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The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947

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Chimneys

1963
1965
1967

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1965 - Page 3


Shirland Colliery Closed After 100 Years

Shirland pit

Shirland colliery (Derbyshire) sunk 1864-1865 by Beavan and Bailey, was closed in May 1965 after 100 years.

Position: No1 UC shaft SK35NE, 439888, 358002.

Highest manpower was 545 men in 1961 and highest tonnage 295,770 tons in 1957.

The pit was situated to the north west of Alfreton at Hallfield Gate off the old Roman Road Rykneld Street. Position 43/3958/888002, 43/3958/897024, 400 ft (122m) above sea level.

The shafts were sunk to Blackshale at 156 yards (143m).

Horizontal winding engines, 2 cylinders 24” (0.61m) x 4 ft (1.22m) stroke x 12 ft (3.66m) drum.

There was a single inlet Capel ventilation fan 12’6” (3.81m) dia x 6’ 0” (1.83m) wide.

Underground there were 3 sets of rope driven pumps and three 3-throw electric ram pumps and 3 sets of pumps in the upcast shaft to the surface. Bucket pump 15” (0.38m) and plunger sets 14” (0.35m) and 13” (0.33m) dia worked by rods and quadrants from surface.

4 Clarke and Stevenson coal cutting machines in Deep Hard working a 4’6” (1.37m) undercut and one electrically driven Garforth cutter in Silkstone working 5’ 6” (1.68m) undercut.

Main and tail rope haulage worked by engine on surface.

30 beehive ovens, making coke with coal from Low Main and Silkstone seams.

The colliery was taken over by Shirland Colliery Co in 1866, Shirland Colliery Co, Benton and Woodiwiss from 1877, Blackwell Colliery Co from 1888, then by NH and B Collieries Ltd (New Hucknall and Blackwell) in 1944.

Seams worked:

  • Furnace abandoned 1877
  • Tupton or Low Main -1877, 1880-1951
  • Silkstone or Blackshale 1869-1932 and again to Feb 1958
  • Tupton Threequarters 1890–1891
  • Threequarter 1944-1949-1952 and Sep 1959-Oct 1960, 2’ 4” (0.71m) thick
  • Deep Hard 1893-June 1931, 1945 reopened by drifts driven from surface-1947 but continued on room and pillar work -1966, 3’ 6” (1.07m)
  • (Deep) Soft 1897-1899 and 1921-1962, 3’ 11” (1.19m) reopened by headings driven from Deep Soft outcrop and coal brought to surface along the adits, reopened 1964 Feb-1964 July, but unsuccessful
  • Yard -1891, 1962-1965.

Seams dip at about 1in8.

Originally candles were used in the Tupton seam, with double gauzed bonneted safety lamps with flat wicks and using cozaline in other seams.

Carbonite explosive was used, fired by electric battery.

An Armstrong airbreaker method of shotfiring was introduced in Aug 1958. At that time the Deep Hard and Deep Soft seams were worked on conventional longwall advancing methods with an overburden of up to 200 yards (183m ) and as little as 25 yards (23.9m) and was naturally wet. Deep Soft faces cut with flat jibs and Deep Hard with double turret mushroom jibs. Pilot and reamer bits were used to drill the 3” app (0.08m) holes. After blowing down the coal on the turning shift it was handfilled onto face chain conveyors.

The Compressed Air Blasting Shells Regulations, 1960 were applied to the system.

ShirlandManpower: Blackwell Colliery Co figs from 1894: 241 Silkstone, 64 s/f, 57 Deep Hard, 14 s/f, 112 Tupton, 35 s/f

  • 1895: 164 S, 73 s/f, 105 DH, 23 s/f, 63 T, 20 s/f
  • 1896: 186 S, 74 s/f, 89 DH, 25 s/f, 38 T, 11 s/f
  • 1897: 208 S, 38 s/f, 97 DH 17, 24 T, 2 s/f
  • 1898: 192 S, 32 s/f, 97 DH, 19 s/f, 13 T, 2 s/f, 9 Deep Soft, 2 s/f
  • 1899: 202 S, 40 s/f, 104 DH, 17 s/f, 25 T, 4 s/f, 7 Deep Soft fin, 3 s/f
  • 1900: 186 S, 81 s/f, 98 DH, 18 s/f, 33 T, 6 s/f
  • 1901: 202 S, 81s/f, 97 DH, 25 s/f, 42 T, 8 s/f
  • 1902: 200 S, 75 s/f, 94 DH, 24 s/f, 49 T, 8 s/f
  • 1903: 216 S, 37 s/f, 86 DH, 13 s/f, 45 T, 5 s/f
  • 1904: 324 S, 56 s/f, 56 DH, 11 s/f, T, 11 s/f, 60 T, 17 s/f
  • 1905: 207 S, 50 s/f, 60 DH, 20 s/f, 49 T, 10 s/f
  • 1906: 200 S, 70 s/f, 76 DH, 30 s/f, 35 T, 12 s/f
  • 1907: 217 S, 80 s/f, 72 DH, 22 s/f, 40 T, 7 s/f
  • 1908: 227 75 s/f, 69 DH, 25 s/f, 57 T, 7 s/f
  • 1909: 237 S, 70 s/f, 82 DH, 30 s/f, 60 T, 16 s/f
  • 1910: 240 S, 75 DH, 50 T, 120 s/f
  • 1911: 244 S, 78 DH, 38 T, 121 s/f
  • 1912: 244 S, 73 DH, 52 T, 124 s/f
  • 1913: 243 S, 64 DH, 65 T, 127 s/f
  • 1914: 375 S, DH, T, 120 s/f
  • 1915: 349 S, DH, T, 127 s/f
  • 1916: 375 S, DH, T, 138 s/f
  • 1917: 373 Silkstone, Deep Hard, Tupton, 116 s/f
  • 1918: 356 S, DH, T, 132 s/f
  • 1919: 399 S, Dh, T, 132 s/f
  • 1920: 283 S, DH, T, 121 s/f
  • 1921: 351 S, DH, T, Soft, 109 s/f
  • 1922: 354 S, DH, T, Soft, 101 s/f
  • 1923: 401 S, DH, T, Soft, 116 s/f
  • 1924: 394 S, DH, T, Soft, 127 s/f
  • 1925: 387 S, DH, T, Soft, 137 s/f
  • 1926: 375 S, DH, T, Soft, 126 s/f
  • 1927: 397 S, DH, T, Soft, 124 s/f
  • 1928: 312 S. DH, T, Soft, 133 s/f
  • 1929: 314 S, DH, T, Soft, 136 s/f
  • 1930: 299 S, DH, T, Soft, 138 s/f
  • 1931: 229 S, DH, T, Soft, 111 s/f
  • 1932: 234 Tupton, Soft, 115 s/f
  • 1933: 242 T, S, 127 s/f
  • 1934: 232 Tupton, Deep Hard, Blackshale, Soft, 130 s/f
  • 1935: 224 T, DH, BS, S, 137 s/f
  • 1936: 253 T, Soft, 145 s/f
  • 1937: 259 T, S, 142 s/f
  • 1938: 275 T, S, 136 s/f
  • 1939: 270 app T, S, 140 s/f
  • 1940: 275 T, S, 145 s/f
  • 1941: 262 T, S, 151 s/f
  • 1942: 286 T, S, 155 s/f
  • 1943: 297 T, S, 143 s/f

NH and B Collieries Ltd: 1944: 301 T, S, 149 s/f

  • 1945: 292 Tupton or Low Main, 163 s/f
  • 1946: 323 Deep Soft, Deep Hard, Low Main, 164 s/f.

Output and Manpower NCB: No4 Area EMD: 1947: 157,060 tons, 467 men

  • 1948: 184,741 tons, DS, DH, LM, 493 men
  • 1949: 184,927 tons, 514 men
  • 1950: 200,500 tons, 512 men
  • 1951: 237,478 tons, 482 men
  • 1952: 218,442 tons, 482 men
  • 1953: 220,632 tons, 483 men
  • 1954: 238,805 tons, 476 men
  • 1955: 253,229 tons, 483 men
  • 1956: 291,603 tons, 509 men
  • 1957: 295,770 tons (max), 514 men
  • 1958: 259,808 tons, 518 men
  • 1959: 273,210 tons, 530 men
  • 1960: 242,623 tons, 526 men
  • 1961: 202,717 tons, 545 men (max)
  • 1962: 191,078 tons, 525 men
  • 1963/64: 165,713 tons, 394 men
  • 1964/65: 162,584 tons, 341 men
  • 1965/66: 23,234 tons, 102 men.
  • Production ceased May 1965.

Many old bell pits lie to the north of Shirland and there were several old deeper pits around plus old Upper Delves and Shirland Delves to the south.

An old shaft was sunk 40 yards (36m) to the Hard coal.

To the west beyond Hallfield Hall was the old Crabtree pit sunk 60 yards (55m) to Blackshale. There were 30 coke ovens at 11 ft dia (3.35m).

2 shafts at 14 ft dia (4.26m) were sunk 40 yards (36m) apart.

Winding engines were made by Thornewill and Wareham.

The South Yorkshire Miners Association (a Mr Dallas and a company of colliers) purchased the mine in 1875 for £72,000. Philip Casey a Union man was offered the post of Manager. However the venture failed and it was purchased by Benton and Woodiwiss (Railway contractors) in 1877 after being reopened by Mr Kympton in 1876. It was a naturally wet pit but water broke in during 1888 in quantity and the pit was stood for 16 weeks. A Davy pump was installed to pump the pit dry. Ventilation was by a fan at Hallfield Gate shaft which had been sunk as a ventilation shaft for West Shirland.

The pit was purchased by the Blackwell Colliery Co in 1890.

Many miners resided at St Leonard’s Place.

There was a Miners’ Welfare and a band was set up.

The colliery then came under the amalgamation of New Hucknall Colliery Co and Blackwell Co, and formed part of NH and B Collieries Ltd before becoming a unit of No4 Area of the NCB in 1947.

Agents:

  • Maurice Deacon Agent
  • John Thomas Todd Agent -1924
  • CR Ellis Agent 1924-1942
  • Jack L Merry Agent (542) –1946.

Sub-Area Managers / Group Managers:

  • Jack L Merry (542) Sub-Area Manager 1947-1957
  • Jack W Smalley (3722) 1957- .

Managers for Shirland: JJ Barlow 1874-1875

  • Philip Casey 1875-1876
  • Moses Jeremiah Rhodes (720 service cert) pre 1883-1908
  • William Elliott (399) (for Blackwell A and B Winning also)
  • George AB Miller (87) 1908-1912
  • Norman D Todd (3058) 1912-1914 (transferred to Blackwell A Winning, later an Area General Manager)
  • George AB Miller (87) 1914-1922
  • Jack L Merry (542) 1923-1942 Manager and Agent –1946
  • Fred DA Boam (4101) 1947-1950 (No2 Area, transferred to Manager Pleasley, later HMI)
  • George Hodkin (2930) 1950-1951
  • Ray Gregory (4354) May 1951-Nov 1954 (transferred to Manager Newstead, later No1 then No4 Group Manager)
  • Les Cumberland (5563) Feb 1955-Feb 1956 (promoted from Brookhill, transferred to Manager Kirkby)
  • Sid Vardy (4647) 1956-1958 (promoted from Alfreton, transferred to Manager Brookhill)
  • Fred B Turton (5713) 1958-1959 (promoted from Pleasley, transferred to Manager Silverhill, later HMI)
  • Robert (Bob) Haworth (5068) 1960-1963 (transferred to Manager Langton, later Bentinck then transferred to Area Safety Engineer South Nottinghamshire)
  • Arthur Townsend (6400) 1963-1964 (promoted from Deputy Manager Bentinck, transferred to Manager Brookhill)
  • Colin Wells (6005) 1964-1965 (promoted from Deputy Manager Silverhill, transferred to Manager Silverhill).

Undermanagers for Shirland: Richard Moses Rhodes (service cert 367) pre 1887-1909

  • GT Glasby (2nd) 1910-1946
  • Ray Gregory (4354) 1947-1951 (promoted to Manager)
  • Jack H Atkins (3808) 1951-1953 (transferred to Silverhill as Undermanager then transferred to Safety Officer)
  • Jack F Dodd (4495) 1954-1956
  • Fred Towndrow (2nd) 1956-1961 (transferred from Pleasley)
  • E Cliff Glover (2nd) 1962-1964 (transferred to Blackwell B Winning)
  • T Les Dennis (2nd) 1964-1965 (transferred to Bentinck)

Surveyors included:

  • IG Kimpton
  • JR Jamieson
  • Edgar Clough (uncert)
  • Gordon Ison (2633) 1953-1965 (appointed upon qualifying Jan 1953, transferred to Sutton on closure, 1965-1975, later Group / Senior Surveyor North Nottinghamshire Area 1975-1986). Coal turning finished May 1965 and the colliery was abandoned 24th March 1966.

Fatal Accidents at Shirland:

  • John Thorpe (45) fell out of sinkers hoppit 25/12/1866      
  • Isaac Feul (16) run over by tubs 30/4/1867
  • Thomas Watson (45) fall of roof 11/10/1867
  • Robinson Kelsey (26) fall of roof 7/8/1871
  • Thomas Wild (18) 7/8/1871
  • George Radford (29) and Albert Rippon (41) fall of roof 16/11/1872
  • George Fresby (24) caught in machinery 8/12/1872
  • Sam Hambleton (20) fall of roof 25/3/1873
  • Thomas White (?) 24/4/1874 ?
  • Sam Wood (32) fall in a roadway 28/10/1874
  • George Nesbitt (14) crushed by a wagon on the surface 20/10/1881
  • William Linacre (39) fall of roof 21/12/1881, died 21/1/1882
  • Uriah Bowler (50) fall of roof 12/6/1882
  • John Jones (46) fall of roof 6/12/1889
  • George Wright (28) drowned in the colliery reservoir 9/10/1891
  • Jeremiah Rhodes (25) roller frame fell on him 4/11/1891
  • William Fresby (46) fell down the shaft 15/11/1894
  • Job Barlow (57) fall of roof 16/8/1901
  • Samuel William Kent (32) injured a hand 28/9/1906, died from toxaemia 18/10/1909
  • George Edward Holmes (45) coal fell down the shaft and struck him 16/8/1912
  • John H Redfern (22) crushed by a wagon on the surface 10/11/1914
  • George Nuttall (59) fall of roof 3/9/1917
  • Ernest Haynes (34) fall of roof 3/2/1920, died 12/2/1920
  • Arthur Holmes (37) fall of roof 13/3/1922
  • Arthur Hill (29) fall of roof 13/3/1924
  • Robert Shore (23) 30/5/1938
  • George Herbert Callin (23) fall of roof 1/1/1941.
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