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Calendar
The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947

Chimneys
1965
1967
1969

  1967    1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9 

1967 - Page 5


Bestwood Colliery (Nottinghamshire) Closed After 95 Years
And Merged With Linby

Registered Office: Bestwood Colliery, near Nottingham
Class of Coal: Manufacturing, Steam
Other Minerals Worked: Fireclay

John Bullin
John Bullin Master sinker is shown in the photo.

In July 1967, Bestwood colliery (South Nottinghamshire) sunk in 1872-1878 by the Bestwood Coal and Iron Co Ltd, John Bullin was the Master Sinker, i.e. in charge of all sinking operations on all shifts.

The Pit was closed after 95 years and merged with Linby. Bestwood was situated to the south east of Hucknall Torkard. Shaft positions: SK54NE, No1 455598, 347496, No2 455612, 347452. The shafts were 60 yards (55m) apart and both 13’ 2” (4.01m) dia with 60 yards (55m) of tubbing and sunk 364 yards (333m) to Top Hard. Surface level of the pit top was 223 feet (68m) above sea level. Between 1911 and 1917, subsidiaries of Bestwood Co Ltd were Askern Coal and Iron Co Ltd and Foraky Boring Co (later housing the emergency borehole equipment).

The basal breccia cutting off the water-bearing measures and the top of the coal measures was at 216 feet (66m).
There were a dozen thin seams of coal then

  • High Main, 4’ 3” (1.30m) at 624 feet (190m), 8 more thin beds of coal
  • Main Bright 2’ 10” (0.86m) at 914’ 6” (278.7m)
  • Two Foot coal and bat 1’ 10” (0.56m) at 930 feet (283.3m)
  • Abdy 2’ 10” (0.86m) at 965’ 5” (294.2m), 3 thin beds of coal
  • High Hazles 2’ 10” (0.86m) at 1045’ 6” (318.7m), 3 beds of thin coal
  • Top Hard 6’ 8” (2.03m) at 1241 feet (378.3m).
In 1931 3,000 v 3 phase transformer introduced underground.
Pithead baths were opened in 1933.
A surface drift called the Lancaster drift after J Lancaster the first Director was driven in 1949-1950 and operational by 1951, mouth entrance 43/5547/539546, 220 feet (67m above sea level).
Surveyor... Jack Wadsworth.
A cable belt was installed in 1955.
A Kue Ken crusher was installed in 1957 and a new tub circuit and tippler on the pit bank.
Loco workshop was built in 1958.

Surface Locos at 4’ 8½” gauge were

  • Side tanks Lancaster 0-4-0 1888
  • St Albans, 0-4-0, 1891
  • Bestwood 0-4-0, 1919
  • two 0-6-0s 1943 and 1944
  • Sherwood No3, 0-6-0, 1899
  • Valerie, 0-6-0, 1924
  • No4, 4 wheel, 1954,
  • King George 0-6-0, 1942
  • Ruth, 0-6-0, 1937
  • Peter, 0-6-0, 1943
  • No3 Felix, 0-6-0, 1954
  • D14 David 0-6-0 diesel 1958
  • Robin, 0-6-0, 1958
  • D15 Simon, 0-6-0 1958
  • Diesel 0-6-0, 1960
  • Lesley 0-6-0, 1960

Underground Locos at 2’ 0” gauge were

  • two 7 tons 4 wheel battery 1943
  • two 7 tons Atlas 4 wheel, 1945
  • 22hp 4 wheel diesel, 1950
  • Five 100hp 0-6-0s, 1948, 1952, 1952, 1953, 1954
  • Four 22hp 4 wheel diesels 1954
  • Three 100hp 0-6-0 diesels 1956, 1956, 1959
  • Two 4 wheel diesels 1961.

Bestwood Training Centre surface narrow gauge for training underground personnel:

  • No2 Heather 4 wheel diesel, 1958
  • No3, 4 wheel diesel 1961
  • No1, 0-6-0 diesel, 1956
  • R1, 4 wheel diesel, 1961
  • Two 23hp 0-6-0 diesels 1953 and 1954.
    Seven of these were transferred to Linby 1968/69.

Seams worked were:-

  • Top Hard 5’ 6” (1.67m) 1878-1891, 1893-1922, 1922-1948
  • High Main 4’ 3½” (1.30m), trial heads both sides No1 shaft 1912, abandoned 13th Feb 1913 and 1918/19-Jan 1967, difficult geological conditions
  • High Hazles 3’ 3” (1.0m) Mar 1962-24th June 1967
  • Main Bright 2’ 10” (0.86m) start 1915/1916- 23rd Nov 1918, resumed single face Dec 1928-16th July 1937, reopened again 1956-12th May 1967.

Shaft details to seams

  • High Main 2’ 11” (0.89m) at 386 yards (353m)
  • Main Bright 2’ 6” (0.76m) at 464 yards
  • Low Bright 2’ 5” (0.74m) at 483 yards (441.6m)
  • High Hazles 3’ 3” (1.0m) at 508 yards (464.5m)
  • Top Hard 2’ 6” (0.76m) at 560 yards (512m)
  • Sump 573 yards (524m).

Lancaster drift extended to Main Bright in 1959.

Koepe system of winding was employed at the shafts raising 4 tubs of 11 cwts (in 1894).
Headgears wrought iron lattice, 70ft (21m) high.
No1 UC engine 2 vertical cylinders 36” x 72” (0.91m x 1.82m), one plain 19 feet (5.8m) dia drum wood lagged and grooved accurately to fit a rope to 18 feet (5.5m) dia pulley wheels.
No2 DC shaft engine, 2 horizontal cylinders 30” x 60” (0.76m x 1.52m) fitted with side valves. Drawing ropes 4½” (0.11m) in circumference and balance ropes.
At the coal prep plant there were screens to separate house coal from steam and cannel.
The chimney was 210 feet (64m) high and 8’ 6” (2.6m) dia.
There were 12 Galloway boilers.
The ventilation was created by a Guibal fan 46 feet (14.0m) dia x 15 feet (4.57m) wide, 36 revs per min giving 135,000 cu ft per min at 2” (0.05m) water gauge (in 1894).
In 1928 there was a reorganisation of the pit.
Mechanisation was introduced underground and including in the surface alterations a new coal prep plant was built.
Longwall method of working cutters and conveyors introduced by 1932 and by 1936 the pit was 100% mechanised.
In 1943 a retractable landing platform was installed at the High Main horizon requiring a clutch for the winding gear to be fitted.
Marsaut safety lamps were used for illumination until replaced with the modern battery and cap lamp in the late 1940s.
In 1946 further development of the High Main continued and working was done by the bord and pillar system.
A new satellite shaft 18’ 2” (5.54m) dia to allow workmen to access the Top Hard workings from Bestwood and also act as an airshaft was sunk at Calverton 1946-1950 and a wide coal heading driven to connect the two. However the idea didn’t last too long before the Top Hard workings in that area were abandoned.
After the Second World War a second shaft would be sunk at Calverton and the pit then became a unit in its own right.
A cable belt was installed in the High Main seam in 1955.

Bestwood Mission Church, central workshops and stores and Medical centre for the Area were situated on the site.

A fleet of lorries, as shown, delivered the excellent quality coal to many parts of Nottinghamshire.

Rows of terraced housing lead to the pit yard entrance.

On the Top Hard abandonment plan a note states that the workings were plotted by magnetic to 1936 (magnetic correlation 9/6/1922) and then on an arbitrary grid to 1948. There could be a probable error of 20 yards (18.3m) to the extremities of the workings!

Maximum manpower in 1948 was 2,294 when 825,853 tons was turned.
First one million tons produced in 1952, with 1,047,831.
Maximum output 1,127,424 tons in 1955.
The offices adjacent to the colliery were maintained and continued as South Nottinghamshire Area HQ. Additional prefabricated office blocks were built to house the Area staff.
Anderton shearer with Dobson chocks was installed in the High Main seam in 1956.
A Joy shovel loader was introduced in 1956.
A new stores building was opened in 1959.
Central Stores for the Area were opened in 1962. There was a connection to Linby at High Main level.
Wire meshing was tried successfully behind the arches as side support in 1962.
Lord Robens Chairman of NCB visited the colliery and offices in 1962 accompanied by CG Lancaster MP.
Len C Hogg, Manager of the pit was a founder member of the Bestwood Male Voice Choir in 1952. The choir had performed in countries on the continent as well as locally. He was born in Sutton-in-Ashfield in 1915 (died Jan 2005) but moved to Derbyshire where his father was a coal miner. He worked at a number of Nottinghamshire pits including Bulwell, Babbington, Linby, Clifton and Bestwood. He had been involved with similar choirs at Clifton and Babbington

A bakery for NCB in January 1953, was in the extension to the pit canteen to supply bread and pies to 11,000 miners. The bakery was started about 10 years ago under BA Collieries.

Manpower: Bestwood Coal and Iron Co:

  • 1894: Top Hard 827, 322 s/f, total 1,149 men
  • 1895: 827 TH, 336 s/f, 1,163 men
  • 1896: 874 TH, 328 s/f
  • 1897: 896 TH, 328 s/f
  • 1898: 909 TH, 350 s/f
  • 1899: 891 TH, 325 s/f
  • 1900: 836 TH, 321 s/f, 1,157 men
  • 1901: 852 TH, 329 s/f
  • 1902: 856 TH, 337 s/f
  • 1903: 844 TH, 351 s/f, 1,295 men
  • 1904: 854 TH, 333 s/f
  • 1905: 858 TH, 325 s/f, 1,183 men
  • 1906: 854 TH, 383 s/f
  • 1907: 835 TH, 331 s/f
  • 1908: 876 TH, 351 s/f
  • 1909: 863 TH, 363 s/f
  • 1910: 875 TH, 350 s/f
  • 1911: 896 TH, 338 s/f, 1,234 men
  • 1912: 971 TH, 326 s/f
  • 1913: 1,006 TH, 323 s/f, 1,329 men
  • 1914: 1,050 TH, 338 and 8 New, 8 s/f
  • 1915: 867 TH, 37 Main Bright, 324 s/f, 1,228
  • 1916: 801 TH, 69 MB, 316 s/f
  • 1917: 1,003 TH, 82 MB, 363 s/f
  • 1918: 1,063 TH, MB, High Main, 315 s/f
  • 1919: 1,250 TH, HM, 306 s/f
  • 1920: 1,481 TH, HM, 335 s/f
  • 1921: 1,504 TH, HM, 326 s/f
  • 1922: 1,843 TH, HM, 311 s/f
  • 1923: 1,938 TH, HM, 333 s/f, 2,271 men max
  • 1924: 1733 TH, HM, 430 s/f
  • 1925: 1,646 TH, HM, 427 s/f, 2,073 men
  • 1926: 1,584 TH, HM, 412 s/f, 1,996 men
  • 1927:1,623 TH, HM, 399 s/f, 2,022 men
  • 1928: 1,265 Top Hard, High Main and Main Bright, 366 s/f, total 1,631
  • 1929: 1,553 TH, HM, MB, 418 s/f, 1,971 men
  • 1930: 1,660 TH, HM, MB, 446 s/f, 2,106 men
  • 1931: 975 TH, HM, MB, 572 s/f
  • 1932: 812 TH, MB, HM, 250 s/f
  • 1933: 912 TH, MB, HM, 270 s/f, 1,182 men
  • 1934: 891 TH, MB, HM, 235 s/f
  • 1935: 850 TH, MB, HM, 292 s/f, 1,142 men

 

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