Harworth In Limbo
Harworth colliery, (North Nottinghamshire) was sunk in 1919-1924 by Harworth Main Colliery Co then taken over by Barber Walker and Co. Originally the mine was being sunk by an Anglo German firm, the Northern Union Mining Co but was halted for the First World War in 1914 and the German sinkers interned. Sinking was suspended and abandoned. The shafts were re-positioned a few yards (m) away due to the thinking that the German sinkers had spiked the shafts with explosives.
- Shaft positions: SK69SW No1 shaft 462538,391248
- No2 shaft 462472,391247, 111 feet (34m) above sea level, sinking then recommenced, Master Sinker was William Tupling.
The base of the Permo-Trias was at 720’ 8” (216m). 39 layers of coal was passed through before reaching the 6’ 9” (2.05m) thick Top Hard at 2787’ 4” (849.5m). The 2 shafts both 6.8m dia were sunk to just below the Dunsil horizon. No1 shaft 972 yards (888m) and No2 shaft 980 yards (896m) deep. The mine was mothballed in October 2006, coal turning had ceased in September.
German Sinkers Interned
The colliery is situated about ¼ of a mile from the border of Nottinghamshire with South Yorkshire, about 16km south of Doncaster.
The nearby village of Bircotes was created to house the workforce mainly Yorkshire miners and others attracted to the new sinking.
The colliery did not have steam winding engines but had one of the first electric winders, the original winder a Metropolitan Vickers drum with 2 x 895kw motor raising 200 tons per hour in tubs on multi deck cages 6 days a week.
New modern Pithead baths in 1964 replaced the old fashioned kind where clothes were hoisted into the roof of the bath house.
On nationalisation it became a unit of No3 Area of the NCB to 1967, then part of North Nottinghamshire Area to 1984, then under British Coal, then RJB Mining, now UK Coal.
Both headgears were replaced with ultra modern types.
On the manriding / materials shaft 4 ropes per chair and two rubbing ropes and two guide ropes at either end of both chairs to steady the ride at such great depth.
In 1971 skips carrying 7½ tons were installed raising the output to 288 tons per hour. These were later replaced with 9 tons skips and again in 1983 with 10½ tonnes alloy skips giving an output of 500 tonnes per hour.
New up rated winding engines were installed, both by Vickers Armstrong, No1 shaft in 1981 having a 2,980Kw D size Thyristor convertor fed D,C, motor. A similar motor was installed at No2 shaft in 1983.
The main surface fan to ventilate the mine is an Aerex 4.3m dia single inlet radial flow fan driven by a 1,120 Kw motor at 365 revs/min. A similar fan is on standby.
High virgin rock temperatures in the Deep Soft reaching 40ºC required chilled water air conditioning from a 750Kw plant in the pit bottom installed in 1981. Homotropal system of ventilation was introduced but this only reduced the temperature by a 2 or 3 degrees. A second chilled water system was installed in Nov 1982. These systems were not adequate in the long term and a new 7,000 Kw capacity surface air conditioning plant was commissioned in July 1986.
- Samuel Fred Houlden (56) Haulage, run over by tubs 12/1/1925
- Edgar Cotton (31) Stall man, fall of roof 2/10/1925
- Leonard South (20) and William Roddy (36) Stall men, fall of roof 24/12/1925
- Ernest Hutchinson (43) Stall man, fall of coal 16/12/1926
- Percy Walker (17) run over by tubs 10/3/1927
- Richard Percy Wetherell (45) Stall man, fall of roof 21/3/1927, died 22/3/1927
- John McCardle (23) Haulage, run over by tubs 3/2/1928, died 6/2/1928
- James Mosley (17) run over by tubs 13/3/1928, inquest 15/3/1928
- Ralph King (33) Stall man, fall of roof 16/4/1928, died 20/4/1928
- Ernest Fisher (22) Stall man, fall of roof 11/7/1928
- Arthur James Lees (24) Stall man, fall of roof 27/7/1928
- William Swindells (40) Stall man, fall of roof 6/2/1929, died 6/3/1929
- Elias Paxton Millership (60) Stall man, fall of roof 30/8/1929
- Owen Turner (14) Haulage, run over by tubs 12/2/1930
- Albert Willoughby Davies (22) Stall man, fall of roof 11/1/1932, died 20/1/1932
- Harry Griffiths (33) Face man, caught in machinery 20/2/1932, died 26/2/1932
- George Edward Grayson (30) Haulage, crushed by tubs, inquest 3/3/1932
- Thomas Grayson (40) Haulage, run over by tubs 18/11/1932, died 19/11/1932
- Leslie Burnip Coxon (14) Haulage, run over by tubs 18/11/1932, died 19/11/1932
- George Blythe (19) crushed by the cage 11/5/1933
- Edward Blackburn Hall (50) Haulage, crushed by tubs 27/6/1933, died from septicaemia 29/7/1933
- Patrick Tobin (32) fall of roof 8/9/1933
- Thomas Alexander Smith (29) fall of roof 9/10/1933, died 10/10/1933
- Albert Edward Ward (27) Face man, fall of roof 6/7/1934, died 8/7/1934
- John Joseph Whitehead (18) Haulage, run over by tubs 18/12/1934
- Robert Arthur Radford (28) Face man, fall of coal 9/1/1935
- Kenneth Aubrey Ives (29) hit by a girder on the surface 13/2/1935
- George Henry Norgate (49) Face man, fall of roof ? 1932, died from pneumonia 10/4/1935
- George Frederick Benton (19) Haulage, run over by tubs 4/11/1935
- James Gray Moyle (50) Face man, fall of roof 21/11/1935
- Thomas Ashurst (21) Face man, fall of roof 19/3/1936
- Arthur Welding (33) Face man, fall of roof 11/10/1936, 14/10/1936
- Robert Spear Wilkinson (45) Face man, fall of roof 16/11/1946
- Samuel Evans (34) run over by a manrider 28/9/1937
- George William Spowart (31) Face man, fall of roof 25/2/1932, died 12/1/1938
- John Wilfred Farell (22) crushed by tubs 24/2/1938
- Kenneth Cauldwell (27) Haulage, run over by tubs 6/7/1938, died 20/8/1938
- Herbert Brocklebank Jenkins (18) 6/7/1938, died 29/10/1938
- Frank Meakin (15) Haulage, run over by tubs 4/10/1939
- James Allcock (45) Face man, fall of roof 20/10/1939
- Alfred Childs (47) Face man, fall of roof 5/4/1940
- Thomas Alfred Stanyard (31) Face man, fall of roof 27/10/1940, died 28/10/1940
- Percy William Chapman (54) caught in machinery on the surface 1/1/1941
- Cyril Frederick Houghton (33) Face man, fall of roof 17/1/1941
- Charles Stanley (48) crushed by tubs on the surface 19/5/1943, died 26/5/1943
- Robert McCarthy (42) Face man, fall of roof 4/8/1943
- Robert Graham (34) run over by a manrider 8/10/1945, died 21/10/1945
- James Robert Gill (44) Haulage, crushed by tubs 4/1/1946
- Charles Platts (62) Haulage, crushed by tubs 20/2/1946
- Wilfred Charles Bullivant (56) run over by a loco on the surface 19/6/1946
- William Annable (65) Face man, fall of roof 21/8/1947, died 22/8/1947
- John Edward Martin, (or Joseph Herbert Martin ) (48) crushed by a loco 4/11/1947, died 5/11/1947
- Charles Cyril Renhand (43) Face man, fall of coal 30/1/1951
- John Burton (44) Face man, fall of roof 25/2/1955
- Norman Phillip (30) Face man, fall of roof ?/3/1956
- George Marshall (54) caught in machinery 31/7/1957
- George Davis (58) fall of roof 29/9/1957
- Thomas Goodburn (35) Face man, fall of roof 29/8/1958
- Andrew Burns (56) Face man, caught in machinery 9/3/1961
- Albert Henry Steele (60) Haulage, run over by tubs 17/5/1961
- John Land (16) Haulage, crushed by tubs 17/5/1965
- George Harley (65) Haulage, run over by tubs 14/2/1969
- James Window (58) fell down the shaft 3/6/1979
- James Andrew Jukes (24) crushed by a minecar 5/1/1989
- Alan Ball (23) Crushed by a minecar 7/02/1991. The inquest took place at Worksop 18/07/1991
Peter George Jackson, aged 42, of Droversdale Road, Bircotes, died undeground following a heart attack on 11 Jan 1991
Dangerous occurrences included: several underground heatings and gas emissions closing the pit for days on several occasions.