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The Decline Of The Industry And Nationalisation 1947


1920 - Page 2

Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1920

  • Belper Lawn Drift (Midland Refractory Co Ltd) Belper Lawn
  • Bramley Hall (Chandler and Son Ltd) Marsh Lane, Silkstone
  • Castedge (John Hewitt) Taxal, 2 day eyes (adits), Little mine or Two Shades
  • Frith Wood (Thos A May) Dronfield, Silkstone
  • Highfields (Dethick and Sharpe) Apperknowle, Piper
  • Hornthorpe (Joseph and George Wells Ltd) Eckington, sinking to Deep Soft seam
  • Hutcliff Wood (Pitchford, Holland and Co Ltd) 2 adits and shaft through old works
  • Lount (WJ Hardy) sinking
  • New Dunston (ED Fawcett)
  • New Whittington (South Yorkshire Collieries Ltd) New Whittington, Silkstone
  • Spink Hill (J and G Wells Ltd) Eckington, Top Hard
  • Wood Lane (New Kilburn Colliery Co Ltd) Horsley, Kilburn. 

The Following Pits Were Closed in 1920

  • California (H Pope), Killamarsh, High Hazel
  • Coombes Valley (Coombes Valley Colliery Co), Charlesworth, Simmondley mine, 8 u/g / 5 s/f Sep 1919 to
    7 May 1920, Surveyor George Eagle
  • Dale (Abbey) (Stanton Ironworks Co Ltd), Stanton Gate, sunk 1916, three adits and one shaft 6 yards (5m) to Kilburn, near old goaf, UC 20½ yards (18.75m) nearby old workings, old shaft to south, section of seam tops 8” (0.20m), best 1’ 3” (0.38m), hards 1’ 3” (0.38m), flush 4” (0.10m), bottoms 1’ 3” (0.38m), sloom floor, 171 u/g/19 s/f, met old works, (Old Lady Wood Engine and Hagg Engine shafts (Earl Stanhope) were nearby), South Derbyshire, cert Surveyor Frederick W Wheatley (endorsed Manager’s Certificate)
  • Grasscroft (Grasscroft Colliery Ltd) Blackshale restarted but stopped due to smutty coal
  • Langer Lane Clay pit (Pearson and Co), Walton, 11/3, Tupton
  • Marsh Wood (Wilton and Parkes), New Whittington, Tupton Threequarter
  • Moor Edge (Pickford, Holland and Co Ltd), Totley
  • Nab Lane (Moor) (Moor Colliery Ltd) Gleadless, Parkgate
  • New Whittington (South Yorkshire Collieries Ltd) stood
  • Pollington (Jas Oakes and Co)
  • Wigwell (Major FR Griggs), Whatstandwell, 6/nil.

Britain (Butterley Co) Kilburn batts 3” (0.08m), 2’ 6” (0.76m) coal, shaft to Low Main at 241 yards (220m), surface level 678 feet (206.5m) above sea level. The Western shaft UC at 433 yards (396m) to Kilburn with seam proved and standing ready for development some 634 yards (580m) to the east, Surveyor John Holbrook, Agent Henry Eustace Mitton.

Morley Park (Ford’s Ltd) Ripley, Pumping shaft.

Pollington Colliery Closed 1920 After 45 Years

Pollington (Jas Oakes and Co) near Brinsley (Nottinghamshire) sunk in 1875/76 to Soft Coal (Deep Soft) at 202 yards (185m) and Deep Hard at 219 yards (200m) was almost exhausted and was closed in 1920 after 44 years. Shaft position E445550, N350090. There was difficulties with roads and water in the strata, and pumping became a big problem. The men were transferred to Pye Hill.

It was coupled through to Riddings colliery Tunnel pit 30th Apr 1875. The old Furnace Coal pit nearby was 90 yards (82m) deep to Lower Hard coal. No cutting machines were ever introduced and coal was produced by the advancing style of benk work and ponies for haulage.
Seams worked: Deep Soft and Deep Hard.


  • George Wales Laverick (59) 1875-1888
  • Chas H Oakes 1888-1920.

Managers: for Selston and Pye Hill also

  • James HW Laverick (2354) -1904
  • Ben McLaren (1789) 1903-1920. 

Managers for Pollington

  • George Wales Laverick (59) and Agent 1875-1888
  • James HW Laverick (2354) 1888-1903
  • Ben McLaren (1789)


  • William Wright (service cert 246) pre 1877-1894
  • William Wright (service cert 319) 1894-1909
  • Tom Barker (2nd) 1909-1911; E Lee (2nd) 1911-1920.


  • 1894: 342 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 42 s/f
  • 1895: 341 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 58 s/f
  • 1896: 371 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 54 s/f
  • 1897: 315 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 55 s/f
  • 1898: 328 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 58 s/f
  • 1899: 342 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 71 s/f
  • 1900: 353 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 65 s/f
  • 1901: 359 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 62 s/f
  • 1902: 345 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 66 s/f
  • 1903: 361 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 71 s/f
  • 1904: 364 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 79 s/f
  • 1905: 362 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 67 s/f
  • 1906: 346 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 66 s/f
  • 1907: 331 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 63 s/f
  • 1908: 390 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 68 s/f
  • 1909: 348 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 69 s/f
  • 1910: 320 app, 66 s/f
  • 1911: 296 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 63 s/f
  • 1912: 334 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 66 s/f
  • 1913: 315 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 63 s/f
  • 1914: 286 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 50 s/f
  • 1915: 291 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 66 s/f
  • 1916: 251 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 61 s/f
  • 1917: 242 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 61 s/f
  • 1918: 193 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 62 s/f
  • 1919: 9 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 15 s/f
  • 1920: 7 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 13 s/f,

Colliery Abandoned.

Surveyors included JR Hewitt.

Fatal Accidents Pollington

  • Thomas Oldershaw (48) fall of roof 30/9/1879
  • William Jackson (45) crushed by the cage 17/11/1881
  • William Clark (65) injured his arm and died from a heart condition 21/2/1899
  • Arthur Kibble (14) kicked by a pony 15 Mar 1904
  • John Wildsmith (59) crushed by wagons on the surface 14 Feb 1906
  • Ernest Foxholme (50) fall of coal 23 Aug 1910.

Wingfield Manor (Derbyshire)  was purchased by Clay Cross Co in 1920.

Datum Line Strike

All mines in the country were stood from 16th October to 1st November 1920.  This was known as the ‘Datum Line strike’.  Wage increases were granted and the miners returned to work on 4th November. However the strike was a financial burden to the NMA.  Many miners and their families resorted to gleaning bits of coal from the waste heaps. Soup kitchens were set up to feed the miners’ families. 

Maximum Manpower Employed

The maximum manpower employed in the industry throughout the country had reached 1,248,224.
However output was beginning to fall faster than ever as more pits were closed.

Deaths by Explosions

There were however 16 explosions in a total number of 2,838 pits in the country, killing 26 miners. From records it is likely that around 13,110 men and boys had been killed by explosions in the country since records were kept. Fortunately the few explosions that occurred in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire had not claimed too many lives, however they would do so later.

There Had Been A Revival Of Pits Being Sunk

There had been a revival in pits being sunk in 1919 when there were 2,927, a rise of 150 from 1918, however it would be short lived as seen and pit closures continued by the dozen.

Pits And Manpower

There were 127 pits in Derbyshire employing around 58,000 men and boys and 45 pits in Nottinghamshire employing over 51,000 and 12,650 men and boys in 24 pits in Leicestershire.

Companies To Provide Pithead Baths

Following the Sankey Commission an Act of Parliament was passed in 1920 instigating miners’ welfare. The Miners Welfare Commission was a Government body charged with responsibility of providing pithead baths and canteens and miners’ rehabilitation. A Miners Welfare Fund was set up and administrated by this body (and later by the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation).

Strike over Butties

In November 1920 the miners at Gedling (Nottinghamshire) (Digby Colliery Co) struck for a week over the continued use of Butties.

Sherwood Colliery Company

Oil lamps by Ackroyd and Best and 2 sorts of electric hand held lamps, one alkaline by Pearson Nife and the other a Kingsway by GEC which was an acid lamp, were in use at this time at Sherwood (Nottinghamshire) (Sherwood Colliery Co). 

The brickworks were producing 150,000 bricks a week, made from the white bind that lay above the seam and obtained from the gate rippings. 

There were still 5 main 200 hp haulages for coal plus a 150 hp haulage for manriding. Ponies were used for ganging coal from the faces to these haulages.

Fatal Accidents 1920

  • Bailey Brook, John Walker (57) fell over? Died from an embolism
  • Blackwell B Winning, Abel Daykin (17) crushed by tubs 14 Mar 1920
  • Blackwell, Frank Appleyard (14) crushed by tubs previously and died17 Nov 1920
  • Denby, Edward Carver (64) fall of roof 26 Jun 1920
  • Grassmoor No4, Fred Gee (44) eye injury 10 Jan 1920, died 4 Aug 1920
  • Kilburn, Sam Straw (49) fall of roof 16 Aug 1920
  • Kilburn, Leonard Gregory (19) fall of roof 1 Oct 1920
  • Denby, William Hunt (58) shotfiring accident 12 Nov 1920, died 13 Nov 1920
  • Manners, Thomas Edward Sewell (18) fall of roof on 5 Jan 1920, died 7 Jan 1920
  • Ormonde, Sydney Palfreyman (13) caught in machinery on the surface 2 Sep 1920
  • Southgate, Edward Lewis (47) fall of roof ? Dec 1920.