1980 - Page 5
(Teversal Colliery Closed After 111 years - Continued)
New Pit Bottom
The new pit bottom horizon was made in solid sandstone about 55 ft (17m) above the old pit bottom at the No2 Shonkey shaft during 1964 and the ropes were shortened because the cheese weights were continually and illegally under water, and manriding commenced from the new horizon on 26th July 1964. Later double deck manriding was put into operation in Jan 1967.
Delay-action detonators were used in 130s hard stone heads in 1965 and first use of a wheel-based Eimco shovel / bucket which threw the stone overhead into a tub, shown to left.
The workforce was examined by the mobile chest X-ray unit in June 1966. A surface deployment centre at the entrance to the pithead baths was operational in Aug 1966, replacing the old system of sorting out the teams of men in the pit bottom. A canteen had been opened by 1955.
A Hanmade Co surge bunker was operational after the pit holidays to even the flow of coal to the loading point. Several steep 1in1 drivages were made from Waterloo 8s to the old Dunsil North Main Road during 1968 to assist the ventilation flow, all having to be set out and measured by me generally. Not easy to slide down or even harder to climb up them. A pantechnicon, a long structure over the conveyor at the loader gate face end carried the switchgear and was installed at 9s Waterloo in Aug 1969, when the Dunsil seam was abandoned as the last handfilled panel 150s was stopped. Methane drainage holes were first drilled at 30s Waterloo face Nov 1977. I think it became standard practice throughout the Area to drill for and pipe out methane gas to a convenient place to release it in the general body of the airstream.
The NCB group staff in the old office block and at the prefab offices adjacent to Silverhill was now moved to new accommodation at No4 HQ at Huthwaite in Sep 1962.
The Stanton Company old office block built in 1870 was demolished. As stated before the whole top floor was occupied by the survey department. However when the other collieries in the group had their own offices at the pit it left just 2 or 3 of us and I am shown in the photo working all alone in the big rambling office. The new Cost department took over the end office. A new modern single storey flat roofed office block with staff showers (that Bernard and me moved in to) adjacent to the pithead baths was completed and occupied on 1st February 1963. Rose gardens surrounded it and created a very pleasant view. The new Survey office was quite small compared to the old one but it was lovely and new and we had the old ‘bank’ safe door transferred to the new storage area for the plans and equipment. Although destined for another department we were able to commandeer the small office next door for a print room and the necessary tea mashing equipment.
Following the catastrophic disaster at Aberfan in Wales 1966, where 114 children and 28 adults were engulfed by a tip sliding onto their school following a heavy rain fall, it was decided to instigate solutions to the problem of tip slides. Two collieries in the country, Mansfield and Teversal were working panels under or close to waste heaps where movement from subsidence damage could be observed.
Creswell was chosen as well as Teversal where several tip slides had happened in the past, the latest in May 1967 when a slurry pond bank burst, but fortunately with no loss of life. It was caused by undermining from 150s panel in the Dunsil seam. During 1968 Teversal was chosen as a base for HM Inspectors and Area HQ and Area Management such as Civil engineers to meet in the Conference room and discuss the various problems, in order that such tip slides would not happen again. The Survey team Bernard and myself at Teversal were deeply involved in all aspects particularly in setting out and monitoring pegs, drawing plans, researching the old tips from their start and construction and 100 years life and creating a folio of plans, attending meetings etc as the underground working progressed, under the watchful eye of W Freddie Gill (4065) Senior Inspector. Legislation for all tips was to follow with the Tips Act and Tips Regulations. An old McLane tip was located behind the pithead baths and that was lowered and compacted. The other system of tipping dirt was by overhead bucket, before being replaced by conveyor and bulldozer. Even that was a haphazard way as dirt taken up the tip by conveyor was just bulldozed over the edge to cascade down to form the expanding tip but of course that was unstable too.
HMI Bob Bower also asked our advice on a survey of all the old shafts in the Meden Valley in January, because of the water aspect and in April we accompanied him on a search for the New Inn Level, the old sough driven in the 1600s and 1700s, but to no avail. I remember the shaft positions along the route of the old sough were clearly seen on an aerial photograph of the 1940s. Sadly that photo was lost.
Bernard Bailey (2728) the Unit Surveyor left to North Nottinghamshire Area HQ to work on the newly formed branch within the Civil Engineering dept of tip construction and restoration for all pits. Frank Dove was the Chief Civil Engineer. I had asked Frank for a job and he agreed but the higher authority wouldn’t let us both leave Teversal so I had to stay. The Manager told me to wait for the Surveyor’s job to be advertised. However there was no interview and Cheslaw Stasiewicz (3030) (a Pole) from Kirkby that had just closed in July 1968 was appointed Surveyor as he was redundant. When Ches first came he volunteered to mash the tea. I thought this is good, the gaffer mashing the tea. He wasn’t very good at it but he was far cleverer than me. I didn’t see it coming. Ches didn’t do a lot and he realised that if I stopped working to mash the tea then nothing got done!
Courses had been held for all Managers and Surveyors and Surface Superintendents in the Area at Lound Hall Training centre, with visits to the collieries mentioned, and the tipping of waste material at all collieries was changed to the layering and compaction system, following these meetings.
Boreholes were also drilled into the tips to see if there was any water that could aid a tip slide. Plans were made at all collieries in 5 yearly or other interval to show the build up of all tips from a Greenfield site, and any water course that was on the site.
Previous to the new Tips Act generally it was only the Surveyor who would decide when to draw the tip site up to date and sometimes that got missed if other important work took over. In fact a certain member of higher management Jimmy Wright (3926), Chief Mining Engineer unfortunately could not see the need for tipping and its procedures, albeit that he was an ex Manager at Teversal, and stated that ‘we were supposed to be turning coal, not dirt’!
I remember measuring the tip at Teversal in the early 1950s where spoil was just bulldozed or tipped over the top from the conveyor and watching the field at the front of the tip ripple up and push forward taking the grass, meadow flowers and top soil with it whilst I was watching it.
Simple measurements were taken to the field hedges for plotting purposes. No doubt thinking back, the immediate top surface must have been sliding over a bed of clay. At one time bricks were made at the colliery and that clay would have been the source for making them. Again it was a job I was sent to do on my own. Of course later proper instrument accurate surveys were done and plotted properly each year. This entailed getting out in the sunshine. The underground linesmen were part of the team as numerous sightings and measurements were taken. They loved it...it was a day out of the pit for the same pay!
A couple of lagoon banks burst in the 1950s and on one occasion men from down the pit had to dig out slurry in the watercourse that ran down the valley towards the river near Hardwick Inn. On another occasion in the 1960s the lagoon bank up the rail line towards Silverhill burst, covering the line in slurry. However on all occasions no one was injured but there was some temporary damage to wildlife.
A Euclid dirt bunker was operational from Aug 1964. The pit yard was tarmacadamed and a foreign coal bunker was operational too by the end of the year.
A steam tank engine No 75072 was used for shunting operations, until replaced by a diesel loco. A new loco shed was erected next to the stockyard as part of the reorganisation. Other locos as listed below.
- Surface locos 4’ 8½” gauge: 0-4-0ST 1890
- Devonshire 0-6-0ST 1900
- Bentinck No1 0-4-0ST 1900
- Carnarvon 0-6-0ST 1901
- Churchill 0-6-0ST 1946
- 0-6-0ST 1943
- 0-6-0ST 1943
- RNCF No3 0-4-0ST 1925
- Emfour 1 0-6-0T 1954
- Emfour 5 0-6-0DM 1957
- D1 4wDH 1968
- D18 4wDH 1968
- Harworth No1 0-6-0ST 1952
- 4wDH 1961D25 4wDH 1964
- D27 4wDH 1964.
No locos were used underground.
Development began in 1956 by driving two cross-measures drifts down from the Dunsil main road at 1in8 and Dunsil return at 1in6 to the 1st Waterloo seam at 10 yards (9m) below and was accessed in 1957 and 1s face headed out and a rope-hauled Anderton shearer installed with a narrow disc, 13 inches (0.33m) nicknamed the ‘bacon slicer’ and Dobson double two and 3/3 supports plus Bonser chocks for pushing the panzer (armoured face conveyor) over. It was the first power loader and AFC at the pit and selected chocks along the face were equipped with rams to push the conveyor over behind the machine after it had ploughed back and pushed the loose coal onto it.
I visited Dobson’s factory at Nottingham to see how the chocks were operated so that a support plan could be constructed to show the operation of the chocks underground when the face began working. All the men had to be trained for the new method. 10 yards (9m) of face heading in a week was about the norm then. Ventilation was effected in headings by using a forcing fan with inflatable cloth air bagging.
A rope-hauled Anderton shearer left and a Trepanner right are shown in the photos. Trepanners tended to give larger sized pieces of coal.
A Weisbach triangle method of correlation with wires hanging in the shaft of the underground workings in relation to the surface was carried out in 1958. Previously a co-plane correlation had been carried out in 1942 and prior to that Magnetic Meridian bases checked infrequently were used as a basis to plot the workings from when the pit was sunk – whether any adjustment was ever made due to proximity of iron I don’t know, however as will be seen the majority of the surveys of the mine were carried out on the night shift, when the earth’s influence on the magnetic needle is at its lowest between midnight and 4am. A couple of major survey checks were carried out over the years. Clary Skeavington (1347) Group Surveyor organised the job and Surveyors from Silverhill, Sutton and Pleasley assisted the Teversal team. I did some observations with the theodolite along with Jack Brown in the pit bottom. Malcolm Smith the appointed surveyor at the time was on holiday but on his return used the successful correlation results for his RICS examination dissertation. He left after he had qualified to be an Inland Revenue Minerals Surveyor.
No1 shaft was checked by Watts auto-plumb and check measured by DI 19 EDM (electronic distance measurer) in Aug 1976.
As stated earlier Teversal was the last pit in North Nottinghamshire Area to dispense with ponies underground in July 1970. At one time it has been reported that up to 80 ponies were employed. 3 special stalls were on the Back Level in the pit bottom, for ‘nursing’ sick ponies back to health. Some of the defunct stables in the pit bottom were converted into underground workshops and offices.
Calculations for royalty payments by Richard G Coke Surveyor in 1870s showed that at Butcher Wood pit from commencement in 1868 to 24th June 1870 5 acres 0 roods 6 poles of Top Hard coal was worked and from June 1870 to 2nd Feb 1871 11 acres 0 roods 15 poles. The amount of face room had expanded dramatically. This was a significant date also at neighbouring Silver Hill where similarly the workings were plotted by him to that date too, both being Stanton Ironworks collieries.
A large Greenside heading machine with 3 cutting heads was built and tested under some large arches erected on the surface in the 1960s. Numerous visits were made by Mining personnel and Engineers, however it was never taken underground. For year 1970/71 to March a record output of 644,000 tons was produced making a profit of around £700,000. The weekly output record was broken several times during the year
- 13,944 tons w.e. 6th Feb
- 14,037 tons w.e. 21st Mar
- 14,651 tons w.e. 27th Mar, OMS 70.7 cwts
- 14,422 tons w.e. 22nd May
- 14,892 tons w.e. 18th Sep, OMS 73.8 cwts
- 14,910 tons w.e. 25th Sep
15,170 tons and an OMS of 75.5 cwts week ending 28th November 1970, in 1 ton capacity tubs at No1 DC shaft. The record face output of 7,506 tons with a face OMS of 199.2 cwts was produced week ending 19th September 1970 from 21s advancing face.
In 1917 the output all from Top Hard was 263,563 tons – 1,000 tons per day. By 1946 production from Top Hard was 350 to 400 tons and from Dunsil workings 700 tons per day.