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The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947

 1950    1    2    3    4    5    6 

1950 - Page 1

Ring Fence

At the beginning of the year the ‘1943 ring fence’ was removed by the Government whereby a man who had been in the industry for more than 3 months previously could only leave with the permission of the Minister for Labour.  The NCB now believed that by keeping a man by compulsion, it did not improve discipline or morale. For the first quarter men left in droves but then it settled down to normal levels of wastage as before.


Milk rationing ended on 15th January 1950.

Fatal Accident Scheme

In February 1950 the Fatal Accident Scheme set up in 1949, came into force.  It was hoped that this would stop the custom of stop working for a shift or more as a sign of respect for the dead, when a fatal accident occurred, as had been the system for many years.  Under the scheme, a widow was awarded between £150 and £250.


At Clipstone the ovoid fuel plant was closed on 4th February 1950Clipstone No2 shaft deepening was finished by 26th February 1950.

Coal Plough

In March 1950 a coal plough machine was introduced at New Hucknall (Nottinghamshire).  At Shirebrook (Derbyshire) a Joy slusher packer was introduced.

Abandonment Reference Plans

The two plan examples above are just reference plans to show the areas worked in the Top Hard seam. They are not the abandonment plans for the mine although the numbers refer to them. This was an exceptional seam and all the colliery companies exploited it as it was quite thick at up to 6ft (1.8m) with a good top and its properties with several bands included steam coal, gas coal, coking coal, household coal, industrial coal and some areas included a band of cannel coal that could be used to produce petrol. As you can see in the top example the seam was worked right up to the outcrop in the west by small pits. Teversal workings abandoned 1948 (mauve) has the number EM158 and is neighbouring Pleasley EM321 (red) to the northeast with Glapwell EM75 (blue) to the north. To the southwest of Teversal is Sutton Colliery 2123 and 8897 (Yellow), with two numbers denoting that the seam has been abandoned twice. Further to the west and southwest are a few smaller mines and some outcrop workings.

The second example shows how the Top Hard has been almost fully extracted by the collieries surrounding Mansfield town centre where only shaft pillars were left at the respective pits plus a large pillar of coal was left by Sherwood for the protection of the density of large buildings from subsidence in Mansfield town centre. Teversal workings EM158 (pale violet) and Pleasley workings EM321 (red) to the west, Shirebrook workings to the north (yellow), Sherwood workings EM607 to the left centre (green), Mansfield EM484 (orange) to the right centre, Clipstone EM910 (blue) to the northeast, Rufford EM998 (mauve) to the east. Several other seams would be worked in the same areas from the respective collieries but only to a fraction of the workings in the Top Hard.


Another attempt at coal gasification was tried at Newman Spinney Killamarsh, north of Barlborough Hall (North Derbyshire) on 22/5/1950.  This time the coal was ignited and allowed to burn and the resultant combustion gases given off were collected. It was later learned that the key factor to gasification was to do it at depth.  Newman Spinney was too shallow.

More about Gasification


Petrol rationing ended on 26th May 1950 and the price went up 9d (3¾p) to 3s (15p) a gallon.

Party of officials in the photo headed by Harry Blakemore Bennett
Officials Visiting Donisthorpe

The party of officials in the photo headed by Harry Blakemore Bennett (2820) (Manager of Donisthorpe) (far left) had been underground at Rawdon on 24/3/1950 to see the Joy Continuous Miner. He would later be appointed as Area General Manager, No4 Area, Huthwaite, Nottinghamshire in the 1960s after holding several other management posts in the Leicestershire Area of the NCB.

He was the father of a friend of mine H Brian Bennett (8306) latterly Deputy Manager at Shirebrook Colliery in the 1980s.

In June, John Price aged 77 retired from Langton (Nottinghamshire)after 66 years service underground.

HM Inspector's Visit

HM Inspectors visited the collieries on a regular basis and would choose a certain underground district to go to, or visit surface installations usually accompanied by the Manager of the mine or other official.

A particular visit by Mr Davis HMI to Bilsthorpe (Nottinghamshire) Low Main seam 62s district on Thursday 22nd June 1950 gave the following remarks:

  1. The bearing girder at the junction of the old compressor gate and the West Return required middle setting.
  2. The switches on Low Main 62s still required locking up.  The locks were on order but had not yet arrived. 
  3. Mr Davis was favourably impressed with the improved condition of 62s face except in the supply gate stable where the cutting machine was being turned round.  The roof was gutted and no underlip girder had been set for the last web of coal. (Obviously this was a follow up visit by the Inspector.)
  4. He was very perturbed about the lack of stonedust on this district and suggested that it be given immediate attention. This was despite repeated recent requests for this district to be thoroughly stone dusted by me. 
  5. There were no horseheads in use at Allcock’s new ripping lip. This report to the Manager was signed by Bas Spencer, Safety Officer at the time. He was appointed Undermanager in 1959. In gaining such a high position after doing all the jobs from haulage, coal face worker, Deputy, Overman etc most unusually he had only ever worked at Bilsthorpe colliery. I obtained bits of information from him when we met whilst he was visiting Bilsthorpe Museum in 2011 where I am a Trustee)

Gloster Getter

There was a major change at Bolsover (Derbyshire) in June 1950 when a Gloster Getter coal cutting/loading machine invented by W Vic Sheppard (2853) completed trials, with a total of six machines being installed later. 

Huwood Power Loader

Pleasley (Derbyshire) introduced one of the first Huwood power loaders in 1950, a further one to Silverhill (Nottinghamshire) later.

Composite mining was introduced at Ireland (Derbyshire) in 1950.  It was nicknamed ‘Kick and rush’.  Panels 110 yards (100m) long were developed in the Deep Hard seam and on each shift the face team cleared the coal, dismantled and re-erected the face conveyor belt cut the face line and packed and drew forward the powered supports. 


The Deep Hard seam at Annesley (Nottinghamshire), worked since 1914 was abandoned in 1950.


Pumping continued at Field Shaft, Shipley; Fords; Salterwood; Upper Hartshay; Shireoaks No3; and Trowell Moor (since 1928) 4/4 (where the Manager Chas Houston (4043) and Undermanager WN Bennett (2nd) working at the nearby pit were also responsible for the mine).  


In 1950 Harold Neal MP for Clay Cross was appointed as (Lab) MP for the new Bolsover constituency. He had begun working at Plumptre colliery near Eastwood (Nottinghamshire) upon leaving school and would become a Union official of the NUM before he was 20 years old. He lived next door to my aunt and uncle at Aldercar (Langley Mill) and I knew him well.

NCB Liable For Repairs

The Coal Mining Subsidence Act 1950 required the NCB to be liable for cost of repairs to make good damage to certain dwelling houses (with a rateable value of £32) caused by mining subsidence.

Two Deputies Died

On 3rd August 1950, there was an outburst of gas at Mansfield Crown Farm (Nottinghamshire) in the High Hazles seam and 2 Deputies were overcome and died, (see report).

Automatic Skip Winding at Thoresby

At Thoresby (Nottinghamshire), fully automatic electrically operated skip winding was installed in August 1950.  This was a great asset to the colliery and in the following years enabled the colliery to produce over 1 million tons every year.

Holiday Pay

The one week holiday pay for 1950 was £7 16s 0d (£7.80) for adults, £6 5s 0d (£6.25) for 18 to 20 years and £4 14s 0d (£4.70) for under 18.  Statutory holiday pay per shift was increased from 1st May to 26s (£1 6s 0d) (£1.30) for adults, 20s 10d (£1.04) for 18 to 20 years, and 15s 8d (78⅓p) for under 18.

The annual holiday pay was determined by reference to the total wages bill of the previous year.

East Midlands Division Management

Senior Management personnel in the East Midlands Division in 1950

No1 Area Bolsover: W Vic Sheppard (2853) Area General Manager; John Brass Production Manager

  • No1 Sub-Area Manager Harry Kirk (1511), Agent Len Gross (2351)
  • No2 Sub-Area Manager Ben Kendall (1944), then no Agent
  • No3 Sub-Area Manager JS Rayner (3077), Agent GF Gardner (1333)
  • No4 Sub-Area Manager WES Peach, Agent Jack A Tankard (3946)
No3 Area Edwinstowe: Norman D Todd (3058) Area General Manager; Edwin W Lane (856) Production Manager
  • No1 Sub-Area Manager John T Rice (816), Agent Geo G Heathcote (2438)
  • No2 Sub-Area Manager John A Hayes (2352), Agent Charlie W Ringham (2199)
  • No3 Sub-Area Manager Peter L Richardson (3242) (promoted from New Lount), Agent Alf E Naylor (1928)

No4 Area Huthwaite: David Morgan Rees (2780) Area General Manager; Major FMT Bunney (2760) Production Manager

  • No1 Sub-Area Manager Alf Maddox (2385)
  • No2 Sub Area Manager Jack L Merry (542)
  • No3 Sub Area Manager F Donald Severn (977)
  • No4 Sub Area Manager Alfred W Gray (4013)

No5 Area Eastwood Hall: Jack L Westwood (1543) Area General Manager; Jim Smellie (2828) Production Manager

  • No1 Sub-Area Manager Ed W Potts (2131)
  • No2 Sub-Area Manager Jack G Belfitt (2265)
  • No3 Sub-Area Manager Jack H Pedley (2182)

No6 Area Bestwood: Alan Hill (734) Area General Manager; Arden A Bowker (2736) Production Manager

  • No1 Sub-Area Manager Norman Siddall (3655)
  • No2 Sub-Area Manager MH Young (No..?)

No7 Area South Derbyshire: John J Torrance (2803) Area General Manager; Arthur D Butterley (No…?) PM

  • No4 Sub-Area Manager: Frank M Joyce (844).

Collieries Closed in 1950

Pinxton Colliery Closed After 120 Years

See The Origianl Photos On Malcolm Hill's Pages

On 3rd March 1950, Pinxton No2 (Plymouth) pit (Derbyshire) was closed (Yard seam) after 120 years and merged with Brookhill, a single sunk in 1908-1909, as part of Pinxton (Pinxton Collieries Ltd).  

Other shafts sunk in 1836. The colliery lies to the West of Pinxton village.

John Coke had sunk the first shaft in 1780.

There was a demarcation to Langton.
Brookhill pit bottom was under Langton management in the Silkstone seam.

The old Plymouth No5 shaft was filled to the surface with clay, concrete and ashes in Oct 1930 and the No4 shaft sunk to Deep Hard in June 1933.

No4 shaft was 348½ feet (106.25m) above sea level and No5 shaft 354½ feet (108m).

Seams worked:

  • Deep Soft
  • Deep Hard
  • Tupton
  • Threequarters
  • Silkstone.

Manpower: Coke and Co:

  • 1894: No1: 254 Deep Hard, 93 s/f, No2: 145 Silkstone, 56 s/f, No3: 145 Tupton, 53 s/f, 125 Deep Soft, 50 s/f
  • 1895: 235 DH, 72 s/f, 148 S, 56 s/f, 129 T, 50 s/f, 135 DS, 69 s/f
  • 1896: 242 DH, 74 s/f, 149 S, 62 s/f, 29 T, 21 s/f, 139 DS, 58 s/f
  • 1897: 242 DH, 65 s/f, 156 S, 54 s/f, 109 T, 43 s/f, 125 DS, 62
  • 1898: 216 DH, 65 s/f, 147 S, 49 s/f, 93 T, 41 s/f, 115 DS, 51 s/f
  • 1899: 221 DH, 60 s/f, 199 S, 49 s/f, 124 T, 44 s/f, 145 DS, 52 s/f
  • 1900: 243 DH, 53 s/f, 252 S, 62 s/f, 168 T, 30 s/f, 199 DS, 62 s/f
  • 1901: No1: 302 DH, 76 s/f, No2: 312 S, 63 s/f, 7 sinking, 2 s/f, No3: 172 T, 35 s/f, No6: 254 DS, 64 s/f
  • 1902: 248 DH, 69 s/f, 290 S, 79 s/f, 13 sinking, 2 s/f, 150 T, 31 s/f, 242 DS, 61 s/f
  • 1903: 254 DH, 64 s/f, 353 S, 70 s/f, 14 sinking, 178 T, 64 s/f, 275 DS, 67 s/f
  • 1904: 218 DH, 67 s/f, 349 S, 69 s/f, 217 T, 53 s/f, 278 DS, 86 s/f
  • 1905: No1: 230 DH, 55 s/f, No2: 156 S, 58 s/f, No3: 159 T, 47 s/f, No6: 275 DS, 91 s/f
  • 1906: 272 DH, 68 s/f, 207 S, 73 s/f, 204 T, 59 s/f, 271 DS, 81 s/f
  • 1907: 236 DH, 54 s/f, 274 S, 78 s/f, 207 T, 61 s/f, 263 DS, 86 s/f
  • 1908: 221 DH, 50 s/f, 319 S, 84 s/f, 255 T, 59 s/f, 280 DS, 82 s/f
  • 1909: 251 DH, 57 s/f, 315 S, 85 s/f, 267 T, 64 s/f, 255 DS, 72 s/f
  • 1910: Brookhill
  • 1911: Brookhill: 343 DH, 70 s/f, 356 S, 77 s/f, 392 T, 93 s/f, No2: 113 S, 15 s/f, No6: 53 DS, 5 s/f
  • 1912: under Brookhill: 346 DH, 95 s/f, 359 S, 93 s/f, 373 T, 85 s/f, No2: 93 S, 30 s/f, No6: 43 DS abandoned
  • 1913: No2: 77 S, 21 s/f
  • 1914: 80 S 26 s/f
  • 1915: 61 S, 28 s/f
  • 1916: 78 S, 20 s/f
  • 1917: 70 S, 18 s/f
  • 1918: 50 S, 32 s/f
  • 1919: No2: 8 S, 12 abandoned
  • 1920:
  • 1921:
  • 1922: Brookhill and Nos 1, 2 , 3: 280 DH, 419 T, 390 S, under Plymouth 47 Tupton ¾s, 314 s/f
  • 1923: now Plymouth: 71 T¾s, 16 s/f
  • 1924: 84 T¾s, 19 s/f
  • 1925: 96 T¾s, 21 s/f
  • 1926: 103 T¾s, 25 s/f
  • 1927: 119 T¾s, 24 s/f
  • 1928: 127 T¾s, 27 s/f
  • 1929: 135 T¾s, 35 s/f
  • 1930: 146 T¾s, 48 s/f
  • 1931: 149 T¾s, 59 s/f
  • 1932: 159 T¾ s, 61 s/f
  • 1933: 171 T¾s, 66 s/f
  • 1934: 156 T¾s, 61 s/f
  • 1935: 148 T¾s, 59 s/f
  • 1936: No6 Old Soft: 91 DS, 26 s/f, Plymouth: 154 T¾s, 58 s/f
  • 1937: No6: 87 DS, 30 s/f, Plymouth:No2: 127 T¾s, 62 s/f
  • 1938: No6: 86 DS, 31 s/f, Plymouth No2: 125 T¾s, 58 s/f
  • 1939:
  • 1940: No6: 84 DS, 24 s/f, Plymouth No2: 119 T¾ s, 44 s/f
  • 1941: No6: 15 DS, 4 s/f, Plymouth No2: 98 T¾s, 30 s/f
  • 1942: No6: abandoned 2/42, Plymouth No2: 84 T¾s, 33 s/f
  • 1943: Plymouth No2: 198 Low Main, Silkstone and Tupton Threequarters, 41 s/f
  • 1944: Plymouth No2: 134 Yard, Low Main, Silkstone, 47 s/f
  • 1945: Plymouth No2: inclusive with Brookhill: 652 Low Main, Piper, Silkstone and Yard (variable section 1’ 10” – 2’ 9” (0.56m – 0.84m), 274 s/f
  • 1946: ….

Tonnage and Manpower NCB:   No4 Area EMD:

  • 1947: 59,477 tons, 170 men
  • 1948: 59,047 tons, 148 men
  • 1949: 41,616 tons, 136 men
  • 1950: 4,431 tons, 37 men.


  • Agent and General Manager Walter Salmond
  • Henry Stevenson (1575)






Next Page 6
Pit Terminology - Glossary