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The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947


  1958    1    2    3 

1958 - Page 2

Oil Discovered

Oil Nodding donkey oil wellOil was discovered at Bothamsall (Nottinghamshire) and would restrict working of coal in that area for Thoresby and Welbeck

Crude oil was seeping into Bevercotes new mine and BP were required to dispense it. This colliery was sunk from 1953 to 1958 and because the target seam, the Top Hard, was washed out the shafts had to be sunk deeper to the Dukeries seam (later renamed Parkgate seam). If only the pit bottom had been made at that horizon it would have been on very strong ground.  A new pit bottom would be made in later years at the Waterloo horizon which is only 50 yards (45m) or so below Top Hard!  A nodding donkey oil well is shown in the photo.

HM Inspectorate

The Mines Inspectorate for the district was split and a new office created at Worksop for North Nottinghamshire/Lincolnshire and continued to operate the South Nottinghamshire office at Nottingham also Harold S. Stephenson was appointed Divisional Inspector to 1963.


Robert B Dunn (4318) later Director North Derbyshire Area (previously Deputy Production Manager Scotland No1 Fife Area) and John P Berry (6049) (a Bevin Boy, later Deputy Director North Nottinghamshire Area 1972-1986) was Manager at Carberry (Scotland) in the past

Babbington Improvements

Diesel locos were introduced at Babbington (Nottinghamshire) in the lower measures and the Low Bright seam was abandoned. 

Skip winding was introduced at No4 shaft.

Pay Rise

Miners were awarded a rise of 7s 6d (37½p) per week.

Miners' Welfares

On 31st May 1958 a new Miners’ Welfare Centre was opened at Bilsthorpe (Nottinghamshire). Also the £6,000 extension to Langwith Mines’ Institute (Derbyshire) was officially opened.

NCB Exhibitions

A National Coal Board Exhibition was opened by the Mayor in Chesterfield on 4th June 1958.

Miners' Rally

On 27th June 1958 there was a Nottinghamshire Miners Rally at Berry Hill Park, Mansfield.

A 17 year old schoolgirl Vera Cartell was chosen as Nottinghamshire Coal Queen.

Violent Storm

There was a violent storm at Poolsbrook, Bolsover and Sheepbridge (Derbyshire) on 1st July 1958.

Miners' Welfare Festival

On 3rd/4th August 1958 CISWO held a Miners’ Welfare Festival also at Berry Hill Park, and on 30th August there was No1 Area Sports and Gala Day at Grassmoor Training Centre Sports Ground.

Strike At Blidworth

There was a strike of all 1,700 men at Blidworth on 7th – 11th August 1958 and at a mass meeting a motion of no confidence in Jack T Tighe the Nottinghamshire NUM Agent was passed.

NCB Travelling Exhibition

A National Coal Board travelling exhibition on British Mining industry opened at Mansfield on 10th September 1958.

Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1958

Cotgrave (Nottinghamshire) on 17th September 1958 the first shaft was completed.
Bevercotes (Nottinghamshire) The second shaft  was completed to 961 yards (879m), the first shaft No1 being completed in November 1957.  The shafts had been sunk deeper than planned originally, because when the target seam the Top Hard was reached, the seam had been washed out, so the shafts were carried on down to the Dukeries seam, later renamed Parkgate seam as at Bilsthorpe.  The 2 shafts were sunk by contractors, working for the NCB.  No borehole to prove the seams had been sunk on the site!  Tower winders with multi-rope friction winding would be employed.  (‘Eddie’ Agar Gilfillan was a sinker at the pit and previously a sinker at Calverton No2 shaft and was later appointed Area Sinking and Tunnelling Engineer for North Nottinghamshire Area replacing Doug Sloper).

Bevercotes Mine, Rail Link Built By Thomas Fletcher & Co

In July a new railway was finished to the mine, built by Thomas Fletcher and Co.  It was 5 miles long from a junction near Ollerton colliery sidings and had 12 bridges and an unlined tunnel through the sandstone about ¼ mile long.  A new housing estate was built at New Ollerton adjoining the old mining village to accommodate the influx of miners from the North East of England where their mines had been closed.

Stanhope Drift Mine, (South Derbyshire) 2 drifts begun.  Kilburn first worked in the area from Anglesey prior to 1868, from Stanhope in 1869, and Bretby and Stanton between 1918 and 1955.

New Seam At Harworth

An exploratory face was worked from 1958-1960 in the Blyth seam at Harworth (Nottinghamshire) from insets in the shafts.

HM Inspectorate

TA Rogers replaced Sir Harold Roberts as Chief Inspector of Mines (1958-1962).

Dark Smoke Banned

On 1st June 1958 the Clean Air Act banned emissions of dark smoke from factories etc. This again would curtail the sale of coal as many factories etc changed their heating systems to oil so as to keep within the law as to smoke emission. Railways and gas works also swiftly converted their coal burning equipment to oil. (see 1956).

Outputs In June 1958

In June 1958

  • Denby Hall the output record reached 18,930 tons for 5 days and 20,409 tons for 6 days
  • Ormonde 13,150 tons (5) and 13,990 (6)
  • Selston 9,200 tons (5) and 9,910 (6)
  • Lodge 5,213 tons (5) and 5,646 (6)
  • Mapperley 9,182 tons (5).

NCB Chairman

Sir James Bowman was appointed Chairman of the NCB for a second term of office.   

Shirebrook To Sherwood Connection

The Shirebrook (Derbyshire) to Sherwood (Nottinghamshire) demarcation was at the base of a 1 in 3.4 drift inter-colliery connection from Top Hard to Dunsil.

Outburst At Ireland

An outburst of firedamp occurred at Ireland (Derbyshire) from Deep Hard seam, again a dangerous situation. Working was halted whilst the gas dispersed safely.


A major reconstruction continued at Newstead (Nottinghamshire) with the completion of a new pit bottom in 1958
Sutton 2Similarly at Sutton, Stanton Hill (Nottinghamshire), a major reconstruction was completed with the introduction of 3 ton capacity mine cars at No2 downcast shaft. 

Both steam-winding engines were converted to electric and new arrangements were commissioned at the pit bottom and pit top with double deck cages. 

A new Davidson Sirocco double-inlet ventilation fan of 350 hp was commissioned.

Data Processing

The first Electronic Data Processing installation was at Cannock, to pay bills and process labour costs.

Restriction On Recruitment

There was now a restriction on recruitment for the first time. Boys who expected to follow their fathers and grandfathers into mining were now put on hold at some pits, or refused work completely at others, and possibly nepotism crept in to get a lad a job. 
In addition overtime was curtailed and Saturday coaling had finished.


The ground stocks of coal stood at 1 million tons in August 1958.  The mines were over-producing.  Some mines had to stack coal during the following year, which could not be sold on, and used some quarries in Derbyshire where stocking room was not available at the pithead e.g. Teversal.   The coal was recovered after several years and sold at a profit.

Longest Underground Conveyor

Photo supplied by Mike Gallagher

In September 1958, Blidworth (Nottinghamshire) had the largest conveyor of its kind in the world at 1¾ miles long, carrying 3,000 tons of Top Hard coal a day. It was a cable belt and the Surveyors were constantly checking the alignment as it had got to be absolutely true to line.

It was installed during the annual fortnight holiday and entailed removing 3 conveyors and gearheads from 6s Main to the Loading point, installing 3 miles of conveyor belting, one and a half miles of new conveyor structure and 6 miles of wire rope from a new Loading point for the mine cars down 2s Main, past 6s Main and extended it as far as a new face called 32s.

Shift Rates Increased

Shift rates were increased by 1s 3d (6½p) giving a minimum rate underground of £1 12s 11d (£1.64½) and £1 9s 7d (£1.48) for surface workers.  WPIS (Weekly Paid Industrial Staff) rates were improved also.

Sick Pay Scheme

A Sick pay scheme was awarded from September 1958.

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Pit Terminology - Glossary
Page 3