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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 7

Measham Was Closed After 91 Years And Merged With Donisthorpe


Fatal Accidents Measham ......included....

  • James William Lee (27) fall of roof 8/6/1906
  • Albert Regan (28) injured on 21/10/1903 and eventually died from the injuries 19/12/1906
  • George Wiggins (49) fall of roof 7/1/1909
  • Charles Allen (25) 5/3/1914:....research continues.

Fatal Accidents at old Measham Pit

  • John Usherwood fall of coal 5/5/1722
  • Aaron Jones fall of coal 19/11/1732.

Output For 1984/85

  • North Derbyshire Area 1,437,565 tonnes, 10,113 men, 2.13 tonnes OMS
  • North Nottinghamshire Area 9,163,440 tonnes, 16,452 men, 3.11 tonnes OMS
  • South Nottinghamshire Area 5,583,368 tonnes, 11,693 men, 2.62 tonnes OMS
  • South Derbyshire 1,151,015 tonnes, 3,259 men, 1.78 tonnes OMS. 

Note that the Derbyshire pits tonnage was severely affected by the strike and would never fully recover again. In fact, some working areas were abandoned, being too costly or otherwise to commence coal turning again. The strike in effect had shortened the life of some collieries, and hastened their closure, the very thing that the strike had been about.  Surely this should have been seen by the strikers?

The Nottinghamshire pits continued to work producing a lower tonnage than normal being hampered by pickets and some NUM members who joined the strike.

NUM Overtime Ban Lifted

On 2nd April 1985 the NUM lifted the overtime ban that had been in force for the last 18 months

Articulated Weighbridge

An articulated weighbridge to accommodate the large lorries was installed at Ollerton (Nottinghamshire).

Pleasley North Shaft

Pleasley North shaft was abandoned, stoppings were erected at Dunsil / Waterloo horizon in 1985 (shaft filled and capped in 1986), as it was no longer needed for ventilation, being now part of Shirebrook colliery (North Derbyshire).

NACODS Overtime Ban

NACODS union voted 3:2 in favour for an immediate overtime ban on 16th May and before the ban was called off on 4th June weekend fan examinations underground had to be carried out by BACM staff (British Association of Colliery Management).  Again I was called upon to give up weekends, work nights etc to help to carry out such duties to keep the pit safe.  Willie McGranaghan (11633) (a 26 year old wee Scot) and I were a team on several occasions.  At the time he was an Assistant Undermanager. He would be promoted to Undermanager Clipstone, Assistant Manager Sherwood, Deputy Manager Bevercotes, Asfordby and finally Manager at several collieries (Selby complex Wistow, then Stillingfleet -2004, Harworth 2004-2006. He was appointed as Manager of the National Mining Museum, Caphouse, nr Wakefield in Jan 2008).

Interviews For Over 55

 In June 1985 interviews were carried out on all BACM staff over 55 years of age with regard to accepting redundancy terms due to the closure of pits.

The Industry Never Recovered

Following the worst industrial dispute in modern times, apart from the physical damage to the pits underground there was loss of confidence of the customers and a risk to the markets for the coal.  There were bad relationships between management and the men, and among the men themselves as well as between the unions.  What had been a show of power from the NUM which had failed, due to the stubbornness of one man not to hold a national ballot, the financial cost to the nation was horrendous.  The industry never recovered.

The 1984/1985 strike cost the tax payer more than £7bn. During the strikemarkets were lost and 23 pits were closed by the end of 1985.

Coal Industry Bill

The Coal Industry Bill 1985 was published and the deficit for 1984/85 was around £2.5 billion. You cannot run a business with losses such as that, no matter the size of the enterprise.

International Mining Exhibition

An International Mining Exhibition was held at the NEC Birmingham where many firms were exhibiting their new machines etc and selected miners and staff from all pits attended.  I was fortunate in being chosen and travelled down with a group from Ollerton.


At Silverhill (North Nottinghamshire) the Low Main seam was abandoned again.  In August 1985 a 700 tonnes capacity vertical bunker was commissioned in the Blackshale seam, which had been re-opened in 1981.  Double-ended conveyor mounted trepanner cutter-loading machines were in use, extracting about 3’ 3” (1m).


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