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A Comprehensive History Of Mining In The Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire And Leicestershire Coalfields - Page 7


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Alan Thorpe - Can you pass my details to Jane Betts regarding the death of John Thorpe in 1866
Jane Betts - I Am A Descendent Of John Thorpe Who Fell Out Of Sinkers Hoppit At Shirland Colliery, Derbyshire, 1866
Rob Ellis - I am trying to obtain a hard copy of Robert's Book
Diane Bell - Who Owned Token Numbered 62 From Shireoaks?
Brian Wilson - WITH THANKS - I Am Researching My Ancestors Who All Worked In The Mines Of Pinxton In Derbyshire
Bryan Maloney - I Am Looking For Any Photos Of Cossall Coal Mines In Nottinghamshire
Tracey Emptage - My Grandfather Mr. William Thomas Died At Binley Colliery 1947
Alan Campbell - Harworth Colliery - Can You Please Tell Me What The Tallest Building Is At The Colliery?

Jane Betts
20 Apr 2014
I Am A Descendent Of John Thorpe Who Fell Out Of A Sinkers Hoppit At Shirland Colliery, Derbyshire, 1866

I am a descendent of John Thorpe and have stumbled upon his death which is documented on your website. I can confirm that John was actually 45 when he died on Christmas Day 1866.

It seems he was no stranger to tragedy, his wife Elizabeth having died a couple of years before him aged 43 and just one year after his death his youngest son Joseph died aged 22 leaving my great great grandfather also John, with no living relatives.

I am so pleased to have found something that memorialises him and would appreciate it if you could amend the age.

Also if you have any more details regarding john I would love to hear them

Many thanks

Sent from my iPhone

See also Alan Beales

Alan Thorpe
14 Feb 2017
Can you pass my details to Jane Betts regarding the death of John Thorpe in 1866

You had an email from Jane Betts on 20-04-2014 regarding the death of John Thorpe in 1866 aged 45 (Shirland 25 Dec 1866 fell out of sinkers hoppit).

I also have a John Thorpe born 1821 in my family tree whose father was also called John (born Brackenfield)

I would be grateful if you could pass on my details to her so that we may see if it is the same John.
Thanking you in anticipation.


Rob Ellis
16 Jun 2014
I am trying to obtain a hard copy of Robert’s Book

Hello Fionn,
I wonder if you or Robert Bradley can help me, I am trying to obtain a hard copy of Robert’s Book - A comprehensive history of mining in the Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire Coalfields. It is a very enjoyable read and I would like to obtain a printed copy if possible for my father who has worked all his life in the Coal industry at over 80 pits, all over the UK, he is currently at the Eckington Drift Mine where work has been suspended due to financial reasons.
You may know of him, he is called Peter Ellis from Killamarsh. He started his Career at High Moor Colliery before working at many of the Pits mention by Robert.
All my family worked in the industry and my Grand Father who Robert may have met during his Career as a Surveyor was Raymond (Ray ) Ellis. He work at numerous Collieries at the beginning of his Career before being transferred to Start and open High Moor. He was also the NUM Official for High Moor along with being the President of the Derbyshire Area of the NUM. He then went on to be the Labour MP for North East Derbyshire before retiring for health reasons. Sadly he is no longer with us.
Hopefully you will be able to help with my request or point me in the right direction.
Looking forward to hearing from you
Kind Regards
Rob Ellis

HMS Illustrious

Hi Rob, Bob decided against having his books published as hard copies in favour of the Internet. Being web based they can easily be updated at any time and are open to a worldwide audience free of charge.

Diane Bell
20 May 2014
Who Owned Token Numbered 62 From Shireoaks?

I'm wondering if you could help me I have found a token numbered no 62 from Shireoaks Colliery Company.

Is there anything you can tell me about it?

Thanks Diane Bell

Sent from Samsung tablet

The tokens or mottoes or checks (various colliery descriptions)

The check you have with Shireoaks Colliery Co No 62 would relate to a person working at Shireoaks mine. Each man signing on for a job would be issued with a number such as this. If that man left that pit depending upon circumstances that number could be issued to another person signing on for a job. This could happen several times or maybe not at all.

The man who had that number would be issued with the check at the time office when clocking on for his shift. Generally there were 2 checks, a round one and an oblong one. When the man was entering the cage to go underground he would give that round check to the Banksman. The check along with others would be sent back to the time office. The check was twofold. It would indicate that the man had gone underground and also he was being paid. When coming out of the mine after stepping off the cage the man would give the Banksman the oblong check. This would be sent back to the time office and put on the same peg as the round check. When there were 2 checks on the peg this would indicate that the man was back out of the pit. This is the safety part. The time of return of the check would also have been noted so that payment would be made for that shift.

Now-a-days it is all done with swipe cards.

Trusting this answers your query.
R Bradley

For a lot more information visit the National Mining Memorabilia Association

Brian Wilson
14 Apr 2014
WITH THANKS - Researching My Ancestors Who All Worked In The Mines Of Pinxton In Derbyshire

Just a line whilst I am making reference to your information to say many, many thanks to whoever has contributed to your web pages.

I have spent a few years researching my ancestors who all worked in the mines of Pinxton in Derbyshire and I cannot thank you enough for all the background information I have gained………..Just thanks a lot……….Brian

Bryan Maloney
31 Mar 2014
I Am Looking For Any Photos Of Cossall Coal Mines In Nottinghamshire

Hy Fionn,
I am looking for any photos of Cossall Coal Mine in Nottinghamshire, do you have access to any photos or any thing else that could help me please.

I was sure I came across some thing to do with photos of cossall however I could not find the place again and a woman answered me and said that there wasn't any thing on the web page, I tried Francis Frith pages and also Flickr pages and found lots on there but cannot access them.

Regards Bryan Maloney.

I have the picture of Tormental Fields Steps but cannot find the owner of the photo do you have any idea at all?

I have traced some body that says she is the grand daughter of the guy that opened the pits (Oakwell) and her grandad built a lot of the more modern houses up in Cossall.

Click Picture to Enlarge - See Cossall Colliery Closed After 93 Years

Thank you very much for the picture of the Head stocks at Cossall pit, there is one in the local Ilkeston Museum but they won’t let me have it due to them not knowing who gave it to them? Bit silly really not registering it. Not to worry though.

Tormental Field Steps
If you have any other photos of Cossall in the far distant past at all, I have at the present got approximately 200 in the book I am doing. Just a thought, do you know how to get into Flickr as there is a photo I want, I could also give them a corresponding photo, that is to say, there is a photo on Flickr/Cossall of some steps leading up to the canal side and is called or in 'Tormental Fields', this is another piece of detective work required to find out what Tormental fields means. Anyway, I have got a photo that I took of the other steps at the far end of the fields.

I founded the Awsworth and Cossall history society and am now life President, also I am an author with several poems in anthologies and also 3 books on Awsworth and one of those published by Amberley Publishers through Amazon, and am now doing Cossall through time.

I don't come from round here though

Regards Bryan Maloney

Where Did The Name Tormental Fields Come From?

The Tormental Field by the Nottingham Canal in Cossall was locally a popular picnic and beauty spot until its destruction by outcropping in the early 1950's. Though the field was restored in an appropriate way for agricultural use, devoid of its once meandering little stream, and without flowers and trees it no longer interests children, families, walkers or courting couples who had once spent time there. In 1984 only the old steps from the canal towpath served as a reminder to those who had known it as the Tormental Field and as a beauty spot.

2 Sep 2014 - Oakwell Grange Pit

I have found the grand daughter of H Wrigley who says that her grand dad was the first person to dig the first sod of grass to start the mine, yet on here it says he was only a go between so to speak, I have an e mail with content from Nott's evening post about the mine from 1946, also a photo of the covered in entrance etc.

Ironically after all this time I suddenly become the recipient of information and photos(I took) of the other mine High Holborn, they say this is in Babington but I am going to refer to it in my book as it is very close to the boundary of Cossall.

Tracey Emptage
8 Mar 2014
My Grandfather Mr. William Thomas Died At Binley Colliery 1947

I am trying to find the newspaper article about my grandfather Mr. William THOMAS  age 28 who died at Binley colliery on 11th July 1947 I believe it was in the paper with a picture of him any one know which paper and could I get a copy ?

Binley colliery, Coventry.  By 1907 a colliery was being constructed, it started producing coal in 1911 and was most productive during the 1950s, the entrance was on Willenhall Lane. It closed in 1963 and Herald Way industrial estate now occupies the site. Former pit worker cottages still remain along Willenhall Lane and St James Lane.

You could try the Coventry, Local history and archives
Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Jordan Well, Coventry, CV1 5QP

Alan Campbell
5 Mar 2014
Harworth Colliery - Can You Please Tell Me What The Tallest Building Is At The Colliery

Can you please tell me what the tallest building is at the colliery.
I see this every time I travel south on the M18 and A1 but no one I know can give me an answer.
Possibilities proposed have been a headgear, a washing plant or a crushing mill.

New Concrete Tower Built Over Harworth Colliery No1 Shaft
With The Koepe 4 Rope Winder At The Top
I trust this will explain what the towers are.

Photo to right shows the new concrete tower built over Harworth Colliery No1 shaft with the Koepe 4 rope winder at the top.

Prior to these towers, both shafts had traditional steel headgears with pulley wheels and operated by ground mounted electric winders. Note the existing No2 conventional steel framed headgear to the right which is dwarfed at about 30 metres high.

No1 shaft was same as that before the concrete structure was built over it. The old steel headgear was cut at the base and the whole pulled out by winch to be demolished.
A new taller steel framework was pulled into the old headgear position and anchored. The electric winding engine for that shaft is situated high above inside the concrete structure. The system of winding coal is by Koepe friction winding by 4 ropes over a large drum attached to each of two skips. The operation for No1 shaft was completed during an extended 3 weeks holiday period in 1988.

As one full skip of coal is raised to be emptied at the surface the other empty skip is lowered down the shaft to be filled and so on.

Photo below shows the size of the 30 tonnes capacity skip that brings coal up the shaft from 1,000 metres deep from the Deep Soft seam level.

30 Tonnes Capacity Skip
Photo below shows the completion today with a new smaller concrete headgear about half the size of the other built over the top of the No2 manriding and materials shaft. In the case of the No2 shaft the electric engine is floor mounted and the single rope for each of 2 cages goes over the traditional style of pulley wheels inside the structure.  Again as one cage of men or materials is lowered down the shaft another cage of men or empty trams is raised up the shaft.

Harworth-3Automatic winding is controlled as for example like a lift in a shop or a carpark.

Town and Country Planning department decreed that blue and yellow stripes be painted on the concrete towers so as to blend in with the sky, being as they are large structures. Night beacons are attached for the aid of low flying aeroplanes.

As many will know the towers can be seen from many miles away.

I  had the pleasure of standing on the top of the largest one in 1989 and it was awesome. Due to the general low lying land extreme distances can be seen, such as Boston Stump.

The Colliery at present is in 'mothballs' awaiting a buyer and has been since October 2006.

The Colliery although closed has the largest reserves of coal in the country, however it is very hot in the underground workings, as I have experienced.

A skeleton maintenance team is in attendance and huge quantities of methane gas are pumped out of the mine through pipes in the shaft to run machinery to produce electricity which is fed into the National Grid.

Bob Bradley



Emails - 8