1921 - Page 3
Portland Nos 1, 2 and 5 Pits Closed After 70 and 34 Years Respectively
Portland Nos 1, 2 and 5 pits (Butterley Co) (Nottinghamshire) 166 yards (152m) to Top Hard were abandoned after 70 and 34 years respectively and the men and boys transferred to other Butterley Co pits. The mining lease area was exhausted. The pits lay up a lane to the right off the
road to Selston from Kirkby opposite the later Bentinck mine and were close to Portland Hall.
Several shafts had been filled up for a number of years. Typical section, bright coal 11” (0.28m), rifler 5” (0.13m),
hard coal 1’ 9” (0.53m), bottom soft 8” (0.20m), floor coal, total 3’ 9” (1.14m).
- No1 E447892, N354805 and E447935, N354803
- No2 E448305, N354470
- No3 E447287, N354714
- No4 E448539, N353785.
Portland No2 (Nottinghamshire) (Butterley Co Ltd), Jerry pit, Top Hard closed, but the shaft kept open for many years as a ventilation pit for Kirkby Summit. This airway was examined regularly by Joe Jewsbury an Overman at Kirkby who would travel the Top Hard roadways from Kirkby to Portland at the weekend and ride the No2 shaft there and walk back over the fields. He sometimes took his young son Harold for company (father of my friend and neighbour Denis Jewsbury). Such was the situation those days regarding safety etc.
The No1 and No2 pits had thirled on 17th January 1880, then the coal that had been turned at No1 (Isaiah’s) was transferred to No2 pit (Jerry’s).
On Saturday 20th January 1883 a piece broke off the flange of the winding engine at No2 which was a single cylinder vertical type engine. It was a non-condensing engine with one flat rope in the shaft so a smaller engine was needed to assist this engine to lift the greatly out of balance load. This engine was geared to the main engine and carried a heavy chain with heavy weights suspended on it. This chain unwound as the rope went down the shaft and then reversed and wound on the drum to assist the engine and brake when nearing the pit bottom. However on 17th December 1885 a new pair of vertical marine-type engines, designed by Sir John Alleyne of Butterley Co was put to work at No2 pit.
These engines were removed in 1916 and taken to Kirkby Summit and used for deepening the No2 shaft there from Top Hard to Deep Soft.
On the surface at Portland No2 a steam engine with a 4 feet dia drum x 14” (0.35m) dia and 12” (0.30m) stroke cylinder and ropes down the shaft worked a dip to the East haulage road. In 1892 a large pair of steam engines was erected at No2 surface. A band rope went down the shaft to drive a central wheel that had clutches which could operate each district’s haulage. This was converted to endless haulage system later with overhead rope and the trucks were lashed on using chains to the overhead rope. The ventilation was effected by underground furnace but later a steam operated fan was erected at No4 pit but this proved too small so in 1900 the No1 (Isaiah’s) pit was filled up and then widened from 9 feet to 12 feet (2.74 to 3.66m) dia. Other alterations were made including erecting 3 Galloway steam boilers and a brick chimney and a Waddell fan at 22 feet dia was installed at No2 pit. Electricity was introduced. At the No4 pit a large direct driven beam engine raised coal in one tram on one deck and with a water barrel slung underneath the cage. A gang line led from the collieries to the Cromford Canal wharf at Jacksdale firstly by hauling the trams of coal up to the top of the hill by engine near Portland Row and then mainly gravitating down the hill and being joined by trams of coal from the Mexbro’ pits. No1 and No3 shafts were filled up by the NCB in April 1954.
Coal was worked by the benk method, undercut by hand and either blasted down by explosive or hewn by pick and bar and large pieces hand loaded into jotties at the face and ganged by pony or horse by young lads to the main road where the jotties or tubs were hung on to a haulage rope and pulled to the pit bottom where they were raised up the shaft 2 at a time on a cage. Small coal was not saleable at the time and was left with all ripping dirt underground. Sometimes the coal was loaded out by screen (fork) so that the small pieces were left. Penalties for sending out dirt and small coals were severe resulting in fines etc. Naked lights was the only illumination for the colliers.
- 1894: No1, No2, No4: 279 Top Hard, 104 s/f;
- 1895: 383 u/g, 122 s/f;
- 1896: 286 u/g, 147 s/f;
- 1897: 279 u/g, 141 s/f;
- 1898: 392 u/g, 159 s/f;
- 1899: 329 u/g, 151 s/f;
- 1900: 352 u/g, 188 s/f;
- 1901: 437 u/g, 182 s/f;
- 1902: 418 u/g, 189 s/f;
- 1903: 421 u/g, 222 s/f;
- 1904: 429 u/g, 170 s/f;
- 1905: 457 u/g, 129 s/f;
- 1906: 432 u/g, 144 s/f;
- 1907: 359 155 s/f; 1907: No1 closed: 359 u/g, 125 s/f;
- 1908: 381 u/g, 132 s/f;
- 1909: 347 u/g, 123 s/f;
- 1910: 325 app u/g, 100 s/f;
- 1911: 307 u/g, 95 s/f;
- 1912: 317 u/g, 99 s/f;
- 1913: No2 only: 274 u/g, 96 s/f;
- 1914: 294 u/g, 103 s/f;
- 1915: 262 u/g, 90 s/f;
- 1916: under Kirkby Summit for
- 1917 and
- 1918, and in
- 1919, No2 pit discontinued.
- William Beam pre 1848
- Henry Eustace Mitton 1905-1912
- Jack Bircumshaw (2144) 1912-1919.
- Isaiah Rigley 1820-; …?
- William Crosley 1873-1884
- Henry Stevenson (1575) 1884-1896 (for Kirkby Summit also, moved to Langton, then Linby)
- Ben McLaren (1789) 1896-1902 (moved to Cotes Park)
- CJ Turton (1759) 1902-1905 (transferred to Kirkby Summit)
- HH Holmes (2293) 1903-1910
- Jack Bircumshaw (2144) 1910-1912 (promoted to Agent)
- CJ Turton (1759) 1912-1913 (also for Kirkby Summit)
- R Richardson (97) 1913-1920 (also for Kirkby Summit)
- William W Jepson (984 Service 2nd class cert) pre1887-1902
- R Wilbraham (2nd) 1902-1912
- Robert Bircumshaw Barker (5376 / 2nd) 1913-1914 / 1915 (Undermanager Portland Nos 1, 2 and 5 Pits, (Butterley Co) transferred from Sutton (Blackwell Colliery Co)
- J Woodland (2nd) 1914-1920.
- J Wardle
- John Holbrook (service certificate 883).
- Henry Eustace Mitton 1905-1912
- Jack Bircumshaw (2144) 1912-1920.
Fatal Accidents Portland
- Thomas Falkner (27) fell down shaft 6 Nov 1847
- Thomas Wagstaff (14) fell down shaft 17 Jan 1848
- John Boot (24) crushed by the cage 25 Nov 1848
- William Limb (45) fell down shaft 26 Jul 1848
- Joseph Kirk (?) fall of coal 8 Feb 1854
- Richard Hullott (?) fall of coal 17 Apr 1855
- William Bowman (16) fall of roof 24 May 1865
- Henry Mitchell (14) fell from cage down the shaft 9 Feb 1867
- William Wagstaff (44) fall of roof 13 May 1867
- William Flint (24) explosion of firedamp 15 May 1872
- James Fletcher (32) fall of roof 13 Jun 1872
- William Davis (35) and William Henry Marriott (22), both fell from platform down the shaft 3 Jun 1879
- William Sims (50) fell from scaffold down into the sump 24 Nov 1879
- Robert Clarke (47) fall of roof 11/12/1884, died 14 Nov 1884 in Nottingham General hospital
- Herbert Thorpe (14) run over by tubs 10 Jan 1895
- Alfred Shipman (34) run over by tubs 14 Sep 1904
- Thomas Frost (60), run over by tubs 10 Aug 1905, died 11 Aug 1905
- Henry Clarke (38) run over by wagons on the surface 5 Jan 1906
- William Henry Dobbs (53) explosion of firedamp 1 Oct 1906, died 2 Oct 1906.
Description for several fatals mentioned above:
Jerry pit (No 2 shaft) was being widened from 8ft (2.4m) to around 14 ft (4.2m), not by filling the shaft and then widening, but by men working on a scaffold suspended down the shaft from two ‘crabs’ at the surface. However on 6 Jun 1879 at about 130 yards (119m) deep the scaffold weight brought down the crabs and several men were thrown down the shaft to the pit bottom a distance of about 70 yards (64m) and 2 men William Davis (35) and William Henry Marriott (22) were killed outright and several others sustained broken ankles. On 15 Nov 1879 another man fell from the scaffold, a distance of about 10 yards (9m) but he died from his injuries on 23 Nov 1879.
Incidents at the Portland pits: included... On Saturday 20th January 1883 at Jerry pit a piece broke out of the flange of the single cylinder non-condensing vertical type engine (or table engine, whereby the engine cylinder was fixed on a table above the crank shaft). No injuries were noted but I suspect that winding would have been suspended for some time until repairs to the engine had been completed.
Worked Underground For 74 Years
In 1921 Thomas Smith aged 81, retired from Langton colliery (Nottinghamshire) (Pinxton Collieries Ltd). He had started work at Isaiah’s Portland pit (Butterley Co) when he was 7 years old and had worked continually underground for 74 years.
Langton Shafts Flooded
During the strike period the water rose and flooded the No7/9 shaft at Langton and 2 square water barrels were slung under the cage at the No8 pit and the water discharged at the surface to keep the water level down. There were only 2 shafts at Langton (Nos 1 DC and No 2 UC) but were named Nos 7 and 9 as part of Pinxton Colliery, the No8 being to a different seam in the No9 shaft. Very confusing to say the least.
Marehay Main Closed After 71 Years
The Butterley Company also closed down Marehay Main (Ford’s Ltd) (Derbyshire) Silkstone 5’ 10” (1.78m) including bat, tinkers and clod. A small area of Hospital coal (Main) coal 1’ 10” (0.56m), clunch 1’ 1” (0.33m) was worked, but all the workings were flooded through the stoppage of the pumps due to the strike, closed 31st Mar 1921. Once again withdrawal of labour through a strike caused men to be out of a job afterwards. Some would have been transferred to other Butterley Co pits.
- No1 E439201, N349350,
- No2 E439200, N349350,
- No3 E439203, N349350.
Deep Hard, Tupton, and Kilburn.
The pit was sunk c1850 by Messrs Coursham to 216 yards (197.5m). By 1857 the colliery was owned by Coursham and Co and subsequently taken over by Butterley Co in 1860 until 1874 when it was closed temporarily. It was then purchased and re-opened by Marehay Colliery Co in 1875 and under Fords and Mart the following year until 1880 when again the colliery was owned by Marehay Colliery Co (Ford’s). Deep Hard was worked at No1 pit and Tupton at No2. Kilburn was entered 1888 and No3 shaft sunk in 1892 to 448 yards (409.5m) to that seam. No1 pit was dispensed with as the Deep Hard had closed down. By 1899 the pit was owned by Fords Lt
- 1894: No2 pit 88 Tupton, 36 s/f, No3 pit 77 Kilburn, 24 s/f
- 1895: 105 T, 24 s/f, 100 K, 36 s/f
- 1896: 112 T, 33 s/f, 138 K, 34 s/f
- 1897: 109 T, 23 s/f, 138 K, 39 s/f
- 1898: 118 T, 23 s/f, 155 K, 44 s/f
- 1899: 131 T, 26 s/f, 174 K, 48 s/f
- 1900: 143 T, 27 s/f, 181 K, 52 s/f
- 1904: 92 T, 25 s/f, 214 K, 49 s/f
- 1905: 34 Tupton abandoned, 30 s/f, 18 Silkstone, 6 s/f, 206 Kilburn, 43 s/f
- 1906: 45 S, 18 s/f, 215 K, 54 s/f
- 1907: 73 S, 22 s/f, 237 K, 49 s/f
- 1909: Morley Park pumping
- 1912: 129 S, 39 s/f, 180 K, 38 s/f
- 1915:111 S, 35 s/f, 169 K, 41 s/f, Morley Park 2 /s/f pumping
- 1916: 112 S, 34 s/f, 153 K, 34 s/f, 3 s/f pumping
- 1917:130 S, 33 s/f, 153 K, 33 s/f, 3 pumping
- 1918: 128 S, 35 s/f, 141 K, 30 s/f, 3 pumping
- 1919: 312 Silkstone, 77 s/f, Kilburn abandoned
- 1920: No2: 185 S, 62 s/f
- 1921: 190 Silkstone, 66 s/f.
- Charles Lawton (326) –1906
- W Brown (1559) 1907-1921.
- Charles Brown (957 service cert) -1905
- B Painter (2294) 1905-1908
- R Aldred (3865 / 2nd) 1908-1920.
Fatal Accidents Marehay
- John Bacon (?) and Hamlet Smith (?) both fell down the shaft 19 Apr 1852
- Thomas Mellorship (?) crushed by the cage 7 Oct 1854
- William Noon (50) hit by a broken pump rod 30 Sep 1861
- John Briggs (70) fell down the shaft 26 Aug 1862
- Joseph Hunt (31) fall of roof 10 Oct 1863
- William Green (19) fall of roof 3 Sep 1866
- John Oakley (24) fall of roof 20 Jul 1867
- William Stocks (52) fall of roof 5 Jan 1871
- Joseph Vallance (24) coal fell down the shaft and struck him 25 Jan 1872
- Joshua Thrall (14) coal fell down the shaft and struck him 3 May 1873
- Thomas Sneap (63) run over by tubs 20 Jun 1873
- Thomas Haynes (35) fall of coal 6 May 1882
- Robert Redfern (27) explosion of firedamp 15 Sep 1882
- Thomas Hemingway (25) fell from a platform in the shaft 2 Feb 1886
- Sam Bowmer (47) fall of roof 6 Feb 1893
- John Clarke (26) crushed by tubs 20 Oct 1898, died 23 Oct 1898
- Edward Gillard Moss (17) fall of roof 2 Dec 1904.
Morley Park Still Pumping
Morley Park sinking 1908. In 1909 2 u/g and 3 surface pumping. By 1914 only 2 men on s/f.
Closed After Strike
Waingroves sunk 1859 near Ripley (Derbyshire) closed similarly following the strike. Shaft position E441050, N348930.
The Principles For Sinking A New Pit
Henry Eustace Mitton of the Butterley Co laid down 8 governing principles which should guide the engineer in laying out new collieries:
- The area to be won.
- The depth of the seam from the surface.
- The ventilation and cooling of the mine.
- Economy of labour in charging and discharging the cage.
- Space available for cables, pipes, clearance and conductors.
- Minimum number of signals.
- Type of guides.
Annesley Underground Furnace Extinguished
At Annesley (Nottinghamshire) (Hardwick Colliery Co) due to the 1921 stoppage, the underground furnace was extinguished for the first time. It had a serious effect on the tubbing in the upcast shaft, which shrank and began to leak water from the water-bearing strata in such large quantities that the pit bottom roads were soon 6 feet deep (1.8m). The tubbing was eventually plugged with wooden wedges.
After de-watering, the pit bottom roadways in the shaft pillar were wrecked and tremendous falls had taken place.
Steel arches were installed to replace the square work roadways following the end of the strike.
The Top Hard seam was closed and production was concentrated in the lower seam Deep Soft.
Price of Ponies
The price of pit ponies rose to around £42 each.
Stanton Iron Works Company
Wages at Stanton Iron Works Co pits at 18 years old were 3s 6d (17½p) a shift plus 1s 6d rise (7½p), 16 to 17 years 1s 9d (8¾p) plus 1s (5p) increase and under 16 it was 1s 3¾d (6½p) plus 6¾d (2¾p) increase. At Teversal shaker pan type conveyors were installed on all the coalfaces in the Dunsil seam. The brickworks were producing 25,000 bricks per week for use at the collieries.
Steel Arches Began To Be Used
Steel arches for roadway supports began to be introduced into the area. Obviously expensive they were used sparingly
The Liberal MP for Mansfield at the time was AJ Bennett.
Take Over Of Miller Mundy Family Assets
Shipley Colliery Co was founded and took over the assets of the Miller Mundy family, the
Fatal Accidents 1921
- Birchwood John William Bonsall (41) fall of roof 5 Jun 1921
- There was a shaft accident at Bolsover (Derbyshire) (Bolsover Colliery Co). There were 12 men in the cage when it crashed. One man was killed, dying from mutilation of the legs. A Barclay overwind preventer was then fitted
- Hartshay, John Hedley Bestwick (14) crushed by tubs 25 Feb 1921
- Heanor, John Fred Soar (17) shallow outcrop working during the miners’ strike and was overcome by blackdamp 26 Jun 1921
- Ingmanthorpe, Wilfred Turner (28) fall of roof 26 Sep 1921, the deceased father was injured
- Manners, Harry Shaw (35) fall of roof 21 Jan 1921
- Manners, Arthur Fearn (39) crushed by wagons on the surface 11 May 1921, died 24 May 1921
- Salterwood, John Jones (42) fall of roof 7 Nov 1921
- Shipley, Isaac Bestwick (34) fall of roof 8 Aug 1921
- Shirebrook, George Marsh (26) run over by a loco on the surface 21 Jun 1921
- Woodside, Cyril Winfield (23) fall of roof ? May 1920, died 20 Aug 1921.