Ilkeston Rescue Station Occurance Book. Commencing July 1983, Finished 28 September 1983.
Can you tell me if George Brock is still alive? We were pals many, many years ago.
My father and his father worked at the "SHONKEY " pit in Bulwell, my dad went to work there straight from school at the age of 14 years, he worked on the pit bank until it closed, and he was sent to Babbington. His father worked there and made headlines when he was trapped underground with some more chaps, there were photos in the paper, my aim is to locate these photos.
Could you please supply me with any photos or information about Shonkey pit please. I think the name came from a type of engine they used.
I often drive by the site of Shonkey which is an open field; I don’t think there is permission to build on it.I can remember them tipping a load of TINS OF CONDENSED MILK DOWN A SHAFT. I was born 5 minutes away at Blenheim Cottages on Elliot’s farm.
Regards M. Kirk
The sinking of Cinderhill and Bulwell pits in the mid 19th century turned Bulwell into a coal mining area, and by 1914 as many as 66% of the working inhabitants were believed to be involved in the industry.
As for "Shonki" (Bulwell Colliery), details are pretty sparse and it isn't really my area.
However, I've done a bit of research; the pit opened in 1868 and was sunk by a Chas. Seeley of Babbington. It seems to have been closed for coaling by the onset of WWII, but its workings were re-assessed during the war; I suspect that post-coaling, the shaft remained open for ventilation and/or pumping rather than winding - possibly for Hucknall and/or Babbington (Cinderhill) pits.
NCB records state a "plumbed depth" (i.e. by nationalisation in 1947, no man-winding function remained) of 921 feet which was the base of the lowest seam worked i.e. the Top Hard coal, the thickness being 60 inches.
The major seams intercepted started with the Mainbright at around 543 feet, followed by the Two Foot, the Lowbright, the Lowbright Floor, the High Hazles, and finally the Top Hard.
The Grid Reference of the shaft is 5306 4586, putting it south of Hucknall Aerodrome and under the present Blenheim Industrial Estate, west off the A6002.
I cannot find when the pit closed, but there is no mention of it at all in the 1961 Colliery Guardian Guide as being in use for any purpose, and whilst some buildings appear on contemporary maps, these are not referred to as "Mine" - disused or otherwise..
A couple of mentions can be found elsewhere on the web at:
The latter gives a construction date of the 1840s but I think this is incorrect.