1986 - Page 22
The Plan Above Was The Catalyst For Writing This History
This plan with the statement ‘Suspected Ancient Workings in this Area’ is the calalyst that set me off in 1955 on researching the mines in the first place having assisted in measuring the old shaft in the field nearby marked ‘A’ that was sunk to the Dunsil seam in 1780. The seam was named Dunsil after the previous name for Silver Hill farm which was Dunsill as shown on Teversal Tithe map made by John Hickson Surveyor of Nottingham in 1811.
Tithe Map of Teversal
The Colliery Surveyor's Job As I Saw It
The role of Colliery Surveyor is more on the practical side of surveying, with office accommodation at the colliery with printing facilities, storage for surveying equipment and fire-proof storage for plans and note books and calculations and other records.
In charge of a team of both staff members and underground linesmen on pit books and oversee their work and progress and responsible for setting out as per a fully signed layout plan of which the Surveyor at the mine is one of the first signatories, (before passing on to the Senior Surveyor for his checks before he passes it on to higher management for agreeing and signing), maintaining and surveying and levelling underground roadways and panels, after ensuring that the workings are correctly correlated with the National Metric Grid within the terms of accuracy laid down, as well as shaft depths etc and also all surface works including tips and lagoons and to ensure that Apprentices are given the requisite training as to their length of service etc.
Responsible for all plans both statutory and non-statutory made at the colliery and directly responsible to the Colliery Manager and responsible to the Area Surveyor and Minerals Manager for staff, apprentices and methods of work etc to keep within the bounds of the law by following the above Coal Mines Acts, Rules and Regulations and follow the Surveying Code of Practice.
Responsible for the updating of all colliery plans and their safe keeping.
General liaison between all departments at the pit for information etc.
Must be aware and follow all instructions given by the Manager and any Production Instructions sent from Area HQ and assure that all his team is aware of them.
He should be aware of all known workings in the mine whether abandoned or not.
He must ensure that any dangers such as the approach to old workings, boreholes, underground water, old shafts etc are reported to the Manager.
Liaise with neighbouring Surveyors re workings approaching within 125 yards (115m) of any boundary to the mine and exchange copies of workings regularly.
Must ensure that weekly progress plans etc are sent to HQ and that any anomaly of any kind is reported.
Liaise frequently with the colliery Planner and Geologist and Safety Engineer / Officer, Ventilation Officer etc.
To be on 24 hour call and must have a system for Emergency organisation and also to measure the scene of all serious accidents both fatal and non-fatal and major incidents and prepare plans for submission via the Manager to the local Mines Inspector for the District.
All pits vary, however generally there would be some good kind of liaison between the Surveyor and the Assistant Manager re developments and Undermanager(s) regarding underground face working, face straightness, lengths and seam sections and gate lines, special works etc. more or less on a daily basis and at pits with Deputy Managers the 'odd balm pot scheme' to brighten the day, when it could be least needed.
I personally got to know all the Deputies, Overmen and development teams and created a good working relationship, necessary at times when needing to get into a work place.
I always found by having a word now and then with others both on the surface and underground I got great co-operation with anything I wanted to do without the slightest hesitation, such as the Blacksmiths, Welders, Joiners, Painters, Mechanics, Electricians, Yard men, Lamp Cabin staff, Pit top men, Banksmen, Coal Prep, Weigh Clerks, etc, etc.
And underground, the Onsetters, Pump men, haulage teams, Conveyor attendants, etc, etc.
I did this at my previous pit Teversal and it worked.
To carry out statutory surveys underground using a variety of instruments, such as dial surveys from inbye theodolite bases, or use of theodolite only, and today the use of the total station theodolite (not necessarily requiring any readings to be written in a note book as there is a memory chip).
To determine the position of the workings and to carry out final surveys of panels etc polygonally where practicable, along with levellings, in accordance with the Surveying Code of Practice. To maintain direction of roadways as per the fully signed and agreed Development plan of which the Surveyor and Senior Surveyors are signatories.
A typical weekly progress plan is shown with another seam either above or below in outline so that possible interaction can be noted.
Another major part of a Surveyor’s job is to ensure that thirling surveys are carried out correctly, i.e. where 2 roadways are to join at a predetermined spot or roadways advancing towards each other in line and must connect ‘spot on’.
These surveys needed carrying out at least twice to prevent any basic error being overlooked and if possible by another Surveyor.
To inform the Manager and / or Owner of any dangers that he may suspect to enable the safe working of the mine to continue, such as bodies of water in old workings or strata water and boreholes etc.
A system of information sheet called an SM 1 form duly explaining any such danger or suggestion to be forwarded to the Manager in ample time, also for the same information to be vetted at HQ.
To ensure that all plans and working papers, note books, calculations etc are properly documented and filed and available to another Surveyor should he leave the post or the mine is abandoned.
The working plans of all seams in the mine along with overlays of methane drainage boreholes to be completed to date and/or overlay tracings of workings within 40 yards (37m) above and below in each seam if allowed by an Inspector because of the complexity, or show the outline of the said seams in different colour or otherwise.
This applied to the mine workings at the colliery and also to neighbouring colliery workings where liaison with the Surveyor at that mine regarding up to date workings and any dangers such as water or boreholes etc and approaching other workings.
Liaise with the Area Surveyor via Senior Surveyors on matters to do with the running of the department from the surveying side and staffing and equipment etc.
At Ollerton as well as being appointed Surveyor for the mine I was Laser Safety Officer, Water Sample Liaison Officer with the Laboratory, Relics Officer, liaison with Lound Hall Museum and previously in the mid 1960s I was trained as a Radiac Officer in case of Nuclear war!
Above is shown part of a Rescue and Firefighting plan
Part of a surface plan showing a pit yard.
- Surface plan showing all pit top buildings.
- Offices, stores, workshops, pithead baths, winders, pithead buildings, coal preparation plant, powder store and powder distribution store, garage, car parks and roadways, fire fighting equipment and water pipes and hydrants.
- Dirt tip plans showing all features such as dirt bunker, route of vehicles, current tipping area, reclaimed areas, tree and grass planted areas, routes of any water courses etc.
- Diagram of coal prep plant showing throughput plus the layout of full and empty sidings.
- Various other surface plans showing emergency winding block in event of an incident.
- Plan showing routes and surface survey stations in event of major underground emergency.
- Manager’s demarcation plan which shows the surface area of the Manager’s responsibility, or underground point between 2 connected collieries.