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The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947


1969   1    2    3    4 

1969 - Page 4

Springfield Drift Mine (Derbyshire) Was Closed in 1969

Springfield Drift mine near North Wingfield, (Derbyshire) (Firthwood Collieries Ltd), Deep Soft, was closed in August 1969 and abandoned by 1970. Section coal 9½” (0.24m), dirt 12” (0.30m), coal 4” (0.10m), dirt 9” (0.23m), coal 1’ 7½” (0.50m), coal 1’ 11” (0.58m), dirt 1½” (0.04m), coal 5½” (0.14m), inferior coal 1’ 3” (0.38m). Total 8’ 4” (2.55m).

Position of adit E440378, N365279.
5 pumps were operational underground.

Manager Springfield Drift:

  • P Gadsby.


  • R Gibbs.


  • A Green (1127) (qualified 27/7/1934).

Later the site was open casted named Warwick, Sutton Springs, Wood Spring.
The nearby site had been opencasted previously in 1958.
Hill House and Firthwood opencast sites completed by April 1969.


Ellistown (Leicestershire) 43/4310/843336, 43/4310/851342, New Main seam 5’ 0” (1.5m) abandoned 16/6/1969.


  • Ken Bradford (5553).


  • John A Brewin (4433).

Frank Shepherd Senior Lecturer at Nottingham Technical College had started work at Snibston, qualified as a Surveyor and transferred to Whitwick where he also studied for his First Class Manager’s certificate. He was allowed to go down the pit in the mornings to do mining work such as shotfiring and continue survey work in the afternoons.

Rawdon (Leicestershire) 43/3116/265256,
Rawdon shaft and 43/3016/952035
shaft. Little Kilburn abandoned 13/8/1969.


  • D (Harry) McPherson (5237) (qualified 15/2/51) and Lower Main 26/9/1969
  • W John Bond (6307),


  • Ray T Gould (2363) (qualified 2/8/50) (transferred from Cadley Hill).

Unofficial Strike

Following an unofficial strike in Yorkshire when all pits were stood the strike spread to some pits in the Midlands, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire and other Areas of the NCB. However, apart from Yorkshire the strike was a shambles lasting from 13th to 27th October 1969.

Oxcroft Record

On 4th October 1969 a record weekly output of 17,124 tons was produced at Oxcroft (North Derbyshire).


Derbyshire NUM Secretary at the time was Herbert Parkin with 17,000 members.

School Leaving Age Raised

The school leaving age was raised to 16 in 1969. There was a gap in setting on youngsters in the 3 counties.

Teversal Pulley Wheels

The pulley wheels on the downcast coaling shaft at Teversal headgear (Nottinghamshire) were raised during October 1969 to adjust the fleet angle as there was continual wear to one side of the winding rope as one rope was fouling the side of the King plate. I spent all weekend up the headstocks with the Mechanical Engineer Dougie Green and Blacksmiths Billy Winterbottom and Charlie Parker, gently adjusting the angle of the pulley wheel due to the complexity, until perfection was achieved. The previous weekend I had marked out the winding line on the plate with a flap chalk line and chisel marks, agreed with Cheslaw Stasiewicz the Surveyor, my boss (who then decided to go on holiday), so I knew it was correct, however doubt had crept in at knockoff on Saturday when the ‘correct position’ could not be achieved and they were blaming me and I went home at 5pm rather disgruntled and worried, but we were back on the headgear by 8am on Sunday morning and when the job was completed about lunch time it was agreed by all that the wheel had been moved into the correct position but the King plate hole was incorrect and a new plate was made. I went home quite elated as Dougie Green finally agreed that what we had done was correct. The size of the nuts were enormous and so were the spanners. Mind you the two Blacksmiths had arms like 'Popeye'. The wheels had been changed over to the other side when the new electric winding house was erected and commissioned. It was probable that had an overwind occurred prior to this, the King plate might not have worked...! Anyway there were no further problems afterwards.

As at other pits in the North Nottinghamshire Area, 3 Security men working on shifts were set on at Teversal from October 1969.

Ministry of Power Abolished

Ministry of Power abolished 6th October 1969.
Ministry of Technology
absorbed Ministry of Power and Board of Trade.
President of Board of Trade
, Tony Benn, (Lab), 6th Oct 1969 – 1970.
Roy Mason MP Minister of Power (Lab) was replaced by Tony Benn (Lab) as Minister of Technology on 6th October 1969.
Power and the Board of Trade was now absorbed under the Ministry of Technology (1969-1970). By changing Ministers so often any continuity in thinking came from civil servants. By doing so the Labour Party made sure that the fuel policy remained the same. Note that the continuing change of Ministers would continue after 1997 following the Labour Party coming to power and would be so after 2007. Tony Blair was PM. Roy Mason MP was made President of the Board of Trade (1969-1970) replacing Anthony Crosland MP.

Round The Houses

A ‘round the houses’ face conveyor system at the loader gate end, was tried at Silverhill (Nottinghamshire), but was not a success. This was where all the cut coal passed by the loader gate into the fast end then returned by 2 short conveyors onto the loader gate stage loader. Special jointed arch legs were set allowing the gap for the conveyor which after it had passed by were exchanged for a normal arch leg.


In 1969 the Mining Research Establishment and the Central Engineering Establishment merged to form MRDE (Mining Research and Development Establishment) on the Stanhope, Bretby site.

Mines And Quarries Tips Act

The Mines and Quarries (Tips) Act 1969 was passed and Regulations regarding the method of tipping in future would be laid down. The basic rules were that in future, tipping would be layered and compacted on land that was suitable and not on land that contained material that was likely to flow when wet. As stated previously this Act and Regulations were introduced following the Aberfan disaster 3 years before.

Markham Plough

Anbauhobel plough AAt Markham (Derbyshire) a Gleithobel heavy duty plough was installed on a 200 yards (180m) long face in the 3ft 7in (1.09m) thick Threequarter seam at about 445 yards (407m) deep. It was the latest design encompassing face side guide plates to take a cut of about 4 inches (0.10m). The plough chain was totally enclosed so that it was not subject to snatching of the panzer or whipping of the chain as with the Anbauhobel type plough previously. The face supports were Dowty double telescopic supports at 3ft 3in (1m) centres. Advanced headings at both gates to house the anchor stations were excavated using firing the coal then loading out by gathering arm Joy Loaders. The system had worked well at Wearmouth in County Durham and teams of men were sent there to gain experience.

Support Pillar

A pillar was left in the Piper seam around Blackwell B Winning shafts from New Hucknall colliery workings during 1966-1969. A small area had been worked from Blackwell A Winning during 1926.

Drinking Water

Manton colliery still provided drinking water to the Worksop district, 80,000 gallons per hour being pumped at the No1 shaft from the Lower Magnesian Limestone.

Teversal Abandonment Plans

The abandonment plans for the Dunsil seam at Teversal (Nottinghamshire) were perused by HMI Harry Jones on 25th November 1969. The seam was last worked 27th August 1968 and by law, the plans of abandoned mines or seams are required to be examined by an Inspector and then deposited at the Mines Records Office along with a Surveyor’s report within 15 months of the abandonment. The Surveyor explains how the mine has been oriented to the surface and as much information as known regarding the method of working the seam and dates where possible. I was instrumental in writing the report having been there for many years and doing many of the surveys and updating the plans and calculations. Cheslaw Stasiewicz (3030) signed the plans although he never went down the pit unless it was with me and that was only a few times. In fact thinking back he never went to any of the Dunsil workings. The Manager George Noble (5852) also signed the plan to say that no further working had been done since the date of the abandonment stated in the Surveyor’s certificate.


A further wage increase was granted in November 1969 (but there was a 2 weeks unofficial stoppage at 140 pits in the country in pursuit of a reduction of hours for surface workers). Following the Board’s offer of 15 minutes less per day, and a working week of 40 hours exclusive of meal breaks, the men returned to work.

The wage claim settlement was the highest in mining history. The union had claimed 27s 6d (£1.37½) for day wage men.

The average wage was £24 9s 9d (£24.49).

Vote To End Continental Shifts

In December 1969, the men at Bevercotes voted to end the continental-shift system by May 1970.

Cottam Power Station

Cottam Power station at 1920MW on the River Trent near Retford came on stream during the year and was supplied mainly by Nottinghamshire coal.

Opencast Mining

  • Godbers Lum, Chavery, 11/1969
  • Kirkby Farm Park (JW Moss and Co Ltd) Swinton Pottery 1 and 2 and Extension (Selston Minerals Ltd)
  • Spinning Wheel, (William Cheetham (Unstone) Ltd) Brampton High (Mickley Thin) 11/1967-5/1969
  • Stainsby Hagg Top Hard, 11/1969.

Inspector's Report 1969

43 NCB pits, 6 Licensed mines and 8 Pumping shafts. Blackwell A Winning pumping discontinued.

11 killed and 116 serious accidents. This was the lowest on record.

There were 8 spoil heap incidents and 5 stability of retaining banks for slurry and tailings lagoons.

Bentinck National Record 10,202 tons / day and 47,240 tons for the week. Total output for the Division 53,333,910 tons.

Bentinck trials with ram packer for ripping dirt.

Bevercotes did 5,461 yards (4,994m) of proving headings.

Skip winding was to be installed at Bilsthorpe.

Creswell closed Clowne and Hazel seams to concentrate in Threequarter.

Cotgrave developed sensitised pick method of steering for Shearers.

Markham had pneumatic stowing machine and ripping table and cutting with the first high speed plough in the East Midlands.

Ormonde achieved a record 192 yards (175.5m) in a week with a heading 14 feet (4.27m) wide with a 6 feet (1.83m) high seam.

More advanced headings and stable hole elimination.

Firedamp drainage practiced at 20 pits. 8 sudden emissions of firedamp, 10 more booster fan installations and 4 surface fans speeded up to create a bigger air flow.

43,000 yards (39,319m) of coal face being worked, almost all by power loader.

At the 3 main Training Centres 692 juveniles and 844 adults passed out and 270 coal face trainees at the pits.

A suspended mono-rail for supplies pulled by diesel loco was tried.

A captive rail track-braked manrider installed in a gate with a max gradient of 1in2.75.

There were now 173 horses in 17 pits. A few horses sustained minor injuries by being allowed to return to the stables unaccompanied. Investigations resulted in the persons responsible being reprimanded.

Rescue Stations at Mansfield Woodhouse, Chesterfield and Ilkeston had 9 Officers, 37 permanant corps and there were 386 fully trained men at the pits.

Harworth was always covered by the Doncaster Station. Each Station was equipped with 25 sets of a new liquid oxygen breathing apparatus.

11 more pits were issued with self-rescuers giving a total of 21 pits.





Pit Terminology - Glossary