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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 2

The Diary Of The Strike From NUM Office

The diary of the strike from NUM office (published in the Derbyshire Times as opposed to the personal diary of a picket mentioned earlier:

  • 1984: 20 Feb Scottish pit strike begins
  • 1 Mar NCB announced the closure of Cortonwood Colliery and 55,000 Yorkshire miners were called out on strike
  • 8 Mar NUM executive made both Scottish and Yorkshire strikes official
  • 12 Mar the strike began, but Derbyshire miners continued to work as agreed until an Area ballot was called on 16 Mar
  • 13 Mar flying pickets from Yorkshire closed Creswell and Whitwell Collieries
  • 14 Mar North Derbyshire miners voted by a narrow majority not to strike
  • 19 Mar North Derbyshire NUM leaders overturned the pithead ballot and declared the strike official
  • 23 Mar North Derbyshire Coalfield at a complete standstill, with Bolsover Colliery being the last to stop production after mass picketing
  • 9 Apr trouble flared up at Creswell Colliery as more than 1,000 pickets tried to stop the nightshift men going in
  • 12 Apr Arthur Scargill ruled out a national ballot, 4 days after the national executive voted by 14 to 10 in favour of a ballot
  • 19 Apr special delegate meeting at national level voted against a ballot
  • 2 May Bolsover District Council agreed £10,000 handout to families of striking miners
  • 7 May Chesterfield Borough Council began distributing £55,000 payout to striking miners and their families
  • 23 May NUM leaders met Ian McGregor for talks but there was a breakdown on the first day
  • 29 and 30 May Orgreave Coking Plant was under siege from 7,000 pickets. Arthur Scargill was arrested for obstruction, scores of men were injured and many more were arrested, including 4 from North Derbyshire
  • 5 June violence returned to North Derbyshire picket lines and 4 policemen were injured and 28 pickets were arrested on public order charges at Creswell Colliery
  • 13 June peace talks break down at Rotherham. NE Derbyshire District Council agreed to £50,000 cash aid for striking miners’ families
  • 27 June NCB claimed that the drift back to work in North Derbyshire was gathering momentum with 525 out of 10,500 at work, however the union put the figure at just under a hundred
  • 18 July pit talks breakdown over the issue of uneconomic pits
  • 1 Aug Derbyshire County Council backed a scheme to hand out food parcels worth £250,000 to families of miners and other low income families
  • 2 Aug more violent scenes at Creswell Colliery when 2,500 pickets clashed with police leaving 31 policemen injured and 2 police vehicles damaged
  • 10 Aug arson attack on 5 NCB vehicles at Pleasley Vale causing £30,000 damage
  • 20 Sep Derbyshire miners won ‘the right to work’ in a court hearing. North Derbyshire Area NCB claimed that 1,059 men were working
  • 24 Oct NCB said that 1,059 men had crossed the picket lines
  • 25 Oct Court orders seized the NUM assets after £200,000 contempt fine was not paid
  • 31 Oct ACAS peace talks broke down after 10 ½ hours
  • 1 Nov NCB said that 1,157 men were working in North Derbyshire Collieries
  • 5 Nov NCB said that return to work had accerated and 2,035 were now working
  • 12 Nov promise of Christmas bonus was the biggest lure for return to work so far and now 3,357 men in North Derbyshire Area were back at work which was a third of the NUM membership
  • 30 Nov for the first week since the strike began more than half of North Derbyshire NUM members, some 5,483 men were at work
  • 17 Dec TUC hopes of a settlement was sunk by Ian McGregor


  • 24 Jan North Derbyshire Area NCB said 6,417 men working
  • 29 Jan opening talks between NUM and NCB broke down
  • 11 Feb the number of North Derbyshire pitmen working reached 7,900 which was 75% of NUM membership
  • 19 Feb TUC representatives met Mrs Thatcher PM and Energy Secretary Peter Walker
  • 20 Feb NUM executive turned down TUC peace formula
  • 21 Feb NUM delegates’ conference rejected TUC formula
  • 25 Feb record national number of 3,800 men turned up for work at the pits for the first time
  • 1 Mar Area conferences called for a return to work
  • 3 Mar special delegate conference of NUM voted 98 to 91 to return to work on 5 Mar. No amnesty was sought for sacked miners....After almost 12 months the strike was over.

North Nottinghamshire Area

  • Director: Jack E Wood (4395) (to retire) (died Nov 2007)
  • Deputy: John P Berry (6049) (to continue) (died in Australia after retiring). CME: Alan Ingham (6343)
  • Deputies: David R Mounsey (4840) (d 2007) and Albert C Mapp (7959) (both to retire).
  • Production Managers: Robert Anderson (5547) (to retire) died 2011, Terry E Wheatley (8348), later Assistant Director Midlands Area, then Director for Midlands and South Wales) and Frank Middleton (8180) -1986 (to Eastwood Hall, later Director North West Area). Brian Wright (9913) Production Manager was later Director North East, then for Closed collieries and Nottinghamshire.

South Nottinghamshire Area

  • Director (Acting): Harold E Taylor (5793) (to retire).
  • CME: R A (Tony) Caunt (8028), (to transfer) d 2013
  • Deputies: Edward E (Teddy) Bishop (5396) (Senior Mining Engineer (to retire) died 2011 and Mike Goldsby (8208) (to transfer) d 2001.
  • Production Managers: A John Wardle (9360) and Roger Bexon (9393) (to transfer).

North Derbyshire Area

  • Director, Ken Moses (8366) promoted and Edward (Ted) Horton (8325) (Deputy Director) was appointed.
  • CME: John G Town (7579)
  • DCME (Mining Services): Keith J Otter (8932).
  • Senior Mining Engineer (Planning and Surveying): Phil M Davies (9672).
  • Production Managers: Alf Merrington (8179), John H White (8350).
  • Planning Engineer: Brian Pether (9014)
  • Surveyor and Minerals Manager: Peter Clarke (2...). Reg Butler (1954) transferred from Deputy Area Surveyor to Area Estates Manager.

Sinking Began At Asfordby

Colliery sinkings: In 1985 sinking began at Asfordby new mine in NE Leicestershire, near to Melton Mowbray by NCB / British Coal.  The mine was administered by Midlands Area, as it was proposed that miners from the closed pits in that Area would be transferred there, however it would later become part of the Nottinghamshire Area. Around 80 boreholes had been drilled in the Vale of Belvoir, but not one on the site of the shafts yet again. It was planned to produce 4m tonnes of saleable coal a year! There were twin winding-towers at 57 yards (52m) and 52 yards (47m) high. Shaft positions SK72 SW E472548 N320686, E472512 N320593. A connection to the main rail line was necessary.


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