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Emails - Manners
Manners Pit, Ilkeston - Page 1
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Joe Henshaw

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Manner CollieryAs I recall, both headstocks were standing, plus the power house, and several other buildings including a very large (prefabricated?) concrete and steel structure (wash house / screens?) adjacent to the footpath which ran through the site (almost all of the other structures were brick-built).

To the right of the path was a large, rectangular, concrete-lined cooling pond. The power house was large, and the interior covered in decorative ceramic tiles.

Underneath was a basement, accessible through a hole in the floor (or wall?) You needed a torch for this bit, and it was full of all sorts of debris from above, including a wonderful old swivel-chair, which I often road-tested and secretly coveted. (I also coveted the "EMEB Manners Colliery Substation" sign, but every attempt to liberate it seemed to be interrupted by some bloke walking his dog).

Some of the buildings housed narrow-gauge tub lines (NB Pleasley Pit still retains a very similar set-up), heading towards the shafts. To the north, some distance away, were other buildings which I understand once housed, amongst other things, the manager's offices and a sawmill.

On Manners Ave, just before the bridge to the colliery, was a weighbridge. This stood for many years, and even when this small building was eventually demolished the foundations, underground structure, and the weighbridge ironwork was visible in the carriageway for much longer.

The upcast headstocks were the most obvious, and very spooky. A large iron grille blocked the entrance, but wind could be heard whistling through the upper structure, and water below. Just about every kid passing occasionally threw stones over the grille, but after the initial rattling, no 'splash' was ever heard as far as I can remember.

I remember the building with the 'sauce' bottles. I'm amazed at how many there were. I believe that older cousin Brian (Aram) and his contemporaries probably started the destruction of these bottles, and we continued probably until we became bored. There must have been a hell of a lot of them!

I also remember the air raid shelters - another torch job for explorations. Approaching demolition, various holes appeared in the brickwork of the upcast shaft allowing access to the foolhardy. Some mates proposed an 'expedition' using ropes, knotted-sheets, torches, whatever, to "see what was down there". Fortunately (bearing in mind our complete ignorance and general stupidity), this lunatic plan did not progress much beyond the concept stage. (It did in part lead somewhat later to the establishment of the slightly more responsible Ilkeston Caving and Potholing Club though.)

As site clearance progressed to the north, a substantial underground brick lined vent was revealed. This led away from the upcast shaft in a northerly direction. I vaguely remember Rallson Rewinds being there before they moved, but can't remember which building. I wish I had a camera then, 'cos my memory ain't wot it woz, and the whole area has been transformed of course.

Manner Pit 1905
Manner Pit About 1905
(Thanks to Charlie Snarski for the Photo)

Brian Aram - I'm Brian the cousin, Gary wrote about.
6 September 2010
Can't Find Anything About Ilkeston Miners Welfare

Yes I’m Brian the cousin, Gary wrote about. Loved smashing all those bottles. Just wondered if anyone remembers the old Ilkeston miners welfare building, which is now an old people’s home.

Can’t find any info at all. Used to live just around the corner when I was a lad. Can’t find anything about this welfare in any old Ilkeston history books or any photos.

Anyone help. PLEASE !!!!!!

Dave Turner
30 October 2006
Manners Colliery Ilkeston

I wonder if you could tell me the location of Manners Pit in Ilkeston if you where stood with your back to the ambulance station. My great uncle lived in the house next to the bridge, just down from the ambulance station. I can remember the allotments a timber yard and a really old house on Manners Avenue.

Dave Turner

My wife tells me the bridge in the photo is the one your great uncle would have lived next to. With your back to the ambulance station turn right, walk away from the park, towards the bridge and the industrial estate. Cross the bridge and keep going to the first road on the right, about another 100 meters, walk into the colliery yard, or as it is now the local refuse dump.


Pit Terminology - Glossary