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The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947

Book 6

  1986 Pages     1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10     11     12     13     14  
    15     16     17     18     19     20     21     22     23     24     25     26     27     28  

1986 - Page 6

Aerial Photography Of Dirt Tips

For the first time in the region colliery dirt tips were photographed by JA Storey Aerial Flights and plans were provided of all the tips. It was a boon for surveyors saving many hours of physical practical and office work.

Monopolies and Mergers Commission Visit Ollerton

On 19th August 1986 there was a visit to Ollerton by Prof J Shaw and Mr JS Marshall, advisors to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

Ollerton (Nottinghamshire) was one of the most productive and profit making pits in the country and checks were to be made to substantiate the amount of money being invested in the pit. For example in 1981/82 a profit of £10.7m was made, equivalent to £10.30 per tonne.

The output of over a million tonnes a year was split into the following categories:
Blended smalls, 80% to CEGB, balance to Ollerton Rexco Plant, Coventry Home Fire Plant, Northern Ireland, Eire, Inland domestic market and concessionaires. 

Drum Shearer
Double-Ended Ranging Drum Shearer (DERDS)
Latest profit for 1985/86 was £15.917m.

Underground, the output was from Double-ended ranging drum shearers (DERDS) faces in the 1.8m thick Parkgate seam using chock shield powered supports. 

The coal was cut at the face, loaded onto an AFC panzer conveyor, stage loader, gate conveyor, trunk conveyor into skip pockets at the shaft side via 2 vertical storage bunkers of 650 tonnes and 850 tonnes and a roadway bunker of 500 tonnes to regulate the output.

Winding by electric motors, 10½ tonnes skips, automatically discharged at the surface and fed into the modern coal preparation plant to be cleaned, sorted and distributed. 

A 2,000 tonnes surface rapid loading bunker held the coal to go to the power stations.

The surface control room had a private branch PABX telephone system, loud hailers on conveyor roadways.

Underground conveyors, bunkers, mines drainage pump etc all automatically controlled. 

Pony Loco
Clayton Steep Seam Rubber-Tyred Pony Loco
FIDO gave information on coalface machinery performance.

Supplies delivered by Clayton steep seam rubber-tyred pony locos in pit bottom delivering to dispatch and receive haulage down the steep return airway access drift and similar locos at base of Parkgate drift and then by a series of normal endless rope haulages to the panels and faces.

The Parkgate at 750m was relatively deep with an effective temperature of 27.2º C and air cooling systems were installed. 

The seam dipped inbye at 1s, 2s and 33s and further installations were envisaged in the future.

The cost of equipping 33s face:

  • Anderson/Strathclyde (A/S) DERDS shearer £250,000
  • AFC line pans, chain, furnishings etc £250,000
  • Powered Dowty 4x300 tonnes shield supports £2,500,000
  • Gate end supports £100,000
  • 2 side discharge Dosco road headers £250,000
  • 2 cam packers etc £50,000
  • AFC drives, gear boxes, motors etc £50,000
  • Support pump etc £50,000
  • 120hp stage loader drives £30,000
  • Pans etc £70,000
  • Electrics, transformers etc £70,000
  • Cables, signals, telephones £80,000
  • Total, for the 250 yards (230m) long face, £3.75m.

The current manpower at the time was 921 underground and 234 on surface, total 1,155 mainly living in Ollerton village and other surrounding villages.

Plans and further information such as seam sections, distances, development, manriding – rope and belt, top and bottom manriding, gradients etc were supplied by me. 

Environmental aspects such as amount of tipping, tipping areas restored, grassed areas and tree planting were also asked for in the discussion.

Cooling Unit For Harworth

At Harworth (North Nottinghamshire) a 7,000 kW capacity surface air-conditioning plant for underground cooling was commissioned in July 1986.  At 1,050 yards (960m) deep to the Deep Soft seam horizon the virgin strata temperature was 40oC and the return gate temperature 32oC.  A 1,200 tonne capacity pit bottom bunker was commissioned.


Robert Haslam
Sir Robert Haslam
Sir Robert Haslam
succeeded as Chairman of British Coal from September 1986. He had worked for Manchester Collieries 1944, (Managers Cert in 1947), joined ICI Nobel Division as a Mining Engineer, and joined NCB as Non-executive Deputy Chairman 1985, presently Chairman British Sugar Corporation.   (Sir) Ian McGregor a Canadian retired aged 74 at the end of August. 

John P Berry (6049) (Deputy Director (Mining) Nottinghamshire Area appointed Deputy Operations Director British Coal, Eastwood Hall, Aug 1986. Peter A Chambers (8313) DCME transferred to assist Deputy Director (Operations) Eastwood Hall.

John H White (8350) appointed Chief Mining Engineer North Derbyshire (previously Senior Mining Engineer, Production Manager North Derbyshire Area 1981).  Phil M Davies (9672) DCME North Derbyshire promoted to CME, North Yorkshire.

Alan Houghton (8957) appointed Deputy Director (Mining) South Midlands Area (previously CME 1985, Production Manager North Staffordshire Area 1981).

Peter Walker MP Energy Minister (Con) was still in post.

40 Pit Campaign

The 40 Pit Campaign began in October 1986, where pits with numerous accidents were put on a six months review. In depth investigations were carried out by safety staff.

Officials Pay

Pay Rates For Underofficials:

  • Colliery Overmen £193.36
  • Overmen £188.06
  • Deputies Grade I £182.91
  • Deputies Grade II £177.86

Attendance Bonus Mid Week:

  • for ¼ shift Overmen £8.05 increased to £8.45
  • Deputies midnight ¼ £7.60 to £8.00
  • ½ shift Overmen £ 16.15 increased to £17.00
  • Deputies £15.25 to £16.05
  • Full shift Overmen £32.30 to £34.00
  • Deputies £30.45 to £32.05

Weekend Allowances:

  • Overmen ¼ £11.40 to £12.00
  • Deputies £10.85 to £11.40
  • Overmen ½ £22.80 to £24.00
  • 4 to 6 hours £39.40 to £41.45
  • Deputies £21.65 to £22.80

For Full Shift For:

  • Overmen £45.60 to £48.00
  • Deputies £43.30 to £45.55
  • 4 to 6 hours £37.35 to £39.30.

Air Cooling Unit

A chilled-water system was installed at Thoresby (Nottinghamshire) in the Parkgate workings. 


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