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The Decline Of The Industry
And Nationalisation 1947


1919 - Page 2

Rail Strike

There was a National rail strike from 30th Sep to 6th Oct 1919. causing aggravation to coal transportation.


The Blackwell Colliery Co attempted to re-introduce the Butty system at their mines.

Mines Rescue Station

A Mines Rescue Station was opened on Infirmary Road, Chesterfield by the North Midland coal owners.  They offered the use of their rescue team and tender to the Chesterfield Borough Council at the rate of 5 guineas (£5.25p) per turn out, and 2 guineas (£2.10) per hour or part hour afterwards, and 5s (25p) for every man per hour whilst away from the station.  (Note, a guinea was 21s or £1-1s or £1.05).

Photo - Mines Rescue Station Chesterfield

Marehay Main

The Kilburn seam was closed at Marehay Main (Derbyshire)  (Messrs Fords Ltd). 

Outburst Of Water

Whilst working uphill at 1in5 towards an old level from Morley Park pits there was a large outburst of water on 2nd May flooding the working and it was deemed that it did not justify re-opening to work the remaining area and the seam was abandoned on 27th July 1919.

Pumping continued at Morley Park (Ford’s Ltd) and High Holborn (Cossall Colliery Co Ltd), Babbington, nil underground / 2 men on surface.

Worthington Flooded and Closed

Worthington (or Staunton) (Leicestershire) (Leicester Colliery and Pipe Co Ltd) was flooded and 200 men were thrown out of work and the company abandoned the mine March 1919.

Shaft depth was 364’ 5” (111m) and 238’ 3” (72.5m) to Nether Lount at 5’ 3” (1.6m) thick. Workings in this seam very uncertain. It would appear that there are no known surveys of the workings to be able to plot same therefore all works in that seam to be treated with suspicion.

Seams worked:
Main seam and fireclay Jan 1912-1916
Smoile Apr 1913-1916;
Nether Lount 1914-1916;
Roaster 1914-1916;
Middle Lount seam, coal 4’ 0” (1.22m), bastard clay 1’ 0” (0.33m), fireclay 3’ 0” (0.91m), 1917-1919

Some coal leased from Sir G Beaumont and some freehold, met old works.

Manpower 1911: sinking; 1912: Main seam opened Jan 1912: 1913: 56 u/g, 13 s/f; 1914: 42 u/g 10 s/f; 1915: 72 u/g, 22 s/f; 1916: 115 u/g, 40 s/f; 1917: 122 u/g, 29 s/f; 1918: 131 u/g, 33 s/f; 1919: 175 u/g, 29 s/f.

Managers: Robert Miller (301) 1912-1917; J Robinson (3970) 1917-1919.

Undermanagers: D Ross (570 / 2nd) 1917-1919.

Surveyors: James Tonge first Surveyor; James Meakin (1794) -1919

Fatal accidents Worthington: none known

Other Colliery Closures in 1919

  • Arden No1  (North West Derbyshire) JW Swindells from 30 Nov 1917) New Mills, Yard seam, coal 3’ 0” (0.91m), clay 17” (0.43m), coal 7” (0.18m), and fireclay, 27u/g / 5 s/f, started 30th Nov 1917, met old workings to south, 14th May 1919, Surveyor George Eagle (1017)
  • Barlborough Common Abdy or Winter, believed Sough seam 30 Apr 1919
  • Boothorpe (Midland Railway) 3 Foot seam and pot clay at 15 yards (13.7m) last worked Oct 1919
  • Brierley Wood (ED Fawcett) Old Whittington, Black Shale
  • Broadfields (Mickley Colliery Co (Kilburn) Ltd), Horsely Woodhouse, 2 adit drifts at 1in3 and an air shaft 12 yards (11m) deep, Mickley 2’ 6” (0.76m), holing 7½” (0.19m), flooding and consequent financial difficulties, Royalty John Sheard, Mar, Undermanager J Galliford (2nd), Surveyor Arthur James Haynes (cert)
  • Broadhey, (NW Derbyshire) (...?)
  • Coal Aston (Henry Shaw and Son), Dronfield, Mickley Thin 14” (0.35m) 2 day holes abandoned 11 Jan 1919 after only app 22 yards (20m), and Old Crabtree Day hole lay nearby, Surveyor John T Shaw
  • Cutthorpe (Marson Bros) Chesterfield, Ashgate
  • Hempshill Deep Soft Dec 1919
  • Higher Cliffe Tunnel (S and F Oldfield), Mellor 2 Smithy coal abandoned Dec
  • Holymoorside Coal and Ganister mine (Grayson, Lowood and Co Ltd) South adit Belper Lawn coal 1’ 7” (0.48m), clay 1’ 10” (0.56m), North adit Ganister 4” (0.10m), clay 3’ 0” (0.91m), 31st Oct, Manager and Surveyor Harry Rhode (1482)
  • Langer Lane Clay pit (Pearson and Co) The Potteries, stone bottle and jar manufacturer, Manager Johnson Pearson, Tupton seam: coal tops 8” (0.20m), bat 1” (0.02m), coal 2’ 3½” (0.70m), fireclay 2’ 0” (0.61m), adit and air pit 9 yards (8m), finished 31st Dec, (abandoned May 1920) Hubert Blackshaw, Surveyor, position of old workings supplied by Lessors Surveyor from old plans of Boythorpe – not found, adit and air pit 9 yards (8m) deep, there was also an old ironstone shaft adjacent, a trial pit and a water level
  • Marehay 2 (Ford’s Ltd), Ripley, Kilburn abandoned, Manager W Brown (1559)
  • Mickley (Mickley Coal Co (Dronfield) Ltd), Dronfield, Mickley
  • New Whittington (New Whittington Silkstone Colliery Co Ltd) Messrs Graham late owners, 34 in Silkstone 6’ 11” (2.10m) coal and dirt, 8 s/f, Manager SJ Bridges (1587), GC Statham ?
  • Pinxton No2 UC (Pinxton Collieries Ltd), Silkstone seam 8, and 12 s/f, last stall abandoned 20 Nov 1919, connected to No3 DC 255 yards (233m) Manager EEV Stokes (2201), Undermanager J Mullins (2nd), Geoffrey Blood (317)? Surveyor to Pinxton Collieries Ltd
  • Spinkhill Brickyard (J and G Wells Ltd) Top Hard 4’ 6” (1.37m), shaft 42 feet (13m) deep, abandoned 24 May 1919, William Greensmith Surveyor to the Co (3 Nov 1921)
  • Stanley Kilburn (Derby Kilburn Colliery Co Ltd) Stanley, Kilburn, abandoned Jan, William H Sankey Agent
  • Thatchmarsh Burbage (Buxton Lime Firms Co Ltd),  Manager JW Harvey (2871) – the last of the mines in the Buxton area, sunk 1859, Mountain, House coal or Ringinglow, section top bed 1’ 1” (0.33m), bat 6” (0.15m), bottom bed 2’ 11” (0.89m), millstone grit floor, very steep workings, 6 men u/g /1 surface, coal worked down to old water level, pit 130 yards (119m), air pit 42 yards (38.5m) and air pit not connected 88 yards (80.5m) 7 Jun 1919
  • Top Stubbin (...?) was closed
  • Grassmoor No6 and No7 shafts were filled up by October
  • Wilday Green (Walker) Kilburn or Walker’s seam, 2 adits, met old works, full dip 1in4.7, (dates of surveys 24 Oct 1916, 30 Jan 1917, 6 Jun 1917, 23 Aug 1918, 17 Mar 1919, 13 Nov 1919), Surveyor William Deakin Wadsworth

Bretby Kilburn abandoned Dec 1919, Surveyor Arthur A Hook for the Co.

Broxtowe Top Hard at 100 yards (90m) deep was abandoned in June 1919. The seam was 5’ 0½” (1.53m) thick overlain with 2 leaves of Coombe coal 1’ 4” (0.40m) and 1’ 2” (0.36m). Goaf connections had been made to Newcastle to the North (the plan showed that the workings were inaccurate in places and there were many long boreholes drilled in the coal to prove the position of old workings as they were approached). Nearby were Nuttall Wood Engine pits where the Top Hard lay at 136 yards (124m) and Machine House pit where the Top Hard was at 107 yards (98m) deep. John T Walters was the Surveyor for the Babbington Co.

Moor Green (Nottinghamshire) (Barber Walker and Co) Deep seam (2nd Waterloo) 1 Aug 1919. Pit bottom headings between shafts, DC 160 yards (146m) and UC 161 yards (147m), section top coal 2’ 3” (0.69m), dirt and coal 3” (0.08m), coal 3” (0.08m), dirt 1’ 0” (0.30m), coal 1’ 8” (0.50m), Surveyor Charles H Whitelock.

New Whittington colliery (Derbyshire)  was closed also. Many old coal pits surrounded the mine such as Brimington Silkstone, Dukes New, Glasshouse Common, Hollingwood, West Staveley colliery and many ironstone mines.   (16)

At New Westwood pit the Soft coal workings were stopped on Lady Day 1919. There was water issuing from ancient shafts. Seymour (Staveley Coal and Iron Co Ltd) Top Hard 110, 35 s/f, abandoned, Manager: William Henry Gregory (799), Undermanager: RS Knight (2nd)

Also Tunnel pit and Brinsley Hall pits with a barrier left to Stoneyford pits (Oakes and Co) nearby. (20)

At Low Moor pit Kirkby, (Nottinghamshire) (Butterley Co) the Low Moor Cannel seam (Low Main) heads from the North shaft (Top Hard at 352 yards (322m), Deep Soft 516 yards (472m), Deep Hard 594 yards (543m), Blackshale 638 yards (583m) was abandoned on 28th January 1919 – roof dark and cockley, Cannel 11” (0.28m), dirt 3½” (0.09m), Cannel 6” (0.15m), coal 1’ 7” (0.48m), floor grey clunch and ironstone 2’ 7½” (0.66m). Surveyor was John Holbrook for the Butterley Co and the abandonment plan was confirmed as correct by Henry Eustace Mitton Agent on 5 May 1919.

Pumping continued at old Winterbank pit (South Normanton Colliery Co Ltd) 2 u/g, 2 s/f. This was under the management of the South Normanton Colliery. The pit was only a a couple of hundred yards (metres) into Derbyshire from the border with Nottinghamshire.

Undermanager Disappeared

Thomas Severn, Undermanager at Mapperley (Derbyshire) disappeared underground on 5th June 1919. He was last seen at 12.15pm turning into a slit onto the return airway from the Smalley district.  No expense was spared in the hunt to find him, even dogs were taken down the pit to try to track him and also a Clairvoyant was tried, but to no avail. He was never found.

North West Derbyshire Coalfield

The small North West Derbyshire Coalfield around Axe Edge and Goyt Valley worked since 1600 was now exhausted with the last pit closure Thatchmarsh mine (Buxton Lime Firms Co Ltd) started 1859, working House coal seam down to water level, on 7th June 1919, Surveyor EG Atlee (870). Old known mines were Goyt colliery, Goyte Moss, Level Mine, Buxton collieries, Burbage colliery (Top pit), Buckett Engine, Axe Edge and Thatchmarsh

There were around 130 pits sunk to the House coal seam and probably around 200 to the Goyt seam. In the early days all the output was taken to the markets by packhorse. 

The Buxton mines were most productive between 1780 and 1880, the period 1790 to 1810 being linked with the growth of the lime-burning industry.

Other named mines in the High Peak area:

  • Adlington
  • Bakestone Dale
  • Berristow
  • Birchen Booth
  • Blackclough
  • Black o th Moss
  • Blakelow
  • Blue Hills
  • Bollington
  • Bugsworth
  • Castedge
  • Chest
  • Cliff Bank
  • Combes Moss
  • Cowpasture
  • Crashaway
  • Dane Head
  • Dane Thorn
  • Diamond Hill
  • Diglee or Whaley Bridge
  • Eastborough Lane
  • Fernilee
  • Furnace Clough
  • Gap Sitch
  • Gold Sitch
  • Harrop
  • Hayclough
  • Hazle Barrow
  • Hurdesfield
  • Kerredge
  • Latch
  • Macclesfield Common
  • Moss pit
  • Mouse Trap
  • New Post
  • Notbury
  • Penny Hole
  • Pott Hole
  • Quarnford
  • Rainow Low
  • Rise
  • Robins Clough
  • Shall Cross
  • Srigley Fold
  • Spons
  • Spons Moor
  • Styperson
  • Swanco
  • Thatch Marsh
  • Throstles Nest
  • Tunnel
  • Whaley
  • Whatshaw
    Little is known of the details of sinking / opening or closing of these pits and not noted in the list of collieries in Part 8 of the book.

The Ringinglow seam or Mountain, the lowest or No1 seam was worked along with Yard, Goyt or No2 seam. It was also referred to as the House coal. The Goyt seam on Axe Edge was called the Yard seam or Kiln coal (but although it was thick, it was dirty). The Kiln seam at Whaley Bridge was the Mountain seam at Mellor, Ganister seam at Chisworth, White Ash seam at Whaley Bridge and Shallcross. There was also the Big Smut seam and the Red Ash coal, although high in sulphur was mixed with the Yard coal for lime burning.

At Whaley Bridge in Oct 1905, Richard Walker, Samuel Mosley Walker and Harry Woolley were killed when the Tip collapsed.

Farey mentioned that Combes Moss had closed around 1815 and the following pits had also closed but at unknown dates: Chest, Dane, Fernilee, Gap Stitch, Hay Clough, Latch, Level, Mousetrap, Notbury, Quarnford, and Robinsclough Tinkers.


Fred Slater of 59 Rosemary Street, Mansfield, a miner at Sherwood colliery (Nottinghamshire), committed suicide in October 1919 by cutting his throat. He had been worried a great deal having been laid off from work due to a strike.

Fatal Accidents 1919

  • Ormonde, Barlborough, Ernest Hendry (26) crushed by tubs 3 Mar 1919
  • Bolsover, Thomas Campion (29) fall of roof 8 Dec 1919
  • Britain, Isaac Day (72) caught in machinery 8 Jul 1919
  • Coppice, John Burton (51) hit by a piece of wood on the surface 1 Mar 1919, died 2 Mar 1919
  • Coppice, Christopher Winfield (50) crushed by tubs 26 Sep 1919, died 27 Sep 1919
  • Creswell, Harry Limb (16) run over by tubs 18 Mar 1919
  • Creswell, Thomas Cooper (49) fall of roof 23 May 1919
  • Denby, Leonard Butler (17) run over by tubs 3 Mar 1919
  • Glapwell, Arthur Ashmore (39) fall of roof 10 Jan 1919
  • Grassmoor, Joseph Pickering (19) fall in a roadway 20 Aug 1919
  • Grassmoor, Luther Branston (38) fall in a roadway 26 Nov 1919
  • Grassmoor, Elijah Hollis (45) fall of roof 3 Dec 1919
  • Grassmoor, Harry Key (48) scratched down the pit on 3 Dec 1919, died 10 Dec 1919 of toxaemia
  • Hartington, Sidney Edwin Crafts (19) crushed by tubs 14 Mar 1919
  • Hartshay, Charles Willis (?) caught in machinery 23 Feb 1919
  • Hartshay, Kerby Seal (17) fall in a roadway 25 Apr 1919
  • Holmewood, Sam Smith (22) fall in a roadway 10 Mar 1919
  • Langwith, Arthur W Berresford (15) kicked by a pony on 4 Nov 1919, died 21 Nov 1919
  • Ormonde, George A Strickland (16) fall of roof 27 Aug 1919
  • Ormonde, Thomas Fullwood (42) fall of roof 17 Oct 1919
  • Oxcroft, Eli Hunter (35), James Taylor (31), John William Chappell (26), George Randall (26), Elisha Whitehouse (57) and Sam S Barker (25), all 6 died in an explosion of firedamp 6 Apr 1919
  • Pleasley, William Hallam (54) fall of coal on 31 Mar 1919, died of toxaemia 9 Apr 1919
  • Ripley, George Henry Larch (39) fall of coal 20 Aug 1919, died 22 Aug 1919
  • Southgate, there was a double fatality Albert Henry Nouch (26) single, and John Thomas White (56) married, were buried under several tons of rock in No 11 stall.  Ernest Nouch was injured and J Hall Inspector of Mines attended the scene, 13 Oct 1919
  • Swanwick, Henry Augustus Parkin (40) fall of roof 8 Jan 1919
  • Tibshelf, John Jas Bunting (22) fall of roof 6 Feb 1919
  • Tibshelf, Francis Howitt Butler (21) fall of roof 28 Feb 1919
  • Tibshelf, Alfred Barlow (16) crushed by tubs 31 Dec 1919
  • Williamthorpe, Henry Buckley (38) fall of roof 11 Jan 1919
  • Williamthorpe, Ernest Barrett (14) crushed by tubs 11 Jul 1919
  • Williamthorpe, double fatality, Christopher Massey (25) and Albert Pollard (35) fall of roof 20 Sep 1919
  • Williamthorpe, William Lander (42) fall of roof 4 Dec 1919
  • Williamthorpe, Sydney Barlow (14) run over by tubs 11 Dec 1919
  • Wingfield Manor, Benjamin Pugh (37) fall of roof on 10 Dec 1918, died 16 Feb 1919.

Colliery Developments

Maurice Deacon an eminent colliery engineer quoted in October 1919 that the colliery developments had only yielded moderate rates of interest in the past.

Summoned For Non-Payment
Of Income Tax

George Gregory a miner at Barlborough (Derbyshire)  was summoned on 31st October 1919 for non-payment of income tax, amounting to £1-17s-0d (£1.85) for the January and April quarters.  Percy Fisher was similarly charged for non-payment of £3-19s-10d (£3.99).  Fred Woodhead a miner at Clowne owed 19s-1d (£0.95½) and Stan Davies another Barlborough miner owed £1-16s-0d (£1.80) for he had earned £56-10s-0d (£56.50) per quarter with a total of £240-10s-0d (£240.50) for the year. Until the 1940s when Pay as you earn (PAYE) income tax came in, a man was responsible for paying his own taxes.

HM Inspectorate

Thomas Mottram was appointed Chief Mines Inspector.
Charles D Mottram was Sub-Inspector.