Information and photographs submitted by subscribers are posted in good faith. If any copyright of anyone else's material is unintentionally breached, please email me

The Continued Rise Of The Industry
To 1913


1896 - Page 1

Lump Sum

Jos Bircumshaw the Manager of Moor Green (Nottinghamshire) retired in January 1896 and was given a lump sum by Barber, Walker and Co, in lieu of a pension.


William Bailey the Agent of the Nottinghamshire Miners Association died and was succeeded by John George Hancock (1896-1914). Aaron Stewart who had been President since 1887 became full-time Secretary (1896-1910).

60 Miles Of Underground Roadways Open

By now the Grassmoor Colliery Co controlled several pits with 60 miles of underground roadways open and including 6 miles of coalface working.

Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1896

Creswell Colliery

  • Creswell, In February 1896 the Top Hard seam was reached at 445 yards (407m) deep. This was the second of Bolsover Co’s pits. Production commenced in the following year. Cast-iron tubbing had been built in the shafts to 125 yards (114m) deep whilst sinking through the water-bearing strata. A Walker 20 feet (6m) diameter by 6 feet (1.82m) wide fan was installed to give 200,000 cubic feet of ventilation air at 3 inches (0.08m) water gauge.
    Model villages were built by the Bolsover Colliery Co for their workers and included all facilities. Other colliery companies would follow their example.
  • Alfreton colliery deepened (Blackwell Colliery Co)
  • Barlborough No2 (or Pebley) (Staveley Coal and Iron Co)
  • (Kirkby) Bentinck Nos 1, 2, 3 (New Hucknall Colliery Co), Kirkby, sunk
  • Hardwick Colliery (Hardwick Colliery Co): (John Chambers and John Ward), Hartington seam or 1st Waterloo, 5 ft (1.5m) thick, 107 yards (98m) deep
  • Horsley (Horsley Kilburn Colliery Co), Kilburn
  • Markham the Staveley Co began sinking a second pit also Bonds Main at Temple Normanton 36/92
  • Oxcroft No4 opened E449023, E377660
  • Rutland (Booker and Smith) Barlowsinking began
  • Pebley shaft for air pit (Staveley or Sheepbridge)
  • Shady Hall (John Mellor)
  • Shirebrook the Shirebrook Colliery Co started sinking 2 shafts
  • Streetfield (John Worrall) Eckington, Deep Hard
  • There had been rapid sinking at Shirebrook and the No1 pit was down to 40 yards (36.5m) and No2 down to 30 yards (27.5m) in May 1896, both at 18 feet (5.48m) dia and No1 shaft down to 100 yards (91m) in July 1896.

The New Hucknall Colliery Co opened (Kirkby) Bentinck mine (Nottinghamshire) in1896. The Company sank the 3 shafts at 14 feet (4.26m) dia. through the Top Hard goaf of the Portland pits owned by the Butterley Co during 1895-96. The colliery was situated off Park Lane, down the hill from the church. Terrace housing was built for the workforce at Bentinck Town. An Institute was built on the hill. Later in the 1920s a larger more imposing Institute and sports ground would be built on Kirkby Road near to Kirkby Cross. The surface is 380 feet (116m) above sea level. No1 shaft was sunk to the Deep Hard at 380 yards (347m) and would be used later for the Waterloo seam that lay at 244 yards (223m). No2 shaft was sunk to the Blackshale at 505 yards (462m) with insets at the Waterloo and Tupton seams. No3 shaft was sunk to the Threequarters at 453 yards (414m).

The No1 winding engine was originally built for sinking Brodsworth Main in Yorkshire and was purchased by the company in 1915, following a disastrous fire which destroyed the original engine and engine house. The winding-engine built by John Warner had an 18 feet (5.5m) diameter drum, and with 3-deck cages and could wind 65 draws to the hour. No2 winder was by Richard Daglish and similarly with 3-deck cages could wind 60 draws to the hour from the Low Main at 440 yards (402m). Grange Iron Co made No3 winder, and that too could wind 65 draws an hour from the Deep Soft seam. The Deep Hard seam was 2 feet 10 inches (0.86m) thick and overlain with 10 inches (0.27m) of ‘lommy’ or soft dirt.

New Winding Engine

At Langwith (Derbyshire) in May 1896 a new improved winding engine had been installed, allowing 20 men to ride the shaft instead of the previous 12. With 1,000 men and boys employed underground it took a long time to wind everyone into and out of the pit, and it was not unusual for many men to turn up early and queue to take their turn to ride the shaft. A record 2,300 tons was produced in 8 hours 40 minutes. Housing for the workforce was commenced at Whaley Thorns, where several acres of woodland had been cleared.

Owner Died

At Alma colliery, North Wingfield, the owner George W Turner died and was later succeeded by TW Austin. Manager WB Hague, Undermanager George Knowles Nos 3 and 4.

The company employed 600 men and boys. For a time Mrs E Turner took over and a new Manager JW Richardson was appointed along with 2 more Undermanagers W Barlow No1 and Samuel Day at No2 by 1900.

Gas Jets

Gas jets were in use underground for lighting at Grassmoor (Grassmoor Colliery Co), having been pioneered previously by Thomas North at Cinderhill.

8-Hour Day

The two Hucknall collieries (Hucknall Colliery Co) started an 8-hour day.

Mine Plans

The Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1896 required that in future, mine plans were to be certified by a competent Surveyor and more detail was to be shown.

Ventilating Fans

Numerous ventilating fans were installed during this period as increased airflow was needed. Waddell fans at Ripley 1894, Bentinck, Bretby, Coleorton, Diminsdale, Donisthorpe, Plumbley, with a Guibal fan at Kirkby, Capell fans at Creswell in 1896 and at Bolsover and Cinderhill, in 1898 and Walker fans at Whitwell 1893 and Sutton 1895.

Electric Coal Cutter Introduced At Sutton Colliery

At Sutton colliery (previously Brierley Hill to 1894) (Nottinghamshire) (now Sutton Colliery Co) an electric coal-cutting machine was introduced successfully into the Top Hard dips section.

212 men u/g and 74 s/f. However a month later in June 1896 there was a dispute over fixing prices for machine cut coal and after 17 weeks out on strike, the company said that the pit would close. The pit was stood until June 1898 when a new price list was issued. The photograph shows the Directors and management for the company being protected by the local constabulary. During this period the Company widened and deepened the East shaft from 198 yards (181m) to the Low Main sump at 467 yards (427m) and changed the wooden headgear to steel lattice.

The colliery was known locally as the ‘Bread and Herring pit. (From my own experience in the 1950s the conditions left a lot to be desired, and of the 4 pits in the group, Sutton was by far the worst, the term ‘dog hole’ springs to mind.) The Sutton Colliery Co had purchased Brierley Hill colliery from Skegby Colliery Co in 1895 and renamed it Sutton colliery.

The management was changed. The No1 upcast shaft was deepened and widened to 14 feet (4.26m) diameter also, and winding from the Deep Hard seam at 392 yards (358m) would commence later. The Top Hard at 5 feet 2 inches (1.55m) thick was at 196 yds 1 foot 9 inches (180m) deep
Dunsil seam 3 feet 2 inches (0.96m) thick at 224 yds 2 feet 6 inches (205m) deep
Cannel coal 2 feet 6 inches (0.76m) at 245 yds 1 foot 10 inches (224.5m)
Waterloo 2 feet 3 inches (0.68m) at 254 yds 2 feet 10 inches (233m)
Soft Bright coal 2 feet (0.61m) at 265 yds 1 foot 2 inches (243m)
Deep Soft 2 feet 7½ inches (0.79m) at 372 yds 4½ inches (340m)
Deep Hard 4 feet (1.22m) at 394 yds 9 inches (360m)
Low Main 3 feet 6 inches (1.07m) at 448 yds 1 foot 9 inches (410m).

Pits Coupled Up

All the following pits were coupled up: pit near Tibshelf 20 yards (18m) deep, pit 38 yards (35m) deep, pit 42 yards (38m) deep, near Newton a pit 62 yards (57m) deep and pumping pit, Littlemoor pit 64 yards (58m) deep to Top Hard but sunk to Dunsil.

Engine-Mens’ Dispute

There was a week’s stoppage at Kirkby Summit (Butterley Co) in November 1896 when all the men came out over an engine-mens’ dispute. Many Welshmen had signed on at the new pit.

Further Strikes

By 29th May 1896, at the old Kiveton Park pit the workforce had been out on strike for 15 weeks. Strike pay was 9s (45p) for men, 4s 6d (22½p) for boys, 1s (5p) per child per week. There were about 100 market men. The terms were that the Company agreed to work West Kiveton colliery and the colliers were to go to their old places of work where possible. They had been out on strike for 10 weeks. Where stalls had 2 sides, there were to be 3 colliers and 2 fillers, and they were to return to work amiably. However due to glanders disease all the horses were to be destroyed and the stables disinfected. 900 men and boys were employed.

In June 1896 men were on strike at Hucknall No2 where 5 banksmen had been dismissed but the dispute was settled quickly. Men were also out at Diminsdale, Pinxton No3 and Warsop Main.

Managing Director Dies

Thomas Carrington for 30 years the Managing Director of Kiveton Park Coal Co died on 3rd July 1896. He had turned the first sod in a turnip field for Kiveton Park pit.

Annual Demonstration

There was an Annual demonstration at Whitwell. The speaker was E Harvey who spoke out on the price of coal. William Bailey had worked tirelessly on behalf of the Nottinghamshire Miners Association union and after a long illness when he refused to give up his duties he died the day after attending a union council meeting on 25th July 1896. An immense crowd attended his funeral at the Old Basford cemetery.

Overwind at Southgate

There was an overwind at Southgate No1 shaft (Shireoaks Colliery Co) on 3rd Sep 1896. The patent hook held but there was substantial damage to the engine house roof as the capel hit it.

Mining Classes Started

Mining classes started at Warsop (Nottinghamshire) in Sep 1896 for interested students. There had been a dispute at Warsop by the 120 men employed, the pit only being opened in the autumn of 1895. The men were offered 1s 9d (8¾p) per ton, but were offered 7 shillings a day from Saturday 1st May 1896. The men had wanted 30% rise.

Return to Top

Pit Terminology - Glossary


Page 2