday’ at random depending upon circumstances.

Mansfield Contraband

Sept 1916, Albert Arthur Taylor (17½) lit a cigarette and smoked it underground at Mansfield Colliery and was fined £2.2.0 (£2.10p).
Joseph Hopkinson was fined £1.1.0 (£1.5p) for having 5 cigarettes on his person.

Glapwell Lease

The Sheepbridge Co took out a lease for the lower seams at Glapwell colliery (Derbyshire)  in September 1916.  The Top Hard seam had been worked for 30 years and was now exhausting.

Lack of Manpower Due to War

The Waterloo seam workings were stopped at Swanwick (RCAP Morewood) in September due lack of manpower in the War. Many more miners had volunteered and enlisted.

Midland Railway Company

125 miners from Mansfield sued the Midland Railway Co. because they failed to run a ‘Paddy Train’ from Mansfield to Pleasley on the morning of 2nd Oct 1916. They all lost a day’s work, 11/6d (57.5p). If they had been warned early enough they could have walked to work.


A new shaft at Swanwick was completed, in September 1916, to a depth of 430 yards (393 m).

25th Sept 1916 there was an Air Raid warning and an exposed lamp was reported.


F. Tatham, the manager of Ibstock Collieries retired at the end of October 1916.

Stanley Accident

Henry Smith (Manager) plus 2 workmen, Fred Beardmore and Thomas Knapp, were burnt with red hot ashes from a boiler in October 1916.


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