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The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947

Book 6

1987 Pages   1     2     3    4    5     6     7     8     9     10     11 

1987 - Page 6

Mansfield and Thoresby European Records

The European thin seam weekly output record was broken by Mansfield colliery (North Nottinghamshire) w.e. 31st March 1987 with 20,465 tonnes from one face 4s panel, with almost 13 miles of face length cut during the week.

During the year the European record of 61,718 tonnes for a week was produced at Thoresby (North Nottinghamshire).

Shirebrook (North Derbyshire) output reached a maximum of 1,721,272 tonnes produced by 1,956 men.
Giant Dosco Machine

A giant Dosco In seam miner (one of only 2 in the world) designed to cut 18ft x 10ft (5.5 x 3.05m) coal section, with 70 cutter picks in the chain and 50 cutter picks in the augur heads was installed at Sherwood (Nottinghamshire). Battery operated free-steered vehicles were installed also.


Nottinghamshire pits 1986-1987 was 18,057,675 tonnes.

HM Inspectorate

Dilwyn Richards (5250) Principal HMI for the North Midlands District retired in April 1987 and was succeeded by Ken L Twist (9499) (HMI for South Midlands from 1977, previously Deputy Manager at Agecroft, Lancashire 1972-1977). (Dilwyn Richards was a workman at Cambrian, South Wales 1943, PD School 1946, Overman Fernhill, Acting Undermanager, moved to Cincinnati USA, returned as Undermanager Elliot, South Wales 1953, Undermanager Nantgarw, Manager Nantgarw 1955, HMI North East Scotland 1958, District HMI North Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, Senior District HMI Barnsley Area 1967, moved to Rotherham Area, Senior District HMI for new North Midlands District 1971, transferred to North of England for 3 years before returning to North Midlands District, Worksop office).

Steve P Wing joined the area as HM Inspector. I was to meet him soon regarding Abandonment Plans of which he had no experience of.

Laser used for track laying

At Bevercotes a laser beam was used as an aid to track-laying and proved successful.

South Midlands Area

  • Director John CH Longden (9134)
  • Deputy Director: W Longden (….) and Len Harris (7388).
  • Chief Mining Engineer: Alan Houghton (8957) (began at Chanters, Deputy Bickershaw, Undermanager Agecroft 1966, Deputy Manager Agecroft 1969, Manager Hapton Valley (1 year), and Manager Bold, Lancashire (7 years), Manager Littleton Cannock Chase).


  • Robert (Bob) G Siddall (9974) previously Deputy Director (Mining) North Derbyshire Area 1985, appointed Deputy Director North Yorkshire Area.
  • Harold E Taylor (5793) retired as Director South Yorkshire, formerly Director North Derbyshire Area. He had begun at Clipstone 1941, transferred to Bradford, Manchester, Manager Snibston 1961, promoted to Group Manager, Production Manager South Midlands, CME South Nottinghamshire 1973, Deputy Director (Mining) South Nottinghamshire 1977, Acting Director 1984, South Yorkshire Area formed from South Yorkshire and Doncaster Areas).

Central Area Formed

On 1st April 1987 Central Area was formed by the amalgamation of the North Derbyshire Area and South Midlands Area with HQ at Coleorton, due to the contraction of both Areas. An outstation was maintained at Grassmoor for the ex North Derbyshire pits. 16,000 men, £450m.

The New Central Area Consisted Of 13 Pits:

  • Director: Len Harris (7388) promoted from Deputy Director, previously Director of Production and Productivity based at Doncaster - 1979.
  • Deputy Director: Alan Houghton (8957).
  • John H White (8350) appointed Chief Mining Engineer (began as Apprentice Surveyor Swanwick 1951, Alfreton coal face, Undermanager Swanwick 1966, Manager Glapwell, Manager Westthorpe, Manager Warsop, Production Manager 1981, Senior Mining Engineer North Derbyshire Area).
  • DCME (Asfordby): John Chris Boyle (5733)
  • DCME (Services) Keith J Otter (8932)
  • DCME (Mine Planning and Surveying): David Drake (8100)
  • Planning Engineer: Brian Pether (9014), ex Undermanager
  • Surveyor and Minerals Manager: J Alan Ratcliffe (3296).

Mines Rescue Stations to cover the collieries were located at Ashby, Ilkeston and Chesterfield.

North Derbyshire Pits

  • Arkwright, 400,000 tonnes a year, from Deep Soft and Tupton, 390 men
  • Asfordby sinking, (North East Leicestershire)
  • Bolsover 650,000 tonnes from Tupton and Threequarter, 760 men
  • Markham/Ireland 1.9m tonnes from 2nd Waterloo, Deep Soft, Piper and Threequarter, 2,500 men
  • Renishaw Park 360,000 tonnes from Deep Hard and Piper, 450 men
  • Shirebrook 1.9m tonnes from Main Bright, Deep Soft, Deep Hard and Piper, 1,950 men, new office space, pithead baths extension, canteen and medical centre 1986
  • Warsop Main 900,000 tonnes from Deep Soft, 900 men, materials/manriding transport using 2-car radio-controlled cyclo-hauler
  • Bagworth/Ellistown (Leicestershire) combination 1986, 1.2m tonnes, 1,050 men, Seams: 5 Feet, Splent, Minge and New Main. Bagworth 1828/29 (Leicestershire) incorporated Nailstone sunk in 1863/65, surface drift 1958/59 and Ellistown sunk 1874. Output diverted to Nailstone coal prep plant 1971
  • Cadley Hill (South Derbyshire) 370,000 tonnes from Main seam and Stockings, 530 men, (3 shafts sunk 1860, and between 1942 and 1962, four surface drifts were driven, and in 1967 merged with Church Gresley, (South Derbyshire) sunk in 1834, (however this section was closed in 1968)
  • Donisthorpe/Rawdon (South Derbyshire) 1.05m tonnes from Main, Little Woodfield, Lower Main, Woodfield, Stockings and Kilburn, 1,400 men (the 2 collieries were merged in 1986. Donisthorpe shaft sunk 1857 and two more shafts to 284 yards (260m) in 1871 and a 238 yards (218m) long surface drift in 1957. Measham (Leicestershire) sunk in 1850 was merged with Donisthorpe (Leicestershire) in 1985 and closed in Jan 1986. Rawdon shafts sunk 1821 to 377 yards (345m). Granville (South Derbyshire) sunk in 1825 merged with Rawdon in 1967. A new surface drift was driven to the Upper Kilburn in 1970 and production commenced in 1973. Donisthorpe and Rawdon (Leicestershire) were linked underground in 1979 and all coal produced was raised via the drift at Rawdon from 1981.

Other Pits Amalgamated In Warwickshire Were

  • Baddesley sunk 1850 and 1897, 550,000 tonnes, 700 men
  • Coventry sunk 1912/1917 1.2m tonnes, 1,400 men
  • Daw Mill sunk 1958/1959 and 1968/1970, 1.7m tonnes, 1,500 men.

High Moor transferred

High Moor a North Derbyshire drift mine was transferred to South Yorkshire Area, British Coal.

Central Area Pits

  • Director: Len Harris (7388)
  • Deputy Director: Alan Houghton (8957)
  • Chief Mining Engineer John H White (8350)
  • Deputies: Keith J Otter (8932) (M), David Drake (8100) (MP and S)
  • Production Managers: GW Smith (….), Phil Goodwin (8917)
  • Grassmoor: Dennis T Childs (9940)
  • Don Hotchkiss (8632)
  • Chief Mining Engineer Asfordby John Chris Boyle (5733).
  • Arkwright (North Derbyshire): Deep Soft 325/73, Manager: Brian Bell (9848) Undermanager: Eric R Burton (11038)
  • Asfordby (North West Leicestershire) Manager Mike E Skelding (7563) Deputy Manager: George P Betts (9446)
  • Baddesley (Warwickshire): Manager: Tom W Fleming (8204), Deputy Manager: Alan Hawkins (10760), Undermanagers: J Jervis (8985), D Rotstein (11365), R McNeil Wilson (11365) Nine Feet, Bench seams
  • Bagworth / Ellistown (Leicestershire): Manager: Robin PH Dean (10897), Deputy Managers: Ian G Betteridge (10734) and Terry P Leader (8256), Undermanagers: John Ashmore (10137), Brian R Poole (11347), HK Gibson (11115), Minge, Five Feet, Splent, New Main seams 442/56
  • Bolsover (North Derbyshire): Manager: AA (Tony) Seal (9178), Deputy Manager: Chris JE Smith (10952), Undermanagers: Graham G Bramley (10713), Phil J Mullery (11077), A (Tony) Bestwick (11184), 659 Threequarter, Tupton, 149 s/f
  • Cadley Hill (S Derbyshire): Manager: Keith McCarthy (9457), Deputy Manager: Brian J Thumwood (10923), Undermanagers: Jack A Fancourt (10443/2), Robert P Scott (11353), Robert W Cottle (11280) 687 Main, Stockings, 135 s/f
  • Coventry (Warwickshire): Manager: Cyril W Smith (8941), Deputy Manager: W Weston (9948), Undermanagers: Mick Marles (11050), RJ Divers (11561), SD Hall (11223), 1,166 Thick coal, 241 s/f
  • Daw Mill (Warwickshire): Manager: Dennis T Childs (9940) (promoted to Production Manager), Keith McCarthy (9457), Deputy Managers: RPN Hargreaves (9101) and Aftar S Bains (10850) a Sikh, Undermanagers: WR Stubbs (10341), WE Harding (10445), Colin Firth (11389), M Brewin (10977), 1,286 Thick coal, 268 s/f
  • Donisthorpe / Rawdon (Leicestershire): Manager: Barry A Finch (8614), Deputy Manager: Gary J Whitehouse (9722), Undermanagers R Peter Williams (10848), Richard (Dick) N Atrill (10865), Ian A MacLaughton (11267), John RE Leigh (11137), Paul Campion (11285), 1,246 Lower Main, Little Woodfield, Stockings, Kilburn, 237 s/f
  • Markham (North Derbyshire): Manager: Alec Galloway (10934), Deputy Managers: Dennis Morgan (10753), Don Holland (8039), Clive G Ponder (10932), Mike W Ramsay (11190), Asst Manager: Waterloo: Ian G Slater (8804), Undermanagers: Chris M Kent (11289), R Lane (11070), PE Ward (9765), Robert (Bob) Seward (11558), John A Kelley (11276), Mark RH Hoare (11126), 2,157 Blackshale, Threequarter, 1st Piper, 2nd Waterloo, 388 s/f – probably the highest number of senior staff ever at a colliery – 1 Manager, 4 Deputy Managers, 1 Assistant Manager and 6 Undermanagers plus Assistant Undermanagers, due to there being 3 separate NUM union officials for the combination
  • Renishaw Park (North Derbyshire): Manager: Eric Blackwell (10164), Deputy Manager: Roger A Lewis (11178) (promoted to Manager), Undermanager: Alistair J Davis (11536), 367 Deep Hard and Piper seams, 76 s/f
  • Shirebrook (North Derbyshire): Manager: William (Bill) T Steel (8544), Deputy Managers: John Dawson (9797) and H Brian Bennett (8306), Undermanagers: Martin AT Hatfield (11349), David J Lee (10962), William (Bill) H Denton (11311), Norman Hunter (11535), 1,680 Deep Soft, Main Bright, 1st Piper, 245 s/f
  • Warsop (Nottinghamshire pit in N Derbyshire Area): Manager: Phil Goodwin (8917) (promoted to Production Manager), Eric Blackwell (10164) (transferred from Renishaw Park), Deputy Manager: Ian Clayton (10925), Undermanagers: Phil Barber (10891), Brian Walker (11192), 744 Deep Soft, 161 s/f.

Nottinghamshire Area Consisted Of 22 Pits In 1987

  • Director: Albert Wheeler (7349)
  • Deputy Director: John P Berry (6049) retired and John CH Longden (9134) appointed
  • CME: R A (Tony) Caunt (8028)
  • Production Managers: Terry E Wheatley (8348), Roger Bexon (9393), David S Widdowson (8857) and Brian C Wright (9913), promoted to DCME (Mining) in July. David S Crisp (9601) was promoted to Production Manager. Output 18,057,675 tonnes, 24,491 men at 21 pits.
  • Annesley: 830,000 tonnes from Blackshale, 955 men
  • Bentinck: 580,000 tonnes from 2nd Waterloo, Tupton and Blackshale, 1,145 men
  • Bevercotes: 1.05m tonnes from Top Hard, Deep Soft and Low Waterloo, 1,320 men
  • Bilsthorpe: 1.1m tonnes from Parkgate and Low Main, 1,150 men
  • Blidworth: 580,000 tonnes from High Hazles and Abdy/Brinsley, 940 men
  • Calverton: 925,000 tonnes from High Hazles and Low Bright/Brinsley, 1,465 men
  • Clipstone: 950,000 tonnes from Low Main, Yard and Deep Soft, 1,370 men
  • Cotgrave: 1.2m tonnes from Deep Hard and Blackshale, 1,635 men
  • Creswell: 700,000 tonnes from Threequarter, 1,030 men
  • Gedling: 860,000 tonnes from High Hazles, 1,450 men
  • Harworth: 1.2m tonnes from Deep Soft and Haigh Moor, 1,145 men
  • Hucknall/Babbington: closed
  • Linby: 560,000 tonnes from High Hazles, 910 men
  • Mansfield 800,000 tonnes from Low Main, Deep Soft, Deep Hard/Piper and Main Bright, 1,390 men
  • Newstead: 490,000 tonnes from High Hazles, 750 men
  • Ollerton: 1.03m tonnes from Parkgate, 1,175 men
  • Rufford: 750,000 tonnes from Low Main, Yard and Yard/Blackshale, 1,400 men
  • Sherwood: 830,000 tonnes from Deep Hard/Piper, Yard and Blackshale, 954 men
  • Silverhill: 740,000 tonnes from Blackshale and Piper, 1,130 men
  • Sutton: 470,000 tonnes from Piper and Deep Hard, 675 men
  • Thoresby: 1.9m tonnes from Parkgate, 1,380 men
  • Welbeck: 1.2m tonnes from Top Hard and Deep Soft, 1,230 men.

Licensed Mines Private Licensed Mines

  • Doe Lea: Manager RW McMillan, 13 Top Hard, 1 s/f
  • Moorside: Manager D Amatt, 9 Parkgate, 4 surface
  • Strathfield: Manager E Hartshorne, 8 Tupton, 13 surface.