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The Decline Of The Industry
And Nationalisation 1947


1942 - Page 1

Further Rationing

Sir Stafford Cripps decreed that soap rationing to begin on 9th February 1942. Personal tax allowances eliminated. No fuel for pleasure motoring and a cut in clothes ration. Sporting events were curtailed. Cigarettes went up to 2s 4d (11½p) a packet of 20 and women’s silk stockings were unobtainable (except from Yanks and spivs on the black market).


President of Board of Trade, Hugh Dalton (Coalition), 22nd Feb 1942-1945.

Major Re-Survey of Workings at Ollerton Colliery

A major re-survey of the Top Hard workings at Ollerton (Nottinghamshire) was carried out by A Vic Priest (later Area Chief Surveyor No5 Area NCB). Obviously there were concerns about the accuracy of the workings regarding the various royalty payments due to the lessees. That was still the important aspect of plan work. Should part of a working wrongly plotted be shown working under a neighbouring property instead of the correct property then the person holding the rights to that property would not be paid royalties and the other paid by default. This was a major problem at times and sometimes court cases were relied upon to sort out the matter. 

As can be seen on the plan workings had encroached inside the green line designating the shaft pillar (partly shown) and should not have done as the pillar size would have been calculated to protect the shafts according to the depths and other information such as the dip of the seam etc. This was recalculated by me several years later to check to see if the original pillar was correct when lots of movement in the pit bottom caused several roadways to be blocked off as unsafe, particularly the Office slit from No1 pit bottom to No2 pit bottom. From the information and seam dip etc it appeared to be correct however movement of roadways was evident and due to the large fault passing between the shafts and through No2 shaft, bulging of the brickwork was experienced later and would have to be repaired. Many of the old roadways were open and in use so it was a large task. Not as big a task as I had though when I started in 1971 as the pit had expanded in 3 directions by this time. I found gross errors in several parts of the mine. This prompted me to start from scratch in the pit bottom at the shafts and in doing traversed some of the gate roads referred to in 1942.

Harold Neal

Harold Neal became Vice President of the Derbyshire Miners Association. He was to become an MP later.

Fuel Rationing Scrapped

Fuel rationing that began on 4th July 1941 was scrapped from 13th May 1942.

Coal Could Be Sold in Containers

The Coal Supply Order 1942, giving powers to sell coal in containers.

Teversal Price List

On 9th June 1942 the following price list was issued for the Dunsil seam at Teversal (Nottinghamshire) (Stanton Ironworks Co):

  • Coal getting 1s 4½d (6¾p) for 20½ cwts
  • Moving over conveyors 2¾d (1¼p) a yard
  • Belt gearhead and coupling up ready 3s 6d (17.5p)
  • Ripping – gobbed dirt 1½d (½p) a cubic yard, and not gobbed 1¼d (½p) a yard
  • Packing in excess of 10 yards (9m) each side of gate or 20 yards (18m) in all 1s (5p) per lineal yard
  • Boring by electric machine holes 3 yards (2.74m) apart and 5 feet (1.52m) long 2¾d (1¼p), additional holes 5 feet (1.52m) long 1⅜d (½p), holes in bind for ripping at 5 feet (1.52m) long 3½d (1½p)
  • Face packing 1s 9d (8¾p)per lineal yard (0.91m)
  • Withdrawing 2 props and 1 bar from the waste 3d (1¼p)
  • Wood chocks by agreement with the management.

The term ‘D gate’ became synonymous at Teversal and Silverhill, meaning ‘delivery or conveyor’ gate. Loading points had been built in these D gates and short belt conveyors delivered coal from the top loading face conveyors to these. Here tubs were filled and sent off down the gate by clip on endless rope. At the gate end these were transferred onto the main plane road endless ropes in sets of four travelling at 2 mph, and due to the steep gradients were fastened on using star clips instead of the Smallman clips used in the strike gates by a couple of lads. Empties were run into these gates at up to 20 at a time, skill being required by the lads to do this between the sets of full tubs fastened to the moving rope. Corporals oversaw the smooth running of the haulage operations, sorting out any particular problem or bottleneck from the loading points to the pit bottom. Tail gates were supply gates where all supplies to the coal face were hauled inbye by pony and tram or tub.

Langton Thirled To Brookhill

The Blackshale working from Langton (Nottinghamshire) thirled to the Brookhill heads (Derbyshire) on 15th July, (by 1944 all Blackshale coal would be worked from Langton).

Dr Keatinge

The Butterley Co set on Dr Keatinge as a full-time Medical Officer who organised surgeries at every colliery. He arranged for all new entrants to have a thorough medical examination.

Fire At Pleasley

There was a serious underground fire at Pleasley (Derbyshire) in 1942 (Stanton Ironworks Co) and around £7,000 of equipment was lost. This was rather a setback, particularly in War-time.

Government Took Over The Running Of The Pits

The Government again took over the running of the pits in wartime as it had done in the First World War, but not the ownership and this time only monitored the production, allowing the local districts to dictate.

Coal Commission

From 1st July the Coal Act of 1942 amended Section 5 of the Coal Act of 1938, which vested in the Coal Commission all property and rights in coal. The royalty owners in the country received a sum of £66m. All the main areas relating to the control of coal, peat, lignite and shale were transferred from the Mines Department, the Board of Trade and the Home Office to the new Ministry of Fuel and Power. The new Minister was Major Gwilym Lloyd George, 3rd June 1942-1945 (Coalition Government).

HM Inspectorate

The Mines Inspectorate now came under the Ministry of Fuel and Power (later the Ministry of Power) 1942-1969.

Undertakings Order

The Coal Mining Undertakings Control Order, 1942 came into force on 13th July.

New Wage Rates

On 18th June 1942 there was an increase in wages

  • Underground workers over 21 2s 6d (12½p) giving £4 3s 0d (£4.15) a week,
  • Surface workers a weekly wage of £3 18s 0d (£3.90).
    This was known as the (Lord) Greene Award, which fixed the first national weekly minimum wage.

Rates for Boys were now:

  • 14 to 15 underground were increased by 1s 3d (6¼p) and on the surface by 9d (3¾p).
  • 15 to 16 years 1s 6d (7½p) and 1s (5p)
  • 16 to 17 years 1s 9d (8¾p) and 1s 3d (6¼p)
  • 17 to 18 years 2s 3d (11¼p) and 1s 6d (7½p)
  • 18 to 19 years 2s 6d (12½p) and 1s 9d (8¾p)
  • 19 to 20 years 2s 6d (12½p) and 2s (10p)
  • 20 to 21 years 2s 6d (12½p) and 2s 3d (11¼p)
  • Over 21 years 2s 6d (12½p) underground and 2s 6d (12½p) for surface.

Rates for juveniles were now:

  • 14 years 32s (£1.60) per week underground and 27s 6d (£1.37½) a week on the surface
  • 14½ years 34s (£1.70) and 29s 6d (£1.47½)
  • 15 years 36s (£1.80) and 31s (£1.55)
  • 15½ years 38s (£1.90) and 33s (£1.65 p)
  • 16 years 40s £2 and 35s 6d (£1.77½p)
  • 16½ years 42s 6d (£2.12½) and 37s (£1.85)
  • 17 years 45s (£2.25) and 39s 6d (£1.97½)
  • 17½ years 48s 6d (£2.42½) and 41s 6d £2.07½)
  • 18 years 52s (£2.60) and 44s (£2.20)
  • 18½ years 54s (£2.70) and 46s (£2.30)
  • 19 years 56s (£2.80p) and 48s (£2.40)
  • 19½ years 58s (£2.90) and 50s 6d (£2.52½)
  • 20 years 60s (£3) and 53s (£2.65)
  • 20½ years 62s (£3.10) and 55s (£2.75) per week.


Average wages

  • Nottinghamshire 21s 7d (£1.08p) / shift
  • North Derbyshire 18s 6½d (93p)
  • South Derbyshire 20s 9¾d (£1.49)
  • Leicestershire 21s 1½d (£1.06).

Also in September a National output bonus scheme was begun. The standard for Nottinghamshire collieries was 337,600 tons per month, which equalled 100%.

  • For each 1% addition to this tonnage a bonus payment of 3d (1¼p) a shift was agreed.
  • For 102% the rate was 6d (2½p)
  • For 103% it was 9d (3¾p)
  • Up to 115% and over it was 3s 9d (18¾p) per shift.

However the scheme set off with 101.2% for the 4 weeks ending 3rd October 1942. With the following monthly returns on:-

  • 31st Oct 99.8%
  • 28th Nov 101.1%
  • 26th Dec 1942 103.2%
  • 23rd Jan 1943, 98.1%
  • 20th Feb 97.2%
  • 20th Mar 96.8%
  • 17th Apr 96.9%
  • 15th May 96.3%
  • 12th June 96.8%
  • 10th July 98.3%
  • 7th Aug 1943 98.3%.

Price Of Coal Was Increased

From 3rd July 1942, the price of coal was increased by 3s (15p) a ton.


Swanwick Collieries Ltd took over from RCAPalmer-Morewood.

First Hydraulic Props On Trial


The first trial in Great Britain of hydraulic props, made by Dobson of Nottingham, was carried out at Ramcroft (Derbyshire) in the Waterloo seam and proved successful.

At Bolsover (Derbyshire) the Blackshale was abandoned in August 1942, having been developed in 1932.

Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1942

  • No6 shaft at Cinderhill (Babbington) (Nottinghamshire) was sunk 140 yards (128m) to the Main Bright and to a total depth of 600 yards (549m) at a diameter of 18 feet 2 inches (5.53m). An electric winder was installed to wind 60 draws to the hour with twin decks holding three 15 cwt tubs (BA Collieries Ltd)
  • Quarry (Unwin and Kay) re-opened at Mosborough, Parkgate seam
  • Hirst Hollow (Hirst Hollow Colliery Co) opened 2 adits. Surveyors Fennell, Green and Bates (private firm)
  • Merry Lees drift (Leicestershire) (Desford Coal Co Ltd) site work began for the new drift mine.




Page 2

Pit Terminology - Glossary