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The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947

Book 6

1989 Pages   1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10  
      11     12     13     14     15     16     17     18     19      

1989 - Page 17


The Yard seam and Low Main seam workings at Rufford (Nottinghamshire) were both abandoned to concentrate working the Blackshale and the combined Yard / Blackshale.

There was an incident at No2 shaft on 28th August 1989 when a tub came out of the chair and went down the shaft.

The first push-button winding scheme in North Nottinghamshire began in November.

Although the pit newspaper the ‘Rufford Review’ was issued, no paper was allowed underground in future, and if necessary men could collect a new snap box my! how things had changed. Also baths slippers were to be worn and anyone not doing so was to be banned from the pithead baths from December.

Davy Mining Ltd (ATC) contractors were at work on development to supplement the pit workforce.

A Blackshale drivage, 7s Supply gate heading, achieved a world record advance of 117 yards (107m) in a week for a fully and systematically roof bolted roadway.

Rufford colliery workforce was to be reduced by 200 in an effort to produce cheaper coal.

Following the abandonment of the High Hazles working, the No1 shaft was defunct and was filled and capped. Whilst filling the shaft with graded limestone chippings a tap on the English tubbing was broken off and water from the Bunter bed flooded the shaft. The Rescue team was sent for and 2 blacksmiths descended the shaft in a kibble and stemmed the hole with oak pegs. The filling carried on afterwards when the water level had disappeared.

A 1,000 tonnes fully automated strata bunker was commissioned.

A new pit bottom charging station was commissioned and 50hp locos and 90hp bo-bo locos with new radio communication were put into use to Y11s and BS7s.

Management Changes

1st October 1989 John CH Longden (9134) Deputy Operations Director was appointed Acting Director then later Director for Nottinghamshire Area replacing Len Harris (7388) who was appointed

Regional Director of Group Operations for the North

  • Albert Wheeler (7349) was appointed Regional Director for the South and Midlands
  • E (Ted) Horton (8325) from Director of South Yorkshire to Group Director South Yorkshire
  • AF (Tony) Deakin (7903) Director Central Area to Group Director Central Area
  • Robert (Bob) G Siddall (9974) Deputy Director (Mining) North Yorkshire to designate Group Director North Yorkshire 1st April 1990
  • Alan Houghton (8957) Deputy Director (Mining) Nottinghamshire to designate Group Director Selby
  • David S Widdowson (8857) Operations Manager Nottinghamshire Area appointed Deputy Director (Operations) 30th Oct and from 1st April 1990 Assistant Group Director (Operations) for the new Nottinghamshire Group
  • David S Crisp (9601) likewise
  • Brian R Turner (9654) likewise but transferred to similar position South Yorkshire Area / Group from 1st April 1990
  • Roger Bexon (9393) DCME (Services) to Technical Support Manager of Nottinghamshire Group
  • William (Bill) Rowell (10141) (Deputy Director (Mining) Central Area to Assistant Group Director (Operations) Central Group.

HM Inspectorate

HM Inspector Ken Tyldesley (9500) was transferred to Yorkshire. Inspectors Sam D Briggs and Malcolm R Bottomley (5747) both retired and Steve P Wing and J Keresley succeeded.

John H Northard

John H Northard (4954) was to be Chairman of Opencast Executive to succeed Sir Kenneth Couzens (retiring) extra responsibility to existing posts held as joint Deputy Chairman and Operations Director of British Coal. He had begun his career at Old Roundwood colliery, Ossett, Yorkshire and was a coalface worker for 5 years. He held a series of managerial posts as Undermanager in Yorkshire, Manager Leicestershire and in between was an HM Inspector in S Wales, (see). He was a very approachable man and he told me in 2009 whilst contacting him in my capacity as a volunteer carer for BACM it was a job he didn’t care for and he said luckily for him he was able to return to the NCB. We spoke for an hour each on two separate occasions exchanging experiences and information and I furnished him with copies of about 50 pages from ‘The Guide to the Coalfields’ as he was interested in reminiscing about people he had worked with during his career). From 1965 to 1970 he was DAPM (Ops) Cannock Chase and in the new Staffs Area DCME (Mining Services). He succeeded to the post of Deputy Director for North Derbyshire Area, promoted to Director of the new Western Area then transferred back to North Derbyshire as Area Director. (He died in 2012).

Combined Open Weekend

There was another combined Open weekend by the Generating Board and British Coal at Ratcliffe on Soar power station on Saturday 2nd September 1989. Again I was on a stall promoting British Coal products along with Surveyors from Cotgrave.

Unfortunately on the same day there was a fatal accident at Cotgrave when an electrician was electrocuted underground and they were both called away to measure up the scene. I managed by myself for the rest of weekend and it was very encouraging to find that many visitors were interested in the coal mining part as many were from mining backgrounds.

CEGB burning capacities of coal were allowed within the following percentages:-

  • Moisture 5.5 to 19.9%
  • Ash content 4.7 to 34.0%
  • Sulphur 0.94 to 2.79%
  • Chlorine 0.04 to 0.70%
  • Calorific value (gross) kJ / kg 22,060 to 28,580.

Some coal mixture has a chlorine content in excess of 0.25% that causes corrosion of the furnace wall tubes, corrosion in the superheater tubes and boiler fouling. Some high chlorine coals, for example at Thoresby and Ollerton had to be blended with low chlorine coals. This was a problem never known before modern power stations.

Further European Records

Two further European records were achieved at Thoresby (Nottinghamshire) w.e. 23rd September 1989 when 91,040 tonnes was produced by 1,100 men.

In 5 days, one Parkgate face produced 62,150 tonnes and over 7 days 74,040 tonnes was produced, at 14.6 tonnes OMS from 143s Retreat face.

170 strips on the 250m face equated to 26 miles of cutting. For the year 1988-1989 the record output at Thoresby was 2,307,419 tonnes with 1,231 men and a profit of £35m.

Asfordy Starts Developing Infrastructure

More Photos, Daren Haywood

The Asfordby miners (Leicestershire) commenced working to the 6-day Production Agreement negotiated by the UDM on 1st October 1989. The photo shows the Union members on a fact finding visit to the mine. During the year the support system at the new mine had changed from 16ft 6in (5m) dia circular roadways supported by concrete segments, to roadways supported by roof bolting and mesh. A UDM Branch has been set up at the pit and almost all the workforce have opted to join.

2 Year Pay Deal

A 2 year pay deal was negotiated by the UDM and British Coal......with increases ranging from £10.95 to £13.00 for U07 at new rate £151.80 to £183.25 for U01 grade.

Underground craft rates were increased by £11.10 to £12.15 giving new rates £156.25 to £170.90 and

Surface rates increased by £9.75 to £11.25 giving new rates from £137.40 to £158.25 with Surface craft rates increase of £10.05 to £11.25 giving new rates of £141.85 to £158.25.

Special fuel rates were negotiated for South Derbyshire and Warwickshire members.

Ear Protectors Must Be Worn

From 1st October 1989 it was required that ear protectors were to be worn by all workers before going underground and also in some surface areas.

Sutton Shafts

The shafts at the closed Sutton colliery, Stanton Hill, Nottinghamshire were filled by November 1989.

Departments Merged

Industrial Relations and Staff departments were merged during 1989 and relocated to Eastwood Hall.