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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 3

Surveyors Practical Examination

The Surveyors Practical Examination was held underground at Linby (Nottinghamshire) (2 days) and a further day in the Edwinstowe HQ Conference Room in May 1989. A (Tony) R Barnes and self, appointed MQB/JEBexaminers, were observers at Linby for the Theodolite and levelling tests in the old High Main Return roadway. I was invigilator at Edwinstowe for the Office test where the 4 candidates did their calculations and plotting etc. I also assisted Charles J Whyte Area Surveyor and Minerals Manager Nottinghamshire Area and Keith Leighfield Chief Examiner (Area Surveyor and Minerals Manager, South Wales) with checking of the notebooks.

Cost for the 3 day examination was £120 + Vat = £138.

Mock examinations for our Apprentices were held at Harworth in future years where test lines were set out by Brian Barlow, Tony Barnes and me in order to assess their capability, however there were now only 4 or 5 apprentice surveyors left in the country, 4 in our Area so I was unable to examine them as they were Apprentices under my care, so to speak, and one could not examine someone with whom you were acquainted. I had occasion to go to the Gypsum mine at Gotham where a candidate worked. He was unsure of theodolite work so I went underground to the workings with the Surveyor John Hancock and found that the working was mainly by pillar and stall and roadways were set out at 90 and he not much experience in other work. However following our tuition for the next mock exam it was pleasing to note he was successful at the next examination for his Surveyors Certificate.


Graeme E Marshall (4894) (Deputy) ARICS was appointed Area Surveyor & Minerals Manager (Minerals Management Engineer) at Nottinghamshire HQ replacing Charles J Whyte FRICS (2678) who had retired earlier in April. A (Tony) R Barnes (5990) ARICS Senior Surveyor was appointed Deputy. I was interviewed for the post but was not successful.


Ray Chadburn (ex Welbeck) President of Nottinghamshire NUM retired. He had been locked out of the NUM offices during the miners strike of 1984 when the UDM was formed.


The Management & Administration of Safety & Health at Mines Regulations and Approved Code of Practice otherwise known as the Administration Package and MASHAM draft was issued and I was charged with the task of checking the document on behalf of our department, to note any changes etc from previous Regulations of which this package had encompassed. I met our National Surveyor Albert Scholfield at Clipstone to make him aware of the differences from the old Regulations etc.

New Regulations from 1st April 1989 were introduced regarding safety of exit from underground in all coal mines.
The Prevention of Inrushes in Mines and the Noise at Work Regulations 1989 enacted.

Electricity At Work Regulations 1989 Reg 26 referred to battery powered vehicles working at a safety lamp mine to be approved. The Use of Electricity in Mines. The Application Codes of Practice for First Aid.

Valuation for Rating

The Valuation for Rating (Plant and Machinery) Regulations 1989, came into force on 7th April.

6 Day coaling agreement signed.

An agreement was signed on 9th June 1989 by the UDM accepting the principle of 6-Day Coal production at Asfordby, but the NUM did not.

Bevercotes Face Record Output

On 17th June 1989, at Bevercotes (North Nottinghamshire) a record output of 21,007 tonnes was produced from one advancing face in the Top Hard seam.

Mining Museum Closed

The Mining Museum, at Lound Hall, adjacent to Bevercotes colliery (North Nottinghamshire) was closed on 1st July 1989, and all the artefacts were transferred to the museum at the closed Chatterley Whitfield colliery in Staffordshire. Unfortunately this museum too was to close later in September 1993 and many of the artefacts were ‘sold off’. This particularly annoyed me, and as the appointed Relics Officer at Ollerton several items found in old underground roadways were contributed to the museum via me. Adjacent was the Lound Hall Training Centre for North Nottinghamshire Area where mining tuition and loco training were two of the disciplines.

Some of the collection was transferred to the National Mining Museum that is now located at the old Caphouse colliery, near Wakefield in Yorkshire, sunk in 1791.

Fortunately the old wooden tandem headgear belonging to the old Brinsley colliery, which had been removed and re-located at Lound Hall (Nottinghamshire) was dismantled and re-erected at the old Brinsley colliery site near Eastwood once again as a permanent reminder of the mining that had taken place in the area. A picnic site there, complete with notices displaying old photographs also reminds one of the author DH Lawrence who was born nearby and whose father worked at the pit in the 1800s.

Machine Weights

The weight of some machinery in use:

  • Dosco dintheader 13.8 tonnes
  • Dosco MkIIA 23.0 tonnes
  • Dosco LH 1300 road header 46.7 tonnes
  • AS RH25L road header 26.4 tonnes
  • Joy 12 CM 5 between 36 and 41 tonnes


Secretary of State for Energy, Norman Fowler MP (Con), 24th July 1989-1990 (resigned 3rd Jan 1990).

Took over from Cecil Parkinson MP (Con) 1987-1989, Secretary of State for Environment, Chris Patten MP (Con) July 1989-1990, replaced Nicholas Ridley MP (Con) 1986-1989).

Highest Headgear in Britain

A new tall concrete headgear tower had been built at Harworth (North Nottinghamshire), over the coal winding shaft and headgear.

The above photo was taken by Mike Gallagher Mineral Surveyor, it shows me as Senior Surveyor with Kevin Smith Assistant Manager and Geoff Woods Estates Surveyor on top of the new DC shaft winding tower.The smaller concrete tower over the UC manriding and materials shaft was built much later around the existing steel conventional headgear using the existing conventional ground winding electric driven engine.

On 22nd August 1989, the old steel headgear was cut and pulled out from beneath the new tower, following the removal of all the ropes. The new headgear was pulled in and centred above the shaft, and anchored. I was there on that day and saw the new massive headgear inner steel tower being pulled in slowly inch by inch with a powered winch and then centred precisely by the Colliery Surveyor using a theodolite. The whole operation of pulling out the old headgear and pulling in the new one was a unique and fantastic operation that culminated successfully in maximum 30 tonnes capacity skips being installed and connected to the 4 rope friction winding engine situated directly above in the new concrete tower.

A 4,000kw, 4-rope friction winder was installed in the tower and is Britain's biggest at 800 tonnes per hour capacity, using 2 skips with a large payload each of 27 tonnes. The pit was closed for a three-week period to allow all the alterations to be done. Town and Country Planning dictated that blue and yellow paint be used on the new headgear to blend in with the skyline? As you can see from the photos above, the towers can be seen from tens of miles away, but the colours cannot, so what was the point !!!!!!!

Underground, 1s panel Deep Soft at 960m deep, with antitropal system of ventilation gave 32oC at the return gate lip with 21.0m/s velocity. The panel which had started in May 1981 was changed to homotropal ventilation system and the temperature was lowered to 30oC, however there was still a problem with methane gas emission. 3s panel started in October 1983 and 2s panel start February 1985. A booster fan was installed in August 1985 and the velocity increased to 130m/s. Larger firedamp drainage pipes were installed in 1s following roads.

On the surface 4 Nash Hytor H10 exhausting pumps plus one on standby was connected to the 14" (0.35m) dia methane pipes. Methane drainage holes were drilled every 22 yards (20m) as close to the lip as possible and floor holes drilled every 55 yards (50m) as a precaution against any sudden emission of gas (which had occurred twice before). In the loader gate floor holes down to the Parkgate seam some 50m below were drilled at 50 to 60, and some occasional roof holes were connected to the 8" (0.20m) range. It was decided to have 2 intakes and one return gate with snickets (multi-gate working).

Mansfield Shafts

The filled shafts at Mansfield (Nottinghamshire) were both capped with concrete by August 1989. Again this was a further relief for me as I had been seconded to close down Mansfield since March 1988.

Water at Langwith Shaft

A video survey of the Langwith No1 shaft (Derbyshire) revealed that water was issuing from the High Main inset. This video was shown at the Annual Meeting of Surveyors at HQ. It revealed how much water could flow out of abandoned workings and how old working areas must have been waterlogged to enable it to build up and overflow. It is important for all Surveyors to know such information to be able to calculate the areas waterlogged, an estimated amount of water in gallons, the head of pressure and the likely flow of the water to other areas where a build up of pressure against existing coal barriers or connections to surrounding working mines, an estimate of time needed by pumping at so many gallons per minute to keep the water level down to a safe level or to pump an area dry or where to build water dams etc, etc. Another job that it appears only Surveyors can do. And so it goes on....