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The Continued Rise Of The Industry
To 1913




On 1st January 1887, William Bailey, aged 36 was appointed Agent of the Nottinghamshire Miners Association (NMA). Aaron Stewart was President. During the year the Leicestershire Miners Association was formed.

Manager Died

William Hey (717), Manager for Silver Hill, Teversall and Pleasley collieries (Stanton Iron Co) died suddenly in 1886 and was succeeded by James H Morton until 1889. Teversal No1 DC pit top is shown. Possibly he is shown as it would to appear that there are several officials on the photo, according to their dress. Note the height of the top deck of the cage, used for manriding at beginning and end of shifts showing how the men would be crouched in cramped conditions. It had not changed when I worked there in the 1950s. I had a ride on it a couple of times!


The men at Silver Hill pit came out on strike when the Stanton Ironworks Co not only refused to negotiate on the 8 hour shift question but tried to get the men to work from 6am to 3.30pm instead of from 6.30am to 3.45pm. The Manager J Morton refused the men permission to enter the mine on 2nd January when they turned up at the usual time. A delegation from the union met William Clark the Managing Director and it was finally agreed that working hours would be from 6.30am to 3.30pm but with no snap time. They came out on strike again but only for one day before reluctantly returning to work on the terms agreed. There was a walk out at the Selston pit and Bleak Hall that lasted about 2 weeks.

There was a strike at Morton (Derbyshire) (Clay Cross Co) in April 1887 and the men were locked out for 5 weeks. It was over the introduction of ‘Billy Fairplay’, an automatic machine that sorted hard coal from slack. The owners threatened to close the pit and the men returned.

South Normanton

The Top Hard at South Normanton colliery (Swann and Stocks) was closed in January 1887 due to want of capital. It was re-started under South Normanton Colliery Co (James Hanson). The pit first was known as South Normanton 1840c near to Berristow colliery, sunk 1858, where the seam at 4’ 10” (1.46m) thick lay at 90 yards (82m) deep. An old level driven in 1806 was met when working to the west and a dumb fault to the south. The pit was also referred to as Winterbank, Winksbank 1875-1879, Winkcobank 1879-1883,
Bank 1883-1889. It was re-opened for a while (see 1889). It lay near to the border in Derbyshire near to Winterbank Farm in Derbyshire and only a two or three hundred yards away was Winterbank that was in Nottinghamshire. Confusing to say the least.

Miners' Demonstration

On Good Friday 8th April 1887 there was a Miners demonstration on Bulwell Common, attended by a huge crowd.

Brierley Hill

At Skegby Colliery, Brierley Hill pit (later Sutton) (Nottinghamshire) (New Skegby Colliery Co) the Top Hard seam was discontinued in June in an area close to the pit bottom accessed by a 1in5 dipping drift. The working was approaching a supposed 60 yards (54.75m) dipper fault to the east, where previously a 1in2 dipping head had driven nearby some 20 or 30 yards (18 or 27.5m) beyond the fault plane and a borehole drilled – with the remark – borehole 21 yards (19m) deep, 15 yards (13.75m) in depth proved without finding coal. The seam was later re-opened shortly after in 1889 and worked until 1922.

New Hucknall

A third shaft was sunk at New Hucknall, down to the lower seams by the New Hucknall Colliery Co during 1884-1887.


Staveley Coal and Iron Co’s Markham No1 colliery was sunk 1882-1887 to the Top Hard and sinking began at the Markham No2 pit in 1886 to the Deep Soft seam.

Tibshelf Sold

Charles Seely and Co sold the Tibshelf No1 and No2 colliery (Derbyshire) to the Babbington Coal Co.

Butterley Co Lease

The Butterley Co had obtained a mining lease in 1887 at Kirkby-in-Ashfield, (Nottinghamshire) . Two 14 feet (4.26m) diameter shafts called Kirkby or locally known as Summit Colliery, would be sunk off Low Moor Road between 1887-1890 at the summit of the Pinxton to Mansfield railway, height above sea level 505 feet (154m). The local name was no doubt given because of the colliery’s location as the railway from Pinxton to Mansfield passed close by. Notice the greyness in the photo. It always seemed to be like that with steam and smoke and dust and grime from Kirkby Summit pit and the engine sheds drifting across Low Moor Road and East Kirkby.

John Wardle, Chief Surveyor for Butterley Co since 1842 (45 years) was succeeded by John Holbrook who died in post January 1930 aged 81 after 65 years service and in turn was succeeded by Ernest Severn Lamb until 1938 (8 years). He too would be succeeded by Vic Priest to 1946 (8 years).

1887 Coal Mines Regulations Act

From 1887, under the new Coal Mines Regulations Act of that year it was required that in future, Undermanagers at collieries be certificated by examination and also required the candidates to have at least 5 years practical experience. Second Class Certificates of Competency was introduced. Again as with the Managers in 1873, those Undermanagers in post were presented with Service Certificates.


The Mines Inspectors were given more power to oversee the mines and report on or forbid dangerous practices. One of the most important requirements was that every mine was to be under the control and daily supervision of a certificated manager. For the first time Owners, Agents and Managers who were made responsible and were proved guilty of any offence against the Act were fined a sum not exceeding £20 or if the case was proven to be gross negligence a sentence of imprisonment of up to 3 months could be given, with or without hard labour.

Arthur Henry Stokes (1505), Assistant Inspector had been appointed Chief Inspector (1887-1909) on the death of Thomas Evans. Two Assistants were appointed also – William H Hepplewhite and Thomas A Southern.

On one occasion the Inspector decreed that pick blades were not to be carried on the cage whilst riding men as a pick handle slipped from someone’s grasp and dropped down the shaft striking the cage coming up. It was stated that the next man to ignore that rule and be found out, was to be prosecuted.

Width Of Barrier To Be Left

A Regulation laid down the width of solid ground to be left as a barrier between existing workings and old or abandoned workings that could not be examined. A width of 40 yards (37m) was stated, although it was not necessarily the thickness of the barrier that would be safe under all circumstances, but possibly against any unknown error that could be in the plotted position of workings shown on the mine plans.

Speed Of Cage

Regulations were also implemented that regulated the speed at which a cage containing men could be drawn through a shaft if an overwind preventer was not fitted.

Use Of Explosives

Further Regulations governed the use of explosives. Shots were only allowed to be fired when water or other contrivance was used, so as to prevent the ignition of gas or coal dust.

Ambulance Work

Ambulance work was considered important for the first time.

Undermanagers Names

Were first published in the Mines Inspectors report for 1890 (see 1887) and only required a Second Class or Undermanagers’ certificate. Appointed Undermanagers (U/m) are listed below along with Managers and Agents:

  • Alfreton Deep Soft, Undermanager William Winterbottom, Manager and Agent John Alfred Longden (16)
  • Annesley Top Hard, U/m Hezekiah Soar, Manager and Agent Henry Lewis (33)
  • Avenue No9 Silkstone, Agent John Jackson, Manager Thomas Dacre Croudace (639), U/m Alfred Heslington
  • Bathurst Main Clown, U/m Samuel Moon
  • Birch Vale Mountain, Manager David Ashworth (491), U/m James Burdekin
  • Blackwell A Winning, Tupton and Deep Hard U/m William Elliott
  • BlackwellB Winning Deep Hard and Tupton, U/m William Askew, Agent and Manager for both John Alfred Longden (16)
  • Boythorpe No3 Silkstone, Agent Alfred Southall (85), Manager William B Hodgson, U/m WB Smith
  • Bugsworth Mountain, stood, Manager David Ashworth (491)
  • Old Birchwood Silkstone, U/m William Rowe, (Manager Henry Stevenson)
  • Clay Cross No2, Agent John Jackson, Manager for all Thomas Dacre Croudace (639), U/m George Parker, No3 U/m William Dunn
  • Clay Pit Silkstone, Manager John Henry Bircumshaw (uncert)
  • Shady Birchwood, Silkstone seam, Undermanager Matthew Hayes, Tupton U/m William Shooter, and Tibshelf No1 Tupton, U/m William Coupe, No2 Deep Hard, U/m W Armstrong and No3, Silkstone, U/m John R Maddison, (all the pits were bought out by the Babbington Colliery Co from Chas Seely & Co, Agent Stewart Crawford Wardell (506) and Manager George William Chamberlain (713)
  • Brierley Hill, Dunsil U/m William Harvey, Manager Jos Harvey (1040)
  • Burnd Edge and Pingot, Mountain, Manager David Etchells (2070)
  • Cotes Park U/m John Naylor, Manager Charles H Oakes
  • Diminsdale Old, Top Hard, Diminsdale New, Dunsil, U/m John King, and Pasture Lane Top Hard and Dunsil, U/m Thomas Woodhead (all Diminsdale Colliery Co)
  • Dolley Tunnel Mountain, stood, Manager David Ashworth (491)
  • Glapwell Top Hard, U/m John Gill, Manager Chas Snow, Agent Jonathan Piggford
  • Goyt Mountain, Manager William Day, U/m William Morton
  • Grassmoor No1 Tupton, U/m David Knight, No2 Deep Soft, U/m Paul Wheatcroft, No3 Ell, U/m George Austin,
    No4 Silkstone, U/m Arthur Saxton, No5 Tupton Threequarters stood, Manager Benjamin Bamford (1492), Agent Alfred TH Barnes
  • Holme Close, Tupton, Manager Elijah Houfton (352), U/M William Soar
  • Holmewood Ell, Tupton, Silkstone, U/m Walter Bunting, Manager William Robert Shaw (433), Agent James Wilmot Fearn (1215)
  • Kirkby Summit sinking, John Elliott
  • Mexboro N and S Top Hard, U/m Benjamin Elliott, Manager for all, Henry Stevenson and Agent Frederick Channer Corfield (426)
  • Mickley, Mickley seam, Manager John Eaton (1323)
  • Morton No5 Silkstone, U/m Thomas Dunn, No6 Deep Hard U/m William Heywood
  • Park House No7 Silkstone, U/m George Dunn
  • Newhall Park No3 Agent William Johnson (695), Manager William Belfitt (711), U/m John Belfitt
  • New Hucknall Top Hard, Deep Hard and Tupton U/m John Blood, (Manager Simeon Watson (406), Agent TE Fenwick)
  • Newstead Top Hard U/m Johnson Greensmith, (Manager and Agent John Bagnold Smith (1292)
  • North Wingfield No4 Manager Thomas Dacre Croudace (639), U/m George Dunn
  • Ollersett Mountain, Manager David Ashworth (491), U/m Joseph Pott
  • Pilsley No1, Deep Hard, U/m Herbert Mitchell, No2 Silkstone, U/m Robert Hallam and No3 Tupton, U/m Thos Dennis, (Manager Sam Raynor (1372)
  • Pinxton No2 Silkstone, U/m Cheetham Hancock and No3, Tupton, U/m William Marriott
  • Pleasley Top Hard, U/m Ed Holmes, (Manager JCB Hendry, Agent William Clark (985)
  • Portland 1,2,4 Top Hard, U/m William W Jepson
  • Shady Birchwood Silkstone, Manager George William Chamberlain (713), U/m Matthew Hayes and William Shooter
  • Shirland Silkstone and Tupton, Agent and Manager Jeremiah Rhodes (720), U/m Moses Hawksley
  • Silver Hill Silkstone U/m Josiah Ball, Manager for both Teversall and Silver Hill, James H Morton, Agent William Clark (985)
  • Sleights No1 and 6 Deep Hard and Deep Soft, U/m John Oldfield Taylor
  • South Normanton Top Hard, Manager William Braddock
  • Teversall Top Hard U/m John Smith
  • Thatchmarsh Agent Henry Alford Hubbersty (1631), Manager William Day (81), U/m James Ashmore
  • Washhouse Silkstone, Manager John Blair (uncert)
  • Waterloo Whaley Mountain, Manager William Day (81), U/m John Andrews. Butterley Iron and Coal Co pits: Agent Francis Channer Corfield (426)
  • Bailey Brook U/m William Beresford
  • Old Birchwood U/m William Rowe
  • Brands U/m Thos Brown
  • Britain U/m John Henshaw
  • Butterley Park No5 Manager George Lamb (73), U/m Alf Millhouse
  • Calley U/m Jos Massey
  • Denby Hall U/ms Thos and James Tagg
  • Forty Horse U/m Edwin Cox
  • Granby U/m Edward Fletcher
  • Hartshay U/m Henry Bailey
  • Loscoe U/m James Walker
  • New Winnings U/m William Hogg
  • Railway U/m Jos Massey
  • Ripley Nos 1,2 U/m George Stone
  • Waingroves U/m James Cresswell.
  • Leicestershire: Bagworth No1 and 2 (Bagworth Coal Co) Lower Main, Manager Henry Amos Knighton (75), William Spencer Agent
  • Blackfordby (Holmes and Hulme) Manager James Holmes
  • Boothorpe (Boothorpe Pipe Co) Pot Clay and fireclay, Manager John Ward (904)
  • Donisthorpe No1 and No2, (Checkland, Son and Williams) Four Foot, Moira Main, Manager Henry Taylor (638)
  • Coleorton (Checkland and Son) Upper Main, Roaster, Manager Henry Taylor (638)
  • Ellistown (Joseph Joel Ellis) Upper Main, Lower Main, George Hall, W Spencer Agent
  • Heather No4 (Heather Colliery Co, HS Woolley), Manager George Spencer
  • Ibstock No1, No2 (Ibstock Coal Co), Lower Main, Upper Main, Manager Thomas Stubbs
  • Lindridge (Desford Colliery Co) sinking stood
  • Oakthorpe (John M Green), Manager Harry Green
  • Reservoir, Manager German Buxton (712)
  • Marquis and Rawdon Charles Frederick Abney Moira (Lord Donington) Moira Main, Manager Thomas Bradshaw (1850)
  • Mount Pleasant (Knowles and Co) and fireclay, Manager William Pickering
  • Nailstone (Execs W Fitz Hall) Upper Main, Lower Main, Manager Samuel Wheatley (422), John Povey Harper (1059) Agent
  • Newfield (Knowles and Co) Manager William Pickering
  • Netherseal (Netherseal Colliery Co) Main, Eureka, Stockings, Manager Thomas Wilkinson, Ernest Hague (804) Agent
  • Snarestone (Appleby Magna Colliery Co) sinking suspended
  • South Leicestershire (South Leicestershire Colliery Co) No1 Lower Main, No2 Upper Main, Manager Leonard Clifford Cox (793), George Lewis Agent
  • Staunton Harold (Execs of John Lakin, Main Coal, Manager William Richards
  • Speedwell No6, Whitwick No5, No2, (Whitwick Colliery Co) Main, Roaster, Manager JW Richardson, George Lewis Agent
  • Woodville (Woodville Sanitary Pipe Co) Fireclay and Ell coal, Manager JW Moreton.

Thomas North bankrupt






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