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A Comprehensive History Of Mining In The Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire And Leicestershire Coalfields - Page 35


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Peter Colloff - Old Tallie From Silver Hill Colliery - Disc Number 124
Philip Wyles
- Benk/Bink

Emma Lenz - Oxford English Dictionary query - benk/bink
Dave Budworth - Just a Suggestion, Could You Include Grid References For Old Pit Shafts
Hannah Parr - More information please about 9 year old Edmund Varley, killed at Watnall No3 Pit 1833.
Mary - My Uncle, Barrie Nightingale, Died at Arkwright Colliery, 1966
Margaret Goulding - My Grandfather, Charles Whitham, Was a Miner in South Yorkshire 1880-1930
Dan - Looking For North Staffordshire seam diagram

AustPeter Colloff
26 Dec 2016
Old Tallie From Silver Hill Colliery - Disc Number 124

TokenDear Fionn
About 40 years ago whilst undertaking building/renovation work in either Birmingham or Solihull, I discovered a mine Tallie from the Silver Hill Colliery disc number 124. I wondered if you had records of the miner that it might have belonged to if I sent it to you, or maybe it could be used in a Mining history display. I would have to post it as I have lived in Australia for the last 28 years.

Regards Peter Colloff

See also:-

 •   Teversal Group of Pits, Silverhill Colliery - Bob Bradley

 •   Silverhill Colliery (Notts Coalfield) - Darren Haywood, Photos

 •   Silverhill - The Shane Phillips Collection 

 •   Silverhill - Stuart Tomlins - Collection of photographs

Emma Lenz
12 Jan 2017
Oxford English Dictionary query - benk/bink

Hello Fionn,

I hope you don't mind me contacting you - I'm a science editor working on the Oxford English Dictionary.

I'm very impressed with your site - it's a great resource.

So this made me wonder if you or one of your contacts would be able to help with a term I'm working on? - it's "bink" (or "benk").

I can see from your glossary that it means "coalface", which is what I thought it meant,  and I'll certainly put that in the definition. But, additionally, I had some quotation evidence that made me wonder if it sometimes meant a bit more than that.  Here are a few of the quotations:

1675  From the bottom run four Binks, as they call them; four yards wide, and forty yards long, except that in which they met the fiery damp.

1797  The long way of working collieries, where the roads along the benk faces are narrow.

1962   Main roads in there these benks, getting thick and wide

I wonder if the binks are also the passageways in which the coal faces are worked - but I simply don't know enough to be sure.  It could be that "coalface" would cover the passageway anyway, and I'm worrying about nothing!

If you are able to help in any way, that would be fantastic.

Very best wishes,

Dr Emma Lenz
Principal Science Editor
Oxford English Dictionary

Philip Wyles
19 Jan 2017
Binks and Benks

Hello Fionn,

I trust this rather belated e-mail finds all well. The binks and benks motivated the grey cells into a finding frenzy.

1675 - Bink probably refers to a low travelling way to the working face.  The width seems about right for an unsupported face in a four feet or lower seam.

1797 - Benk face, definitely a longwall face working. The date is at the start of longwall working if conditions allowed this.This would have two or three benks (roadways) for ventilation, transport and manpower access.

1962 - Benk, due to the wording of the sentence it has got to be a high and wide well supported benk (roadway).

I have attached 6 screen grabs, I have also attached 2 grabs of definitions for bank. The dictionary comes in 6 volumes and was downloaded in pdf format from The Internet Archive.

Regards Phil

Philip Wyles - Menu - Coal Industry From Circa 1900

Dave Budworth
Just a Suggestion, Could You Include Grid References For Old Pit Shafts
14 Jan 2017

I would like to commend the site for being such a comprehensive reference to the many coal mines which have been and gone over the last 150 years, and as mentioned, their history needs to be maintained.

I spent a lot of time at Creswell with short periods at Whitwell, Langwith and Williamthorpe. I also remember the area around the old pit houses (now adjacent to the M1 near Heath but before the motorway was built). My memory suggested that Ramcroft was near these houses rather than in the Lea Valley to the east.

To this end, I would like to suggest that more positional detail be researched, giving grid references of the old pits shafts for example.

When a colliery site has become a housing estate it becomes much more difficult to link with the past on the ground. I am regularly compiling old natural history records from people who worked in the mining industry and often the colliery is the location of their records. To be able to pin point the old colliery positions would be a great help.

(one example is that of Ramcroft Colliery between Heath and Palterton)

Best regards

Dave Budworth

There is a map in the site with Ramcroft in it in the page Book 4, 1947


In Memory EdmundHannah Parr
3 Jan 2017
More info please about 9 year old Edmund Varley, killed at Watnall No3 Pit 1833.

Hi, I was just wondering if you have any more information on Edmund Varley? The 9 year old boy? Do you know if he would have any links to the now Larkfields estate or what was there around his time? A picture of him would be great if you had one too please.

Sent from my iPhone

Watnall Pit (Barber and Walker) Edmund Varley 9 years old was an ass driver. He was dreadfully injured when he and the ass were buried under a fall of roof on Friday 16th Aug but did not die until Sunday 18th Aug 1833.

There was an inquest at the Royal Oak Inn, Watnall on the 20th Aug 1833.

PonyEdmund Varley, 9 years old, was buried under a fall of roof, in a Gate Road, along with his Ass. Although he was extricated he died from his injuries two days later. He was ganging tubs to and from the coalface stall working taking empties to the face and full tubs back to a main road to be clipped onto a haulage rope which would take the tubs to the pit bottom.

The pit he was working at was Watnall No 3, sunk in 1803 and closed in 1853 and was located at Watnall Cantelupe approximately 200 metres max North West from the Royal Oak Public House, where the inquest was held.

A typical picture of a boy ganging a set of tubs is shown on the right. However, as can be seen, the boy is riding illegally on the crank of the tub between that and the pony and many boys were severely injured or killed when they fell off or were kicked by the pony and were run over.


Bob Bradley

See also Alan Beales Section:- Deep Shafts - Watnall Colliery

In Memory BarrieMary
30 Dec 2016
My Uncle, Barrie Nightingale, Died at Arkwright Colliery, 1966

My uncle, Barrie Nightingale, died as a result of a pulley rope coming loose from a coal tub and catching his legs which broke some bones and afterwards caused a blood clot to travel to his lungs which killed him.

The site has his name spelled wrong, and the date of the accident, and the cause of accident are also wrong.

Perhaps there is someone on the site who knew him or worked with him -  I don’t have many pictures of him. He died 28th Dec 1966. I was only 3 at the time and don’t remember him - he was my dad’s younger and only sibling.


See also Alan Beales In memory Barrie

Thank you for your email Mary, got to take Jess out for a walk now

Margaret Goulding
12 Dec 2016
Mines in 1880-1930

I am trying to find the mine my grandfather may have worked in, 1880-1930.  He lived in Thorpe Hesley before moving to Yorkshire. Is there one nearby the village. His name was Charles Whitham and I believe he lived on Wentworth Rd.

Regards Margaret Goulding

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

He would probably have walked to the pit, possibilities include:-
• Wentworth Silkstone
• Silverwood (Aldewark)
• Deneby Main
• Tankersley

10 Dec 2016
North Staffordshire seam diagram

This may be a very long shot, but I've been endlessly searching for a chart/diagram with a side view of North Staffordshire’s coal seams. Do you know where I can find a picture of this?

Kind regards,

There is a list of seam names in descending order from the surface in the healey hero web site under Robert Bradley. Enter the site, click on my photograph then scroll down through the list of subjects to coal seam names with North Staffordshire at the top. These were obtained from the National Coal Board seam names and ranks of the coal. There are 100 listed.

There is also a site on Google ... seam names in North Staffordshire by Dr Lloyd Boardman in two sections and he lists a similar set of seam names but also gives thicknesses and depths of the main seams at a particular Colliery.

From this information a side view can be constructed.

There is a Geological book of the area, now out of print, but there may be a copy on eBay or in a second hand book shop. A series of books for each coalfield with a yellowish / beige hard back cover were printed and distributed for use in the NCB Areas, various dates after 1950 and these explain all the geology etc with sections and were issued by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Geological Survey of Great Britain, published by HM Stationery Office. Unfortunately although I have copies for some of the Coalfields I do not have that one.

Trusting this will assist and help you with your request.