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The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947


  1983 Pages    1     2     3     4     5     6     7  

1983 - Page 1

Linby Last Pit In South Nottinghamshire To Convert From Steam Winding To Electric

More on Linby Winding Engine

Linby was the last colliery in South Nottinghamshire Area to convert the steam winding engines to electricity when a complete new winding house was constructed. The old steam engine was dismantled and re-erected at Papplewick Pumping station. Sherwood was the last colliery in North Nottinghamshire to convert the steam winders to electric, 1982 and 1983.

Collieries Over Producing

The Monopolies and Mergers Commission report on the industry showed that continuous large amounts of money were necessary to maintain the nationalised firm. It also showed that over-production at high-cost pits was resulting in stocks being put to ground.

Area Tunnelling Team

Agar ‘Eddie’ Gilfillan Area Tunnelling Engineer for North Nottinghamshire Area retired Feb 1983. A Londoner, he had come to work at Bilsthorpe in 1945 after serving in the Marines during the War. He then moved to Calverton and Bevercotes, working as a sinker, before being appointed to the job. He was succeeded by HH (Bert) Grime (8956) (Assistant Manager Bevercotes) -1989. Ken Hartwell continued as Chargeman of the Area team, using Welbeck as his clocking in and off base.

Overhead Electric Trolley Loco

Clayton Overhead Electric Trolley Loco

Chairman of the NCB Norman Siddall CBE (3655) went underground at Gedling (South Nottinghamshire) to officially open the new overhead electric trolley locomotive system in the intake roadway. This was one of two examples used underground in a coal mine, the other being in the Kent Coalfield. Obviously there was no threat from methane gas as electrical power has to be switched off when the percentage reaches 1¼. There had been a similar trolley loco at a salt mine in Cheshire.

Rejected Call For Industrial Action

A ballot of miners rejected a call for industrial action by 61%. The unrest was over the proposed pit closures and wage settlement agreed from November 1982.

Robbins Raise Drill Purchased

NCB North Nottinghamshire Area purchased a Robbins 23R Raise drill rig capable of holes up to 6 feet (1.83m) dia with a pilot hole 9⅞ inches (0.24m) and used for vertical bunkers and ventilation holes. It was thought that it would be cheaper to purchase a rig sooner than pay so much per metre drilled by a private firm. The rig was kept and maintained at Rufford and 2 days were necessary to transport it to a site which needed to be 13 feet (3.96m) high and a concrete base 10 feet (3.05m) square by at least 6 inches (0.15m) thick concrete. Maurice Lamb was Bore master (he would die in post).

All Saints Church Commemorative Plaque

A commemorative bronze plaque in honour of all the miners who had worked at New Hucknall Colliery (South Nottinghamshire) was unveiled by Norman Siddall CBE, Chairman of the NCB, at All Saints Church, Huthwaite on 17th March 1983. Perhaps the only church partly built from stone taken from a local colliery, was packed to capacity. An address was given by Denis Wakeling, Bishop of Southwell and the Rev’d Gordon Oliver, Vicar of All Saints. Also in attendance was Lord Taylor (ex MP for Mansfield and a miner at Sherwood), Frank Haynes MP for Ashfield (also an ex miner and Bevin boy), Ray Chadburn NUM leader and John Boot former NUM Branch Secretary.

Output for 1982-1983

  • North Derbyshire 11 pits was 8,144,226 tonnes, 11,829 men, 3.33 tonnes OMS
  • North Nottinghamshire 14 pits, 12,362,2080 tons, 17,788 men, 3.25 tonnes OMS
  • South Nottinghamshire 11 pits, 8,253,819 tonnes, 14,808 men, 2.69 tonnes OMS
  • South Midlands Area 17 pits (4 in Warkwickshire, 3 in Kent, 6 in Leicestershire and 4 in South Derbyshire).

10 pits had now been closed in North Derbyshire since the formation of the Area in 1967. 83% of the output from the 40 faces (90 machine shifts) was sent to the CEGB, the rest to British Sugar Corporation, British Tissues, numerous schools, hospitals, and local authorities. Another proportion went to smokeless fuel manufacturers Rexco, Coalite, Avenue and Homefire.

Radar Monitoring System For Ollerton Vertical Bunker

A radar system of monitoring the depth of run of mine product in the vertical bunker at Ollerton (North Nottinghamshire) was installed replacing the radio-active sources (one had fallen into the run of mine, but there was no danger, however it was thought wise to change the system). A specially built Radiation Store was situated up the pit yard away from general working areas.

HM Inspectorate

  • Principal Inspector Dilwyn Richards (5250)
  • District Inspectors John W Jones (4652) and Arthur Chaplin (3963) retired and Fred B Turton (5713) continued solely
  • Inspector Guy DR Adamson (5391) retired in July and was replaced by Malcolm R Bottomley (5747). Howard C Evans (10047) (ex Deputy Manager Hem Heath, and previously Undermanager Florence 1977) and John Bennington (5046) continued and Ken Tyldesley (9500) joined July 1983 (experience Sandhole 1956-, Agecroft -1972, Point of Ayr, Deputy Manager Cronton 1978, Deputy Manager Bold 1981-1983).

High Speed Battery Loco Manrider At Bevercotes

After completing successful surface trials a 24 seater battery-powered manriding train costing £250,000 was commissioned at Bevercotes (North Nottinghamshire), transporting men from the pit bottom at speeds up to 25mph almost to 1s coal face, reducing travel time, currently between 20 and 25 minutes walking, at one of Britains first so called ‘push button’ pits, which has never achieved its potential. The main aim was to get the men to work feeling much fresher as the heat underground is stifling and debilitating, and obviously affecting performance.


From 1st April 1983 the Government Redundant Mineworkers Pension Scheme (RMPS) was improved to extend weekly payments and coal allowance to men aged 50-54 and also to younger men made redundant. Lump sums for the under 50s made redundant increased to £1,000 for each year’s service.

Peter Walker MP (Con) was the Energy Minister.

Videos Introduced

Training of men continued to keep up to date with modern technology, and video cassette equipment was introduced to Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire.

Collieries in North Nottinghamshire Area

  • Director: Jack Edward Wood OBE (4395)
  • Deputy Director: John P Berry (6049)
  • Chief Mining Engineer: Robert (Bob) Scott MBE (4454)
  • Deputies: David R Mounsey (4840) (Mining)
    Robert G Siddall (9974) (Mine Planning and Survey).
  • Production Managers: Ray Gregory (4354), Robert (Bob) Anderson (5547) and Frank Middleton (8180).
  • Bevercotes- 883,000 tonnes from Top Hard and Parkgate
  • Bilsthorpe- 970,000 tonnes from Parkgate and Low Main
  • Blidworth- 525,000 tonnes from Top Hard, High Hazles and Abdy/Brinsley
  • Clipstone- 875,000 tonnes from Low Main and Yard
  • Creswell- 761,656 tonnes from Threequarter
  • Harworth- 773,000 tonnes from Barnsley and Deep Soft
  • Mansfield- 830,000 tonnes from High Hazles and Deep Soft
  • Ollerton- 1,045,000 tonnes from Parkgate
  • Rufford- 690,000 tonnes from High Hazles and Yard
  • Sherwood- 881,000 tonnes from Deep Hard/Piper and Yard
  • Silverhill- 790,000 tonnes from Piper, Low Main and Blackshale
  • Sutton- 440,000 tonnes from Piper and Low Main
  • Thoresby- 1,640,000 tonnes from Parkgate
  • Welbeck- 1,155,000 tonnes from Top Hard

Collieries in North Derbyshire Area, 1982-1983

  • Director: Ken Moses (8366)
  • Deputy: Edward (Ted) Horton (8325)
  • CME: John G Town (7579)
  • DCMEs: Keith J Otter (8932)
  • Phil M Davies (9672)
  • Production Managers: Alf Merrington (8179)
  • John H White (8350).
    (11 pits), 20,000 men, £200m turnover:
  • Area Surveyor 1967-1983 Norman Smedley (2166?) retired
  • Reg Butler (1954) Deputy succeeded -1985.
  • Arkwright - 630,000 tonnes from 2nd Waterloo, Deep Soft, Tupton and Threequarter, 970 men
  • Bolsover - 730,000 tonnes from Tupton and Threequarter, 1,040 men, new £4m coal preparation plant completed
  • High Moor - 600,000 tonnes from Clowne and Two Foot, 570 men, 4th drift being driven
  • Ireland - 710,000 tonnes from 1st Piper and Threequarter, 780 men
  • Markham - 1.65m tonnes from 2nd Waterloo, Deep Soft, Deep Hard, 1st Piper, Threequarter and Blackshale, 2250 men
  • Pleasley - 540,000 tonnes from Deep Hard and Piper, 620 men
  • Renishaw Park - 440,000 tonnes from Deep Hard and 1st Piper, 580 men, coal prep plant completed
  • Shirebrook - 1.665m tonnes from Clowne, Main Bright, Deep Soft, Deep Hard and Piper, 1,930 men, coal from Pleasley
  • Warsop Main - 900,000 tonnes from Clowne, Main Bright and Deep Soft, 1365 men
  • Westthorpe - 500,000 tonnes from Chavery, 710 men
  • Whitwell - 520,000 tonnes from Clowne and Two Foot, 850 men.

Collieries in South Nottinghamshire Area 1982-1983

  • Director: P Julian Griffiths (5676)
  • Deputy: Harold E Taylor (5793)
  • CME: Ken J Simmons (6132) 1981-1983 (appointed Deputy Director (Mining) North East Area Mar 1983
  • Deputies: Ken Butt (4675) and Mike Goldsby (8208)
  • Deputy Director and North East Leicestershire Project: Jack J Lewis MBE (5459).
  • Production Managers: R A (Tony) Caunt (8028) (appointed CME); A John Wardle (9360) and Roger Bexon (9393).
    14,950 men, turnover £296m.
  • Annesley - 820,000 tonnes from Deep Soft, Deep Hard, Tupton and Blackshale, 1,075 men
  • Babbington - 650,000 tonnes from Tupton and Blackshale, 1,095 men
  • Bentinck - 870,000 tonnes from 2nd Waterloo, Tupton and Blackshale, 1,855 men
  • Calverton - 850,000 tonnes from High Hazles and Low Bright/Brinsley, 1,555 men
  • Cotgrave - 1.2m tonnes from Deep, Hard and Blackshale development, 1,805 men
  • Gedling - 785,000 tonnes from High Hazles, 1,640 men electric trolley loco installed
  • Hucknall - 800,000 tonnes from Blackshale, 1,200 men, £12m coal prep plant operational
  • Linby - 650,000 tonnes from High Hazles, 1,110 men, steam winder converted to electric
  • Moorgreen - 650,000 tonnes from Blackshale, 1,060 men
  • Newstead - 685,000 tonnes from High Main, Tupton and High Hazles, 1,350 men
  • Pye Hill - 810,000 tonnes from Blackshale and Piper, 1,075 men.

Collieries in South Midlands Area 1982-1983
(South Derbyshire and Leicestershire only)

  • Director: Ralph Rawlinson OBE (5788)
  • Deputy Director: Len Harris (7388)
  • Production Managers: Jimmy McPherson (5237) (Snibston)
  • Chief Mining Engineer: John CH Longden (9134)
  • Chief Mining Engineer Major Projects: Stuart A Skelding (6257)
  • Deputy CME (Mine Planning and Surveying): J Chris Boyle (5733)
  • Senior Mining Engineer Mining Services: David Drake (8100)
  • Surveyor and Minerals Manager: J Alan Ratcliffe (3296)
  • Head of Industrial Training: Russell Keddie (5610) (ex Manager at Sutton (Nottinghamshire) in 1970s, d 2009).
  • Bagworth (Leicestershire) Minge, Five Feet and Splent seams
  • Cadley Hill (South Derbyshire) Main coal, Woodfield, Kilburn and Stanhope
  • Desford (Leicestershire) New Main, Upper Main, Yard and Lower Main
  • Donisthorpe (Leicestershire) Main, Lower Main and Woodfield
  • Ellistown (Leicestershire) Minge, Five Feet, Splent and New Main
  • Measham (South Derbyshire) Little Woodfield, Woodfield and Kilburn
  • Rawdon (Leicestershire) Main, Upper Kilburn, Block, Woodfield, Stockings and Eureka
  • Snibston New Main, Nether Lount and Smoile
  • South Leicester (Leicestershire) Lower Main, Five Feet and Splent
  • Whitwick (Leicestershire) Minge, Five Feet, Splent, Smoile and Nether Lount.

Borehole Drilled At Markham

Another borehole was drilled from the 2nd Waterloo seam workings at Markham (North Derbyshire) in April 1983, but this time up into Top Hard workings at Langwith to prove whether the workings were waterlogged but they proved dry, but gas was found under pressure.


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