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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 7

Central Group

Central Group (re-named once again, changed from Central Area)
(I don’t think anybody thought it through properly the first time)

  • Director AF (Tony) Deakin (7903)
  • Deputy Director William (Bill) Rowell (10141)
  • Technical Support Manager Tom H Hastelow (Mech)
  • Environment and Safety Engineer Ian J Cook (11219)
  • Surveyor and Minerals Manager Alan C Marlow ARICS replaced Alan Pascoe ARICS.

North Derbyshire
  • Renishaw Park 360,000 tonnes, Deep Hard and Piper, 430 men
  • Arkwright 400,000 tonnes from Deep Soft and Tupton, 390 men
  • Markham merged with Ireland 1,900,000 tonnes 2nd Waterloo, Piper, Threequarter and Blackshale, 2,500 men
  • Bolsover 650,000 tonnes Tupton and Threequarter, 760 men
  • Warsop Main 900,000 tonnes Deep Soft, 900 men
  • Shirebrook 1.900,000 tonnes Main Bright, Deep Soft, Deep Hard, Piper, 1,950 men

South Derbyshire

  • Cadley Hill 370,000 tonnes Main Coal and Stockings, 530 men
  • Donisthorpe / Rawdon 1,050,000 tonnes Main Coal, Little Woodfield, Lower Main, Woodfield, Stockings, and Kilburn, 1,400 men
  • Bagworth / Ellistown 1,200,000 tonnes Five Feet, Splent, Minge and New Main, 1,050 men
  • Baddesley sunk 1850, 3rd shaft 1897, 550,000 tonnes Nine Feet, 700 men
  • Coventry sunk 1912-1917, 1,200,000 tonnes Warwickshire Thick seam, 1,400 men
  • Daw Mill sunk 1958-1959 as a vent shaft for Dexter, start production 1965, 1,700,000 tonnes Warwickshire Thick seam, 1,500 men.

Cost of coal production now worked out at £x per gigajoule, not £ per tonne.

New Seams

The Swallow Wood seam was developed at Harworth and at Bevercotes the Kents Thick seam was being accessed. This seam had not been worked in the area before.  At Mansfield the thin Main Bright seam was developed and Deep Soft seam also. 

Bentinck Water Lodge

Preparations were made at Bentinck for a water lodge.  Here a connection would be made by boreholes to receive water from the abandoned workings of Moorgreen

Heating at Bilsthorpe

A heating in the Low Main seam at Bilsthorpe was sealed off. (Nottinghamshire pits).

Sherwood Takes Over The European Record

On 30th April 1987, Sherwood (Nottinghamshire) took over the European thin-seam record with 20,732 tonnes in a week from 207s a 1m thick Blackshale face, with 11.6 miles of cutting completed and a best-ever output per manshift of 6.27 tonnes, the national average being 3.57 tonnes. This was the second time in a month that the output record had been broken. Previously Mansfield colliery had broken the European record only one month before. A connection was made from Sherwood to Mansfield (Nottinghamshire) at the Deep Hard/Piper horizon.
 A record 22,700 tonnes was produced at Bilsthorpe (Nottinghamshire) from a Low Main face in August.


The 20 pits of the Nottinghamshire Area produced 401,281 tonnes in a week at a record 4.22 tonnes OMS beating the previous record of 4.02 tonnes in February 1987.


John R Hunter OBE (4409) resigned as Deputy Chairman British Mining Consultants Ltd, Huthwaite. He had begun as a linesman and then Assistant Surveyor at Markham 1941, underground haulage Ireland, Manager Ireland 1950, Agent Thorne 1954, Acting Group Manager Hatfield, Thorne, Yorkshire, Divisional Planning Engineer North East, then appointed Director Western Area.

Thieves Hit Rufford Again

During the last week in April 1987 thieves stole a 2 wheel trailer containing a 250 gallon fuel barrel and a JCB dyking bucket from the colliery waste tip at Rufford (Nottinghamshire).

Cooling The Air

A 1.5m dia ventilation borehole was drilled at Sherwood 128m deep and lined, costing £45,000, however the temperature at the lower horizon was lowered by 8oC. (I saw this on a visit there), whereas at Thoresby, a chilled water scheme on 100s A Parkgate seam cost £1.25m (Nottinghamshire).

Gas Found Entering Annesley No2 Shaft

Gas from an old inset was entering No2 shaft at Annesley (Nottinghamshire). Work to identify and seal off the source was begun in August when a new excavation was made. It was found later that the particular roadway had not been plotted on the working plan of the seam, however after the job was finished the said roadway was surveyed and added to the abandonment plan by George Simms the Surveyor and agreed by the Inspector of Mines.

Chad Newspaper Report

The Chad Newspaper report 7/5/1987: stated....Deception in obtaining money from the NCB over falsifying subsidence claims between 1974 and 1985 between found 3 subsidence Inspectors serving jail sentences for their part in the scam. Ronald Davenport, Alan Parker and David Owen had received bribes from contractors including one at Tibshelf.


Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, David Young (Con), June 1987-1992. Secretary of State for Energy, Cecil Parkinson (Con), June 1987-1989.


Skip winding was to be intstalled at Blidworth No1 shaft (Nottinghamshire). A new pit bottom had been completed previously at the High Hazles horizon, constructed by the Area Tunnelling Team (Ken Hartwell in charge). The auto-plumb had been used by the Surveyors, of which I was a member of the team the previous November to verify the alignment of the shaft.

Radio Control

The first hydraulic engine, to have radio control (Needham Bros and Brown) was installed at Bentinck (South Nottinghamshire).

Incentive Bonus Payments

In Nottinghamshire there were 34,000 miners and South Nottinghamshire men had earned about £10m in incentive bonus payments. Cotgrave and New Hucknall in South Nottinghamshire and Silverhill and Thoresby in North Nottinghamshire had all beaten production records that had stood for between 7 and 10 years.

Mansfield, Bevercotes And Rufford

The High Hazles workings at Mansfield (Nottinghamshire) were abandoned at the end of May 1987 and in June at Bevercotes (Nottinghamshire) the Parkgate seam was discontinued and abandoned again.  Two single entry panels 206s and 208s in Deep Hard / Piper at Mansfield set out in error unfortunately. In cases like this the Area Surveyor would be sent for to explain the ins and outs of the situation to the DCME, CME and Deputy Director having first investigated the procedure at the mine. At Bevercotes the Kents Thick seam was being developed. Only one panel would be worked. The tipping area there was nearing capacity and an extension was required so notices were posted around the area informing the local populace of the Board’s intentions.
At Rufford (Nottinghamshire) the Blackshale seam was developed.

New MP For Mansfield

Following the General Election Alan Meale was elected Labour MP for Mansfield replacing Don Concannon (Lab) who had held the seat for 21 years and retired after suffering injury from a car crash, and had previously worked underground at Rufford.  Tony Benn was re-elected as Labour MP for Chesterfield.  Dennis Skinner, an ex-miner and NUM leader in North Derbyshire was also re-elected as Labour MP for Bolsover.