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The Continued Rise Of The Industry
To 1913


1890 - Page 1

The First Annual Conference Of The Union

The first annual Conference of the Miners Federation of Great Britain was held at the Midland Hotel, Birmingham from 22nd-24th January 1890. Ben Pickard was President of the MFGB union and Thomas Ashton, Secretary.

In February 1890 Alfred Barnes was elected Liberal MP for Chesterfield.

The South Derbyshire Miners Association was formed in 1889. The Nottinghamshire Miners Association membership had grown to 3,636 by June with 23 Branches and 7,549 members in 29 Branches by December.

Trade Improved

Trade began to improve after a long depression of 16 years. Union leaders were fighting for an eight-hour day. £1 in 1890 would have the equivalent spending power of £60 today (2010).

Pits in Leicestershire

  • Bagworth No1 and No2 (Bagworth Coal Co) Lower Main or Roaster seam, Agent William Spencer, Manager HA Knighton (40), Undermanager William Reed (2696 service)
  • Blackfordby (Moira Coal Co – Lord Donington) Nether Coal and Clay, Manager Alfred Eley (421), Undermanager Daniel Bacon (303 service)
  • Donisthorpe (Checkland, Son and Williams) Little Coal, Four Foot, Moira Main, Agent and Manager Henry Taylor (638), Undermanager William Bestwick (342 service)
  • Ashby (Coleorton Colliery Co) Middle seam, Agent Thos Bollard, Manager John Turner (2046), Undermanager John Barrett (288 service)
  • Ellistown No2, Upper Main, No1 Lower Main (Execs of Joseph Joel Ellis) Agent William Spencer, Manager George Hall (2443 service), Undermanagers Matthew Catron (1822 service), William Oughton (1834 service)
  • Heather (Heather Colliery Co) Main and Spire Manager Robert W Knighton (419)
  • Ibstock (Ibstock Coal Co) No2 Upper Main, No1 Lower Main, Agent RD Thompson, Manager Thomas Stubbs (2254), Undermanager William Lee (346)
  • Nailstone No1 Upper Main, No2 Lower Main, Manager Sam Wheatley (422), Undermanagers Edward Smith (1478 service), John Smithurst (395), Agent J Povey Harper
  • Netherseal (Netherseal Colliery Co) Main, Stockings, Eureka, Agent Ernest Hague, Manager Thomas Wilkinson (1713), Undermanager Charles Percival (790 service)
  • Oakthorpe (John M Green), Four Foot, Agent and Manager Harry Green (1890), Undermanager Joseph Alsridge (282)
  • Rawdon Manager Thomas Bradshaw (2725 service), James Bradford (810 service),
  • Reservoir Manager German Buxton (712), Undermanager George Clamp (265 service), Agent for all Reuben Smallman (592)
  • Snibston No2 (South Leicestershire Colliery Co) Roaster, Manager EE Stokes (2201), Undermanager Sam Bettison (1829 service)
  • South Leicestershire No2 Upper Main, Undermanager John Underwood (1476 service), No1 Lower Main, Undermanager Jesse Armson (1463 service)
  • Speedwell No6 or Whitwick No2, Roaster seam, Undermanager Sam Smith
  • Staunton Harold, Main seam, Undermanager James Richards (1864 service), Manager for all Louis Clifford Cox (793), Agent for all J Puxley White
  • Whitwick No5, Main, Undermanager James Clamp (749 service), Agent for all George Lewis, Manager for all JW Richardson (1594)
  • Woodville (Woodville Sanitary Pipe Co) Fire clay and Ell coal, Manager JW Moreton (no cert).
    (18 pits)

Collieries Opened or Sunk in 1890

  • Birch Vale, (North West Derbyshire) (Thos Bennett)
  • Bolsover (Bolsover Colliery Co) sinking
  • Brampton (James Pearson), Chesterfield, Threequarters seam
  • Bridge Lane (Stanforth and Osborne), Whittington, Potters seam
  • Broomfield (Broomfield Colliery Co), Chesterfield, Ashgate
  • Burnd Edge 4, (North West Derbyshire) (Aspenshaw Coal Co)
  • Dronfield Silkstone (Unstone Coal and Coke Co), Dronfield, Silkstone seam
  • High Lee, (Thomas Bennett) (North West Derbyshire)
  • Hill Top (W Hewitt), Unstone, Silkstone? Tupton and Threequarters
  • Kirkby Summit (Butterley Co)
  • Newhall Park No 3 pit near Burton, (Co change to Earl of Carnarvon)
  • Ollersett Hall, (Aspenshaw Coal Co) (North West Derbyshire)
  • Spital (OE Mason) Chesterfield
  • Stanley (Derby-Kilburn Colliery Co), Kilburn
  • Stretton (Manor Colliery Co), near Alfreton, Threequarter
  • Swannington (Cox and Turner) Main coal, L Clifford Cox (793)
  • Town Field (Townfield Colliery Co), Dronfield, Silkstone
  • Two Oaks (Broomfield Colliery Co), Chesterfield, Piper
  • Turnoak (Turnoak Colliery Co) (owners:- WO Plowright, George Shaw of Wath Main colliery Yorks, George Edward Carline and Mrs JLC Wadsworth), started production, footrill and shaft 14 yards (13m) deep to Potters coal
  • West Field Stanley (Derby Kilburn Colliery Co), Stanley, Kilburn sinking was completed at Whitwell (Shireoaks Colliery Co), E453524, N375824.
  • Donisthorpe (Leicestershire) sunk by Checkland and Williams in 1871 to 224 yards (205m) was deepened to the Stockings seam at 287½ yards (263m).
  • Clay Lane (George Johnson), Clay Cross, working Silkstone at this time.

Closures in 1890

  • Barlow Lees (Monkwood No1 Colliery) (Barlow Colliery Co) Blackshale, 4’ 1½” (1.25m) 64 yards (58.5m) deep, abandoned Oct, worked out, met old hollows, plan signed by E Houghton Manager, 13th Dec 1890
  • Bathurst Main (Bathurst Main Colliery Co), Bolsover, Clown
  • Bobbin Hole (John Blair) Walton, Silkstone, finished
  • Broomfield (Broomfield Colliery Co), Old Brampton, Ashgate
  • Bull Close (William Hewitt and Son) Coal Aston near Dronfield, Silkstone, Thin seam, coal and smut 1’ 6” (0.45m) hard coal 9” (0.22m), coal and bind 3” (0.08m) to 1885, also Blackshale, branch coal 10” (0.25m), top hards 1’ 9” (0.53m), dirt 1’ 4” (0.41m), softs 1’ 11” (0.58m), some bad coal and some faults, met old works and several old shafts, Joseph Archer ME Surveyor, Staffs, 1890. The plant was for sale the previous year
  • Church (Heanor), (Mr E Gillott), Comb and Top Hard, Arthur H Stokes Inspector signed plan 27th June 1890
  • Clinton drift (Brinsley Brick and Tile Co), Brinsley, Coomb, stood
  • Heather No3 and No4 (New Heather Colliery Co) 49 yards (45m) and 65 yards (59.5m) met ancient workings, HS Woolley Surveyor
  • High Lee (Thomas Bennett) New Mills, (North West Derbyshire), Yard seam 3’ 0” (0.91m) thick at 11½ yards (10.5m) deep – got a few pillars of coal within the pit – 215 tons from 15th Jan 1890 to 29th Apr 1890, Cross and Eagle ME, Surveyors, Manchester, July 1890
  • Hilltop (sunk by Stephen French) Dronfield, near Hill Top Villa, Silkstone seam, top coal 10” (0.25m), coal 1’ 6” (0.46m), dirt 10” (0.25m), coal 1’ 8” (0.51m), shafts 26 yards (23.75m) and 29 yards (26.5m) deep, closed by Messrs Lenthall and Co, Arthur H Stokes Inspector 19th Apr 1890
  • Newmarket (JH Bircumshaw) the Blackshale or Silkstone at 10 yards (9m) and 14 yards (13m) deep was closed as unprofitable, Blackhall coal pits and Clay hole drift WF Howard Surveyor
  • New Winnings Footrill (Butterley Coal and Iron Co) Deep Soft, closed after 3 years Oakerthorpe Furnace coal 4’ 0” (1.22m) 27 yards (24.5m) deep 9 Jan 1890
  • Reservoir (Gregory and Sharratt), Chesterfield, Tupton and Threequarters stood, Manager and Agent James Fell
  • Seniors New Whittington (Geo Senior), footrill and 12 yards (11m) deep air pit
  • Spital or Spital Lane (Thomas Fisher) Deep Hard or Potters, roof coal 1’ 6” (0.45m), dirt ½” (0.01m), middles 1’ 4” (0.33m), dirt 6” (0.15m), bottoms 1’ 2” (0.32m), black batt 4” (0.10m), adit and 14 yards (13m) deep shaft, Sep
  • Stretton (Manor Colliery Co Ltd), North Wingfield, Threequarter coal 2’ 9” (0.84m) abandoned 1 Dec 1890 due to bad roof and inferior quality
  • Whittington (George Senior), New Whittington, Staveley, Footrill to Piper? – roof coal 12” (0.30m), clod 24” (0.61m), coal 21” (0.53m), hard list 3” (0.08m), bottoms 3” (0.08m), total 6’ 1” (1.83m), Footrill and shaft 12 yards (11m), dip 5¼” to 1 yard (0.133m to 0.91m), just a few headings, abandoned Jan 1890, JA Verner Surveyor, Arthur H Stokes Inspector 2nd Apr 1890.
  • Bailey Brook New Winning (Butterley Co), Main Soft abandoned 12/1890, Frederick Channer Corfield Agent.
  • Oakerthorpe collieries (Aaron Hawkesley) the Furnace seam 4’ 0” (1.22m) overlain by blue bind, and seated on dark stone clunch was abandoned in Jan 1890 due to water from the outcrop, Air shaft 27 yards (24.5m) Surveyors Hewitt and Bobart 14th June 1890, Arthur H Stokes Inspector 19th June 1890, (Morley Hill pit was 46 yards deep (42m) finished Mix 1868
  • Markham No2 (Staveley Coal and Iron Co), Deep Hard at 520 yards (475.5m), top coal 7” (0.18m), coal streaked with hard bands 2’ 0” (0.61m), inferior coal with dirt partings 7” (0.18m), good coal 1’ 4” (0.40m), branch coal or cannel (inferior) 4” (0.10m), total 4’ 6” (1.37m), abandoned 21st Mar 1890, E W….? Surveyor for Staveley Works, Arthur H Stokes Inspector 28th Mar 1890.
  • Portland No2 (Jerry) pit sunk 1819-1820 was closed after 70 years to obtain some manpower for the new mine at Kirkby Summit (Butterley Co). However the shaft was kept open for ventilation as there was a connection in Top Hard. Many miners from South Wales were offered jobs also at Kirkby and settled in at the new housing built by the company opposite the pit. These terraced houses had baths installed and were regarded as luxury. Other semi-detached housing would be built, David Street etc. Huge sidings were laid out for full and empty waggons and two major Railway Company lines ran through the site. Sinking was through the water-bearing measures in the concealed coalfield down to the 3 feet 8 inches (1.11m) thick Top Hard seam at 343 yards (314m) deep.

The Manager at Alfreton, Percy Muschamp, Deep Soft, Undermanager Jos Draycott
Brinsley Manager was William Chambers (437) and Undermanager John Henshaw
High Park George Harrison (427) and Undermanager H Knighton
Mexboro Under Manager, Aaron Wilbraham
Enoch Prime (2332) was appointed Manager at Brierley Hill
Moor Green Jos Bircumshaw (431), Undermanager J Varley
Selston William Chambers (437), Undermanager J Lowe
Watnall Isaac Chambers (82), Undermanager Zech Clay. Agent for the Barber, Walker Co pits was Edward Linley.

Approximate manpower at some Nottinghamshire pits in March 1890:

  • Butcherwood 400
  • Silver Hill 300
  • New Hucknall 800
  • Pinxton 800
  • Pye Hill 600
  • Wollaton 800
  • Clifton 600
  • Cinderhill 500
  • Digby 400
  • Newcastle 200
  • Trowell Moor 200 and Bulwell where 200 men were still working out their notices. Some pits like Annesley,
  • Hucknall Nos1 and 2, Bestwood and Newstead were still on strike. The owners agreed to 5% increase in rates with a further 5% in July. Output from Nottinghamshire pits including those mentioned above was in the region of 18,500,000 tons.

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Pit Terminology - Glossary


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