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The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947


1985 Pages   1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10     11  

1985 - Page 11

Pye Hill No1 Closed After 110 Years
- Continued -

Interviews Held For Over 50s Regarding Redundancy

Interviews were held for over 50s for redundancy terms. Each man was entitled to a lump sum plus weekly pay from the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978, the Redundant Mineworkers Payments Scheme and The Mineworkers Pension Scheme plus unemployment benefit as follows:-

  • for each year of reckonable service at 41 years and over, but under 65 = 1½ weeks pay.
  • for each year of reckonable service aged 22 and under 41 = 1 weeks pay
  • iii) for each year of reckonable service aged 18 but under 22 = ½ weeks pay.

Maximum pay £152, maximum reckonable service 20 years, therefore maximum total = £4,650.
A man aged 56 with 20 years’ service (earning £125 p.w.) = 22 – 40 = 5 x 1 x 125 = £625.
Above 41 years of age = 15 x 1½ x 125 = £2,812.50, therefore payment = £3,437.50.

HM Inspectorate

Salary rates for Health and Safety in Mines and Quarries Inspectors £24,155 – £29,285.

In July 1985 A Special Rules Revision Conference Was Held At Sheffield
Following The Closure Of The Annual Conference

A considerable amount of floor water, was unexpectedly encountered on a panel in the Deep Soft seam at Warsop in July-Aug 1985, and thought to originate from the Tupton rock. The seam was generally dry and the amount of water caused problems.

Amalgamation Of North And South Nottinghamshire Areas

On 1st August 1985 the North and South Nottinghamshire Areas were amalgamated and named Nottinghamshire Area with HQ at Edwinstowe.
Bestwood HQ was closed down.

  • Jack E Wood (4395) (known as Ted at home) Area Director of North Nottinghamshire retired and Albert (Bert) Wheeler (7349), Director of South Nottinghamshire, previously Scottish Area succeeded as Director of the new Area. He had been a Manager and Deputy Director in North Derbyshire in the past.
  • Ken Moses (8366) was promoted to Bretby
  • Edward (Ted) Horton (8325) succeeded as Director, North Derbyshire Area, (1985-1987).
  • Harold E Taylor (5793) Acting Director, South Nottinghamshire was appointed to Director South Yorkshire Area.
  • John P Berry (6049) ex North Nottinghamshire continued as Deputy Director for the new Area.
  • Robert G Siddall (9974) was appointed Deputy Director for North Derbyshire Area.
  • Ron Sheldon (2305), Area Chief Surveyor South Nottinghamshire 1982-1985 retired, previously Deputy Area Surveyor.
  • Charles J Whyte (2678) North Nottinghamshire 1974-1985 was appointed as Area Chief Surveyor for the new combined Nottinghamshire Area.
  • Robert (Bob) Scott (4454) Chief Mining Engineer North Nottinghamshire retired and RA (Tony) Caunt (8028) from South Nottinghamshire succeeded. (Bob Scott had begun in the mines at Pentrich, moving on to Clifton. In 1941 he transferred to Bestwood Amalgamated Collieries as a vocational trainee part-time student on a Miners’ Welfare scholarship. He was appointed Undermanager at Hucknall in 1948, Assistant Manager Linby in 1951, Manager Gedling 1952, Group Manager No1 Area Bolsover 1957, Deputy Assistant Production Manager (Ops) 1965, DCME (Services) North Nottinghamshire 1967, Chief Mining Engineer North Nottinghamshire 1970-1985).
  • R A (Tony) Caunt (started at Pleasley on underground Survey staff, passed Surveyor’s certificate, mining experience at Pleasley, Assistant Undermanager Silverhill, Undermanager Newstead, Deputy Manager Bentinck, General Manager Bentinck, Production Manager South Nottinghamshire, Chief Mining Engineer South Nottinghamshire Area).
  • Robert (Bob) Anderson (5547) Production Manager North Nottinghamshire retired, (started at Bates NE, passed Surveyor’s certificate) went to Caledonian Mining Co for a time)
  • Ray Gregory (4354) Production Manager North Nottinghamshire retired
  • David S Widdowson (8857) appointed Production Manager (promoted from Manager Bevercotes)
  • Brian C Wright (9913) and Terry E Wheatley (8348) continued
  • Roger Bexon (9393) (transferred from South Nottinghamshire) as Production Managers.

Tilting Deck Cage

Ventilation and materials handling was improved at Clipstone in 1985. A tilting deck was introduced on the materials cage to facilitate long loads that could be wound into the pit fairly quickly, being inside the cage, whereas at Ollerton for example, all long or large loads had to be slung beneath the cage and lowered steadily into the pit and as at the pit top where the operation was slow and precarious, the awkward material had to be unloaded very slowly in the pit bottom. This took up much shaft time and manpower.

Suspended Sub-Station

Another first for Ollerton (Nottinghamshire) when electricians at the pit devised an adjustable suspended sub-station some 37 yards (34m) long, hanging on 22 chains, to overcome floor lift. It was very important to keep switchgear stable and even and due to extreme movement this seemed to be the answer. It was very successful and used in further installations in the Parkgate seam.


Secretary of State for Environment, Kenneth Baker (Con) Sep 1985-1986.
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Leon Brittan (Con) Sep 1985-1986.

Formation Of The Union Of Democratic Miners (UDM)

In October 1985 the Nottinghamshire and South Derbyshire miners set up the Union of Democratic Miners (UDM). Official recognition came in December on the 6th. This was in direct opposition to the NUM, because it was thought that a democratic vote should have been allowed by all members of the union before a decision to come out on strike was called. Arthur Scargill had disallowed this, and the outcome was to be the downfall of the NUM as the chief negotiating body for the miners. Roy Lynk was installed as President. The NUM President Ray Chadburn and General Secretary Henry Richardson were rejected, but would continue to represent the smaller number of NUM members. However the NCB would only deal with the new union in future, so they had very little power.

Colliery Review Procedure

Earlier in the year, modifications to the Colliery Review Procedure included reference to an Independent Review Body as the final stage.


Emphasis was now placed on direct communications with employees such as seminars. The Coal News was published to give regular news bulletins about the industry.

JEB Examinations

JEB Examinations (for MQB Examinations) Fees:

  • First Class Certificate (May and November) £20.00
  • Second Class Certificate (November only) £20.00
  • Mechanical Engineers’ Certificate (May and November) £20.00
  • Electrical Engineers’ Certificate (May and November) £20.00
  • Surveyors’ Certificate (October) £40.00.

Radio-Controlled Haulage Installed At Silverhill

A radio-controlled 250hp hydraulic haulage supplied by Needham Bros and Brown Ltd was installed at Silverhill (Nottinghamshire). The first one to be operational was installed at Bentinck in 1984.

Miners Praised

On October 10th 1985 the Coal Board Chairman, Ian MacGregor praised the Nottinghamshire miners for defying the NUMs strike order.

Pay Deal Finalised

However on 25th October a pay deal was finalised with the National Coal Board for Nottinghamshire 27,500 miners which gave an extra £7.50 per week for face workers on the basic rate of £145.45 per week. It was the first rise since 1982 and included enhanced incentive pay and a package of benefits. Further negotiations were expected to give improved holiday pay and a non-absenteeism bonus.

Thoresby Record

Thoresby produced a record output of 55,019 tonnes in the last week in November 1985 and in January 1986 more than 30,000 tonnes was produced from one face.

Welbeck Drifts

At Welbeck the Deep Soft seam was accessed by cross-measures drifts from the Top Hard seam in 1985 (Nottinghamshire).

H M Spanton

H Merrik Spanton OBE (4612) retired as a Board member of the NCB but continued as Chairman of NCB Enterprise. He had previously been Director North Nottinghamshire Area 1967-1985. (died Nov 2008).

Winding Rope Capped With Resin

On 1st December 1985 the winding rope at the coaling shaft at Ollerton (Nottinghamshire) was capped with resin for the first time, replacing the traditional ‘white metal’ of the past.

3 Leg Chocks

3 leg chock shields (Gullick Dobson 3/200 at 1.2m c/c) were installed at Sherwood (Nottinghamshire).

Reporting Of Injuries, Diseases And Dangerous Occurrences

RIDDOR system of Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, 1985 came into force also the Ionising Radiations Regulations, 1985. The latter one referring to annual sampling and testing of deposits of limewater scale and sludge from dewatering pipe ranges and sumps, shaft garlands and tanks particularly where frequent blockages occur for Low Specific Activity Pipe scale and sludges resulting from Underground Dewatering Processes (LSAS). This was following the first awareness of radiation levels in a shaft pump lodge. I saw a 4” (0.10m) pipe at Teversal shaft in the 1950s that had reduced to about 1” (0.05m) by layers of lime scale over many years, and that I am sure would have set this ball rolling had the Regulations been in place at that time. No wonder the garlands were always overflowing. Unlike radon gas and radon daughters captured on dust particles at underground booster fan as mentioned later.

Of course the reporting of accidents causing severe injury and dangerous occurrences generally necessitated the Surveyor to measure up the scene and construct a plan for HM Inspector as before.

Rescue Station

L Hall succeeded as General Manager at Mansfield Woodhouse Mines Rescue Station 1985-1987.


  • Chesterfield Chavery and Deep Hard 2/1985
  • Furnace Hillock (NCB) High Hazles, Top Hard, and old Dunsil, 1st Waterloo and ? seam 21/11/1977-16/7/1985, old workings uncovered in High Hazles
  • Manners Colliery site 4th Waterloo 23/9/1985-9/10/1985 for an industrial estate
  • Willesley Clay several seams, Dec 1985
  • Williamthorpe Upper Brinsley, Lower Brinsley, High Hazel 11/10/1985
  • Wollaton Coombe 29/1/1985.

HM Inspectorate

Hedley C Evans (10047) Mines Inspector was transferred to South Region, including the Channel Tunnel at the end of the year. He called in at the Ollerton ‘Christmas do’ for Unions and senior staff members to wish us ‘all the best’. He had been deeply involved in the methods of work set up following the death of one of the Area Tunnelling team constructing the large excavation for the top of the Parkgate inbye vertical bunker. He cost me some pain because all future jobs had to have a method of work plan with a scale drawing and instructions stencilled accordingly. Sam D Briggs succeeded as Inspector for the area. Fred B Turton (5713) continued as District Inspector.