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The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947

1970 1971

1973 - Page 1 2

1973 - Page 1

Salaries at April 1973

Management and Technical Grades

Grade Minimum Maximum  
Senior M and T £4,550 £5,650 included Production Managers
M and T 1 £4,050 £4,950 included Managers
M and T 2 £3,600 £4,400 included Deputy
M and T 3 £3,150 £3,925 included Undermanagers
M and T 4 £2,765 £3,500 included Surveyors
M and T 5 £2,315 £3,030 included Assistant Undermanagers
M and T 6 £2,050 £2,675 included Assistant Surveyors
M and T 7 £1,710 £2,250 Junior posts

Threshold payments extra from Nov 1973 for cost of living allowance.

HM Inspectorate

HMI Inspector Guy DR Adamson (5391) succeeded Geoff Weston (6269) from 1st January 1973.

Wage Settlement

The Wilberforce wage settlement remained in force until February 1973.

Collieries in North Nottinghamshire Area 1973

  • Area Director H Merrik Spanton (4612), (15 pits)
  • Deputy Director, Jim H Stone (4524) appointed Director Doncaster Area (later dismissed)
  • John P Berry (6049) succeeded from CME, Scotland, previously Agent Manager Monktonhall sinking (ex Bevin boy)

Production Managers:

  • Ray Gregory (4354)
  • David R Mounsey (4840)
  • TJ Robert (Bob) Sales (5516)
  • Jim B Kerr (5266) (transferred to Special duties)

Chief Mining Engineer

  • Robert Scott (4454) was promoted from Deputy Chief Mining Engineer
  • David R Mounsey (4840) succeeded
  • Keith Shaw Deputy CME (Mine Planning and Survey) continued.
    Output 11.985m tons.

Collieries in North Nottinghamshire Area 1973:

  • Bevercotes, 959 yards deep (877m), 760,700 tons from Parkgate seam, 860 men
  • Bilsthorpe, 792 yards (724m), 870,650 tons from Parkgate and Low Main seams, 1,173 men
  • Blidworth, 742 yards (678m), 690,000 tons from High Hazles and Top Hard and Abdy development, 1,231 men
  • Clipstone, 1,006 yards (920m), 1.1m tons from Low Main and Deep Soft development, 1,584 men
  • Creswell, 779 yards (712.3m), 766,750 tons from Threequarter seam, 1,100 men
  • Harworth, 978 yards (894m), 621,500 tons from Barnsley seam, 1,126 men
  • Mansfield, 585 yards (535m), 805,650 tons from High Hazles and Deep Soft seams, 1,553 men
  • Ollerton, 525 yards (480m), 922,500 tons from Top Hard seam, 1,312 men
  • Rufford, 856 yards (783m), 766,000 tons from High Hazles, Low Main and Yard seams, 1,568 men
  • Sherwood, 459 yards (420m), 817,400 tons from Deep Hard and Deep Soft seams, 913 men
  • Silverhill, 454 yards (415m), 567,000 tons from Low Main seam, 1,115 men
  • Sutton, 458 yards (419m), 393,300 tons from Low Main and Deep Hard seams, 915 men
  • Teversal, 217 yards (198m), 502,000 tons from 1st Waterloo seam, 791 men
  • Thoresby, 756 yards (691m), 1m tons from Top Hard and Hazles
  • Welbeck, 723 yards (661m), 1m tons from Top Hard seam, 1,315 men.

Collieries in South Nottinghamshire Area 1973

  • Director Jack E Wood (4395) had replaced Noel R Smith, Deputy F Ford, (12 pits), 15,500 men, £60m turnover

Chief Mining Engineer:

  • Jimmy A Wright (3926)


  • Len C Hogg (3275)
  • Jack Wadsworth

Production Managers:

  • Stan Chadwick (3747) – left
  • Les R Watkin (4376)
  • Ken Butt (4675)
  • Maurice Godfrey (5994) promoted. Output 10,104m tons.
  • Annesley, 600,000 tons from Deep Soft, 922 men
  • Babbington, 648,000 tons from Deep Hard, Tupton and Blackshale, 1,250 men, a recent 1½ m reorganisation scheme
  • Bentinck, 1.5m tons from Waterloo, Tupton and Blackshale, 2,359 men, £4m reorganisation scheme completed
  • Calverton, 744,000 tons from High Main and recently developed Low Bright / Brinsley, 1,470 men
  • Cotgrave, 978,000 tons from Deep Hard, 1,570 men
  • Gedling, 767,000 tons from High Hazles and Top Hard, 1,426 men
  • Hucknall, 1.125m tons from Blackshale, 1,060 men, one of the few pits to have electric lighting from pit bottom to coal face
  • Linby, 674,000 tons from High Main and first face in 1st Waterloo, 1,246 men, recent reorganisation
  • Moorgreen, 1.236m tons from 2nd Waterloo and Blackshale, 896 men, recent £½ m reorganisation scheme
  • New Hucknall, 363,000 tons from Piper, 683 men
  • Newstead, 1.076m tons from High Main, 1,449 men, preparations to enter Tupton seam
  • Pye Hill, 687,000 tons from Blackshale, 1,060 men.

Output for 1972-73

  • North Derbyshire - 13,609 men produced 8,437,607 tons at an OMS of 58.6 cwts
  • South Nottinghamshire - 15,910 men produced 9,945,123 tons at an OMS of 58.2 cwts
  • North Nottinghamshire - 18,148 men produced 12,042,286 tons at an OMS of 60.2 cwts

Emergency Egress

In March 1973 the Mines (Emergency Egress) Rules 1973 came into force, following the problem that had occurred in Kent in March 1970 when a heavy snowfall caused a power failure to all 3 collieries, and blocked all access roads, preventing emergency winders reaching the mines. Men were suspended in the shaft for 2½ hours on one occasion and 1½ hours on another. Gravity winding was introduced at Ollerton with a container that when filled with water on the chair at the pit top was sufficiently heavy enough to raise the other chair from the pit bottom to the pit top. Other pits had diesel alternators on standby.

Emergency Winding Precautions Taken

Ollerton Colliery - Dosco With Arch Setting Device

Emergency winding blocks of solid concrete with anchor points had been set up at all the local mines. A small pulley wheel was erected at Ollerton for example over the shaft and at right angles to the main pulley wheels. The idea was that the emergency mobile diesel engine winder kept at Mansfield Woodhouse Mines Rescue Station could be driven in and anchored to the concrete base for stability, then a small diameter winding rope with capel etc could be slung over the wheel and attached to a small emergency cage to wind men out of the mine should the need ever arise.

Disastrous Inrush And Loss Of Life At Lofthouse Colliery (Yorkshire)

There was an inrush of water and mud etc at Lofthouse colliery in Yorkshire, on 21st March 1973 where a coalface undermined an old shaft not thought to be down to that horizon (but it was later found that had a borehole had been drilled deeper) and the water, sludge, sediment etc violently flushed into the panel both ways along the face destroying supports and filling the gates to some distance and drowning 7 men. Only 1 body was recovered because it was impossible to progress to the face with the existing tackle and methods.

A horrible stench had been noticed some time before from water that had trickled in from the strata, a sign never to be ignored in the future. Pumps were brought in to try to remove the silty material but failed. The emergency drilling rig was positioned over one gate in the hope of drilling down to hopefully find some survivors, but was abandoned when it was realised this could not be so.

The Rescue teams in future were then trained in underwater swimming with obstacles in the way to assimilate such conditions should it ever happen again.

This disaster led to the planning of all underground workings in the country being checked by Surveyors poring over old plans, notebooks and records and also liaison with Mining Records Officers in each region and the British Geological Survey at Leeds originally then later at Keyworth periodically for every colliery to search for any abandoned mine shafts and boreholes etc. A system of plan signing was devised following the layout plans drawn up by Planners, starting at colliery level with the Surveyor and Manager signing, Senior Surveyors checking, right up to Deputy Director level at each Area HQ. Many Colliery Surveyors like myself were taken to Leeds first then later to Keyworth by a Senior Surveyor to examine all geological plans and borehole sites etc for the colliery take in order to state that with the knowledge known one could sign a layout plan constructed by a Planner with a fair amount of confidence. Following that exercise I don’t think there any more unfortunate inrushes.

Voted Against Strike Action

A pithead ballot was held on 3rd April 1973 which gave a 3:2 majority against strike action over the pay claim. The NCB conceded to a Third weeks holiday (however it was not implemented until 1977).

Day of Action

On 1st May 1973 many miners joined a Day of Action strike organised by the TUC, in protest at the Governments pay restraint.Only one Nottinghamshire pit was closed. 113 pits out of 281 pits in the country were out on strike.

John King Centenary

The John King centenary exhibition to celebrate the ‘King’s patent’ overwind safety device was held at the Pinxton Miners’ Welfare (Derbyshire) from 16th-19th May 1973. Mr Len A Clarke JP (2664), President of the NUM, Nottinghamshire Area and ex Colliery Manager in North Nottinghamshire accepted the invitation to open the exhibition. Many scale models of various engines etc were on display including a demonstration model headgear showing the King’s detaching hook. The original patent granted for the safety detaching hook was dated 18th October 1867.