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The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947

Book 6

1988 Pages   1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10     11     12  

1988 - Page 12

Further Regulations

Legislation passed during the year included the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988
the Mines (Safety of Exit) Regulations 1988.

Cavendish Coal (UK) Ltd

Cavendish Coal (UK) Ltd, recent buy in with John PL Bacharach (8835) Managing Director, (ex Manager Mansfield, who went on to be Vice President Operations McIntyre Mines, Canada and Jim H Stone (4524) Operations Director (ex manager Woodside, Production Manager, CME North Nottinghamshire, Director Yorkshire and previous to his appointment was Consultant Mining Engineer in Canada)

Sinking Problems At Asfordby

The shaft sinking at Asfordby (Leicestersgire) was complicated by heavily water-bearing strata some 70m thick and about 325m below the surface. The mucking out was done using a Cryderman mucking unit and DC Eimco 630 loader to carry the 6m concrete sections. When fully frozen the shaft sinking restarted and rates of 13 yards (12.5m) ave with a best of 20 yards (18m) was achieved at the UC shaft and the DC shaft averaged 15 yards (14m).

Rescue Stations

Rescue personnel:

  • Assistant Operations Director Terry T Clarke (9950)
  • District Keith R Screen (8939)
  • Mansfield Superintendent - Peter Harley
  • Chesterfield Alf Ernest Smith 1960s-1972
  • George Burton 1972-1986
  • Jim M Muir 1986-88
  • Ilkeston G Shields
  • Ashby-de-la-Zouch B Marshall.

Of course at each colliery there was always a volunteer Rescue team (maximum age limit 45), at least 2 on all shifts worked who were always at the ready should they be needed and did local training, and periodically had to visit the Rescue Station to practice various types of incident should they occur as well as attend lectures etc. They needed to be medically fit and were examined by the Coal Board Doctor periodically.

Jim M Muir succeeded as Superintendent at Mansfield Woodhouse Mines Rescue Station 1988-1991.

Due to the closures on the Western side of the county, the Ilkeston Mines Rescue Station was closed and concentrated at Mansfield Woodhouse. Chesterfield station would also close later. The Mines Rescue Station at Ashby-de-la-Zouch covered the South Derbyshire mines and Asfordby.

Emergency Evacuation At Arkwright Town

On 11th November 1988 there was a full scale emergency at Arkwright Town when 100 people were evacuated from their homes due to a massive methane gas leak. People from Hardwick St, Penrose St and Chesterfield Rd spent the night in nearby school halls. The gas was coming from the closed off Arkwright drifts.

By 23rd November they were all back in their homes after British Coal personnel had drilled a 180 ft (55m) hole to pump out the methane and relieved the pressure.

Reduction Of Staff

In the Nottinghamshire Area there was a reduction from 4 Production Managers down to 3 Operations Managers. Some allied staff was made redundant, Robert (Bob) G Siddall (9974) ex Manager Blidworth, DCME North Nottinghamshire, Deputy Director North Derbyshire, and Deputy Director Selby since Jan 1987 appointed to Deputy Director North Yorkshire (15 pits) Dec 1988.

Thin Seam Output Record

The thin seam weekly output record was smashed at Silverhill (Nottinghamshire) w.e. 10th December when 30,529 tonnes was produced from a Blackshale advancing face using a double-ended conveyor mounted trepanner.

British Steel Privatised

British Steel was privatised from 4th December 1988. Eventually bought by India.

Redundant Shaft Closed At Bentinck

No1 shaft at Bentinck (Nottinghamshire), sunk in 1896 was redundant and closed, filled and capped. At the combined Annesley Bentinck colliery w.e. 26th November 1988 a record output of 42,545 tonnes and 6.12 tonnes o.m.s. was achieved from 3 thick Blackshale faces. All had AM17 double-ended ranging drum shearers equipped with Dowty 4 x 280 chocks on 91s, Dowty 6 x 300s on 82s and Gullick 4 x 250 chocks on 50sB face.

Crane Incident

There was a reportable crane incident at the closed Linby colliery (Nottinghamshire) on 22nd December 1988.

Belt-Weigher Conveyors

There were now 2 Fletcher Sutcliffe and Wild belt-weigher conveyors in the Nottinghamshire pits.

Mining Reports

Over 28,000 mining reports were processed in the Nottinghamshire Area in 1988, the fee now being £12.55 + VAT. Mainly the queries were from Estate Agents and Solicitors etc. At one time the report was free.

No Paper To Be Taken Underground In Future

No newspapers or magazines were to be taken underground fire risk. Snap paper was to be brought out of the pit after use.

Redundancy Terms

New improved redundancy terms funded by British Coal were introduced from 1st December 1988 for a limited period to August 1989.

British Coal continued to hold bi-lateral meetings with the individual unions. The NUM still refused to accept the conciliation scheme agreed by the UDM, in fact the NUM called a ballot of its members on industrial action in December regarding the pay claim, but it was rejected.

Bagworth And Ellistown Collieries Merged

Bagworth / Ellistown (Leicestershire) merged in 1986. Bagworth 2 shafts sunk 1825 by George Williamson for Viscount Maynard (d 1865) to the north of Bagworth to Upper Main seam, later deepened to Lower Main. No3 Jacky shaft was disused and filled during 1940s and No4 shaft 1963.

In 1865 the mine changed hands to the Countess of Warwick who leased it to the Bagworth Coal Co Ltd, but they went into liquidation in 1880 but a new Bagworth Coal Co was formed in 1882 with a capital of £12,000.

It was decided to sink new shafts in 1883 as the old ones were only a small diameter and crooked and in 1885-86 No2 shaft was completed. No1 shaft was widened in 1903 from the original 8 feet (2.74m) dia to 14 feet (4.25m). The 2 shafts were at right angles to one another. Bagworth and Ibstock merged in 1968. Nailstone merged 1968.

Underground locos: 1’ 7”+ 2 x 4wBEF CRT3+ CE 1978

Seams worked:

  • Upper Main 5’ 0” (1.53m) coal 26/11/1947
  • Lower Main 25/3/1948 and reopened 5/3/1962 7/10/1964 and -?10/1966 and again 1/1/1970
  • Yard 1933-10/11/1964 and 1/1/1970, mining conditions and economics
  • Middle Lount 1917-1948 - 1965, and ?/4/1975, exhaustion
  • Nether Lount ?/10/1051-5/2/1965, deterioration of seam and 1/1/1970, due to quality and economics
  • High Main 1933-31/7/1965, deterioration of seam
  • New Main 1964 -1974, 26/4/1974, exhaustion of Southern reserves
  • Splent, Five Feet, Minge 1960s and 26/7/1988, exhaustion. Nailstone section from April 1975.

In 1940 the steam driven screening plant was replaced with a modern type.

Pit head baths opened 1957. New stores built 1957/58.

Consent was given in 1958 by the local HMI to work within 60 feet (18m) of the Triassic water bearing strata. It had been noted that workings from Ibstock had worked to a similar distance in the early 1900s.

The headgears and surface was smartened up in 1958.

Skips were installed replacing tubs at No1 shaft.

Steam winding continued to 1970.

A Hunslet diesel loco for underground manriding was introduced in Apr 1976.

A Huwood slicer was installed.

A palm tree junction was built underground also there was a split roadway.

Rackatrack system was installed for shearers.

Photo Darren Haywood

In 1971 Bagworth was the first pit to swing a face 180 degrees. The first 10 feet (3.05m) high face was 50s worked in 1971/72, using an AB200hp DERDS (double-ended ranging drum shearer) with FSW 250 tonnes supports, with mains lighting and communication tannoys on the face.

No1 shaft steam winder was replaced by an electric one in 1973.

A surface control room was set up in 1974.

Another Butterley traversing bunker installed underground in 1972, the first one in 1965.

Sir Derek Ezra Chairman of the NCB visited the colliery in the 1970s.

TV cameras were installed at every transfer point and monitored at the surface and in 1976 FIDO (face information directly on line) was installed and relayed directly to the surface control room where operatives recorded information for higher management.

A 400hp spiral drum shearer with twin strand AFC and 5 leg chocks installed on 15s in Jan 1976.

An AM500 ranging drum shearer with FSW chocks with face sprags and lights on 51s face in 1975.

Auto control of conveyors.

There were 2 McLane tips.

Single entry working was initiated in the 1980s.


  • CA Cadman (1688) Aug 1945, 1947-
  • J Alan Ratcliffe (3296) 23/2/1956 1960s
  • Frank Goddard (2624) 1960s-1970s
  • David A Woodward (5399)

Fatal Accidents Ellistown:

  • Samuel Cole (42) and John Armsby (30) both Sinkers, fell down the shaft 17/1/1876
  • Tom Farmer (70) Ripper, fall in a roadway at the lip 31/1/1878
  • Benjamin Clibbery (13) Ganger, fall of roof 8/11/1883
  • Charles Henry Hall (16) Screens, caught in machinery 27/4/1887
  • Joseph Alfred Grey (35) Stall man, fall of coal at the face 15/4/1891
  • George Hextall (17) Ganger, run over by tubs 12/10/1891
  • Thomas Heames (20) crushed by a wheel on 21/10/1891, died from his injuries on 22/3/1892
  • Moses Hurd (32) fell out of the cage down the shaft 8/9/1892
  • Sam Brown (34) hit by a piece of timber on the surface 21/8/1896
  • Cliff Hickling (43) Ripper, fall in a roadway 16/6/1901
  • John Kitchener Chambers (61) Yard man, crushed by a steel frame on the surface 1/10/1903
  • Henry Hunt (32) Face worker, fall of roof at the face 17/8/1908 continue when researched.

Bull Week Records

Christmas Bull week 1988 produced some phenomenal outputs:

  • Silverhill (North Nottinghamshire) record weekly output 34,219 tonnes at 7.5 tonnes o.m.s. with 30,529 tonnes from a single face Blackshale 15s panel, 1.08m thick, cutting 106 strips and 18 miles of cutting, advancing 65.8m. Also a daily record of 5,800 tonnes was achieved. Face equipped with AS 270hp floor mounted trepanner, heavy duty panzer, IFS chocks, Dosco Mk IIBs advanced headings at each end.
  • Bevercotes (North Nottinghamshire) 33,200 tonnes.

Opencast Sites

Opencast Working:
  • Barnabas East of Clay Cross, Piper, Deep Hard, Bassett Edge (Coal Contractors Ltd)17/2/1988
  • Bretby V Little Woodfield, Nether Main 15/11/1987 15/2/1988
  • Hill Top (British Coal) Piper
  • Oakthorpe, Main (2.07m Incidental coal 1,225 tonnes) July 1987 Jan 1988
  • Erin Remainder 3 m North East of Chesterfield, Swinton Pottery, Clowne, Upper Foxearth, Lower Foxearth, Sough and Furnace (Murphy Bros Ltd)
  • Godkin 1 mile North of Heanor, 1st Waterloo Lower, Waterloo Marker, 2nd Waterloo Upper, 2nd Waterloo Lower, 3rd Waterloo, 4th Waterloo, 1st Ell, Brown Rake, Top Soft Rider, Top Soft, Roof Soft and Deep Soft (Northern Strip Mining Ltd)
  • Ryefield 2 m West of Heanor, Top Soft, Roof Soft, Deep Soft, Deep Hard, Piper, Silkstone, Hospital, Tupton, Threequarters, 2nd Ell, Brown Rake, 4th Waterloo, 1st Ell (Northern Strip Mining Ltd)
  • Coalfield North 2 m South West of Coalville, Upper Lount, Middle Lount, Nether Lount, Yard, Upper Low Main, Lower Main, Clod, Kilburn (Lehane, Mackenzie and Shand Ltd)
  • Lounge 2 m South West of Coalville, Upper Lount, Middle Lount, Nether Lount, Yard, Upper Low Main, Lower Main, Clod, Kilburn (Lehane, Mackenzie and Shand Ltd)
  • Dixon North East of Chesterfield, Chavery Upper, Chavery Lower, Sitwell, Un-named, Deep Hard Rider, Deep Hard, 1st Piper, 2nd Piper, Cockleshell, Tupton, Threequarters, Blackshale, Ashgate, Mickley Thick, Brampton High, Brampton Low, (Coal Contractors Ltd).