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The Continued Rise Of The Industry
To 1913



Trade Depression

On 26th January 1858 Mr Robert Harrison, General Manager for Barber Walker and Co (1854 - 1891) said that the trade depression was very bad and several pits were closed: Greasley, Lockerford E438804 N37305, Highfields and Watnall.  A large engine house was being constructed at the Nuthall Temple pit.  It was an old pit by which part of the Top Hard had been worked out of the Strelley royalty.  It was about 100 yards (91m) deep and 7 feet (2.13m) in dia.  The owner died in February 1858 and it was intended by Mr John Thomas Woodhouse (a Consultant and Surveyor called in to advise) to be a pumping shaft to drain the old workings and allow coal to be worked to the extreme rise of the Cinder Hill, Broxtowe and Newcastle collieries (Thomas North).  The engine was a vertical-beam condensing engine with a cylinder of 72½” (1.84m) dia with an 8 feet (2.43m) stroke.  There were 3 plain egg-ended boilers 6 feet (1.82m) dia by 30 feet (9m) long, one of them being at the incline top.  There was another shaft at 6 feet dia (1.82m) but only about 12 yards (11m) deep that had been opened out.


There was a lease from John Thomas Edge of Strelley to Thomas North from 29 Sep 1858 for Deep Soft and Deep Hard coal and North was to sink 2 shafts not less than 7’ 0” dia at Kimberley by 29 Sep 1863 (Michaelmas Day). About this time or shortly after John Thomas Woodhouse ceased to be the consulting engineer for the company.


A short Conservative Government was in Parliament from Feb 1858 to 1859.

Prime Minister Edward Smith Stanley 14th Earl of Derby (Conservative) 1858-1859.

Prime Minister (Tory & Whig) Henry John Temple 3rd Viscount Palmerston 1859-1865. Lord John Russell 1st Earl Russell Oct 1865 to June 1866.
Secretary of State SH Walpole MP 1858-1859.

South Yorkshire Miners Union

In South Yorkshire a Miners’ association was formed in April 1858 and they pressed for the introduction of checkweighmen to ensure that tubs of coal were fairly weighed as their wages depended upon the output produced and it was known that they were being ‘robbed’ by the fact that extra weight was required such as up to 2 cwts extra to the ton, in other words average 22 cwts in a tub but only paid for 20 cwts.


In Nottinghamshire in the same year explosions killed two people, 18 were killed by falls of ground, 13 in shafts and 7 were crushed by tubs. However at Birdholme ironstone mine, near Chesterfield (Derbyshire) on 17th April, 15 men were saved and rescued after 3 days, following a fire and flooding.

To Drain Water From Old Workings

Mines Inspector John Hedley advised W Walker to drain the water from old workings so as to work Califat, part of Coleorton towards Limby Hall.

Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1858

  • Anglesey (Bond and Co)
  • Berristow (Berrister Lane?) (Chas Seely and Co) 97 yards (89m) deep
  • Boythorpe Lane (W Ludlam)
  • Clay Cross (William Hayes)
  • Dunstone or Dunston (S Lankester or Lancaster)
  • Killamarsh (T Webster)
  • New Hollingwood (Farewell) (Richard Barrow)
  • Renishaw Park (Wells and Co)
  • Seymour, sinking was completed (Richard Barrow) and it is recorded that the coal seam was reached at 166 yards (152m) deep at 8 minutes to 6 pm on 10th August 1859, and each sinker received £1 bonus.
  • Sheepbridge (Dunston and Barlow Iron Co)
  • Shire Oaks (Duke of Newcastle) continued sinking
  • Smoile colliery re-opened by Walker and Worswick)
  • Water Gates (Messrs Coursham and Co)
  • West Staveley (Bainbridge and Co)
  • Whittington (IC Plevins)
  • Waleswood (Skinner and Holford), position E446686, N383786 was sunk just over the border in South Yorkshire.

Sinking At High Park Recommenced

Sinking at High Park (Barber Walker and Co) was recommenced on 22nd November 1858, when the nearby reservoir was almost empty, sinking having been suspended in September 1856. When the influx of water had occurred in the sinkings the 3 pumps at work were unable to cope. Now the pumps were restarted and a concerted effort was made to pump the shafts dry as the reservoir was almost empty by December of that year.

Collieries Closed in 1858

  • James Addys (under land of Peter Bennett) Coal Aston, Blackshale, met old level, Surveyor John Swift and Sons, Thurgoland.
  • Alton (Messrs Fletcher and Co).
  • Ashgate (Jon Bennett and Co), Ashgate Thin.
  • Barns (Spurr and Co), Chesterfield.
  • Bird Holme (Wingerworth Iron Co) Chesterfield.
  • Boythorpe Lane (Hoskin  and Co).
  • Brimington (J Knowles).
  • Brickwell Lane (C Mitchell).
  • Clay Cross (Hawley).
  • Colliery (J Oliver).
  • Comber Bank (Battey…?).
  • Corbriggs (Barnes and Co).
  • Duckmanton (Richard Arkwright).
  • Dunstone (W Orwin).
  • Duckmanton (Richard Arkwright).
  • Gas House (Goodwin and Barker).
  • Grassmoor (Robert Knowles).
  • Greasley (Old Foundation) (J Morley).
  • Hady Hill (Henson and Co), Blackshale to 68 yards (62m), (part of Tupton got by Richard Barrow) and Threequarter.
  • Hallows (M Badger).
  • Hopewell (Richard Barrow).
  • Inkerman (Goodwin and Swallow).
  • Newbold (W Orwin).
  • Ormonde (Butterley Co).
  • Oxcroft (Leadbetter and Co).
  • Plumley Lane (Joseph Bishop).
  • Shuttlewood Common (….?).
  • Spike Hill (Yates and Co).
  • Staveley (J Steele).
  • Stratfield (Lunk Worrall).
  • Troway (J Jepson).
  • Victoria (Richard Barrow).
  • Watnall and Greasley (J Morley).
  • Websters pit (Webster) near Park Hall, Hazel.
  • Wingfield (Hopkinson and Co).
    (33 Pits)

Changed Hands

Marquis of Granby mine name changed to Anglesey (Bond and Co), (South Derbyshire). Ownership of Clay Cross (G Elliott) changed to Elliott and Taylor and Clay Cross (William Hayes) changed to G Clegg.

Dunston colliery just closed by Orwin was carried on by Thomas Lister the engineer but the enterprise failed and Thomas Cartledge took over but he offered the colliery and effects for sale in Sep 1858.

Fatal Accidents 1858

  • Bagworth (Lord Maynard), E Johnson (28), fall of earth in shaft sinking.
  • Bagworth (Lord Maynard), A Watson (15), kicked by pony 20 Sep 1858.
  • Bennerley (J Brooke and Co), W Green (24), fall of roof 19 Feb 1858.
  • Birdholme Ironstone pit 4 men were killed in a shaft accident, 22 May 1858.
  • Birdholme Colliery Thomas Kenney fell down the shaft 26 Jun 1858.
  • Clay Cross (Holdsworth), on 16 Jan 1858 four men perished when the hemp winding rope broke and the cage crashed to the bottom of the shaft – E Johnson (30), J Vardy (20), J Green (19), R Stones (18).
  • Clay Cross (Holdsworth), J Knighton (24), fall of roof.
  • Clay Cross (Holdsworth), S Bannister (25), all of arching 24 Feb 1858.
  • Clay Cross (Holdsworth), V Shaw (21) fall of roof 21 Apr 1858.
  • Clay Cross (Holdsworth), J Kenny (14), fall of roof 18 Aug 1858.
  • Coates Park pit, Alfreton (Oakes), James Lycett (20), Richard Noakes (14) and James Wilkes were killed on
    2 Jun 1858, when there was an overwind and the chair (cage) went down the shaft.
  • Denby (Lowe), S Haywood (14), crushed by tubs.
  • Morley Park (R Hurt), S Bowmer (25), fall of roof 27 Feb 1858.
  • Pinxton (Pinxton Collieries), F Poulson (35), fall of roof 12 Dec 1858.
  • Pinxton Wharf pit, Joseph Knighton (22) object fell down the shaft 27 Aug 1858.
  • Shipley colliery (Mundy) 8 men lost their lives on 2nd August 1858 when they were overcome by gas.
  • Shireoaks, John Peters injured his back when a hoppit of bricks being lowered in the sinking shaft struck him 28/7/1858. He died later from his injuries.
  • Shireoaks, Walter Traunter was injured only 2 days later by a large stone striking him whilst working in the bottom of the sinking shaft 30/7/1858.
  • Snibston (R Stephenson and Co), J White (22), overwind 8 Apr 1858.
  • Snibston (R Stephenson and Co), A Parker (60), fall of coal 3 Nov 1858.
  • Snibston (R Stephenson and Co), W Ellis (15), and George Wilkes (14), fall of coal 12 Nov 1858.
  • Swannington (W Worswick), John Bacon (40), fall of roof 28 Aug 1858.
  • Swannington (W Worswick), Joseph Green (30), fall of coal 4 Sep 1858.
  • Whitwick (W Stenson and Co), E Hard (19), fall of roof.
  • Whitwick (W Stenson and Co), J Middleton (12), run over by tubs 17 Nov 1858.


Again at Hollingwood (Richard Barrow), there was an inrush of water in January from old workings and 4 men were drowned. They were still pumping water out of the pit until 20th February and the pit was back at work on 19th March 1858. This was the third such occurrence at this pit.

As can be seen, although very serious incidents were continually happening it would appear that safety would not improve immediately.


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