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The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947

1968 1969 1970

  1971 - Page    1     2     3  

1971 - Page 2

Collieries in South Nottinghamshire Area 1971

Area Director Noel R Smith. Deputy Director Jack E Wood (4395). Chief Mining Engineer: Jimmy A Wright (3926); DCME Len C Hogg (3725), Jack Wadsworth. Production Managers: S Chadwick (3747), Les R Watkin (4376). (12 pits)

  • Annesley, 649 yards deep (593m), 580,000 tons from Deep Soft seam, 920 men, Agent/Manager Les Cumberland (5563), Deputy Manager Albert Knight (7873), Undermanager A John Wardle (9360)
  • Babbington, 420 yards (384m), 760,000 tons from Deep Soft, Deep Hard and Tupton seams, 1,320 men, Agent/Manager David A Weir (6148), Deputy Manager Arthur Ball (6178), Undermanagers Edward J Fletcher (6076) and Graham Coupe (8911)
  • Bentinck, 505 yards (462m), 1.57m tons from Waterloo, Tupton and Blackshale seams, 2,670 men, Colliery General Manager Robert (Bob) Haworth (5086), Deputy Managers RA (Tony) Caunt (8028) and Arthur Townsend (6400), Undermanagers Jock Findley (7002), Jack Hand (8171), TL Dennis (6968 / 2nd) and Willis Bacon (5574)
  • Calverton, 576 yards (527m), 750,000 tons from High Main seam, 1,510 men, Colliery General Manager Alan E Darlow (5476), Deputy Manager Philip W Linsley (8006), Undermanagers J Alistair Drysdale (7637), Fred Cope (8029) and Keith Tait (8947)
  • Cotgrave, 685 yards (626m), 1m tons from Deep Hard, 1,490 men, Colliery General Manager Ken Butt (4675), Deputy Managers Ken J Simmons (6132) and Tom Rainford (8679), Undermanagers Mike W Stevenson (9999) and G Morgan (8335)
  • Gedling, 469 yards (429m), 900,000 tons from High Hazels and Top Hard seams, 1,520 men, Colliery General Manager Cliff Rhodes (4610), Deputy Manager GeorgeAlan Allsop (5177), Undermanagers Terry E Hill (7245), Denis Ward (7402) and Harry Martin (9134)
  • Hucknall, 630 yards (576m), 880,000 tons from Deep Soft and Blackshale seams, 1,130 men, Colliery General Manager Derek M Brooks (5468), Deputy Manager Frank Goodwin (6332), Undermanagers Harry Fisher (5894) and A (Tony) Foster (9632)
  • Linby, 220 yards (201m), 800,000 tons from High Main seam, 1,400 men, Colliery General Manager Charlie Daykin (7382), Deputy Manager Barry Carlisle (6058), Undermanagers Denis Hutson (6726) and AJ Baker (7471)
  • Moorgreen, 367 yards (336m), 960,000 tons from 2nd Waterloo and Blackshale seams, 1,320 men, Colliery General Manager Maurice Godfrey (5994), Deputy Manager Trevor T Allbrighton (3897), Undermanagers Jack A Taylor (6263) and Ken G Edwards (6826)
  • New Hucknall, 351 yards (321m), 360,000 tons from Piper seam, 670 men, Manager Frank Dunn (5647), Undermanager U William Hallam (6083)
  • Newstead, 239 yards (218m), 1.2m tons from High Main seam, 1,320 men, Colliery General Manager Edward (Teddy) E Bishop (5396), Deputy Manager Frank Dale (5643), Undermanager John Payne (9235)
  • Pye Hill, 235 yards (215m) and drift, 810,000 tons from Blackshale, 1,020 men, Colliery General Manager Len A Peach (6237), Deputy Manager Lyn Haywood, (7866) Undermanager Gordon F Froggatt (8164).

Licensed Mines

  • Doe Lea: (Doe Lea Colliery Co Ltd), Manager, G Gilbert, Top Hard 12 and 4 on surface.
  • Moor Side: (Dent Main Colliery (1924) Ltd), Agent B Hutchinson, Manager WA Carnell, Parkgate 9 and 11 surface men.
  • Mossbrook: (Mossbrook Colliery Ltd), Manager J Law, Parkgate 7 and 3 s/f.
  • New Plumbley: (W Redfern and Sons Ltd), Manager C Gould, Parkgate 11 and 9 s/f.
  • Strathfield: (H and C Hartshorne, Furnace Hill Colliery), Manager C Hartshorne, Blackshale 8 and 6 s/f.
  • Stretton: (Mossbrook Colliery Ltd), Manager, Dan Rogerson, Deep Hard, 9 and 7 s/f.


Joe Gormley (1971-1982) defeated Mick McGahey and replaced Sid Ford as President of the NUM. Len Martin was elected General Secretary of Nottinghamshire NUM (1971/77). At the NUM conference the percentage on a ballot was reduced from 2/3 to 55%. Conference demanded a substantial pay increase or strike action would be taken.

Third Daywage Structure

The Third Daywage Structure of June 1971 introduced a daywage to the industry’s remaining 50,000 pieceworkers and task workers. This took away the main causes of disputes at collieries which were based on piece rates and allowances. Many miners in our local area were still on the old agreements.

New Chairman of NCB

Lord Robens retired after 10 years as Chairman of the NCB (1961-1971) and was succeeded by (Sir) Derek Ezra on 3rd July 1971-1982. W Vic Sheppard (2853) was appointed Deputy Chairman. He was an ex-Area General Manager in North Derbyshire in the past. Norman Siddall (3655) succeeded him as NCB Director General for Production (similarly he had been ex- Area General Manager in North Derbyshire also.)

Output that week ending 3/7/1971 for the following selective pits:

North Nottinghamshire Area:

  • Bilsthorpe 17,700 tons
  • Blidworth 17,216
  • Clipstone 26,056
  • Creswell 16,649
  • Harworth 11,262
  • Ollerton 24,850
  • Rufford 18,640
  • Sherwood record 22,067
  • Sutton 7,379
  • Welbeck 19,039.

South Nottinghamshire Area:

  • Annesley 12,922 tons
  • Bentinck 28,945
  • Calverton 12,003
  • Newstead 26,182.

North Derbyshire Area:

  • Glapwell 10,597 tons
  • Shirebrook 21,050
  • Warsop 16,578
  • Pleasley 8,771.

Last Pit Ponies In Derbyshire

Prince, Mettle and Turk the last 3 pit ponies at Shirebrook were brought up from their underground stables in May 1971. Mettle and Turk had spent 17 years underground on haulage operations. All three were retired to a paddock at Blackwell. These were the last ponies in North Derbyshire Area.

Surface Drift At Moorgreen

At Moorgreen (South Nottinghamshire) all the Blackshale output was transported up the surface drift.

Bevercotes Re-Started Production

Bevercotes (North Nottinghamshire) re-started production after ‘blocking out’ the Parkgate seam, and turned 4,652 tons for the week ending 27th July 1971. The ‘chilled water’ cooling system was pioneered here. The temperature at the working faces was extremely hot at these deep pits and reducing the air temperature at the working place by just a few degrees was helpful. Of course outbye temperatures did not decrease, and salt tablets and plenty of water to drink was the norm.

ROLF (Remotely Operated Longwall Face) was reintroduced at a cost of £½m but the system needed to be worked 7 days a week, but now the colliery was working to the NPLA of 5 days a week, and the system failed.

Bevercotes produced 357,345 tons with 752 men in 1971/72. This was a pathetic amount to say that it was supposed to be the most modern pit ever.

Gas Used In Boilers

Methane extracted from the mine began to be used in the surface boilers at Manton from September.

Overtime Ban

At some Nottinghamshire pits an overtime ban came into force from 2nd August, as a protest against the Third Day Wage Structure, of 1971. There were 55 coal faces at work in North Nottinghamshire at the time.


At Blidworth (North Nottinghamshire) coal planers were being used to eliminate stable holes.

Coal Industry Act And Regulations

The Coal Industry Act of 1971 was passed, which provided for part of social costs of closure to be met by grants from the Government. The Mines and Quarries (Tips) Act 1969 had been passed and from November the Dirt Tips Regulations came into force. NCB Codes and Rules for Tips 1971 made the Area Chief Engineer and his Area Civil Engineer responsible for the technical management of all tips. The Manager was still responsible for the operational day to day management.

The Mines Management Act 1971 resulted in allowing persons to assist the Manager in the discharge of their statutory duties. The higher graded position of Deputy Manager had been introduced at some of the larger collieries in the region, however by law they were only regarded an Undermanager.

Staff College

One week courses were arranged for colliery Managers, Agent Managers and Deputy Managers at Chalfont St Giles to outline new policies etc. Practically all the personnel mentioned attended from the 3 counties.

Industrial Relations Act

Industrial Relations Act 1971 was enacted from 4th August. It was passed mainly to curb strikes.

1970 / 1971

  • North Derbyshire 14,168 men, OMS 60 cwts, 9.77m tons
  • North Nottinghamshire 18,905, OMS 60.8 cwts, 12.07m tons
  • South Nottinghamshire 16,544 men, OMS 57.3 cwts, 10.55m tons
  • South Midlands 13,092 men, OMS 58.8 cwts, 8.86m tons
    Compared with UK 283,397 men, OMS 44.2 cwts, 133.31m tons. (Manpower at September)

Modern Telephones On The Face

How wonderful the telephone system had improved underground, for whilst I was on a survey on a coal face I was contacted by Radio Nottingham via the colliery switchboard, to ask permission from me for them to read out a poem written by my eldest daughter Jane aged 11, entitled ‘Rubbish, Rubbish everywhere’, that had been chosen as first prize in a competition. I was able to use one of the normal black handset telephones that were kept in covered containers at various distances along a face - a far cry from the days of just one telephone on a district, the wallowing kind at that, and where all messages, no matter what, were passed on by word of mouth! Ollerton was a colliery where all the latest up to date electrical features were tried. I had never experienced anything like it in my life. Teversal, the colliery I had left earlier in the year was in the dark ages in comparison.

First National Strike By Miners Since 1926

An overtime ban called by the NUM began at all collieries from 1st November 1971, following a ballot in favour, after failure by the union to accept the wage rise offer by the NCB. On 9th January 1972 the first National Strike by miners since 1926 began and lasted until 28th February. Pickets were deployed on 24-hour duty.
BACM (Management team) and NACODS (Overmen and Deputies) members kept the pits safe and open by performing general safety duties during the stoppage. Some striking miners attended power stations where there was some aggressive picketing. At Ollerton there was little trouble and the Deputies working on a roster along with the Management team were given talks (lectures) by me on the art of surveying, geology and other topical subjects, when I was not on survey duties, or other ‘foreign work’, such as shovelling heaps of coal and dirt choking the coal prep plant, digging ditches on the tip to relieve build up of water, assisting in general to keep the pit in order for the miners to return to. 2s Panel Top Hard was sealed off with all the equipment intact, fearing spontaneous combustion. However it was re-opened later and valuable equipment rescued.


Management rates of pay from December 1971: Senior M and T Grade: £4,440 - £5,650 (increase of £650) 

  • M and T 1: £4,050 - £4,950 (incr £600)
  • M and T 2: £3,600 - £4,400 (incr £550)
  • M and T 3: £3,150 - £3,925 (incr £500)
  • M and T 4  £2,765 - £3,500 (incr £450)
  • M and T 5: £2,315 - £3,030 (incr £400)
  • M and T 6: £2,050 - £2,675 (incr £375)
  • M and T 7  £1,710 - £2,250 (incr £350). 
    General Administrative grades ranged from £1,835 GAG 5 - £4,575, GAG 1, (incr £35 - £525).

Opencast Working
    The Entrance To An Old Adit
  • Cromford Coombe, Top Hard and old Dunsil Sep – Dec 1971
  • Cromford Canal North Extension 2nd Waterloo finished 12th July 1971
  • Redlodge nr Eckington Chavery 22/9/66 – 24/7/71
  • Salterwood (NCB) Deep Hard 1’ 3” (0.38m), 1st Piper 6’ 0” (1.82m), Hospital 1’ 11” (0.38m), Tupton 4’ 6” (1.37m), Threequarter 1’ 7” (0.48m) coal, 9” (0.23m) dirt, 1’ 3” coal ( 0.38m), Yard 1’ 9” (0.53m), Silkstone coal and dirt 10’ 0” (3.05m) plus old workings. Start 13th Mar 1967 to 20th Jan 1971 (Robert McGregor and Sons Ltd)
  • Shipley Lake Top Coombe, Lower Coombe, Top Hard, Sath, Dunsil, (Lehane, Mackenzie and Shand Ltd)
  • Slack Lane Top Coombe, 17/12/71
  • Smithymoor Kilburn, 15/10/71
  • South Wingfield (DCC Reclamation scheme) and South Wingfield Colliery (LePlant Co) Low Main and Threequarter, 7/1971-8/1971, old pillar and stall workings exposed
  • Springfield Clay Cross, Private, Deep Soft 26/10/70 - 24/5/1971, found 2 old shafts to the north of the site
  • SteadmillA’ 1st, 2nd Waterloo 4’ 0” (1.22m), 3rd Waterloo 2’ 0” (0.61m), 4th Waterloo, Waterloo Marker, 1st and 2nd Ell, Coombe, Top Hard, Dunsil (Shephard, Hill and Co Ltd) 30/12/68 - 11/6/1971.

Inspector's Report 1971

HM Inspectors:

Senior District Inspector W Freddie Gill (4065) transferred to HQ and North Nottinghamshire and North Derbyshire districts were combined to form one large district under Dilwyn Richards (5250). Harry Jones (....) left to take a position in Australia and was replaced by Geoff Weston (6269) from Lancashire.

71 NCB mines, 23 small Licensed mines, and 5 Pumping shafts. Output was 48.2 m tons.

16 men were killed and there were 52 serious accidents.

5 ignitions underground and 17 fires (6 being through spontaneous combustion).

In North Nottinghamshire further ripping machines and packing systems continued.

Nucleonic steering was experimented with on a High Hazel seam panel.

Cotgrave continued to use the device for controlling the machine cutting level.

At Thoresby drifts up to the High Hazel seam were completed.

Coal was transported from Ellistown faces underground through the connection to Nailstone surface drift.

The Coal prep plant at Ellistown was closed.

In July production of coal restarted at Bevercotes on 2 faces after blocking out a large area.

Trial made with a low powered laser beam for alignment in a rapidly advancing heading.

At Cotgrave there was a devlopment ripping machine to take a 2 feet (0.6m) web of ripping after the face machine had cut out.

Boom type ripping machines at Creswell, Warsop Main and Markham.

A tilting deck cage was introduced allowing long girders etc to be fed onto the cage and raised up instead of having to sling them under the cage.

Provision was made for winding persons out of the pit by gravity in the event of an electrical power failure.

At Measham trials were made with a Shearer for mining the dirt band in a thick seam, the 11" (0.28m) dirt cut out first then the coal after.

A filter on a Shearer at Rawdon showed airborne dust levels.

In one Areaall new entrants, re-entrants and transferees were offered a tetanus injection, then a second injection after 6 weeks and a third after 6 months.

The mobile X-ray vehicle visited several mines in the year.

Plastic bags were introduced for bagging dirt at packs etc.

Bestwood Operational Training Centre opened for Apprentices, Craftsmen and Machine operators.

367 manless tranfer points, a reduction of 75 from the previous year.

At the end of the year there were 20 small mines.

Self rescuers were supplied to all collieries in the East Midlands Division.

There were now 31 horses at 4 pits.