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Calendar
The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947

Chimneys

1966
1968
1970

1968 - Page   1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10     11     12  

1968 - Page 4


Denby (Drury - Lowe) Colliery Closed 1968, After 126 Years

Denby (Drury - Lowe) colliery (North Derbyshire) sunk 1839 - 1842 by Robert Holden was closed in February 1968 after 126 years.
Located at Smithy Houses to the north west of Denby village.
2 shafts at 8 ft (2.4m) dia to 160 yards (146m), and the winding shaft widened to 12 ft (3.65m) in 1868, the other shaft 22 yards (20m) to southeast for pumping and haulage rope that went down the shaft for an endless rope haulage system worked by an engine on the pit top.
An old atmospheric engine called Old Anna was used to wind men and the shaft was referred to as the Anna shaft.
The UC shaft at 14 ft (4.27m) dia sunk 320 yards (293m) to the Kilburn seam in 1868, and some 1,380 yards (1,262m) east of the DC shaft.
Cast iron tubbing was needed due to the influx of water whilst sinking.
In 1868 the Old pit shaft was widened from 8’ 0” (2.44m) to 12’ 0” (3.66m) and by 1869 widening at the pumping pit was completed.
J Eardley was the mining engineer.
There was an elaborate screening plant with each tub passing over a weighbridge to a creeper 33 yards (30m) long which raised it 10 ft (3m) so that the various qualities could be taken out by hand picking.
The dirt was tipped using the McLane system and over the years due to combustion red shale could be seen on the tip.
Coal was transported to the Derby Canal by horse drawn waggons with containers that were offloaded at the canal wharf. Built in 1793 the waggon way lasted until Michaelmas day 1908.
In 1857 a connection was made to the main line of the Midland Railway.
The Kilburn pit was sunk by John Ray of Heanor Hall 1828 - 1830. He had commissioned John Curzon a Surveyor to produce a plan and valuation of coal at Denby.
The second shaft was sunk 1850, closed 1897 and then shaft deepened in 1905 but colliery closed 1906.
The Bassett pit was sunk in 1817 to the Kilburn seam at 84 yards (77m) and coal production ceased in 1843.
A balloon or haystack boiler supplied the steam for the engine. It was thought that Francis Thompson had manufactured it in 1790. It was removed to be preserved at the Science Museum, London in Nov 1963. The No2 shaft was kept open and used as a pumping shaft for the next 43 years when it was abandoned on 25/2/1886.
Robert’s son William Drury Holden developed the colliery and subsequently assumed the name of William Drury - Lowe.
In 1901 an Excelsior fan replaced the original fan at New Winnings. The Thornewill and Wareham 24” dia steam winder was replaced in 1903 with a pair of Corliss valve engines at 20” dia made by Fraser and Chalmers. This was the main manriding shaft. In 1916 another loco was purchased for shunting operations. It was a Peckett and Sons M5 0 - 6 - 0 saddle tank named Denby No1. The pitch pine headgear was replaced by steel in 1924.
Highest manpower was 819 in 1949 and highest tonnage 544,390 in 1966 - 1967, (with 1,654 men after merging with Denby Hall in Jan 1967). E438246 N347086.
The pit was originally called Denby Colliery and later known as Denby Colliery Ltd. This was superseded and the pit was renamed Denby Colliery (Drury - Lowe) Ltd.
At nationalization in 1947 the pit was renamed once more and called Denby Drury - Lowe.
From Sep to Dec 1966 a 550 yards (500m) drift was driven from Denby Drury - Lowe conveyor road up to a Piper seam road in Denby Hall.
Denby Drury - Lowe was then merged with Denby Hall Colliery in 1967 and finally renamed as Denby Colliery, the name it had first started out with.
The original shaft was located off Park Hall Lane and connected to the pumping shaft at the nearby Bassett pit. Connections were made later to the New Winnings shaft at Ryefield (sunk by contractor J Johnson of Ripley with J Farnsworth Master sinker) and then to the surface drift at Flamstead House driven in 1951 and also to the disused shaft at Kilburn which was refurbished and then finally connected to Denby Hall Colliery.
The New Winnings shaft was abandoned in 1957 and 2 submersible pumps capable of 100,000 gals per day were installed.
For many years weekly pay in open tins was paid out at the Old Pit.
An Armstrong airbreaker was tried to try to reduce the amount of explosives used.
A compressor on the pit top sent compressed air along narrow diameter pipes down the shaft and along the roadways to the district.
Large diameter shot holes were drilled into the coal face and metal tubes inserted and then the compressed air was released causing the coal to fracture as per an explosive shot.
The experiment was not a success and conventional shotfiring was resorted to.
The pit had terrible conditions compared with other pits around and it was often wondered why men put up with it and didn’t move away.
New pithead baths with 1,224 lockers, 36 showers, canteen to seat 80, a pay office, time office, medical centre and lamp cabin etc were opened in January 1962 and were the last in Derbyshire.
The first fully mechanised face at the pit was in the Belper Lawn seam in 1963. However soft floor and poor roof conditions and sandstone lying on top of the coal were experienced.

Seams worked

  • Ironstone - 1869
  • Deep Soft - 1874
  • Kilburn - 1935 and - 1966
  • Mickley - 1957
  • Silkstone or Blackshale - 1959 and - 1963
  • Ashgate - 1957, Alton - 1967, Belper Lawn - 1968.

Highest manpower was 819 in 1949 and highest output was 386,684 tons in 1954.

Manpower: George and Thos Henry Small:

  • 1860: c500 men and boys
  • W Drury Lowe: 1894: 300 Kilburn 100 s/f
  • 1895: 309 K, 92 s/f
  • 1896: 335 K, 91 s/f
  • 1897: 335 K, 93 s/f
  • 1898: 338 K, 103 s/f
  • 1899: 354 K, 97 s/f
  • 1900: 380 K, 97 s/f
  • 1901: 406 K, 105 s/f
  • 1902: 417 K, 95 s/f
  • 1903: 389 K, 100 s/f
  • 1904: 406 Kilburn, Silkstone, 116 s/f
  • 1905: 430 K, S, Mickley, 118 s/f
  • 1906: 453 K, S, M, 125 s/f
  • 1907: 430 K, S, M, 118 s/f
  • 1908: 429 K, S, M, 123 s/f
  • 1909: 473 K, S, M, 135 s/f
  • 1910: 500 app, K, S, M, 130 s/f
  • 1911: 534 K, S, M, 147 s/f
  • 1912: 553 K, S, M, 145 s/f
  • 1913: 583 K, S, M, 155 s/f
  • 1914: 622 K, S, M, 154 s/f
  • 1915: 506 K, S, M, 141 s/f
  • 1916: JAE Drury Lowe: 567 K, S, M, 151 s/f
  • 1917: 588 K, S, M, 155 s/f
  • 1918: 557 K, S, M, 151 s/f
  • 1919: 669 K, S, M, 164 s/f
  • 1920: 748 K, S, M, 158 s/f
  • 1921: 747 K, S, M, 124 s/f
  • 1922: 784 K, S, M, 132 s/f
  • 1923: 762 Kilburn, Silkstone, Mickley, 126 s/f
  • 1924: 743 Mickley, Kilburn, 146 s/f
  • 1925: 718 Ashgate, Mickley, Kilburn 159 s/f
  • 1926: 602 A, M, K, 139 s/f
  • 1927: 740 A, M, K, 146 s/f
  • 1928: 743 A, M, K, 157 s/f
  • 1929: 726 A, M, K, 167 s/f
  • 1930: 711 A, M, K, 168 s/f
  • 1931: 691 A, M, K, 164 s/f
  • 1932: 615 A, M, K, 163 s/f
  • 1933: 412 A, M, K, 156 s/f
  • 1934: 375 A, M, K, 162 s/f
  • 1935: 388 Blackshale, Mickley, 157 s/f
  • 1936: 316 Ashgate, BS, M, 105 s/f
  • 1937: 409 A, M, 129 s/f
  • 1938: Denby Colliery (Drury Lowe Ltd): 435 A, BS, M, 140 s/f
  • 1939:
  • 1940: 466 S, M, 163 s/f
  • 1941: 479 S, M, 182 s/f
  • 1942: 494 S, M, A, 184 s/f
  • 1943: 558 S, M, A, 144 s/f
  • 1944: 590 S, M, A, 164 s/f
  • 1945: 597 S, M, A, 142 s/f
  • 1946: app 780 men and boys.

Output and Manpower NCB: No5 Area EMD:

  • 1947: S.M.A 296,736 tons, 806 men
  • 1948: 328,606 tons, 815 men
  • 1949: 288,561 tons, 819 men
  • 1950: 288,893 tons, 762 men
  • 1951: 305,400 tons, 778 men
  • 1952: 343,503 tons, 790 men
  • 1953: 363,176 tons, 792 men
  • 1954: 386,684 tons, 773 men
  • 1955: 319,998 tons, 757 men
  • 1956: 255,853 tons, 740 men
  • 1957: 295,264 tons, 750 men
  • 1958: 298,618 tons, 778 men
  • 1959: 294,733 tons, 757 men
  • 1960: 261,517 tons, 648 men
  • 1961: 205,412 tons, 632 men
  • 1962: Alton 229,208 tons, 681 men
  • 1963/64: Alton and Belper Lawn, 264,255 tons, 710 men
  • 1964/65: 356,850 tons, 747 men (profit £143,000)
  • 1965/66: 374,512 tons, 771 men (loss £45,000)
  • 1966/67: 544,390 tons (max), 1,654 men (max), record output 9,350 tons Jan 1966 (loss £293,000)
  • North Derbyshire Area 1967/68: Kilburn, Piper, Alton, Belper Lawn 224,328 tons, 75 men.
    Ceased coal production
    February 1968.

Agents:

  • John Hawley Sharpe from sinking, Benjamin Pym (also Salterwood)
  • Mark Fryar (1231) Agent pre 1883 - 1934
  • Capt Richard Bryan Ireland, Agent 1935 - 1943 (promoted from Assistant)
  • William Taylor (3338) Agent 1943 - 1946
  • Jack G Belfitt (2265) Agent 1947 - (later Production Manager No2 Area Wigan).

Sub - Area Managers / Group Managers:

  • Jack G Belfitt (2265) Sub - Area Manager 1947 - 1951
  • Jim W Crossland (3610) Sub - Area Manager 1952 -
  • William Murday (4631) Group Manager 1958 -
  • Des Marriott (5671) Group Manager 1964 - 1966
  • Bas G Wright (5160) Group Manager 1966 - 1968.

Managers for Denby:

  • Mark Fryar (1231) Manager and Agent pre 1883 - 1909
  • James Knighton (3040) 1909 - 1914
  • George Anthony Sellars (226) promoted 1915 - Aug 1916
  • Frank Brown (1135?) acting 1916
  • John Charles Binks (1256) (promoted from Huyton) 1916 - 1919
  • Henry Smith (3635) (from Stanley Footrill abandoned Nov 1918) 1920 - 1924
  • Charles Houston (4043) (promoted from Undermanager) 1924 - 1928
  • Alfred Ernest Wilber (1044) (promoted from Undermanager) 1928 - 1936 and Agent 1929 - 1936
  • Jim Reid (2103) Manager 1936 - 1938
  • Denby Colliery (Drury - Lowe) Ltd, James Johnston (1243) 1938 - 1939
  • Charles PW Frew (2902) 1939 - 1943
  • Jim Robert Murday (2253) (ex Colliery Enginewright) 1943 - 1952 died in post Feb aged 64
  • NCB No5 Area: Cyril W Richards (5429) temporary (Denby Hall Undermanager) 1952 - 1953
  • Fergus McNeill (4553) 1953 - 1955
  • Ronnie CH Hamilton (4441) 1955 - 1959.
    Renamed Denby Drury - Lowe (inc Kilburn) Ronnie CH Hamilton (4441) 1959 (transferred to Manager Denby Hall inc Ripley) 1961
  • Stan Hayes (4214) (transferred from Denby Hall) 1961, transferred to Special duties Safety Engineer at Eastwood HQ to 1965)
  • Joe Hobley (2651) July 1961 - 1965
  • William E (Ted) Bridgett (3816) 1965 - 1967

On merger with Denby Hall renamed Denby Colliery again:

  • John G Town (7579) 1967 - 1968 (promoted from Moorgreen, transferred to Renishaw Park, later Bolsover, Shirebrook, Production Manager North Derbyshire 1975)
  • Jack Murday (Acting for closure 1968).

Deputy Manager:

  • Dave C Alcock (5926) 1959 - 1961
  • Jim Robert Murday (2253) (promoted to Manager).

Undermanagers for Denby:

  • R Coe 1840s, Abraham Bell (2nd) 1886 - 1915
  • Henry Smith (3635) 1910 - 1914 (to Stanley Footrill)
  • George Anthony Sellars (226) (promoted from Shirebrook, promoted to Manager) 1914 - 1915
  • Frank Brown (1135?) 1916 (to acting Manager Aug)
  • Thomas Parkin ex deputy, acting Undermanager 1916
  • Thomas Longdon 1920 - Oct 1923
  • Charles Houston (4043) 1923 - 1924 (from Heage Norton, promoted to Manager)
  • Alfred Ernest Wilber (1044) 1924 - 1928 (from Loscoe, promoted to Manager)
  • George Childs (956) 1928 - 1936
  • Charles PW Frew (2902) 1936 - 1938 (to Manager Clay Cross)
  • CWL Dudgeon (2nd) 1938 - 1939
  • no Undermanager 1940 - 1947
  • NCB No5 Area: Frank E Shields (3152) 1947 - 1951
  • D Jimmy McPherson (5237) 1951 - 1952
  • John Tankard (....) 1955 - 1956
  • Syd Wyld (2nd) 1956 - 1957
  • Frank Moore (6808) 1967 - 1968
  • Dave C Alcock (5926) Jan 1958 - 1961 (transferred from Gedling, transferred to Ormonde)
  • Sammy P Greaves (5674) 1961 - 1968 (transferred from Woodside).

Surveyors included:

  • Arthur Haynes (and Mining Agent) 1908 - …George W Langton (2483)
  • Bernard P Cullen (3163).

Fatal accidents: Bassett pit:

  • William Horsely (13) fall of roof ?/1/1836

Fatal Accidents Denby:

  • R Annable (26) fall of roof 2/2/1856
  • G Bridges (26) fall of roof 17/9/1856
  • J Cresswell (31) fall of roof 7/4/1857
  • S Haywood (14) crushed by tubs 20/1/1858
  • J Taylor (14) fall of roof 18/4/1859
  • J Wood (11) fell down the shaft 31/1/1861
  • James Brown (20) fall of coal 1/2/1865
  • Frederick Hogden (23) fell down the shaft 19/10/1865
  • William Brown (18) fell down the shaft 29/5/1967
  • Thomas Brown (45) fell from a scaffold in the shaft 1/9/1868
  • Thomas Kerry (14) fell down the shaft 4/12/1869
  • Elijah Briggs (55) fall of roof 4/8/1871
  • Hugh Hunt (69) fall of coal 19/4/1872
  • Thomas Wood (13) run over by tubs 24/10/1873
  • Joseph Hall (34) crushed by the cage 2/6/1880
  • Frederick Sanders (26) fall of roof 25/10/1892, died 30/10/1892
  • George Green (17) crushed by tubs 29/6/1893
  • Thomas Briggs (72) injured his thumb 2/12/1897, died from toxaemia 7/12/1897
  • Edward Winfield (15) run over by tubs 19/7/1898
  • Hezekiah Brown (39) fall of roof 12/6/1899, died 17/6/1899
  • William Green (36) fall of roof 15/5/1900
  • Horace Webster (21) fall of roof 21/2/1903, died 27/2/1904
  • John Henry Hughes (27) fall of roof 23/5/1905, died 29/6/1905
  • Albert Lewin (40) crushed foot 21/9/1911, died 19/1/1912
  • Thomas W Saunders (26) run over by loco on the surface 14/1/1913
  • Frank Allsop (28) fall of coal 24/3/1916
  • Leonard Butler (17) run over by tubs 3/3/1919
  • Edward Carver (64) fall of roof 26/6/1920
  • William Hunt (58) shotfiring accident 12/11/1920, died 13/11/1920
  • Thomas Henry Radford (48) crushed by tubs 20/4/1923
  • Norman Edward Douglas (40) pump man for the Lady Lucy pump scalded when a steam pipe burst 522 ft (159m) deep underground 7/11/1923
  • George Cresswell (65) fall of roof 7/12/1923
  • Charles Thomas Booth (19) crushed by tubs 23/6/1924
  • John Whiteman (67) injured his hand 29/9/1924, died from toxaemia 19/10/1924
  • Harold Cresswell (42) fall of roof 11/1/1943, died 12/1/1943
  • John Henry Wathall (64) fall of roof 30/4/1943
  • Thomas Charles Godkin (59) fall of roof 9/6/1943
  • John Hackman (37) fall of coal 2/2/1947
  • William Bell (60) hit by an aerial tip bucket on the surface 15/3/1951

Denby Drury Lowe:

  • Edwin Brentnall (34) fall of roof 9/12/1949
  • Alan Walthall (20) shotfiring accident 1/8/1951
  • John William Smith (53) fall of roof 2/11/1956
  • Edwin Herbert Thorpe (58) run over by a loco on the surface 26/2/1957
  • Keith George Ryde (23) shotfiring accident 4/5/1960
  • Joseph E Linthwaite (53) injured on 2/7/1951, died 10/12/1963.

Denby Hall: included Charles Whawell (57), shearer driver on his last shift at the pit on Friday afternoon 21st April was cutting 66s face in the 2nd Piper when a huge fall of roof about 15 yards (14m) long buried him and two others. These two men were eventually released albeit with serious injuries after several hours but Whawell was found to be dead when he was uncovered. 20 rescuers had toiled in relays to shift the fall in very dangerous conditions to get to the trapped men. Due to the roof being so nesh with the possibility of more falls the 2nd Piper seam face was abandoned next day bringing to an end workings from Denby Hall just weeks after the merger with Denby Drury - Lowe.


Labour Government Closing One Pit A Week

Throughout the country 62 pits were closed in 1967/68, the highest number in one year since nationalization. The Labour Government was closing one uneconomical pit at the rate of one a week at this time.

 

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