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The Decline Of The Industry
And Nationalisation 1947


1945 - Page 2

BA Collieries Ltd Versus The LNER Railways

In 1945 there was a case where BA Collieries Ltd versus the LNER Railways. It was held that the company’s compensation for the sterilization of coal due to a protection area should allow a deduction for the amount the colliery company would have had to pay to the railway had the coal been worked. That is where no counter notice was served. This Agreement was subsequently revised in 1959 (see).

Training Centres

Following the report of the Forster Committee The Coal Mines (Training) General Regulations 1945 were issued under the Coal Mines Act 1911. The main provisions of these regulations to come into force on 1st January 1947. Two Training centres would be opened in the No1 Area, one at Williamthorpe for the southern part of the Area and the other at Markham for the northern part. Every new entrant would be sent to the nearest one to the colliery where they were to work.

Claim For 5 Day Week

The Executive of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) approached the Ministry of Fuel and Power and the Coal Owners with a claim for a 5 day week of 7½ hours a day.

Holiday Pay

The holiday pay for 1945 for the one week was £5 15s 0d (£5.75) for adults, £4 12s 0d (£4.60) for 18 to 20 years, and £3 9s 0d (£3.45) for under 18 years old.

Desperate Need For More Coal

The Chairman of the Mining Association Robert Foot stated that the colliery owners thought private enterprise was the right basis for efficient production in the nation’s interest.

Mechanical loading and conveying in American mines was 50% above hand loading. The Minister of Fuel and Power stressed the desperate need for more coal for the winter to meet domestic demands, and to maintain gas and electricity supplies.

Mr Arthur Horner was appointed by the NUM to be National Production Officer, to increase production of coal by any means possible.

Manny Shinwell Visit To Sheffield

The Mines Training Centre at Sheffield was visited by Manny Shinwell, Minister of Fuel and Power. He stated this country was producing mining machines as good as the ones imported from USA.

The Water Act 1945

The Water Act 1945 was passed. It would lead to Regulations regarding water abstraction and records (1947). Many pits abstracted water for coal washing purposes.

Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1945

  • Butterley Drift (Butterley Co Ltd) Denby, 54/24 sinking.
  • Moorgreen (Barber Walker and Co) The surface drift driven at 1 in 3 from the surface to the Waterloo seam in 1943 was made into a main endless haulage transporting tubs. The No2 winding shaft was deepened to the Tupton seam at about 330 yards (302m) deep
  • Merrylees drift (Desford Colliery Co) start production with panel in Nether Lount seam
  • Woodside No1 drift (Shipley Collieries Ltd) Shipley, 11/nil, sinking.

The Exposed Coalfield

There were still 66 pits working on the exposed Coalfield employing around 44,000 men and boys in North Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire in 1945. The Leen Valley and Mansfield, Sutton and Kirkby areas had 26 pits with approximately 28,000 and a third area comprising pits sunk to the East in Nottinghamshire after 1918 numbered 8 pits with 12,000 employees.

Butterley Co Washery

Butterley Co installed a central washery costing about £250,000 at Denby Hall colliery capable of 400 tons per hour throughput. The company now had only about 40 ponies working underground at their collieries.

The 2 images below are grabs from a 1945, 10 miles to 1 inch OS maps showing colliery location and work force

Phil Wyles

The above map shows collieries in the Erewash Valley but does not show their names

The above is the part of map key that explains what the dots in the map above represent.

Collieries Closed In 1945

  • Barlborough Common No2 Or Tupton (worked by Barlborough Common Coal Co Ltd as agents for Tupton Colliery Co Ltd for last 18 months, previously J Adlington -1944; G  Wilson 1944), New Tupton, Beamshaw 7/6, 15/3, Piper, opened 1940, uneconomic, closed. Surveyor: Archie Green (1127)
  • Beighton Fields nr site of old Priory
  • Bramley Hall (J Criddle), Marsh Lane, Silkstone, June
  • Britain (Butterley Co) closed after 71 years. The pit top site would later be used as a coal stocking ground in times of over production
  • Bulwell (BA Collieries Ltd), discontinued in 1944, Main Bright 18/11, abandoned Sep 1945
  • Denby Clay (WH and J Slater) Denby, Blackshale abandoned Jan
  • Furnace Hill No2 (H and C Hartshorne), Oakerthorpe, Low Main or Tupton, finished 9 Mar 1945, roof water (but would re-open as Oakerthorpe Drift) E438840 N356150, near Alfreton Brook, William M Erskine (1518) Surveyor, uneconomic, 4 adits, 2 driven 1937 and 2 in 1938/39 and 1 air pit, weak bind, coal 6” (0.15m), brights 1’ 0” (0.30m), coal 2’ 9” (0.84m), dicks 3” (0.08m), worked 4’ 6” (1.37m), fireclay floor
  • Granville No3 (Granville Colliery Co. Ltd.), (South Derbyshire), 4 Foot or Dicky Gobbler seam, 3’ 8” (1.58m) plus 5” (0.13m) fireclay, 27 Jul 1945, Surveyor Harold S Shackleton (1775)
  • Lark Hill (James Morton), New Mills, Yard or Big 2’ 0” (0.61m), exhausted, 4 adits, 2 day eyes, met ancient works, finished 1st Feb, abandoned 30 Sep 1945
  • Moorside again, surface level 431 ft (131.3m) abandoned
  • Mount View (…?)
  • New Marsh Lane (Thompson and Criddle), Eckington, 16/2, Parkgate discontinued Aug, abandoned 31 Dec 1945, Surveyor RS Armstrong (890) (25 Jan 1929)
  • Oxcroft 1(Oxcroft Colliery Co Ltd) sunk in 1901 was closed after 73 years, E447326 N373286
  • Strawberry Lee (Pickford, Holland and Co Ltd), 1’ 6” (0.46m) coal and 2’ 3” (0.68m) ganister, adit 1940 hit old workings, thinness of seam, uneconomical, Surveyor William M Erskine (1518) (15 Jan 1947) Tupton (G Wilson) 8 adits and one shaft 7 yards, Piper seam, section: coal left up 5” (0.12m), good coal 2’ 2” (0.66m), dirt 1” (0.02m), inferior coal 2” (0.05m), dirt 1’ 0” (0.30m), inferior coal 3” (0.08m), dirt 1’ 2” (0.35m), inferior coal 9” (0.23m), dirt 6” (0.15m), coal and bat 4” (0.10m). The coal was leased to Clay Cross Co from 1942
  • Wingfield Park No2 (Gregory Reddish and Co Ltd) South Wingfield Park, Halifax Hard, ganister and fireclay discontinued.

Clay Cross No6 (Derbyshire) Deep Hard, Nov and No7 Blackshale both abandoned Dec, Surveyor George Wilfred Fox (796). Netherseal (South Derbyshire) (Netherseal Colliery Co Ltd), Kilburn finished 22 Dec 1945, Surveyor R Hughes (1015).

Britain Colliery Closed 1946 After 71 Years
Had merged with Brands in 1906

Britain (Derbyshire) sunk in 1874 by Butterley Iron and Coal Co. Situated near Ripley at Butterley Park. 540 ft (164.5m) to Deep Soft, 720 ft (219.5m) to Low Main. Merged with Brands colliery 1906. Pithead baths were opened in 1938.

Seams worked:
  • Deep Soft 1875-
  • Deep Hard 1875-1888
  • Low Main (Tupton) 1899-
  • Silkstone 1909-.

Manpower: from

  • 1894: 147 Deep Soft, 32 s/f
  • 1895: 132 DS, 28 s/f
  • 1896: 144 DS, Low Main 32 s/f
  • 1897: 137 DS, LM, 36 s/f
  • 1898: 174 DS, LM, 44 s/f
  • 1899: 177 DS, Tupton (Low Main), s/f
  • 1919: 834 DH, DS, T, S, Kilburn start, 208 s/f
  • 1920: 803 DH, DS, T, S, K, 228 s/f
  • 1921: 820 DH, DS, T, S, Kilburn fin, 183 s/f
  • 1923: 833 DH, DS, T, S, 186 s/f
  • 1924: 801 DH, DS, T, S, 200 s/f
  • 1925: 754 DH, DS, T, S, 187 s/f
  • 1926: 720 DH, DS, T, S, 198 s/f
  • 1927: 750 DH, DS, T, S, 187 s/f
  • 1928: 763 DH, DS, T, S, 172 s/f
  • 1929: 780 DH, Ds, T, S, 161 s/f
  • 1930: 721 Deep Hard, Deep Soft and Silkstone all finished, Tupton only, 164 s/f
  • 1931: 619 Tupton, 148 s/f
  • 1932: 618 T, 155 s/f
  • 1933: 464 Tupton,
  • 1934: 496 T, S, 150 s/f, Silkstone re-opened, 153 s/f
  • 1935: 451 T, S, 141 s/f
  • 1936: 462 T, S, 161 s/f
  • 1938: 564 T, s, 168 s/f
  • 1940: 549 T, S, 210 s/f
  • 1941: 510 T, S, 220 s/f
  • 1942: 519 T, S, 230 s/f
  • 1943: 475 Tupton fin, Silkstone, Threequarters start, 217 s/f
  • 1944: 545 S,T¾, 234 s/f
  • 1945: 320 S, T¾, 140 s/f
  • NCB No5 Area
  • 1947: S, T¾, discontinued
1948: pumping only, absorbed by Denby Hall


  • Frederick Channer Corfield (426) pre 1883-1905
  • Henry Eustace Mitton 1905-1922
  • Jack Bircumshaw (2144) 1922-1938
  • Montagu FM Wright (1124) 1938-1942
  • Jack G Belfitt (2265) 1942-1948.

Managers for Britain:

  • George Lamb pre 1883-1884
  • Henry Stevenson 1884-1887
  • George Lamb (73 cert) 1887-1906
  • HO Bishop (1764) 1906-1909
  • H Bradshaw (1786) 1909-1910
  • HH Holmes (2293) 1910-1938
  • George B Tristram (3490) 1938-1943
  • Arthur Benford (2279) 1943-1948.


  • John Henshaw (979 service) -1915
  • W Mellor (2357/2nd) 1915-1929
  • HH Shipman (7579/2nd) 1929-1943
  • W Platt (1036/2nd) 1943-1948.

Fatal Accidents

  • Shotfiring accident at Britain Colliery, 10 Apr 1867. See 1944 for others.

Coal Tipping Site

The Britain Colliery site was used for coal tipping in the early 1960s and whilst I was Assistant Surveyor at Teversal I was charged with surveying the conical heaps with a couple of assistants to check on the quantity for audit purposes. Why me, I worked at Teversal? It was a simple job really do to the symmetrical heaps and me and the couple of assistants were able to lounge about for a couple of hours, smoking, waiting for Jerry Hancock the Group Surveyor to transport us back to our respective pits. My calculation of the tonnage agreed quite well to the amount tipped there by lorry load. I assume that the ‘powers that be’ accepted the result as i never heard anything about it afterwards.

Industrial Injuries

By defeating the Government in Standing Committee on the Industrial Injuries Bill, Labour MPs mainly from mining areas succeeding in deleting from the Bill the clause providing for the customary waiting period of 3 days before an injured man could claim compensation.


Absenteeism From All Causes Was Rising And Was Causing Concern.

Valuations Of Collieries Completed

The report of the Coal Commission up to 31st March 1945 stated that the valuations had been completed and the end of the transactions by which coal royalties had been transferred from private to public ownership, (in total £64,559,559).

Coal Mines Nationalisation Bill

The Coal Mines Nationalisation Bill was published on 20th December 1945. Two major proposals: to transfer mines from private to public ownership and to create a National Board of 8 members and a Chairman to run it.

Control Of Labour

Control of labour ended on 20th December 1945.

Fatal Accidents 1945
  • North Derbyshire 165
  • South Derbyshire 37
  • Nottinghamshire 199

Other Fatal Accidents

  • Langwith, William Maddison (61) fall of roof 16 Feb 1945
  • Pleasley, Horace Brown (34) fall of roof 29 Nov 1945
  • Shirebrook, Henry H Morley (45) fall of roof 8 Feb 1945
  • Woodside, Leonard M Merrick (29) fall of roof 2 May 1945


Average Wages

  • North Derbyshire 25s 1¾d (£1.25¾)
  • South Derbyshire 27s 0d (£1.35)
  • Nottinghamshire 27s 5½d (£1.37¼)
  • Leicestershire 28s 0¾d (£1.40) per shift.

Opencast Sites 1945

  • Bagthorpe, Low Bright, Middle Bright and Main Bright, finished 23rd Jan 1945
  • Brinsley Moor (Ministry of Fuel and Power) (Reed and Malik Ltd) High Hazles 36,882 tons
  • Demoniac (Leicestershire) Alton seam, boulder clay adjacent
  • Grange, Grange Farm and Coneygrey (Geo Wimpey and Co Ltd) Upper and Lower High Hazle, Sep 1945-Oct 1945
  • Hill Farm Threequarter 29th May 1945
  • Mill Lane Bolsover, Furnace 2’ 6” (0.93m), finished 8/1945
  • New Higham Piper seam
  • New Stretton Deep Hard seam
  • Tottle Brook, seam above 1st Ell
  • Whitecotes Deep Soft or Flockton seam.

Output of opencast coal

  • North Midlands 2.246m tons
  • South Midlands 0.85m tons.

Output for 1945: deep mines

  • North Derbyshire 13.2m tons
  • South Derbyshire 1.4m tons
  • Nottinghamshire 15.1m tons
  • Leicestershire 4.25m tons.





Pit Terminology - Glossary