Information and photographs submitted by subscribers are posted in good faith. If any copyright of anyone else's material is unintentionally breached, please email me

The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947

1977 1978
1981 1982 1983

1980 Pages   1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10     11  

1980 - Page 3

(Teversal Colliery Closed After 111 years - Continued)

The Top Hard and Dunsil seams were rarely troubled by gas later on with better ventilation, and I remember on one occasion when methane gas was reported on an inbye Dunsil face, several Deputies from other panels went to ‘test for gas’, having never experienced any before, other than on the various gas caps presented when taking the Shotfirer’s exam.

On the final few Waterloo panels methane drainage was practised as an Area policy. Bare bell wires were used for haulage signals, generally a piece of metal such as a knife blade or an old hack saw blade was scratched across the wires causing a small spark, or in an emergency crossing the wires and making a signal at the bell for the engine driver, 2 rings to go forward, one ring to stop and 3 rings to reverse. In later years pull wires to localised stations did the same job but were intrinsically safe.

An Air shaft was somewhere in the pit yard, but was never located at closure, its purpose and depth remaining unknown but could have been for the possible new shaft proposed in 1939 or for a proposed furnace before a ventilating fan was installed. The area has since been over tipped, so it is buried forever.

A connection was made between the DC and UC shafts at about the High Hazles horizon, again its prime purpose unknown, but air was leaking badly, and Bernard Bailey and me along with shaftsmen Les Parker (Joiner) and Billy Winterbottom (Blacksmith) whilst doing a shaft survey in the 1960s made an abortive attempt to examine it but was foiled due to very bad crush. Why it was never bricked up I don’t know but it would have prevented some fresh air leaking back from the DC shaft.

A steam driven ram pump was installed in the pit bottom in 1874. The pit was sunk on the very edge of the unconcealed / concealed coalfield and the water-bearing Permo-Trias rock formation so it was thought that cast iron tubbing to hold the water back was unnecessary. How wrong they were because for most of the pit’s life water oozed from the brickwork and down the shaft due to the original square water pipes eventually being closed up by impurities and calcium until only about 1” (0.025m) square remained. The garlands situated at several levels around the shaft should have collected the water and via the pipes delivered it into the pit shaft sump. That didn’t happen and the water cascaded down the shaft like a waterfall and the Onsetter in the pit bottom was constantly getting wet opening and closing the gate on the solid sided rusty brown cage.

Brimington Anticline

The Brimington anticline passed through the take giving extreme gradients in parts, steeper than 1in4 dipping both ways in Top Hard.  A severe swilley affected one area of Top Hard and one Dunsil hand filled panel 10s and also the layout of the Waterloo seam where 2 mechanised panels in particular, 3s and 4s had to be shortened at the loader gate ends creating extra coal clearance and haulage problems. Most of the take was undermined by workings in the lower horizons from Silverhill colliery and partly from Sutton colliery giving gate distortion and floor lift problems and in particular very heavy weighting was experienced when working in close proximity to pillars and rib side edges of old workings above and below. Both the Top Hard and Dunsil seams were affected by solid rock washouts, which particularly hampered longwall panel working in the Dunsil seam in 1927 at 144s on the North side accessed from Top Main Road and in the early 1940s at 32s and 33s North side, in 1951 at 40s/50s on the South side, 60s on the North side and in 1960 on 90s on the South side and at 120s at the top end in 1959, whereas in the Top Hard the stall system albeit antiquated was easier to work around them.

Most of the Top Hard was worked by the hand got tub system, small wooden tubs being filled at the face and then ganged to main haulage ropes by pony. Early mechanisation was in the form of underjib cutters. In Aug/Sep 1903 there was a dispute re effects of machine cutting. Jigs and jazzes were introduced in the 1930s along with better undercutting machines and face conveyor belts.

Off Skegby Dips main roadway a 50hp main and tail haulage was used, making use of the gradients whereas generally 25hp to 40 hp endless haulages were used on the panels leading to 100 hp or 200hp endless rope haulages on the main roads.

Narrow Rail Gauge

The rail gauge at Teversal was extremely narrow at 19¼ inches (0.49m), the neighbouring pits being 2 ft 6in (0.76m) or more. The ponies used originally to haul coal in wooden 15 cwt capacity tubs to the main gates from the faces and empties back, were later in the 1940s/1950s only used to transport materials inbye and on salvage work.

During 1887 workings in the Top Hard about 1¼ miles in to the West and working to the rise, and although known about approached too close to the New Inn Level sough driven in 1666 to 1754 leading from Huthwaite to the stream below the New Inn or Hardwick Inn and water poured in via the “axe edge” gate.

Ricket Gate

The water would continue to flow forever and a special pump lodge was built on Hardwick Dips (also known as North Dips) where the gradient was about 1in6 in the workings about one mile from the pit bottom. A pump lifted the water to the top of the plane and it then ran to the pit bottom along the ‘Ricket gate’, virtually a crawling road in dangerous condition.

I remember Brian Barlow and me measuring it to check on the pumping system in the pit and we did crawl for most of the way kneeling and paddling through the water. A pump man was required every day of the year, latterly Bill Stain, an old Deputy, with only one lung took me one day to check on the pump. The roadway where the water was coming from the old sough was completely unsupported and didn’t look safe. He called it the Axe Edge and it certainly looked like one as you crawled underneath it.Neither was the old North Level main road to it safe. That was unsupported also apart from the odd lengths of wooden cockering. However the roadway to the site had deteriorated badly and was in very poor condition and there were very few wooden supports set to the sandstone above the Top Hard seam and numerous falls had occurred due to undermining and rotting of the timber. A rusty broken steam range littered the road also and because there was only one travelling way in and out,  as well as no telephone at the pump site, it was decided by Harry Coppell (6314) Undermanager on advice of HMI to abandon the pump in the mid 1960s.  Within a few weeks the water arrived in the old Top Hard stables in Pleasley pit bottom (much to the consternation of the management at that pit) where it had to be pumped out.  Of coursePleasley was in North Derbyshire Area and Teversal in North Nottinghamshire Area, from 1st April 1967, so an arrangement over payment for pumping had to be agreed at that time. The water at the top of the incline was diverted by a gulley in the floor and into the Ricket gate and not allowed to flow down the North Dips. A proposed third shaft was planned in 1939 at all 3 pits but none were ever sunk, possibly due to the War. Teversal badly needed a new shaft and a new pit bottom as it was old fashioned and the existing shafts were too close together also and not easily accessed to one another due to the air pressure on the 2 doors separating the two roadways.

Naked Light Pit

Teversal was one of the last pits in the district to be a naked light pit and in 1923 candles and all other forms of open light and smoking was banned and hand held electric battery lamps were introduced, some lasting until about 1951.  There was a heavier type of head lamp containing 3 filaments, these too being phased out in about 1951. Modern belt batteries with cap lamps were introduced after nationalisation, with the Oldham lamp seeming to take priority at this pit and many others.

Originally a condensing steam engine installed near the shaft pit bottom in a chamber under the floor worked the North and South plane road haulages and for pumping a Hawthorn and Davey steam engine near the bottom of the UC shaft  between 1875-1880 pumped at 220 gallons per minute up a 6” (0.15m) main by a ram pump. A Tangye engine was in reserve.  Steam was produced in 8 Lancashire and 2 Cornish boilers and sent down the DC shaft in a 7” (0.18m) pipe. A new pump house was made in the pit bottom during 1916 with a deep cistern. I remember going into this cistern with a blacksmith Charlie Parker after the pump had so called drained the sump, to do some measurements and investigate how or if the water was connected to No1 shaft sump, No2 shaft and or the old staple pit, when suddenly we realised the water level was rising very quickly behind us and although we had had the presence of mind to tie ourselves to a rope, we were trapped for a while in one of the chambers in a horrible gooey slimy mess and fortunately for us the other blacksmith arranged for the pumps to be started up quickly to lower the water level so that we could escape. My boss Bernard Bailey being of a smaller stature had decided not to join us and stood holding the rope waiting until we crawled out of the cistern absolutely wet through and covered in mud. The things you do to keep the job going. The project was abandoned! We never did solve the problem although it was always stated and assumed that both shafts went down to Dunsil as shown on a plan.

A huge bonfire approximately 26 feet (8m) high was built to celebrate the Royal Jubilee and management and workmen posed for a photograph of the event. 

Up to 1925 large quantities of Top Hard was used in the blast furnaces at Stanton.

Gas from the Top Hard seam was produced in ovens at Teversal surface and a thriving brickworks produced millions of bricks from a local clay for use at the colliery, particularly for engine houses and junctions.

The Top Hard was an extremely good seam as part was used for making gas, part was for coking, part for house and industrial use plus a band of cannel coal.

Dynamo Sent Electricity From
Teversal to Pleasley

A dynamo had sent electricity from Teversal to Pleasley in the 1880s when electricity was first used underground. Between 1913 and 1917 the underground haulage and pumping systems were completely electrified as previously they had been driven by compressed air or steam which by this time had extended 1¾ miles inbye. 

Around 95,000 gallons of water per 24 hours was pumped in the pit bottom up to 1913.

Screening plants at Teversal and Silver Hill were run at 2,200v generated at HT AC 3 phase. 2 mixed-pressure turbo generators each 500kw capacity were installed at Teversal and the current was conveyed overland by power cable to Silver Hill.

New shaft cables were installed at both pits.