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The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947

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1993 - Page 3

Silverhill Closed After 118 Years

Various boundaries in Deep Hard July 1941, June 1943 and pillar around Hardwick Hall, and Mar 1947 and Low Main between No4 and No1 Area were dated Sep 1950, Apr 1962, May 1970 and Aug 1976.  Water seeped through the barrier with Holmewood (which was abandoned in 1968) when the water rose above the 9,537 feet level (levels taken to a datum 10,000 feet below Ordnance Datum or sea level) and pumping had to be recommenced at Williamthorpe (finished 1970) which was connected underground with Holmewood, to lower the water level.

A connection and demarcation point was made to Pleasley at the Deep Hard horizon in July 1960 and a further connection and demarcation point at the Piper horizon to Sutton colliery Deep Hard at 1in 4 sometime later in 1970. A thin seam European record of 16,320 tonnes was achieved on K3s 3’ 3” (1m) thick Blackshale seam advancing face in March 1987. The machine was a 120hp AS conveyor-mounted Trepanner with Pitcraft chainless haulage and IFS supports.

RecordA Training Gallery was set up in a roadway 75 yards (70m) out of No2 Low Main pit bottom for new entrants to the industry for the 4 local pits in 1948 / 1949 (16 weeks training for juveniles and 3 weeks for adults). A drift rising 1in39 for 280 yards (270m) against the dip driven previously to intersect the Deep Hard seam was used as a haulage road. The Piper seam was accessed by a short drift up at the end and short headings driven in the seam. A short face of 50 yards (47m) was opened as a ‘static’ coal face as previously described and no coal was worked after Nov 1955. This is where I first experienced throwing a yard of coal onto a conveyor and trying to get as black as possible, so as to look like a real collier. The gallery was closed in 1967. There was a large Training Centre at Bentinck. When Silverhill, Teversal and Sutton were transferred to North Nottinghamshire Area in 1967 training was transferred to Lound Hall, near Bevercotes and coal face training at Mansfield. Previously in No3 Area the Training School was at Mansfield Colliery and in No6 Area at Hucknall. A Training centre was established at Donisthorpe (South Derbyshire) and Grassmoor (North Derbyshire). There had previously been Training centres at Birley East (South Yorkshire) and Hartshay near Ripley (Derbyshire).

There was a wages dispute 24th to 28th September 1951. In December an experimental multi-disc cutter installed on 1in4 grade in Low Main, the only one of its kind.

There was an unofficial strike over a pay grievance on 26th November 1952.

A Huwood loader was installed in 1953 on 3 panels in Deep Hard.

A low type Meco-Moore face 51s with a 24” Goodyear conveyor belt and 12 yard (11m) stable holes at each end of the 254 yards (232m) long face, worked off the South dips starting in Sep 1947 and there were 2 handfilled faces.

An electric winder replaced steam in 1957 as reorganisation was completed with 3½ ton mine cars installed at No1 shaft with a new electric winder of 1,118.6Kw motor with a parallel drum, 18’ 0” (5.49m) dia and 8’ 0” (2.44m) wide. 45mm dia winding rope and 53mm dia balance rope.

There were 8 guide ropes at 38mm dia and 2 rubbing ropes at 51mm dia. 16’ 0” (4.88m) dia pulley wheels.

Airlocks, fan drift and fan at No2 shaft and a new electric winder with a 149.1Kw motor in 1960 also with a parallel drum 12’ 0” (3.66m) dia, 9’ 10” (3.0m) wide. 32mm dia winding rope and 40mm dia balance rope. 8 guide ropes at 32mm dia. Both cages had 2 decks for manriding with 16 men per deck. Materials were loaded on 2 decks with max weight 4.57 tonnes or 2 tubs per deck at 1,016kg, one tub tare weight 360kg. Weight including suspension gear 5.59 tonnes. Barker Davies detaching gear fitted to both shafts. Later Bennett catch gear was installed at both headgears. The shaft pulley wheels were 16’ 0” (4.88m) dia. Speed of manriding 11 feet per sec. Lofco pusher / Retarder system loaded one car to each of the 2 deck cages. The Loading point was 180 yards (164.5m) from the DC shaft pit bottom, the trunk conveyors being in the Deep Hard seam, load into a 475 tons capacity Butterley traversing bunker, to cater for overload.

A 350 tonnes capacity bunker was in the pit bottom.

At the surface a Hauhinco decking plant received the mine cars.

The shaft capacity at that time was 300 tons per hour of run of mine material (coal and dirt). The annual number of winds at No1 shaft for 1976 was 163,100.

Low Main
            Skip winding was introduced at No1 shaft with 8 tonnes skips in 1977, fully automated. The weight of the skips including suspension gear 9.98 tonnes with a max payload of 8.63 tonnes of run of mine material. A balance rope was fitted. One deck was for manriding 16 men max. Speed of rope 30.25 revs of drum per min coal winding and 21.5 revs when winding men.

In 1952 maximum manpower was 1,330 with an output of 524,811 tons, whilst the maximum output of 932,000 tonnes in 1991-1992 was produced with 770 men.

The Low Main seam was abandoned again.  In August 1985 a 700 tonnes capacity vertical bunker was commissioned in the Blackshale seam, which had been re-opened in 1981

Double-ended conveyor mounted trepanner cutter-loading machines were in use, extracting about 3’ 3” (1m).

A new Lamp room was opened in 1961. A new Laboratory for the Area was built opposite the colliery yard in 1962.