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The Continued Rise Of The Industry
To 1913



The 20th Century - End Of The Victorian Age

Queen Vic
Photograph by Alexander Bassano, 1882
Queen Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death.

From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India.

She died on 22nd January 1901, aged 82, having been on the throne since 1837.

The Victorian age went with her. Many wonderful inventions were made in this period, particularly in engineering.

Her son Edward VII would reign until 1910. This period would be known as the Edwardian era.


The 1901 Census showed the population of England and Wales to be around 30 million.

Wage Rises

A wage increase of 5% was granted in January 1901. A further 5% was added in February, up to the maximum of 60%.

Collieries in Leicestershire

  • Bagworth (Bagworth Coal Co)
  • Blackfordby (Execs of Lord Donington)
  • Boothorpe (Boothorpe Pipe Co)
  • Coleorton (Coleorton Colliery Co)
  • Desford (Desford Coal Co)
  • Donisthorpe (Checkland, Son and Williams)
  • Ellistown (Ellistown Colliery Co)
  • Ibstock (Ibstock Colliery Co)
  • Lount (Lount Firebrick and Sanitary Pipe Co)
  • Marquis (Moira Colliery Co)
  • Measham Main (Measham Collieries Ltd)
  • Measham Newfield (William Oakley)
  • Nailstone (Nailstone Colliery Co)
  • Netherseal (Netherseal Colliery Co)
  • Rawdon (Moira Colliery Co)
  • Reservoir (Moira Colliery Co)
  • Snibston (The South Leicestershire Colliery Co)
  • South Leicestershire (The South Leicestershire Colliery Co)
  • Staunton Harold (Staunton Harold Colliery Co)
  • Swannington (Swannington Colliery Co)
  • Whitwick No2, No3, No5, No6 (Whitwick Colliery Co). (20)

New Companies

Hall and Boardman sold their collieries to a new company called Halls Collieries Ltd with John Hall retaining the mineral rights. The Coalminers Co-operative Brotherhood Ltd founded in 1897 collapsed and the mineral lease was transferred from JD Wragg to Granville Co.

Model Village

The model village at Creswell was completed in 1901, with 280 two-storey houses and an Institute and sports ground, at a cost of £3,700 to the Bolsover Co.

Creswell, which had opened in 1897, had a World production record of 3,001 tons in 24 hours in July from the Top Hard seam. Incidentally, every one of the 1,400 men and boys at Creswell was said to belong to the local Co-operative store (Bolsover Colliery Company store).


Maurice Deakin (b 1851) General Manager of Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Co was appointed Managing Director and Jonathan Thomas Todd was appointed General Manager of the Blackwell Colliery Co from December 1900 replacing John Alfred Longden (No 16 service cert).


The New Hucknall Colliery Co closed down two unprofitable seams at Bentinck in July 1901 and 385 men went on strike and were sacked. There was a strike at Sutton (Blackwell Colliery Co) lasting one week (439 u/g, 127 s/f). The men there had been out in April over a number of items that were agreed to. The men at the coal wharf were to get the same pay and coal allowance as the banksmen and the lamp cleaners were to get an increase of 2½p a day and special allowances for abnormal stall working and the men were also allowed to travel the haulage road whilst the rope was in motion. There was a week’s stoppage at Kirkby Summit (Butterley Co) in June over boys’ grievances (587 men and boys u/g and 184 s/f).

The boys were taken to court over breaches in contract, having been out on strike for 2 weeks. The boys were demanding the same rates of pay as the rest of the Leen Valley pits for pony ganging. However at New Hucknall surface men were awarded a pay increase without withdrawing their labour.


At Grassmoor (North Derbyshire) (Grassmoor Co Ltd) the 1st Piper at 345 yards (315.5m) deep headings driven to prove the quality of the coal were temporarily abandoned. Coal 2’ 7” (0.79m), bat 3” (0.08m), coal 3½” (0.09m), bat 8½” (0.22m), coal 1’ 6” (0.45m), sloom, AJN Barnes Agent, JH Saxton Surveyor.

Wage of Winding Enginemen

The average wage of winding engine-men at Clay Cross Iron and Coal Co pits reached 7s 1d (35½p) a day.


John Alfred Longden (No 16 service cert), newly appointed to Managing Director of the Stanton Ironworks Co visited the USA and toured mines and steel works where he saw 30 men doing the work of 300 men in our pits.

Coal Cutter at Snibston

A coal cutter was introduced at Snibston, however the miners were still very suspicious of anything new even though it could mean less manual work for their main concern was whether their wages would remain same or even be less.

Coal Master Died

Edmund Chambers, old coal master of Tibshelf died.

Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1901

  • Abbey mine, Beauchief (Messrs George Longden and Son Ltd)
  • Brimington (SM Lancaster) Potters coal 5’ 6” (1.68m), adit and Air shaft 3 yards (2.75m)
  • Bull Close (Ernest Dixon Fawcett) Dronfield
  • Desford (Desford Coal Co) sinking, 37/69, Manager S Wheatley (422)
  • Grassmoor No9 (Grassmoor Colliery Co)
  • Lount (Lount Fire Brick and Sanitary Pipe Co) Main, Smoile and Fireclay, Undermanager W Cooper 4/3
  • Manton (Wigan Coal and Iron Co) sinking cont
  • Williamthorpe (Hardwick Colliery Co) Sinking proper commenced in October 1901 on the site of an old mine.
    No5 shaft for Cinderhill, 11 ft dia (3.35m), 125 yards (114m) to Low Bright and used as an air shaft.

Pleasley Wooden Headgears Changed To Steel

The wooden pitch pine headgears at Pleasley (North Derbyshire) (Stanton Ironworks Co) built 23 years previously had deteriorated and was replaced with steel during 1900 and 1901. The upcast shaft had the front legs of the headgear, which were cast iron columns fastened to the pitch pine main legs by wrought iron lattice frames. These were nearly semi-circular in shape and two cross girders fastened to these frames carried the detaching hook plates. They erected the new headgear in position and at the same time a more powerful winding engine was installed in the ‘back to back’ engine house along with new boilers. This was done over a period of months and the other shaft went on to double-shift turning. The downcast North shaft legs were in a serious condition. The new headgear was erected nearby and the old wooden one cut down, and by using rails, the new headgear was slid into place over a weekend, in 24 hours.

On Friday 25th May 1901 work ceased at 1.20pm and all the men were wound out of the pit by 2.15pm.

The wooden conductors were then cut above the stays. The rope on the north side was removed and coiled in a nearby wagon. The rope on the south side was wound onto the drum and both cages were left in the pit bottom. The pulley wheels, pedestals, detaching hooks etc. were lowered to the ground. The next day 26th May all the old head gear was cleared away and by 11.40am the pit bank was cleared by 100 men and a steam winch. The new headgear weighing 112 tons was pulled in on rollers. In 48 hours from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th the new headgear was in place with the new pulleys etc. This was quite an achievement at the time. The pit top was raised 15 inches at the same time and four days later the shaft was operational. A capstan engine and a small pit frame had been erected in case of accident. The old pulley wheels were removed using a wooden derrick 91 feet (27.75m) long.


David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George

The Nottinghamshire Miners Annual Demonstration was held on 10th August 1901 on Nottingham Forest site.

David Lloyd George MP (Lib) a future Prime Minister was the principal speaker and another speaker was
AB Markham MP.

Rescue Corps

It was agreed to constitute a Rescue Corps in 1901 and was to be composed of experienced persons,
such as the Manager, Undermanager and Overman, Deputy and other intelligent colliers and all to be medically examined.

New Engines At Langton

At Langton (Pinxton Coal Co) a pair of horizontal winding engines, made by Robeys of Lincoln were installed in September 1901. The first electric power plant was installed at the surface in April 1901.

Fatal Accidents

Accidents at the Hucknall Collieries:

  • 9th Nov 1896, No2 pit, David Griffiths (28), Banksman, crushed by wagons, died 4½ hours later
  • 18th Aug 1897 No1 pit, Jno Gething (42), Stallman 3a, bind fell, fatal
  • 19th Jan 1901 No2 pit Henry Marriott (19), Loader, 56s stall, bind fell, died 1st Mar
  • 18th May 1901 William Hart (35), Ripper, 33s stall, side slipped and buried him at 8.40am, died 1pm.
  • In 1901 at No1 pit there were 221 accidents, 51 being reported to the Inspector.
  • At the No2 pit there were 226 accidents, 66 being reported to the Inspector, including the 2 fatal accidents.

Colliery Closures in 1901

  • Boythorpe 1 and 2 (Boythorpe Colliery Co, Brewis Brothers), Chesterfield, Tupton seam 3’ 8” (1.12m), Ashgate worked by one long benk about 840 yards (768m) long with 26 gates and Silkstone 122 yards (111m) deep, stopped 30th Sep 1901, expiration of tenancy, abandoned in January 1902, Joseph Archer, Surveyor 12 Oct 1901, (Manpower: 1894: 325 Tupton and Silkstone, 78 s/f
    1895: 263 u/g, 72 s/f
    1896 231 u/g, 73 s/f
    1897: 248 u/g, 64 s/f
    1898: 235 u/g, 61 Tupton, Ashgate and Silkstone, 61 s/f
    1899: 247 u/g, 72 s/f
    1900: 283 u/g, 71 s/f
    1901: 209 u/g, 58 s/f), Surveyors Coke Turner
  • Bull Bridge Brickworks pit (William Eaton) Alton and Naughton or Alton 2’ 4” (0.71m) and Belper Lawn 2’ 10” (0.86m), 19th Sep, 2 day hole and one shaft and 2 day holes and one shaft 12 yards (11m) deep, unprofitable, CR Hewitt Surveyor, however signed by Arthur H Stokes Mines Inspector June 1902
  • Burnd Edge 3 and 4 (Ollersett Collieries Ltd)
  • Cartwright (Cartwright Colliery Co Ltd) Stanhope 4’ 0” (1.22m), Eureka 4’ 0” (1.22m), 284 yards (260m), Manager J Ford ME, 28th March, a drop shaft of 22 yards (20m) was shown on the plan
  • Church colliery (John Sheard), UC shaft 4’ 6” (1.37m) dia 37 yards (33.75m) deep and old shaft DC pit 5’ 6” (1.68m) dia and 46 yards (42m) deep, the seams of coal are worked out the pillars and the remaining ungotten could not be got through water, blue bind 1 yard 2 feet (1.52m), Coombe coal 2’ 9” (0.84m), dirt 4” (0.10m), coal 1’ 0” (0.30m), clunch 1 yard, 1 foot (1.22m), Top Hard coal 2 yards 1 foot 6 inches (2.29m), rock floor, met old hollows, Signed ... I certify etc by John Hindley, Surveyor, Shipley, Derbyshire, Arthur H Stokes Inspector 4th July 1901
  • Church Gresley (Moira Colliery Co Ltd) Stockings seam 343 yards (313.5m) deep, abandoned 19th Mar 1901, unprofitable. SA Parkinson
  • Church Gresley (Moira Colliery Co Ltd), Stockings – long benk and Eureka seams 19th Mar, unprofitable, SA Warburton
  • Cutthorpe (N Waller), wrought by Herbert Waller, Chesterfield, several adits, shaft 28 yards (25.5m) and 31 yards (28.3m) Ashgate 8’ 6” (2.6m), 2/1, abandoned Apr 1901, met old works, Surveyor William D Wadsworth Jnr
  • Grove (SM Lancaster) Dunston, some coal and clay open worked, met old works
  • Gun Lane (Bent Bros and Lilley), Heage, 33 yards (30m) Norton or Alton 3’ 0” (0.91m) or Belper Lawn, 11/3, S Alsop Manager/Surveyor, 28th Jan, met old works and dispute over lease re-arrangement
  • Lount Brickworks pit (The Lount Fire Brick and Sanitary Pipe Co Ltd), Main seam, mouth and 5 yards (4.5m) deep shaft, AJA Orchard Surveyor
  • Marriott Wood (John Gregory and Son), Millhouses 2/1
  • Nether Heage (Jos Bowmer), Heage, Ashgate
  • Riddings New Selston pit (James Oakes), Deep Hard finished 23 Nov 1901, thin coal and unprofitable, Surveyor Ernest G Askew (876)
  • Springwood (Staveley Coal and Iron Co), Chesterfield, Ell 36/6, shafts 28 yards (25.5m) and 31 yards (28m) deep, and there was a connection through to Bonds Main where the Ell seam was 127 yards (116m) deep, 6th July 1901, JA Verner Surveyor
  • Stanton 2 and 4 (J and N Nadin and Co), Swadlincote, South Derbyshire
  • West Hallam Deep Hard, at 128 yards (117m) at No4 pit, J Norman Williamson, old workings, Jan 1901,
    (Stoppards pit 100 yards (90m) deep to W). (A fault was proved and inspected by Drake and Shawcroft on Lady Day 1885, the fault had been examined previously and proved 28th May 1881).
    At West Hallam colliery a Stapple pit 16 yards (15m) up to Soft coal was mentioned and a Pumping pit.)
    No2 shaft was sunk to Kilburn, Hallams Close pit to West, general dip 1in12), Arthur H Stokes Inspector 16th Jan 1901.

At Bentinck 2 and 3 (New Hucknall Colliery Co) both the Deep Hard 2 separate areas, (black bind 3”, Jay coal 1”, coal 2’ 6”, black bat 3”, clunch floor) (0.08m, 0.02m, 0.76m, 0.08m) at 362 yards (331m) deep, worked by stone drifts from Deep Soft and ventilated by Air pits. Soft seam also closed, dip 4º, and plan signed by Simeon Watson Agent July 1901, received and signed by Arthur H Stokes Mines Inspector 4th Nov 1901. Bentinck Town, rows of miners’ cottages were built nearby for the workforce. The Blackshale was ventilated by drifts from the Low Main pit bottom.

Riddings Colliery New Selston pit (James Oakes and Co) Deep Hard 4’ 8¼” (1.43m) at 172 yards 1ft 0½ in (157.5m) deep, thin coal, unprofitable, abandoned 23rd Nov 1901, Surveyor for James Oakes Co, Ernest G Askew.

Price of Coal

Average price of per ton at the pithead in the Midlands area was 9s 4¾d (47p).

Royal Commission On Coal Supplies

There was a Royal Commission on coal supplies carried out in 1901 and many plans were prepared by surveyors. However the plans only showed areas of coal extraction and not detailed information.

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Pit Terminology - Glossary