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The Decline Of The Industry
And Nationalisation 1947



No6 Shaft at Cinderhill (Babbington) (Nottinghamshire) was sunk 140 yards (128m) to the main bright and to a total depth of 600 yards (549m) at a diameter of 18 feet 2 inches (5.53m). An electric winder was installed to wind 60 draws to the hour with twin decks holding.

Essential Work

Essential Work (Coalmining Industry) 1943 came into force on 6th April. Some experienced men were fetched back from the forces to work in the mines.

Coal Act 1943

The Coal Act 1943: Under many leases, notices of approach had to be sent to certain surface owners when workings were approaching certain specified buildings. This often involved giving notices to third parties and occasionally resulted in coal being sterilised for support purposes. In order to regularise such working, Sec 11 of the 2nd Schedule of the Coal Act 1943 vested in the owner rights to work such coal without notice, provided any damage caused by such working was accepted by them and compensation paid or damage made good.

Para 6 Notices

As with the 1938 Coal Act, under Paragraph 6 (3) the surface owners may after the Para 6 notice first being published, request the NCB to examine any plans and specifications of any proposed building about to be erected within the area of the notice for approval of design. If reinforcing was recommended to withstand future mining subsidence then the surface owner could be reimbursed for the additional expense. Of course there were many complications as you can imagine, particularly in already densely occupied areas. It was deemed that if the developer declined the advice, the NCB would only be liable for damage to a building which it is estimated would have occurred should the recommended structural precautions have been incorporated. This was after the publication of the notice.

First To Win An Output Bonus

During June 1943, North Derbyshire miners were the first to win an output bonus of 6d (2½p) a shift. Harry Hicken became Regional Labour Director. The war industries were demanding more and more coal. With this soaring demand a miner could not leave his place of employment without permission from a National Service Officer.

Coal Prices Regulated

Coal prices were regulated and the Government continued its grip on the industry by making physically fit ex-miners return to the pits as well as surface workers being drafted underground. Some did not relish this and refused, and were penalised by a jail sentence.

Sidney Page

There were 16 lads on the surface at Newstead (Nottinghamshire) (Newstead Colliery Co), hoping to go into the forces and 15 of them were cajoled into going down the pit, however Sidney Page a young surface worker refused to work underground for the War effort and was jailed. He had wanted to join the Royal Navy. He was sacked and collections were made for him. The Courts sentenced him to 30 days in Lincoln Gaol. The men came out on strike on Monday 13th September 1943, followed by all the Leen Valley pits, bringing the Nottinghamshire Coalfield to a halt, however the Home Secretary Herbert Morrison ordered his release when Page agreed to go underground, providing he could have his surface job back after the hostilities ceased. A mass meeting of striking miners was held in Hucknall and were assured of his release after 8 days in prison and there would be no victimisation.

Strike Over

On Friday 17th September 1943 the strike was over and the men returned to work the following Monday. Sid Page would go on to be a coal face worker and retire in the 1980s.

Explosion at Coppice

On 28th June 1943 there was an explosion at Coppice colliery (Shipley Collieries Ltd), caused by a shot firing accident and an ignition of methane gas. 4 men were killed, all dying in Nottingham General Hospital from toxaemia, following burns.

Explosion at Bolsover

A mystery explosion had occurred at Bolsover on 15 April 1943 when 3 men were killed and 2 injured.

Aerial Ropeway

An aerial ropeway was commissioned at Bolsover (Derbyshire) for the dispersal of spoil.


A new fan was commissioned at Langton (Nottinghamshire) in 1943. Partial extraction of an old Top Hard pillar at Langton was effected using an 8BU Joy Loader gathering arm machine (Pinxton Collieries Ltd). It was an awkward shaped area and there was no conveyor system installed. Pony ganged?

Canal Closed

The Butterley to Cromford Canal was closed.


Giltbrook (Giltbrook Colliery Co) at Awsworth (Nottinghamshire) was abandoned (Deep Hard or Lower Hard) headings abandoned May 1943, stood since 1940.

High Holborn

Pumping restarted at the shafts until 1987. No1 had a Harland MRD / 51 250hp, 8 stage pump with a head of 563 feet (171.6m) rated at max 1,000 gpm pumping around 15 hours ave per day. No2 shaft had a Harland SBY / 12 230hp, 10 stage pump with a head of 470 feet (143.3m) rated at max 700 gpm. There was a 60hp winch for No1 shaft.

Miners' Coal Exempt

The Coal Distribution Order, 1943: Emergency Powers (Defence) Coal came into force on 1st September. Miners’ free coal was exempt.

Information To Be Available

The Ministry of Fuel and Power (Information) Order, 1943. Miscellaneous information to be furnished by persons carrying on coal mining undertakings.


The Explosives in Coal Mines Order, 1943. This laid down the types of explosives allowed to be used in a coal mine.


Pneumoconiosis Scheme, 1943. At last it was realised what damage was being done to the lungs by coal dust.

The Last Gin Pit

The gin pit at Eckington (North Derbyshire) shown in the photo was only abandoned in 1943.

It seems incredible that an 18th Century outdated and crude inefficient system of winding using horses and a gin could have survived to almost half way through the 20th Century.

New Machine Unable To Match Handfilling

During September 1943 AB Meco Moore Coal cutter-loaders were on trial at Thoresby and conventional handfilling methods of 20 tons plus per man, per day. Rufford collieries (Bolsover Colliery Co), (Nottinghamshire) but at first were unable to match the handfilled output.

Arkwright And Calow

The old original Arkwright drifts connected to Calow Main (North Derbyshire) (sunk by Staveley Co) and expanded into the Sitwell Seam and later the 1st Waterloo seam.


During the Second World War evacuees were moved out of London and the South East to places in other parts of the country for safety and were billetted with local families, many in the Midlands and in mining.

Dig For Victory

The slogans such as ‘Dig for Victory’, in other words grow your own vegetables were placarded, along with ‘make do and mend’ etc.

All Had To Register For War Service

All men from 18 to 25 had to register for service in HM forces, or alternatively were given work in coal mining or other important War work. However in 1943 there was still a manpower shortage in the mines and the much needed production of coal was falling.

Norwood Colliery Closed After 77 Years

Norwood (North Derbyshire) finished production 7 May 1943 and was closed in June 1943. Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Co had sunk the colliery in 1865-66 to the Top Hard seam. It was subsequently sold to J and G Wells Ltd in 1914. It was also known as Holbrook No2 after this. The shaft was kept open for ventilation.

Seams worked: Top Hard, Deep Hard Deep Soft or Flockton, Thorncliffe.

Manpower: Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Co Ltd:

  • 1894: 404 Top Hard, 65 s/f
  • 1895: 430 u/g, 66 s/f
  • 1896: 407 u/g, 64 s/f
  • 1897: 426 u/g, 66 s/f
  • 1898: 403 u/g, 65 s/f
  • 1899: 414 u/g, 66 s/f
  • 1900: 396 u/g, 64 s/f
  • 1901: 408 u/g, 64 s/f
  • 1902: 361 u/g, 63 s/f
  • 1903: 315 u/g, 60 s/f
  • 1904: 332 u/g, 60 s/f
  • 1905: 349 u/g, 56 s/f
  • 1906: 350 u/g, 54 s/f
  • 1907: 363 u/g, 60 s/f
  • 1908: 359 u/g, 60 s/f
  • 1909: 419 u/g, 58 s/f
  • 1910: 400 u/g, 57 s/f
  • 1911: 397 u/g, 56 s/f
  • 1912: 362 u/g, 52 s/f
  • 1913: 349 u/g, 53 s/f
  • 1914: 341 u/g, 53 s/f
  • 1915: J and G Wells Ltd: Norwood No2: 21 u/g, 22 s/f
  • 1916: 32 Deep Hard, Deep Soft, 29 s/f
  • 1917: 31 Deep Soft, 21 s/f
  • 1918: 33 u/g, 7 s/f
  • 1919: 40 u/g, 7 s/f
  • 1920: 46 u/g, 14 s/f
  • 1921: 86 u/g, 20 s/f
  • 1922: Holbrook No2 (Norwood): 131 Deep Soft, 32 s/f
  • 1923: 196 u/g, 42 s/f
  • 1924: 293 u/g, s/f joined with Holbrook No3 and No4 and Westthorpe
  • 1925: 404 u/g, split again, 81 s/f
  • 1926: 380 Deep Soft and Flockton, 72 s/f
  • 1927: 382 u/g, 75 s/f
  • 1928: 352 u/g, 76 s/f
  • 1929: 326 u/g, 75 s/f
  • 1930: 490 Deep Soft and Parkgate, 75 s/f
  • 1931: 533 u/g 92 s/f
  • 1932: 606 Deep Soft, 133 s/f
  • 1933: 630 u/g, 142 s/f
  • 1934: 576 u/g, 141 s/f
  • 1935: 553 Deep Soft or Flockton, 140 s/f
  • 1936: 539 u/g, 142 s/f
  • 1937: 520 u/g, 154 s/f
  • 1938: 513 u/g, 154 s/f
  • 1939: 500 u/g 160 s/f
  • 1940: 449 Flockton and Thorncliffe, 167 s/f
  • 1941: 453 u/g, 176 s/f
  • 1942: 397 u/g, 104 s/f
  • 1943: 12 Flockton discontinued June, 5 s/f.

Managers for Norwood:

  • William Wilde –1883
  • TA Elliott Agent
  • JW Tankard (413) –1910 Agent and Manager
  • WL Halpin –1912
  • HL Faulkner –1914
  • WH Burgin (398) 1914-1915
  • Henry Burgin (306) 1915-1927
  • Thos Greensmith Agent
  • Henry Burgin (306) Agent
  • Arthur Hayes (129) 1928-1935, and Agent from 1933
  • Henry Kendall (1551) Manager and Agent –1935
  • E Thompson –1945
  • George Walker (3903) – 1947.


  • George Walker –1899
  • James Ward –1903
  • D Gill – 1910
  • HC Batty – 1914.
  • There were no Undermanagers then until 1920 when A Preston 1920-1943 (2nd) was in charge.

Seams worked: Top Hard, Deep Soft (Flockton) and Thorncliffe (Parkgate).


Training for new entrants into the industry was set up in 1943 under a special branch of the Ministry of Fuel and Power (including a special Training Inspectorate). 13 centres were set up in the various coalfields for the training of war-time entrants over 18 years of age. Several were in our area. Also a special Mechanisation Training Centre was established at Sheffield for running short courses for maintenance men and in the handling of American types of mining machinery, as at Silverhill where Joy loaders and shuttle cars were used in pillar and stall work in the Deep Hard seam.

Silver Hill Price List

Silver Hill (Nottinghamshire) Price list for Deep Hard seam 9th September 1943:

  • Coal getting per ton of 21 cwts. 1s 4½d (6¾p)
  • Ripping in bind per cubic foot 1½d (½p), in rock 2d (¾p) and where dirt is not gobbed 1¼d (½p)
  • Packing for 5’ 6” turnover 1s 10d (9p), for 6’ 0” turnover per yard 1s 11d (9½p)
  • Moving over conveyors: per yard: Mavor 2¾d (1⅛p), Huwood 2¼d (1p), Sutcliffe 2¼d (1p), Meco conveyor 2¼d (1p). Moving over gearhead: 3s 6d (17½p)
  • Cutting and gumming per ton of 21cwts: 2.4d (1p), cleaning out gummings and casting into goaf per ton of 21cwts 1⅞d (¾p)
  • Boring: per 5’ 0” hole in coal 2⅞d (1¼p), in ripping 4⅛d (1¾p)
  • Timbering: Girders 9’ 0”, 1s 10½d (9⅓p), 10’ 0”, 2s 3d (11¼p), 11’ 0”, 2s 7½d (13p), 12’ 0”, 3s 0d (15p), 12’ 0” Cambered girders 2s 3d (11¼p), Arches 8’ 9” x 7’ 6”, 2s 3d (11¼p), 11’ x 9’, 4s 0d (20p), 12’ x 10’, 5s 0d (25p).

The rates are 1911 Basic rates and are subject to current district percentages. This price list is subject to 6 months notice on either side. Charge man’s rates: shall not exceed 5s (25p) per shift for 1st chargeman and 3s (15p) for others. House coal allowance for underground and surface workers to continue as before. (See Concessionary Fuel For Miners Nov 2013)

Signed: on behalf of Stanton Ironworks Co Ltd:- Norman D Todd, Colliery General Manager; John Brass Agent; George G Heathcote Manager. 7th September 1943.
Signed: on behalf of workmen at Silver Hill colliery:- HW Cooper, G Godfrey Senior, V Lindley, H Frith, G Godfrey Jun, JW Pickaver, A Connell, H Quincey, Jack Pitchford, JW Taylor, L Wall. 9th September 1943.


Pit Terminology - Glossary