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The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947

1972 1973

 1975 Pages    1     2  

1975 - Page 1

Salaries at March 1975

Management Grades (plus assimilation increase ranging from £1,500 down to £825)

Grade Minimum Maximum  
Senior M & T £6,945 £8,545 included Production Managers
M 1 £6,295 ££7,695 included Managers
M 2 £5,705 £7,005 included Deputy Managers
M 3 £5,135 £6,410 included Undermanagers
M 4 £4,635 £5,870 included Surveyors
M 5 £4,055 £5,220 included Assistant Undermanagers
M 6 £3,545 x £135 £4,620 included Assistant Surveyors
M 7 £2,945 x £115 £3,885 Junior posts

From March 1976 there was a supplement paid on salary at £313 per annum.

HM Inspectorate

HM Inspectorate of mines was now under the Health and Safety Executive under the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974 from 1st January 1975
Senior District Inspector George H Thomas replaced Dilwyn Richards (5250), who was transferred to North West. 

District Inspectors

  • EJH Nicholas
  • John W Jones
  • R (Bob) F Young.


  • Geoff Weston
  • John Rushton (9498)
  • John Bennington (5046)
  • Guy DR Adamson (5391)

HM Chief Inspector

  • James Carver succeeded James Calder in August. 

There were a total of 122 Mines Inspectors now in the UK.

Vibration White Finger

Precautions were to be taken against vibration white finger (VWF) from 1st January 1975.

Stretton Drift Mine Closed

Stretton drift mine (Derbyshire) working the Deep Hard seam by room and pillar system started in Sep 1954, passing through old workings, was abandoned in January 1975. No1 Adit 439951, 361799 No2 Adit 440084, 361843. 

Manager: Arnold Heappy (used to be at Harper Hill drift mine in North Nottinghamshire). 
Surveyor: PJ Coupe (4461). 

Nearby James Oakess opencast site of coal and clay had finished in Dec 1963.

Underground Fire At Cadley Hill

There was a major underground fire in the Main seam return airway at Cadley Hill, (South Derbyshire) on 11th February 1975. The colliery emergency organisation procedure was in operation for 13 days whilst the fire was brought under control. There had been previous incidents of fires, the previous one at the end of December 1971 in an area of faulted ground where timber chocks had been used, and another prior to that in May 1970 when smoke from an open fire issued from a substation slit on the main drift cable belt.

Wage Rise Accepted

Around 35,000 Nottinghamshire miners voted on 24th February 1975 whether to accept the latest pay offer from the NCB, who were confident that it would be approved. A 35% increase had been accepted on 13th February by the NUM executive.

Air-Cooling Unit

In March 1975 a large air-cooling (air conditioning) direct evaporator cooling unit was incorporated with the ventilation system as well as a dust extractor at 91s Parkgate was installed underground at Bevercotes (North Nottinghamshire), in an attempt to reduce the extreme heat experienced at the working face.

Output Bonus

Also in March whenever the output target was exceeded, a bonus was paid. In October 1974 an incentive scheme was rejected by the NUM and instead a production bonus scheme based on national output was effective from March 1975.

Civil Engineer Died On Tip Inspection

During the last week in March 1975, George Harris, Senior Deputy Civil Engineer at North Nottinghamshire Area Headquarters died, whilst on a statutory examination of Silverhill dirt tip.  A search party found his body late at night after he failed to turn up at home when alerted by his wife. George was a frequent visitor, to see me, at Ollerton whilst I was Surveyor there as we were in the throes of creating different tipping methods etc.


Hucknall (South Nottinghamshire) produced its second and final 1m tons for the year in 1974-1975, with a total of 1,068,121 tons.


At Markham (North Derbyshire)

  • No1 pit 17 feet (5.19m) dia, DC and 706 yards (646m) deep working Blackshale
  • No2 shaft 15 feet (4.58m) dia, DC and 534 yards (488m) deep working Piper, Deep Hard, Deep soft and Threequarter
  • No3 shaft 15 feet (4.58m) dia UC and 531 yards (486m) deep
  • No4 shaft 17 feet (5.19m) dia, UC and 695 yards (636m) deep. 

The gradient of the seams varied from level to 1in3.  Output for 1974/75 was 2,184,734 tonnes and saleable 1,495,211 tonnes at 3.04 tonnes OMS.

Hartington shaft was the second means of egress for Ireland 1975. An oil engine was installed to drive the fan. Sulzer pumps in the pit bottom capable of 1,700 gpm.

Output for 1974-1975

  • North Derbyshire Area from 12 pits was 7,732,453 tons by 12,628 men at 58.1 cwts OMS
  • North Nottinghamshire 15 pits 10,833,994 tons at 58.7 cwts OMS by 17,026 men
  • South Nottinghamshire 12 pits 9,700,466 tons at 57.7 cwts OMS by 15,415 men.

Keep Britain Tidy Campaign Winners

Bircotes in North Nottinghamshire, the mining village for Harworth colliery, won £150 and a park bench from the NCB and the Keep Britain Tidy Campaign in conjunction with the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation (CISWO), for being the best tidiest village.  There were 200 entrants throughout the country. Surface men at Mansfield colliery won £100 for being awarded the best kept colliery surface. Committees for both events were to decide on how to spend the prize money, possibly on shrubs and trees etc.

Guinness Book of Records

The first coal mine in Britain to achieve more than 5 tons per man-shift for a whole year was Bagworth Colliery (Leicestershire), year ending 1974-1975. This was entered into the Guinness Book of Records.

Ripping In-Line

Ripping in-line was pioneered at Mansfield colliery (North Nottinghamshire) at a tail gate in the Deep Soft seam. A team from Ollerton, of which I was a member, visited the site to observe the new method and take notes in readiness for introduction at Ollerton (North Nottinghamshire). Walter Standage always asked me to go to see new methods and write a report for him if they were to be introduced at Ollerton.

Earnings Related Pension Scheme

Earnings-related Mineworkers Pension Scheme negotiated by the NUM was effective from 6th April 1975 (start of the new tax year), and replaced the Flat-rate Scheme introduced in 1952. It gave improved benefits, increases to widows’ pensions and lump sum payments on retirement.


Whitwick (Leicestershire) New Main seam abandoned, 7 panels worked in total, Surveyor Les A Farmer (2582), Manager D Nev Rady (7297).


A £100,000 scheme came to fruition at Calverton (South Nottinghamshire) in May, with the commissioning of a manrider and supplies system with a track gauge of 4 feet (1.2m), about ½ mile (800m) long in a 1in5 steep drift connecting the two main seams at the colliery.  The engine at 350hp was one of the biggest installed underground.

Last Town Gas Holder In Mansfield Demolished

On 22nd May 1975 the last town gas holder in Mansfield was demolished.  Town gas had been produced since 1820.  Similar gas-holders had existed at Sutton-in-Ashfield.  Again this was another order lost for local coal.

£30 Payment Was Paid To Each Man In Lieu Of A Third Week’s Annual Holiday

Freak Hail Storm

A point of interest, a freak hail storm hit the Mansfield district in the morning with hailstones up to 3 inches (0.08m) across doing some damage to property and vehicles.

Click Here For More Information From David, Who Was Deputy Surveyor At Welbeck

Connection Made

A connection was made underground from Shirebrook to Warsop (North Derbyshire) using a Titan road-header. 


Production from the Deep Soft seam started at Clipstone (North Nottinghamshire) in 1975

Dr Leslie Willett OBE BSc PhD retired as Director General (Special Duties) NCB.  He had started work at Clipstone as an underground worker 50 years previously.

Tony Benn
Tony Benn
(3 Apr 1925 - 14 Mar 2014)


Secretary of State for Energy, Tony Benn (Lab), 10th June 1975-1979

Secretary of State for Industry, Eric Varley (Lab), 10th June 1975-1979


Second Dosco Side-Discharge Machine

The second Dosco side-discharge loader in the country was introduced at Ollerton (North Nottinghamshire) in July 1975.  It was pioneered at Sharlston (Yorkshire). I was one of the team of 3, with Alan Goodwin, Undermanager and Peter Davies, Mechanical Engineer, who visited Sharlston to see the operations. Built at Tuxford work South Nottinghamshire, these machines would prove to be very popular as they worked in line with the coalface machine and not behind as previous machines had done.  The dirt from the ripping was either projected into the face gate side packhole by an extendible conveyor belt, integral in the machine in conjunction with the first trial Joy ram packer, or the conveyor shortened back if in the Loader gate, and the material put onto the gate conveyor or chain.  The loader gate arch size was increased from 13 / 14 feet x 10 feet (3.96 / 4.26m x 3.05m) to 16 / 17 feet x 12 feet (4.88 / 5.18m x 3.65m high).  As with all visits, I compiled a generalised report on the system for the Manager, C Walter Standage.

Open Day At Creswell

An Open day was held at Creswell (North Nottinghamshire Area). The colliery had achieved a recent record productivity output during week ending 26th April 1975 of over 4 tons a man, nearly twice the National average, from the Threequarter seam that was less than 36 inches (0.91m) thick.

High Moor

At High Moor (North Derbyshire) a third surface drift was driven in 1975, also the development of the Two Foot seam.  Manriding in No2 drift for 96 men for 1,190 yards (1,088m) continued and Becorit Roadrailer Loco system in Supply gates for 32 men.  Run of mine coal was screened at 1” (0.02m) and +1” (0.02m) and sent to Oxcroft


At Bevercotes (North Nottinghamshire) an 80hp Eimco 612H articulated dinting machine, 3 feet (0.9m) wide was introduced in the Top Hard seam.


An Anderson Strathclyde AS Buttock shearer was commissioned at Blidworth (North Nottinghamshire) on 50s panel Top Hard some 787 yards (720m) deep, extracting between 3’ 9” and 4’ 6” (1.17 and 1.37m) leaving 0.3m coal to form a good roof.

More Holidays Granted

5 more days’ annual leave was granted, bringing the total to 34 days, including 7 statutory days.


The shafts at Newstead (South Nottinghamshire) were filled below the High Main level at 240 yards (220m), as coal winding was carried out from this horizon. The first BJD B57 shearer was installed at Newstead.  Over the years various permutations of spiral drum and pick patterns had been tried to improve cutting, loading and dust suppression. 

Old Skegby Furnace Shaft Exposed At Stanton Hill

On 4th August 1975 an old shaft was exposed on Wharf Lane at Stanton Hill, (Nottinghamshire).  It was a Cupola of the old Skegby Wharf colliery and the soot on the 9’ 0” (2.75m) dia shaft walls was about 2” (50mm) thick I remember.  The North Nottinghamshire  Area borers and a couple of the Area Tunnelling team men examined the shaft in detail before it was filled, one being lowered down part way by rope, of course examining for gas.  Dr Alan R Griffin (Industrial Relations Officer and Lound Hall Museum Curator), Gordon Ison (Senior Surveyor) were in attendance. I was invited along to see the shaft because of my particular interest in surveying and plotting the shafts in the 1960s.

Ireland Coal Raised At Markham

In August 1975, coal winding ceased at Ireland (North Derbyshire) following a reorganisation and via a connection in the Piper seam coal was raised at Markham.  In 1974 drifts of 300m long had been driven and Markham Threequarter reserves were allocated to Ireland to start mining in 1978