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Book 8 The 21st Century


  2015 Pages 

2015 - Page 6

Thoresby Colliery

- Continued -

Deputy Managers:

  • Abe L Goodwin (3834) (new title from Assistant Manager) 1959-1962
  • John Smith (4964) 1963-1965, (promoted from Blidworth promoted to Manager Bilsthorpe)
  • William (Bill) Howcroft (6090) 1965-1966 (promoted to Agent/Manager Harworth, left to a Mining firm)
  • John Smith (4964) 1966-1970 (transferred back from Manager Bilsthorpe following a heart attack, then transferred to Mechanisation dept HQ)
  • Donald Clay (8599) 1970-1973 (promoted from Assistant Manager, promoted to Manager Goldthorpe, Yorkshire)
  • Eric Baker (8246) 1973-1974 (transferred from Bilsthorpe, promoted to Manager Sutton, then Sherwood)
  • David Oliver (8339) 1975-1978 (promoted from Rufford, promoted to Manager Creswell)
  • Brian C Wright (9913) 1978-1983 (promoted from Sherwood, promoted to General Manager Thoresby)
  • Robert (Bobby) C Watson (9215) 1983-1986 (transferred from Rufford, promoted to Manager Sutton then General Manager Harworth)
  • David M Betts (10958) 1986-1988 (promoted to Manager Creswell)
  • Trevor Haywood (11133) 1988-1991 (promoted from Assistant Manager, demoted to Undermanager Cotgrave following a gas incident underground)
  • Nigel Simmons (11836) 1990-1994 (transferred from Asfordby)
  • Colin Day (2nd) 1990- (promoted from Assistant Manager)
  • Keith Williams (37) (11489) 1994 (transferred from Harworth, previously Deputy Manager at Gedling then Bilsthorpe, promoted to Manager Bilsthorpe, later Daw Mill)
  • Glen S Britton (11..) promoted to Manager Welbeck)
  • Vic A Thorpe (12049) 1995-

Assistant Manager / Deputy Manager:

  • Stuart Hoult Oct 2005-April 2006 (based at UK Coal HQ previously), promoted to Manager 2006-2010.

Assistant Managers:

  • Forester Staley (2nd) 1953-1955
  • Hunter C Reid (5386) 1955-1956
  • John H Otter (5592) 1956-1958 (promoted to Manager Bevercotes)
  • Abe L Goodwin (3834) 1958-1959 (transferred from Mansfield, promoted to Deputy Manager)
  • None in post
  • Donald Clay (8599) 1969-1970 (promoted from Bentinck, promoted to Deputy Manager)
  • Mike Goldsby (8208) 1969-1971 (Technical Services, transferred from Bevercotes, promoted to Deputy Manager Creswell and later Manager Creswell, transferred to Chalfont, and later DCME South Nottinghamshire and Nottinghamshire HQ, then Special duties Eastwood Hall 1991, died 2005)
  • W Eddie Bumstead (8026) 1971-1972 (promoted from Welbeck, later Manager Yorkshire Main, then Production Manager, Yorkshire, died Dec 1983)
  • Peter A Chambers (8313) 1972-1974 (transferred from Rufford, promoted to Deputy Manager Bevercotes, later Manager Silverhill, then Mansfield, Special duties Eastwood Hall and DCME Nottinghamshire HQ)
  • None in post
  • Gordon F Froggatt (8614) Jan 1975-1982 (promoted from Pye Hill, promoted to Deputy Manager Bevercotes, later Manager Creswell)
  • Ken G Fidler (10993) 1982-1983 (promoted to Deputy Manager Ollerton, Manager Mansfield and then Manager Thoresby)
  • David M Betts (10958) 1985- (promoted to Deputy Manager, later Manager Thoresby)
  • Trevor Haywood (11133) 1986-1988 (promoted from Clipstone, promoted to Deputy Manager)
  • Colin Day (2nd) 1988- (transferred from Mansfield, promoted to Deputy Manager Developments)
  • Neil M Savage 1989-

Development Manager:

  • Andy Darrell 2005-.

Undermanagers for Thoresby:

  • William Henry Tagg (1003) 1928-1936
  • John A Hayes (2352) 1936-1938 (transferred from Bolsover, promoted to Manager Clipstone)
  • Harry Jones (2nd) 1938-1953 (transferred from Rufford, to Assistant Manager Ollerton)
  • Abe L Goodwin (3834) 1953-1954 (promoted to Assistant Manager Rufford)
  • Jack Green (2nd) 1954-1959 (transferred from Blidworth)
  • John Smith (4964) 1959-1963 (promoted to Deputy Manager)
  • JB Howarth (5939) 1960-1962
  • Jim GE Cannon (7674) 1962-1965 (transferred to Sherwood)
  • William (Bill) Howcroft (6090) 1964-1965 (promoted to Deputy Manager)
  • Jack W Severn (6131) 1965-1968 (transferred to Harworth)
  • Cliff Freeman (8163) 1965-1968 (promoted from Ollerton, left to Copper mine Zambia)
  • Don Lunn (6163) 1967-1969 (transferred from Mansfield, promoted to Bevercotes)
  • Roy Stubbs (8193) 1968-1969 (promoted to Assistant Manager Welbeck, later Safety dept at HQ, appointed Safety Engineer, transferred to Planning Engineer North Nottinghamshire) d 2011
  • John Higginbotham (9293) 1969-1973 (promoted from Rufford, transferred to Ollerton, later Deputy Manager Creswell, Deputy Manager Ollerton, Manager Sutton and General Manager Rufford)
  • Philip W Wood (7896) 1970-1975 (transferred from Ollerton, promoted to Deputy Manager Welbeck, later Manager Sutton, then Sherwood and for closed Newstead)
  • John M Smith (10028) 1973-1978
  • William (Bill) Rose (10368) 1975-1976
  • Jim Stewart (10717) 1976-1982 (promoted from Blidworth, promoted to Assistant Manager Ollerton)
  • Ken G Fidler (10993) 1979-1982 (promoted from Sutton, promoted to Assistant Manager, later Deputy Manager Ollerton, Manager Mansfield and General Manager Thoresby)
  • David M Betts (10958) 1981-1985 (promoted to Assistant Manager)
  • David J Moult (11244) 1983-1988 (promoted to Deputy Manager Creswell, later Manager Sherwood, General Manager Rufford and then Welbeck)
  • Colin G Fiddler (11597) 1985-1987 (promoted to Deputy Manager Calverton)
  • Neil M Savage (11425) 1986-1989 (promoted from Assistant Undermanager, promoted to Assistant Manager)
  • JE Gelson (11777) 1988-1989
  • David L Wheatley (12122) (son of Terry Wheatley ex General Manager Thoresby) 1990-1993 (promoted from Ollerton, left industry)
  • Paul A Townsend (12095) (son of ex General Manager Cotgrave) 1992-
  • Steve Earnshaw (11981) 1995-
  • Jim A Daykin (12..) 1996-2002 (transferred from Bilsthorpe to Senior Undermanager, promoted to Manager Stillingfleet, then Riccall, later Welbeck 2004- )

Undermanager or Production Manager (new title)

  • Tony Longmate (11..) (transferred from Rossington South Yorkshire) 2002-2005, transferred to Development Manager - Oct 2005 (left to Australia)
  • Glenn J Robinson (11817) Senior Undermanager (transferred from Welbeck) 2002-2004, to Development Manager Sep 2005 (promoted to Assistant / Deputy Manager Daw Mill)
  • Brian Holland (12..) Production Manager 2004- (left to Deputy Manager Hatfield, promoted to Manager 2012)
  • Andy Palmer Undermanager (transferred from Kellingley Yorkshire) Sep 2005
  • Ian Hunter
  • Gary Blake Development Undermanager 2007-2012 left UK Coal and transferred to Hatfield.
  • Terry Davison (from Kellingley)

Assistant Undermanagers included

  • Forester Staley (2nd) 1950-1953 (promoted to Assistant Manager)
  • Ray Flint (2nd Class) (promoted from Senior Overman Ollerton 1971, promoted to Undermanager Bevercotes)
  • C Aked (transferred from Mansfield).

Technical Assistants included

  • JDO Christie 1986.

Underground Shift Managers (change of title):

  • 1993 Paul A Townsend (12095)
  • RG Henderson
  • Glen S Britton (11) (promoted to Deputy Manager)
  • MF Garnett.

Roof-bolting Specialist

  • Jon N Bowler (11553)

Safety Engineers

  • Keith Rayner
  • Ron Pye ( . . . . . )
  • Tim Spurry ( . . . . . ) Transferred from Bilsthorpe (Transferred to new group Safety Engineer)
  • Kevin Humphreys (11654)

Surveyors included:

  • Tom W Bush (845) (Chief Surveyor Bolsover Co, appointed NCB No3 Area Surveyor 1947-1962, died in post)
  • T Geoff Parry (1...) (at first an Assistant Electrician at Bolsover, transferred to Bolsover Survey office, Head Surveyor at Thoresby -1949
  • Leo Kirk (2...) (1949 - 1950s promoted from Creswell, transferred to Planning Department, later Deputy Planning Engineer North Nottinghamshire Area)
  • Frank Wright (2...) (left to run a private Art gallery) mid 1950s
  • Richard Tuke (2...) late 1950s -1970 (left to Lecturer)
  • Jack Storr (3094) 1970-1986 (promoted from Senior Assistant, previously at Kirkby -1968)
  • Ian Shaw ARICS (5997) 1986-1994 (promoted from Rufford, left to Estate Agency)
  • Steven (Stas) Watson (6149) (transferred from Ollerton at closure) 1994-2011
  • Ian Daykin (6549) promoted from Deputy 2011-2015

Planners: included:

  • Andy Vjestica
  • Steve Lunnon (also Geologist)
  • Patrycja Reichel 2010/11

Nurses: included:

  • Marion Foster (see photo to right)
  • Sue Bevan

Fatal Accidents Thoresby:

  • Douglas Dixon (24) crushed by falling equipment on the surface 3/2/1926
  • Thomas Sheridan (53) 14/4/1927
  • Frederick Brearley (40) shaft sinkers fell from hoppit down the shaft 4/10/1928
  • Clement Banham (33) shaft sinker fell from hoppit down the shaft 4/10/1928
  • Alfred Hardy (42) fall of roof 28/5/1930, died 6/6/1930
  • William Whitworth (26) crushed by cage at the surface 1/7/1930
  • John Toon (40) fall of roof 8/4/1933
  • Ernest Farnsworth (49) fall of coal 1/4/1935, died 13/7/1935
  • William Hopkinson (31) fall of coal 6/4/1936, died 16/4/1936
  • William T Metheringham (44) crushed by tubs 2/11/1936, died 20/12/1936
  • Richard Kirkland (16) caught in haulage rope 24/8/1938
  • John Mason (38) fall of roof 24/9/1939
  • Charles Henry Barlow (30) fall of roof 8/8/1940
  • Joseph Hooten (56) fall of roof, leg injury, 7/11/1940, died from tetanus 24/11/1940
  • Albert Hopwood (50) fall of roof 7/3/1941, died 28/3/1941
  • Frank Mathews (34) fall of roof 29/4/1941
  • Charles Spencer (35) fall of roof 31/7/1942
  • Walter Wylde (51) fall of roof 27/1/1943
  • Thomas Steed (42) fall of roof 13/4/1940, died 16/1/1944
  • Bernard Gozzard (45) fall in a roadway 6/1/1945
  • George Wright (43) caught in a coal cutter 24/9/1946
  • Frank Wagstaff (36) crushed by wagons on the surface 4/1/1947
  • William Brown (69) fall of roof 10/1/1941, died from injuries 14/10/1947
  • Arthur Revill (28) Haulage corporal, killed by run of 4 tubs of dirt and empty materials tram at 3s Top Hard Loader gate junction with 1s Loader gate at 12.20am (Night shift) on 2/7/1948
  • Gordon Kelley (20) caught in machinery 25/2/1949
  • Owen James Golden (20) crushed by a falling brick wall on the surface 18/3/194
  • Alfred Hardy (39) hit by a bar 10/7/1950, died 12/7/1950
  • Walter Furniss (48) fall of roof 25/1/1951
  • Ronald Musson (40) crushed by tubs on Sunday 29/3/1954
  • Raymond Clarke (23) fall of roof 14/10/1955
  • James Arthur Underwood (39) fall of roof 28/3/1956
  • Colin Walker (22) fell from a building on the surface 1/2/1957
  • Henry Drury (46) fall of coal 27/10/1958, died 15/11/1958
  • Frederick Raymond Groom (29) crushed by powered support 7/3/1960
  • George William Brown (22) 20/12/1960, accident at the coal face, buried in a fall in Aug
  • Henry Brown (32) fall of roof 17/6/1961
  • Frederick Morris (51) fall of roof 23/11/1955, died 16/9/1961
  • James Watson (46) crushed by a gearhead 29/6/1968
  • Henry Brown Horsburgh (44) crushed by tubs -/6/1970
  • Julian Matewzuski (44) hit by a dislodged haulage prop 13/7/1970, died 28/9/1970
  • James Hilton (50) run over by a mine car 28/10/1970
  • Eric Fearn (52), Loco Driver, decapitated on Loco Road 23/12/1970
  • Christopher Pendleton (20) run over by a mine car 25/1/1978
  • Robert Peter Cox (30) Deputy Surveyor, decapitated in an accident with a loco and run of mine cars whilst working on a survey on a loco road, 17/12/1980. This was a particularly grim job for his fellow surveyors to measure up the scene
  • Timothy Christopher Wood (18) conveyor accident 1982
  • Andrew Andrew Fielding (39) There was an outburst of hydrocarbons (gas, oil and water) and 80 tonnes of rock burst out in an intake heading at Thoresby at 10am on 12/10/1995 and one man, Andrew Fielding (39) who had gone back to fetch his tools that were on the Joy Tunnelling machine when the outburst occurred died after inhaling poisonous gases and oil, died in a pool of oil and another 7 were injured, including the Deputy and 4 Mines Rescue personnel, who were overcome by fumes as they had entered the heading without taking the proper precautions (reprimanded). The Deputy, Anthony Bower was found unconscious but recovered after treatment.
  • Ronald Cowan (42) On 4/3/1996 there was a fatal accident at Thoresby where large diameter pipes were being installed in the North West roadway heading. Due to safety rules being ignored all were suspended and in April, 3 men were sacked and 3 were reprimanded regarding the fatal accident to Ronald Cowan (42) who died from head injuries
  • John Harbron (47), unloading a large pile of steel water pipes, died from multiple injuries when they fell on him 24/7/2009.
  • ? Jim Watson (?) Deputy, Conveyor pile up, lump fell,

Incidents included:

In June 1964, 3 men were trapped for 5 hours in a tight space when the roof collapsed. They were timbering up when the roof bellied and suddenly it caved in. Fortunately they were not hurt, only shocked.

David Coleman - A nasty accident on 6th March 1991 (he told me) when he was badly crushed and suffered numerous injuries by a run-away mine car travelling down a slope and striking a paddy train travelling uphill. The first two cars were completely demolished and the third car in which he was travelling almost squashed flat. He sustained a broken skull, eight broken ribs, a collapsed right lung being penetrated by a rib, a smashed hip and dislocated left leg. For six months his left arm was paralysed and he was also partially blinded. However he recovered from his injuries after many weeks in hospital. He never went down the mine again and now spends time being a poet and a unique coal mining entertainer at various functions his stage name being ‘Pitman’, dressed in pit clothes and complete with cap lamp and flame lamp etc and covered in grime, all to the joy of his audiences.

Dangerous Occurrences at Thoresby included: 14th June 1931, explosion of a build up of methane gas due to the surface mine fan being stood over the weekend to save money. This practice then ceased.
Cage rope broke on No1 coaling shaft in 1952.
Top Hard 95s Left Hand gate, oil ingress.
Gob fire at Top Hard 67s 1970, district sealed off but reopened after several months (there had been several heatings in the past).
Clayton Pony battery Locomotive derailed at 102s Access / 100s Return on 17/1/2000. There was an ignition of gas on 173s Parkgate seam.

Latest News

On 18th August 2015 Hatfield Main colliery was put into administration and all the entrances and exits to the colliery site were sealed and locked and access strictly controlled. Coal production had ceased on 30th June due to lack of orders and all the workforce finished. There was a coal heap in the yard containing many thousands of tonnes. The shafts had been stripped out awaiting filling and stoppings had been erected in the pit bottom. A piece of coal from the last production shift was presented to the local Council as a token, as this was the last pit in South Yorkshire where in the past there had been quite a few.

At Thoresby coal production had finished on 10th July 2015 and by mid August stoppings had been erected in the pit bottom and one shaft had been stripped out and the number of men allowed underground limited to 18 due to only having one shaft in operation. Preparations were in hand to abandon the mine and fill the shafts. No water had been pumped out of the mine by the two 9 stage Mackley pumps since June 2010. Water was pumped through stoppings in the Parkgate 41s and 42s (Jan 2006-Jan 2008), 43s (Jan 2008-June 2010) and 45s (June 2010-Dec 2010). These panels were then waterlogged plus the left hand corner of 3s panel, all in the closed Ollerton colliery area. All operations ceased in the Parkgate seam 1 Dec 2011. Concentration of working was then in the Deep Soft seam. Water was pumped from the surface down No1 shaft through Parkgate 3rd drift stopping from Dec 2014.

Fortuitously some scrap items and plans were kindly donated to Bilsthorpe Heritage Museum by the Manager Derek Main, indeed one large item being a battery Pony loco and tub which now stand behind the fence to the left of the Museum entrance.

Exhibition At Edwinstowe

As ex-senior surveyor I was invited to the opening of the Exhibition of Memories And Photographs on 21 Sep 2015, organised by Shirley Moore (ex-NCB Records Officer). Several ex-managers, other management personnel and some under officials and workmen were similarly invited, including two ex-surveyors for the mine.

Parting Gift

The Thoresby Colliery benevolent fund was shut after the closure of the pit. The total of £57,000 was given to good causes such as Berry Hill Park Trust, Beaumond House Community Hospice at Newark, Thoresby Colliery Retired Miners Fund, The British Heart Foundation and Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.

Pit Talk Project, East Midlands

On 22nd Sep 2015 I was further interviewed by Claire Ashmore, of the Pit Talk Project, for the East Midlands project, who along with Dr Natalie Braber is collating various colliery expressions etc. for inclusion in a future book.