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The Decline Of The Industry
And Nationalisation 1947



Derbyshire Miners' Convalescent Home

Lord Chelmsford opened Derbyshire MinersConvalescent Home at Skegness on 10th March 1928. It was equipped for 150 patients including places for 30 women at a cost of £110,000.


Newstead Colliery Co extended the coal preparation plant at Newstead (Nottinghamshire). A new village of semi-detached houses and a Welfare hall with bar for darts, dominoes, whist drives, dances, lectures, etc and sports ground had been built for the extended workforce.

The Quota System

The 5 Counties Quota system commenced on 2nd April 1928. This was regulation of output. All companies were given a basic amount of coal that could be produced per month and should that amount be exceeded then that company was penalised by paying so much a ton. Some companies closed down their uneconomical pits so that the quota amount could be produced more economically.

The New marketing schemes came into operation from 1st June 1928 as the Central Collieries Commercial Association to produce about 100m tons per year with fixed quotas and to stimulate exports by giving between 1s 6d (7½p) and 4s (20p) a ton. These subsidies were financed by a levy on each ton of coal raised by members with a maximum levy of 3d (1¼p) per ton. Each colliery in the 5 Counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, West and South Yorkshire and Leicestershire had a basic tonnage calculated from the actual output of any one of the previous 15 years selected by the owner. Each month a Quota Committee decided how much coal was to be produced and this was expressed as a percentage of the aggregate of the basic tonnages. This percentage was the Quota and the owner could produce up to the permitted percentage of his basic tonnage without incurring a penalty. If 1% was exceeded he was fined 3s (15p) a ton. Quotas however could be bought and sold with permission of the Committee. There were special rates for developing collieries. The scheme was voluntary!


The Main Bright seam around 2 feet 9 inches (0.84m) thick at 300 yards (274m) deep was accessed at Bestwood (Nottinghamshire) (Bestwood Coal and Iron Co). A reorganisation of the colliery was commenced with the changeover from hand-got methods of coal getting to machine mining and conveyors in all three seams. Winding arrangements were made that coal could be wound from different horizons in the No2 shaft. Here the winding drum consisted of two separate drums, one for each rope and one that could be thrown in and out of gear as required by a clutch. The usual procedure was to wind from one of the horizons for a few hours then change over to the other. The steam winding engines by Nasmyth Wilson consisted of a pair of horizontal cylinders at No1 upcast shaft and a pair of vertical engines at the No2 downcast shaft. Balance ropes used at both shafts. Rail guides were used at No1 shaft and rope guides at No2.

Minimum Rates of Pay

The Legal Minimum Rates fixed in June 1928 on the application of the Nottinghamshire Miners Association applying to all mines except Gedling:

  • Top Hard working (Digby Colliery Co Ltd). Contractors in abnormal stalls 10s 9d (53¾p)
  • Stallmen when unable from shortage of trams, rails etc to earn a day’s wage 10s 3d (51¼p)
  • Daymen, experienced on coal face 9s 9d (48¾p)
  • Daymen and others under 20 years old 7s 0d (35p)
  • Daymen and others over 21 years old 8s 6d (42½p)
  • Stonemen, Rippers, Getters out and Timbermen on contract 10s 0d (50p)
  • Datallers and chargemen 10s 0d (50p)
  • Datallers, others under 20 years old 7s 0d (35p)
  • Datallers, others over 20 years old 8s 6d (42½p)
  • Platelayers, head 9s 6d (47½p)
  • Platelayers, others under 20 years 7s 0d (35p)
  • Platelayer, others over 20 years 8s 6d (42½p)
  • Corporals 8s 6d (42½p)
  • Onsetters chargemen 9s 0d (45p)
  • Onsetters, others 8s 3d (41¼p)
  • Horsekeepers, head 8s 0d (40p)
  • Horsekeepers, others 7s 3d (36¼p)
  • Haulage workers at 18 years 5s 8d (28⅓p)
  • Haulage workers at 19 years 6s 6d (32½p)
  • Haulage workers at 20 years 7s 4d (36½p)
  • Haulage workers at 21 years and over 8s 3d (41¼p)
  • Haulage engine men when wholly engaged below ground and recognised relief men 8s 6d (42½p)
  • Pump and boilermen as above at mechanical power pumps and recognised relief men 8s 6d (42½p)
  • Motor men when wholly in charge and controlling motors below ground and relief men 8s 6d (42½p)
  • Air compressor and relief men when employed below ground 8s 0d (40p)
  • Rope splicers 8s 6d (42½p)
  • Coal cutter drivers 10s 0d (50p)
  • Jibbers and Timberers 9s 6d (47½p)
  • Cleaners out 7s 0d (35p)
  • Apprentices (grades 27, 28 and 29) at starting increased by Quarterly advances of 4d / day/ ¼ (1⅔p / day / ¼) until rate applicable to the grade to which the apprentice is drafted is reached
Boys Rates
  • 14 years 3s 0d (15p)
  • 15 years 3s 4d (16½p)
  • 16 years 3s 10d (19p)
  • 17 years 4s 6d (22½p)
  • 18 years 5s 2d (25¾p)
  • 19 years 5s 10d (29p)
  • 20 years 6s 8d (33⅓p)
  • 21 years 7s 6d (37½p)

Why Gedling rates were different to all the other colliery rates I have yet to find out.

Coal Reached Its Lowest Price Since The War

The Upper Meden Valley Pits

 A major survey of all the known mines in the upper Meden Valley was carried out by the Surveyors based at Teversal office (Stanton Ironworks Co) to determine the water levels in all the shafts. A similar survey had been carried out in 1926 and a comparison was made to note the difference. It was thought that the increase in water quantity would put pressure on the shaft tubbing at Silver Hill. Note a further check on the pressure on the shaft was done in 1948 when a 17/32 inch hole was bored through the cast iron tubbing at the Dunsil seam horizon and it was found that there was 80 lb of water pressure with a head of water of 184.3 feet (56.17 m). However Silverhill was worked without any water problems until closure in 1993, the water being pumped at Cooper's shaft the original 10 feet (3.05 m) diameter Downcast Silver Hill shaft sunk between 1866 and 1869.


The Grassmoor Co went into voluntary liquidation. However a new company was formed, with the same name!

New Winder at Langton

A new winding engine was installed at Langton (Nottinghamshire) (Pinxton Collieries Ltd).

HM Inspectorate

JR Fenton was appointed Mines Inspector in 1928 and WET Hartley Sub-Inspector in 1929.

Recommended Statutory Qualifications Ignored

The Holland Committee 1928 recommended the introduction of statutory qualifications for supervisory staff in mechanical and electrical engineering – but nothing was done.

Further Education

Chesterfield Road Technical College, Mansfield was opened in 1928. Other colleges of further education were at Nottingham, Worksop, Clown and Chesterfield allowing many students to progress in the mining industry by obtaining statutory qualifications at evening classes and later after nationalisation, day-release and block-release.

University College moved to the Trent Building, University Park, Nottingham.

Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1928

  • Belfit Hill (Belfit Hill Colliery Co Ltd) Wingerworth, sinking
  • Bilsthorpe (Stanton Ironworks Co Ltd) opened, sinking was completed at No1 shaft on 16th August 1927 at 485 yards (443m) deep and at No2 pit on 20th October 1927, down to the Top Hard seam. The sinking had been carried out using the cementation process through the water-bearing measures, for which the consulting engineers were Blandford and Gee of Doncaster. No1 shaft winding engine was by Markham and Co and No2 engine was brought from Pleasley, for sinking purposes. Production began in 1928
  • Bolsover No3 shaft (Bolsover Colliery Co), sinking recommenced but was suspended again at 665 yards (608m) (until March 1932)
  • Chesterfield Road (Herbert Barker) Eckington, Flockton
  • No4 shaft at Pilsley was sunk (Pilsley Colliery Co Ltd)
  • Thoresby (shown) the 6th and last mine of the Bolsover Co finished sinking in April 1928 to the thick Top Hard seam. It was one of the first all electric mines and no tall chimney was necessary as there were no coal-fired boilers. 8d (3⅓p) per ton of coal royalty would be paid to Earl Manvers of Thoresby Hall who by the way wanted the new mine to be called ‘Edwinstowe colliery’. It was the pride and joy of the Bolsover Co and their last sinking and history would show that it would probably be the most efficient and most profitable colliery in the country lasting into the 21st Century.
Some shallow pits and wells sunk in Heath village (Derbyshire) met old unknown workings

Mines Closed in 1928

  • Alma (Jas Rowbottom Ltd), Yard seam, 2’ 6” (0.76m), Day eye abandoned 20 Jul 1928, Surveyor John Mort (187), connected to Chisworth colliery Tunnel (disused), previous seams abandoned were Wallsend or Blackshale 6 Jul 1893 Dunsil 24 Mar 1876 (at No 4 and 5 pits), Waterloo 28 May 1903, Tupton 28 Mar 1907, 1st Piper 6 Apr 1909, Deep Hard 24 Mar 1911
  • Ambergate Drift and Bull Bridge (Midland Refractories Co Ltd) Bull Bridge, Alton, stood from Feb 1927, 7 adits, 2 shafts, old workings, robbed pillars, abandoned 12 Mar 1928, one area standing at water Feb 1927, the other area coal all got save a few pillars, Surveyor Alan Greenwell
  • Barkers Main (Herbert Barker), Eckington, Flockton, up to outcrop, some workings plotted from information from owner, other part by Surveyor Sydney Smith AMIME, met old works, abandoned 10 Jan 1928
  • Barlborough (Miles and Barber)
  • Barlborough 1 and 2 (Staveley Coal and Iron Co Ltd) Top Hard, Chavery, Deep Soft, High Hazle, all abandoned at same time
  • Barlow Commonside (Henry Booker and Sons), Chesterfield, Ashgate 29 u/g / 7s/f, 2 shafts 19 yards (17.4m), entrance drift 1in2¾, Surveyor Hubert Blackshaw (780)
  • Barlow Silkstone (Henry Booker and Sons Ltd), Chesterfield, Blackshale, up to 26 Jan 1928, 2 drift entrances through old works, met further old works, Surveyor Hubert Blackshaw (780)
  • Blackfordby Clay Mine (TG Green and Co) (Leicestershire), Raffaree or Stockings and clay, Undermanager M Pickering, adit and shaft abandoned 24 Aug 1928
  • Blidworth (Newstead Colliery Co), met bad work and heavy faulting and was thought to be unworkable
  • Bolehill (E Adlington), Eckington, Parkgate
  • Brendwood Gate (Booker and Wardley), Great Barlow, Silkstone, 21 Feb 1928, entrance met old works all round, Surveyor Hubert Blackshaw (780)
  • Chew Wood (James Rowbottom Ltd) Chisworth
  • Clay Pits Drift No2 (Hillside) (James Woodward Ltd), Church Gresley, Ell, July
  • Fern Hill (Booth and Co), Eckington, Flockton 4/1
  • Flate Farm (Spurr, Booth and Vickers), worked by W Spurr, Horsely, Mickley or Ashgate or possibly Morley seam, pit flooded Jan, Walter GT Hartley AMIM, impossible to survey, plotted from surface survey of ground showing falls and information supplied by owner
  • Glasshouse (New Glasshouse Colliery Co), New Whittington, Silkstone
  • High Lane pit and Quarry pit (Henry Vardy executors), Ridgeway, near to High Lane colliery, 3 adits and used an old shaft 38 yards (35m) deep, Silkstone coal 2’ 5” (0.73m), dirt 1’ 0” (0.30m), coal 1’ 4” (0.41m), connected to Birley Wood shaft 90 yards (82.25m) some 297 yards (272m) away, old shaft 38 yards (34.75m) met old works from Phoenix, 2/1
  • Hill Top Adit, Horsley Woodhouse, (Thomas Jordan Esq) Kilburn best coal 2’ 4” (0.71m), seconds 1’ 1” (0.39m), flush 7” (0.18m), inferior coal 1’ 1“ (0.39m), Sep 1928, Surveyor George K Barrow (365)
  • Hundall High Main Apperknowle (Henry Blair and Sons)
  • Lark Hill New Mills, Yard Mine, 4 May 1928, day eyes, Surveyor up to Mar 1923 ST Ingram (1038), pillars worked out later by new owner GS Aitkin during 1926
  • Long Acre (Long Acre Coal Co) (Eastwood, Colliery Co, A Boon and Others) Eastwood, Top Hard, soft coal left up 11” (0.28m), hard coal worked 4’ 2” (1.27m), floor coal left in 12” ( 0.30m), met old hollows, dip 1in5, 8/1, Surveyor: Arthur Winfield (328)
  • Marple Bridge New (Marple Bridge Co Ltd), Ludworth, Yard
  • Marsh Lane, Bramley
  • Newbold Moor (GW Elliott and Blair), Newbold, Deep Hard, roof coal 1’ 0” (0.30m), bat 1” (0.05m), middle coal 2’ 4” (0.71m), dirt 8” (0.20m), bottom coal 1’ 5” (0.43m), floor Jacks (dirt) 8” (0.20m), 6/1, met old works and water, 25 Mar 1928, Surveyor Hubert Blackshaw (780)
  • Newcastle (Babbington Colliery Co), sunk 1853, see separate full report
  • Park Wood No2 (Albert Hardy), New Whittington, Silkstone
  • Pingot Clough (Frank J Mills), Low Leighton, Red Ash or Little seam, 2 areas, 4 day eyes, 2/nil, worked firstly by James Morton and George Aiken, then F Mills from Apr 1925 to 15th Oct, Surveyor John Mort (187)
  • Shady (Swift and Co) drift mine was previously called Shady Hall Colliery (John Mellor) c1913 Blackshale, branch 7½“ (0.19m), tops 1’ 9” (0.53m) dirt 5” (0.13m), bottom coal 1’ 7” (0.48m), Sydney Smith AMIMinE, 25 Mar 1930, note there was also some 1926 strike workings
  • Shaw Wood No2 (Shaw Wood Colliery Co or J Hartshorne), South Wingfield, Blackshale, 7 May 1928, adit and air shaft 41’ 6” (12.65m), Surveyor Leonard Kelsall (773) for Coke Turner and Co, Nottm
  • Spital Lane (Ernest Waller), extended Borough of Chesterfield, Blackshale, stone drift 1in2, shaft 30 feet (9m), 4’ 6” (1.37m) dia, dip of mine 1in2 due south, also 2 old heads in coal, but did not join underground, stopped working due to water, 1 Dec 1928; Stanton (J and N Nadin and Co) Burton
  • Tinkersick (Hall Bros) Brimington, closed Nov 1926 abandoned Feb 1928
  • Trowell Moor (Cossall Colliery Co Ltd)
  • Wethercotes Farm (James Morton from Apr 1927 - June 1928, previously S Newton July 1926-Nov 1927),
    Birch Vale, Yard 3’ 0” (0.91m), unprofitable, to north and east Grub or Birch Vale colliery, Surveyor John Mort (187) for George Eagle, abandoned 10th Oct 1928
  • Whitecotes (Boythorpe Co Ltd), Chesterfield, Piper, 6/1
  • Whites Lane (Morewood ?). Langton No8 (Pinxton Collieries Ltd) Piper seam temporarily closed 19th June 1928
  • Woodside No1 shaft closed.
  • Bonds Main (Clay Cross Co Ltd) Deep Hard abandoned 5/7/28, UC shaft 250 yards (228.6m) and DC shaft 251 yards (229.5m), Surveyor George Wilfred Fox (796)
  • Clay Cross Avenue (No9) (Clay Cross Collieries) Piper at 157 yards (143.5m) abandoned 2 Apr 1928 and Threequarter 2’ 7” (0.79m) 195 feet (59.4m) abandoned 7 Aug 1928
  • Granville Stanhope coal 3’ 8” (1.12m), sloom and clunch 4’ 0” (1.22m), abandoned 21 Jul 1928,
    Manager Robert Blunt (2700)
  • Rawdon (Moira Colliery Co Ltd) Nether seam 6’ 0”, (1.82m) 2’ 0” (0.60m) left up, 4’ 0” (1.22m) worked, Surveyor Edmund W Eaton (913)
  • Stanton (J and N Nadin and Co Ltd) Little Woodfield at 133 yards (121.6m), Arthur A Hook (63) Surveyor,
    Frank M Joyce Agent, 21 Feb 1928.


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Pit Terminology - Glossary