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The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947


  1960    1    2    3 

1960 - Page 3

Compulsory Retirement

From 1st August 1960, all men over 65 years of age were retired. This tended to disrupt the working in the mines somewhat, as many of these aged men were haulage engine drivers etc, and as well as being experienced were reliable attendees and other personnel had to be trained to replace them.  Quite a few men in their 80s were still at work doing haulage engine driving and many in their 70s, some still doing heavy work, such as ripping gates. 

They were granted a lump sum of between £107 and £203 tax free, for 15 years or more service underground, and between £89 and £197 for surface workers, or those with less than 15 years service, plus £1 a week industrial pension, on top of the Government funded old-age retirement pension.


A new redundancy compensation scheme was agreed with the NUM.  This replaced the previous one of 1956.

Pony Ganger

Pit ponies 19 Turning a horseRoy Clarke from Jacksdale told me he started at Langton (Nottinghamshire) as a pony ganger straight from school aged 15 at the time, and after training, his wage was £6 5s 0d (£6.25) a week.  He liked the job but being of small stature did not want to go on the coal face, as was the natural progression from 18 on. He then left the industry and went on to be a plasterer in the building trade, a job he loved doing.

An Anderton shearer cutter loader was introduced at Ireland (Derbyshire) and brought mechanisation ‘proper’ to the pit. 

Outbursts at Ireland

Stone dust barriers in a Loader gateHowever there were 4 outbursts of firedamp at Ireland colliery in the Deep Hard seam and one outburst at 750 yards (685m) deep at nearby Shirebrook in the Deep Soft seam. Of course the pits were stood until the gas was dispersed safely.

Powered Supports

Powered supports were introduced along with the new cutter loaders at many of the pits in the region. Gullick Ltd introduced a new form of self advancing roof supports with articulated bases that were attached to the armoured face conveyors, similar to the ones in the photograph.

Stone Dust Barriers

Stone dust barriers began to be introduced in all loader gates as a method of preventing fire spreading in the event of an explosion. Boards on a loose platform situated in the gate roads above head height and piled up with stone dust were designed to collapse and the stone dust would fall if a blast of air went down the gate and create a barrier of dust sufficient to prevent a flame passing through it.

There were light barriers with so many shelves and heavy barriers with about twice as many and these were moved up periodically to keep within prescribed distances from the coal face as laid down in the Regulations.

West Hallam Abandoned

West Hallam sunk 1866, (Derbyshire) was abandoned Oct 1960 after 94 years. Seams worked Low Main, Threequarter, Blackshale. There was a tramway at 2’ 10” (0.86m) gauge.  Surveyor: SEG Hill (870).

Gedling First To Produce 1 Million Tons In The Year

Gedling (Nottinghamshire) was the first pit in the country to produce one million tons of saleable coal in the year on 11th November 1960.


Surface Workers' Hours

Surface workers had a reduction of 15 minutes a shift in working time down to 8 hours. It was always the case that surface workers always had a longer shift than underground workers but this was a start to try to equalise the anomaly.

Opencast Working Included

  • Broomridding 2nd Waterloo finished 28th Mar 1960
  • Dog Lount (Leicestershire) Middle Lount and Nether Lount seams Sep 1957-Mar 1960
  • Fox Covert Middle Lount, Nether Lount, Yard, 1960
  • Hagg Hill 1st Ell, 2nd Ell 2’ 5” (0.74m) 22/11/1958-23/1/1960
  • Hollingwood Deep Hard 25th Feb
  • Lane Planet 2nd Waterloo finished 21st Feb 1960
  • Saw Pit Top Hard Floor, Dunsil and Dunsil Floor, Waterloo, 2nd Ell, Chavery 3rd Sep
  • Sutton Springs 1st Waterloo fin 19th Aug 1960
  • Woodspring Waterloo 4’ 0” (1.2m).

Inspector's Report 1960

HM Inspectors

  • H J Dennis transferred to South Nottinghamshire on 9/5/1960.
  • Arthur Chaplin was promoted to District Inspector for North Nottinghamshire.
  • G Miller was HM Senior District Inspector at Divisional HQ.
  • South Nottinghamshire George Jenkins
  • District Inspectors RA Ridsdale and B Duckworth, CW Percival
  • North Nottinghamshire Frank Bishop, Willie Whitehouse, Arthur Chaplin,
  • North Derbyshire FC Mackie
  • Leicestershire and South Derbyshire MG Thomas.
    Total inspections inc horses was 2,432 visits underground and 492 on surface.

88 collieries plus 13 small licensed mines with an output of 44,064,770 tons and 4 Nottinghamshire pits in Yorkshire with 1,658,907 tons.

320 power loaders increasing to 60% mechanisation from 54% last year.

New electric winders installed at Glapwell, Newstead and Whitwell.

At Blidworth re-organisation and 7 ton minecars and new surface fan.

A new Coal Prep Plant at Clipstone and introduction of large mine cars for diesel loco haulage.

A re-organiusation at Shirebrook underground and a start on new headgear to wind 5 ton mine cars.

Hucknall No5 shaft completed at 632 yards (578m).

Pithead baths and coal prep plant being built at Cotgrave.

A new bar setting device was invented at Langton as well as a plough at the rear of a Trepanner.

A new lip support was pioneered at South Leicestershire Colliery.

There was an inrush of water from the shaft at Cotgrave where cast iron tubbing was being inserted and this had to be pumped.

New electric winders were operational at Newstead and Whitwell and a 1800hp AC winder at Creswell.

At New Lount radio active sensors on a Midget Miner coal cutter was tried.

20 surface boreholes drilled and 19 underground for exploration of new areas of work.

At Rescue Stations there were 17 Officers, 36 permanent corps men and 602 fully trained men at the pits.

Total face length being worked was 111,455 yards (101,915m). There were 320 power loaders in use.

1,055 horses at 69 pits

TJ Melody HMI made 186 underground visits and 44 surface and 39 joint underground and surface.




Pit Terminology - Glossary