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The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947

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1993 - Page 29

Markham Closed After 109 Years
- Continued -

Tragic Shaft Overwind Accident

Of course the pit will also be remembered for the tragic overwind at No3 shaft on 30th July 1973 when due to a broken component the engine failed to stop the cage and 18 men perished in the crash and 11 were seriously injured, with 13 men being killed outright and a further 5 dying of their injuries. Part of the damaged cage is shown in the photograph.

The 18 Men Killed Were:-

  • Joseph Birkin (aged 60) Face Worker
  • Clarence Briggs (52) Deputy
  • Joseph William Brocklehurst (58) Deputy
  • Clifford Brooks (58) Deputy
  • Henry Chapman (48) Deputy
  • Gordon Richard Cooper (30) Development Worker
  • George Eyre (60) Gearhead Attendant
  • Michael Kilroy (53) Development Worker
  • Jan Kiminsky (58) Development Worker
  • Lucjam Plewinsky (59) General Worker
  • Frederick Reddish (53) Development Worker
  • Wilfred Rodgers (59) Face Worker
  • Charles Leonard Sissons (43) Road Repairer
  • Frank Stone (53) Road Repairer
  • Charles Richard Turner (60) Deputy
  • Alfred White (57) Deputy
  • Albert Tyler (64) Back Repairer, died 3/8/1973
  • W Yates (62) Development Worker, died 15/8/1973

More About the Markham Disaster

Incidents: Later in the 1970s whilst on shaft exam a shaftsman standing on top of the chair was caught in a loop of a steel rope and pulled off the chair and was dangling upside down by his foot for around 20 minutes. He was released by Recue men. However his foot was amputated due to the severe damage caused by the rope tightening on his ankle. There was an outburst of gas recorded in 1958 from Deep Hard seam at 450 yards (411m) deep.

Old Collieries around Markham:

  • Speedwell shafts SK E443682 N374008; E443637 N374060; E443692 N374035; E443704 N374028
  • Old pit E443680 N374024
  • Ireland unit SK E443636 N3740317, E4437041 N374030 June 1989.


  • Joshua Edwin Leek (310) (Staveley Co Surveyor -1947
  • Fred Brown (1572) Apprentice to Surveyor 1947-1954 (transferred to Glapwell -1957) promoted to Group Surveyor)
  • Brian Crossland (5430) (Markham unit).


  • Hartington shaft, position SK E443378 N375392, 15 feet (4.57m) dia, depth 250 yards (228.6m), filled and plugged.
  • St John’s shaft, position SK E443319.5 N373916.2, 13 feet (3.96m) dia, filled.

To the West of Duckmanton, the old collieries closed previously included:

  • Moor Top
  • Calow
  • Clarkes, All pits
  • Duckmanton Furnace
  • Duckmanton Common.

Feb 1991 Alan C Marlow, Group Surveyor and Minerals Manager at Coleorton HQ

HM Inspectorate

Norman Revell, Acting Principal District Inspector.

Another Reorganisation of British Coal

A further reorganisation of British Coal reduced the existing 5 Groups down to 2, on 1st August 1993, with

  • John CH Longden (9134) appointed Director of the Midlands Group
  • Alan Houghton (8957), Director of the Northern Group
  • Brian C Wright (9913) was appointed Director for Closed collieries.

Further Records

The output record was shattered at Ollerton (Nottinghamshire) on 14th August 1993, when more than 56,000 tonnes of saleable coal was produced.  There were 8,012 skips wound and the coal preparation plant processed a record 93,330 tonnes of run of mine material in the week. However that showed that the vend of coal to dirt was only 60%.

Pleasley Shaft Abandoned

Pleasley (Derbyshire) South shaft (Upcast) was abandoned and filled and capped in October 1993.

Privatisation Proposal

The Queens speech in Parliament, in November 1993, outlined proposals to privatise British Coal. The Government repealed the 1908 Coal Mines Act, enabling longer shifts to be worked.

The Department of Trade and Industry (Dti) paid the following consultants £10.3m to examine the probabilities for privatisation of the coal industry: NM Rothschild, Clifford Chance, John T Boyd, Touche Ross, RPS Consultants, Dewe Rogerson, Wardell Armstrong, Peter Williams, Brodies WS, Mason Land Survey and Drivers Jones. Personally I think the personnel employed by British Coal could have achieved the same result for nothing, and the money paid out could have been used towards saving the industry, not closing it.

Mines Rescue

Gordon C Harris (11100) Manager at Asfordby succeeded as District Manager at Mansfield Woodhouse Mines Rescue Station 1993-1995.

Coal To Power Stations Fallen

Coal consumption to power stations had fallen by 20% as other fuels were tried. A power station was opened at Wolverhampton to convert car and lorry tyres into electricity. The £48m plant will burn 10 million tyres a year and employ 70 people and provide enough power to supply 25,000 homes.

Part-Time Secretary For NUM

Henry Richardson NUM Secretary for Nottinghamshire was now part-time and had a small office on St Johns Street, Mansfield as there were insufficient NUM members to warrant a full time job. Neil Greatorex had been elected President of the UDM succeeding R Lynk and enjoyed the purpose built office at Berry Hill.

Fastest 2 Million Tonnes

Incidentally at the Riccall mine, Selby, Yorkshire, the fastest ever 2m tonnes was produced in 32 weeks. A total of 3,045,986 tonnes was produced at Riccall for the year 1993 to December - a European record. This tonnage was more than many of the mines in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire of the past, ever produced in their lifetime.


Next 1994