Information and photographs submitted by subscribers are posted in good faith. If any copyright of anyone else's material is unintentionally breached, please email me

The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947


1981 Pages   1     2  

1981 - Page 1

Pay Rise

A pay rise took effect in January 1981, but for 10 months, so as to get back to the November settlement date.

Industrial Action Against Pit Closures By NUM

The NUM took industrial action against pit closures in January/February 1981. David Howell MP (Con) was Energy Secretary and it was proposed to close 23 collieries however the government did a U turn and cancelled the proposal. No ballot but half the miners on strike, some in the traditional moderate areas of Nottinghamshire and West Midlands. Nigel Lawson was appointed to replace him. Coal stocks were low at 39m tonnes. In future there was to be a Colliery review to see if a colliery would close or stay open.

NUM Newspaper

The Derbyshire Area of the NUM published a newspaper, The Derbyshire Miner.

Small Mines

On 8th February 1981 Doe Lea Drift mine at Heath, (Derbyshire) working Top Hard with 26 men, was taken over by SPO from Doe Lea Colliery Co Ltd. The plan was to boost the annual output from 16,000 tons to 21,000 tons.

The other small mines working in the district were:

  • Moor Side (Moorside Mining Co Ltd) Mosborough, Parkgate, 20
  • Mossbrook (Mossbrook Colliery Ltd) Eckington, Parkgate, 13
  • Strathfield (H and C Hartshorne) Stretton, Blackshale and Tupton, 13, (North Derbyshire).

Cory Coal

Cory Coal purchased outright the site at Grassmoor from British Rail from whom they had leased since 1976 and were successful in sending screened washed coal 0 to 2” (0 to 0.05m) to Ratcliffe and Castle Donington Power stations, known as Grassmoor blended smalls, mixed with slurry and middlings from the washing and British Coal. Coal singles contracts were won to supply Derbyshire County Council and Nottinghamshire County Council Associated Heating Services, plus several Health Authorities, as well as to British Gypsum, British Sugar and Rolls Royce.


Rexco who had a plant at Ollerton and Snibston and previously at Mansfield was acquired by the Burnett and Hallamshire Group who were major coal and solid fuel distributors around Sheffield. The Group eventually became part of British Fuel Co until closure around 1990.

Collieries in North Derbyshire Area 1980-1981

  • Director John H Northard. 20,000 men, employed and budget of £200m.
  • Edward (Ted) Horton (8325) was appointed Deputy Director (Mining) North Derbyshire Area Feb 1981, (previously Chief Mining Engineer North Derbyshire 1978, and a Production Manager Doncaster Area 1974).
  • Arkwright: 680,000 tonnes, 2nd Waterloo, Deep Soft, Tupton, Threequarter, 980 men
  • Bolsover: 710,000 tonnes, Tupton, Threequarter, 1,050 men, skips 1976, £2m including surface bunker and a new coal prep plant at £4m
  • High Moor: 535,000 tonnes, Clowne, 2 Foot, 570 men, free steered vehicles in recently developed Two Foot seam
  • Ireland: 710,000 tonnes, 1st Piper, Threequarter, 800 men
  • Markham: 1.675m tonnes, 2nd Waterloo, Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 1st Piper, Threequarter, Blackshale, 2,290 men
  • Pleasley: 530,000 tonnes, Deep Hard, Piper, 610 men, recent connection to Shirebrook
  • Renishaw Park: 440,000 tonnes, Deep Hard, 1st Piper, 580 men, new coal prep plant under construction, £6.6m
  • Shirebrook: 1.625m tonnes, Clowne, Main Bright, Deep Soft, Deep Hard, Piper, 1,920 men, £21m reorganisation, surface drift, computer control, including coal prep plant to accept coal from Pleasley, completed 1981
  • Warsop: 1m tonnes, Clowne, Main Bright, Deep Soft, 1,410 men, recent development of Deep Soft, £4.5m
  • Westthorpe: 500,000 tonnes, Clowne, 710 men
  • Whitwell: 530,000 tonnes, Clowne, 2 Foot seam, 870 men.

Collieries in North Nottinghamshire Area 1980-1981

  • Director: Jack E Wood (4395)
  • Deputy Director: John P Berry (6049).
  • Chief Mining Engineer: Robert (Bob) Scott (4454)
  • Deputies: David R Mounsey (4840) and John CH Longden (9134)
  • Production Managers: Ray Gregory (4354), Robert (Bob) Anderson (5547) and Frank Middleton (8180). (14 pits), 18,080 men, turnover £350m.
  • Bevercotes, 950,000 tonnes from Parkgate and Top Hard, 1,453 men
  • Bilsthorpe, 830,000 tonnes from Parkgate and Low Main, 1,305 men
  • Blidworth, 600,000 tonnes from Top Hard, High Hazles and Abdy/Brinsley, 1,137 men, winders recently electrified
  • Clipstone, 1m tonnes from Low Main, Yard and Deep Soft, 1,515 men
  • Creswell, 750,000 tonnes from Threequarter, 1,107 men
  • Harworth, 700,000 tonnes from Barnsley Bed and recently developed Deep Soft, 1,295 men
  • Mansfield, 900,000 tonnes from High Hazles and Deep Soft, 1,503 men
  • Ollerton, 1.15m tonnes from Parkgate, 1,131 men
  • Rufford, 700,000 tonnes from High Hazles and Yard, 1,485 men
  • Sherwood, 900,000 tonnes from Deep Hard/Piper and Yard, 1,005 men
  • Silverhill, 800,000 tonnes from Low Main, Piper and recently developed Blackshale, 1,298 men, 8 tonnes skips installed at No1 shaft
  • Sutton, 400,000 tonnes from Low Main and Piper, 818 men
  • Thoresby, 1.8m tonnes from High Hazles, Top Hard and Parkgate, 1,429 men, new underground 500t horizontal bunker and a 1,000 tonnes vertical bunker, new winding engine at No2 shaft and surface stockpile and rapid loading bunker complete, No1 winding engine to be replaced in 1981
  • Welbeck, 1.1m tonnes from Top Hard, 1,393 men, surface stockpile and rapid loading bunker, and major reconstruction scheme in progress including drifts to develop the Deep Soft seam.

Collieries in South Nottinghamshire Area 1980-1981

  • Director: P Julian Griffiths (5676) (previously Deputy Director Mining, Western Area since 1974), had replaced F Donald Davies who retired
  • Deputy Director: Harold E Taylor (5793).
  • Chief mechanical engineer: Ron J Price (5134)
  • Deputies: Ken Butt (4675), Jack Wadsworth (….)
    (12 pits), 15,400 men, turnover £270m.
  • Production Managers: Edward E (Teddy) Bishop (5396)
  • R A (Tony) Caunt (8028)
  • Ken J Simmons (6132).

The Annesley Bentinck connection shows both teams of men meeting at the thirling point, (South Nottinghamshire).

  • Annesley, 600,000 tonnes from Deep Soft, Deep Hard, Tupton and Blackshale, 900 men, a major project to couple through to Bentinck for the output to be wound there was completed
  • Babbington, 600,000 tonnes from Tupton and Blackshale, 1,120 men
  • Bentinck, 1.2m tonnes from 2nd Waterloo, Tupton and Blackshale, 2,100 men, conversion of winders to electric completed, new Coal Preparation plant at a cost of £6m, and a pinwheel chainless haulage shearer installed
  • Calverton, 1m tonnes from Low Bright/Brinsley, 1,470 men, developing High Hazles, trapped rail haulage system installed, improvements made to the coal preparation system
  • Cotgrave, 1.145m tonnes from Deep Hard, 1,830 men, developing Blackshale and on the reclaimed tip, barley was harvested
  • Gedling, 750,000 tonnes from High Hazles, 1,620 men, installing overhead electric trolley system for manriding and supplies
  • Hucknall, 800,000 tonnes from Blackshale, 1,210 men
  • Linby, 400,000 tonnes from High Hazles, 1,110 men
  • Moorgreen, 660,000 tonnes from Blackshale, 1,070 men
  • New Hucknall, 250,000 tonnes from Deep Soft and Yard, 600 men
  • Newstead, 700,000 tonnes from High Main and Tupton, 1,400 men, developing High Hazles
  • Pye Hill, 845,000 tonnes from Blackshale and Piper, 1,090 men.

Collieries in South Midlands Area 1980-1981

  • Director Ralph Rawlinson (5788)
  • Deputy Director: Len Harris (7388)
  • Production Managers: Lionel Lees (7262) (Rawdon)
  • Jimmy McPherson (Snibston)
  • JC Nixon (4735) (Coventry)
  • Stuart A Skelding (6257) (Dover, Kent)
  • AV Callis (Birch Coppice).
  • Baddesley, Yard, 9 Feet, 7 Feet, Bench, 750 u/g, 246 s/f
  • Bagworth (Warwickshire), Minge, 5 Feet, Splint, 564 u/g, 212 s/f
  • Betteshanger (Kent), No6 seam, 1,062 u/g, 398 s/f
  • Birch Coppice, 7 Feet, Bench, 718 u/g, 238 s/f
  • Cadley Hill, Main, Woodfield, Stockings, Stanhope, 685 u/g, 202 s/f
  • Coventry, 2 Yard, Ryder, 885 u/g, 269 s/f
  • Daw Mill, 2 Yard, Ryder, 482 u/g, 258 s/f
  • Desford, New Main, Yard, Lower Main, 641 u/g, 192 s/f
  • Donisthorpe, Main, Little Woodfield, Kilburn, 814 u/g, 242 s/f
  • Ellistown, Minge, 5 Feet, New Main, 470 u/g, 97 s/f
  • Measham, Woodfield, Kilburn, 464 u/g, 106 s/f
  • Newdigate (Warwickshire), 9 Feet, 519 u/g, 199 s/f
  • Rawdon, Main, Upper Kilburn, Block, Woodfield, Eureka, 920 u/g, 269 s/f
  • Snibston, New Main, Middle Lount, Nether Lount, Yard, Lower Main, 528 u/g, 223 s/f
  • Snowdown (Kent), No6 seam, 672 u/g, 214 s/f
  • South Leicester, Minge, Middle Lount, Nether Lount, yard,, 5 Feet, Splent,418 u/g, 80 s/f
  • Tilmanstone (Kent), No6 seam, 613 u/g, 215 s/f
  • Whitwick, Minge, Splent, Smoile, Upper Lount, Nether Lount, 629 u/g, 96 s/f.


In 1981 Ray Chadburn was President of the Nottinghamshire NUM, Joe P Whelan General Secretary, George T Cheshire Financial Secretary and Roy Lynk was Benevolent/Pensions Officer.

Transfer Payments

Transfer payments were increased in March to try to attract and encourage inter-pit / Area transfers. Men made redundant after March 1981 received increased weekly benefits, following an agreement with the Government on the Redundant Mineworkers Pension Scheme (RMP) applied from June 1980.

Computer Training

Training in the familiarisation of computer-based monitoring and control systems for craftsmen was introduced.


North Derbyshire Geologist John H Rippon BSc., (1981- early 1986), based at Bolsover HQ.


Page 2
Pit Terminology - Glossary