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Calendar
The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947

Bk5
Chimneys
1984
1986

1984 Pages   1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9  

1984 - Page 8


Desford Colliery, Leicestershire, Closed After 84 Years


Desford (Leicestershire, South Midlands) sunk by E Edward Bramall to the south of Thornton in 1900 for the Desford Coal Co, was abandoned in Aug 1984.

Shaft positions:

  • No1 43/4506/984853
  • No2 43/4506/962847
  • No3
  • No4 disused.

The first headgears were of pitch pine.

Early districts of the pit were names as opposed to numbers, some examples being Abyssinia, Binley, Fife and Malta in the Lower Main seam, Carolina and Gloster in the Yard seam, Antwerp, Burma, Etna Head, Jutland, Maryland, Normandy and Rostov, Stalingrad, Tobruk, and Turkey in the Middle Lount seam, Dixie in the Upper Main, Berlin, Cincinnati, Hanley and Java in the High Main seam.

Pithead baths and a medical centre were opened in 1952/53.

The famous Desford chock, the first hydraulic chock was invented by the Undermanager Matthew Smith in the 1950s and developed by Mining Agent Sam McKee (3637).

Pit ponies were used underground for coal and supplies in the early days and for supplies only later, the last pony was brought to the surface in 1963.

Steel was wrapped round the old wooden headgear.

In 1966 a connection was made underground to Merrylees and the collieries merged, albeit that Merrylees reserves were limited and exhausted by 1969, the drifts were used for ventilation and pumping until sealed off in Sep 1983. In 1947 the combined output of the two pits was around 600,000 tons but by 1953 the first 1 million tons was produced in the year, max output 1,081,762 tons in 1954. Max weekly output reached 20,811 tonnes in Sep 1966.

A Lamp room, Time office, Explosive store and Pithead baths were opened in 1953-54. A Dosco multi jib coal cutter was installed on Carolina face in 1956.

A trepanner was introduced in 1957.

In 1958 as part of a £1m reconstruction scheme new heapstead buildings and a Coal Prep plant was commissioned.

A Marietta miner was introduced in 1957-58. This machine had 3 / 4 jibs, consisting 2 front spinning arms with 6 sets of picks plus a triangular cutter.

Extra large mine cars were brought into use in 1967 in an effort to increase shaft capacity. A surface tippler to empty these cars was built on the surface.

A traverser was used at the pit top.

New offices were built in 1976.

Covered rope hauled manriding cars were commissioned to transport men inbye to the districts and outbye at shift end.

An unexpected heating occurred in the newly developed New Main seam from insets in the shaft, and a second one occurred in 1970, then a very severe fire broke out in April 1971 threatening the closure of the pit, however it was brought under control and retreat mining was adopted.

One of the first radio-controlled manriding signalling systems replacing the overhead bell wires was installed in early 1970s, the cage also being equipped with radio communication to the surface.

The steam winders were changed to electric in 1975 using one from the closed Glapwell colliery, Derbyshire and in the following year 1976 a winder from the closed Cannock Wood colliery, Staffordshire.

In 1966 at Desford brick making plant automatic coal firing equipment was attached to a kiln top.

Underground locos: 2’ 0” gauge 4w BEF gb10 in use 1968.

Seams worked:

  • Upper Main 1902 – 20/10/67 and 1979 – 1983
  • Lower Main 10’ 2” (3.10m) thick 1902 - Dec 1982
  • New Main or Ten Feet seam (1.37m), dirt 2” (0.05m), coal 1’ 2” (0.36m), dirt 6” (0.15m), coal 5’ 10” (1.78m) accessed 1940, one face in 1941 and 1947, 1971-1983, 1984
  • High Main (1.3m) 1942-1973
  • Middle Lount (1.37m) 1937-1972
  • Nether Lount (1.37m) 1960-1965 (one coalface worked at Merrylees in 1941)
  • Yard (0.9m) 1946-1984, all abandoned 2/8/1984.

Manpower: Desford Coal Co

  • 1900: sinking
  • 1901: 37 sinking, 69 s/f
  • 1902: No1: 70 Lower Main, No2: 30 Upper Main, 35 s/f
  • 1903: No1: 373 Lower Main, No2: 168 Upper Main, 305 s/f
  • 1904: No1: 177 Lower Main, No2: 49 Upper main, 71s/f
  • 1905: No1: 182 Lower Main, No2: 149 Upper Main, 80 s/f
  • 1906: No1: 299 L Main, No2: 232 U Main, 111 s/f
  • 1907: No1: 364 LM, No2: 290 UM, 149 s/f
  • 1908: No1: 311 LM, No2: 253 UM, 134 s/f
  • 1909: No1: 399 LM, No2: 333 UM, 142 s/f
  • 1911: No1: 409 LM, No2: 394 UM, 171 s/f
  • 1912: No1: 412 LM, No2: 400 UM, 171 s/f
  • 1913: No1: 451 LM, No2: 429 UM, 199 s/f
  • 1914: Desford Coal Co Ltd : No1: 453 LM, No2: 432 UM, 194 s/f
  • 1915: No1: 436 LM, No2: 383 UM, 198 s/f
  • 1916: No1: 449 LM, No2: 306 UM, 211 s/f
  • 1917: No1: 437 LM, No2: 382 UM, 193 s/f
  • 1918: No1: 427 LM, No2: 357 UM, 220 s/f
  • 1919: No1: 482 LM, No2: 425 UM, 215 s/f
  • 1920: No1: 495 LM, No2: 424 UM, 224 s/f
  • 1921: No1: 493 LM, No2: 427 UM, 213 s/f
  • 1922: No1:504 LM, No2: 418 UM, 214 s/f
  • 1923: No1: 495 LM, No2: 421 UM, 226 s/f
  • 1924: No1 and No2: 856 LM, UM, 239 s/f
  • 1925: No1 and No2: 774, LM, UM, 282 s/f
  • 1926: No1 and No2: 707 LM, UM, 208 s/f’
  • 1927: No1 and No2: 676 Lower Main, Upper Main and Lount, 207 s/f
  • 1928: No1 and No2: 704 LM, UM, L, 228 s/f
  • 1929: No1 and No2: 706 LM, UM, L, 230 s/f
  • 1930: 695 LM, and UM, 230 s/f
  • 1931: 745 LM, UM, 233 s/f
  • 1932: 788 LM, UM, 210 s/f
  • 1933: 677 LM, UM, 205 s/f
  • 1934: 635 LM, UM, 204 s/f
  • 1935: 549 LM, UM, 206 s/f
  • 1936: 568 LM, UM, 219 s/f
  • 1937: 627 LM, UM, 222 s/f
  • 1938: 610 Lower Main, Upper Main, Middle Lount, 212 s/f
  • 1940: 716 LM, UM, ML and New Main, 249 s/f
  • 1941: 754 LM, UM, ML, NM, 264 s/f
  • 1942: 805 LM, UM, NM, 286 s/f
  • 1943: 884 LM, UM, NM, 271 s/f
  • 1944: 908 LM, UM, NM, 280 s/f
  • 1945: 882 Lower Main, Upper Main, New Main, 285 s/f

Output:

  • 1947 NCB No8 Area: 609,293 tons, 1,476 men
  • 1948: 648,644 tons, 1,717 men
  • 1949: 733,455 tons, 1,829 men
  • 1950: 799,221 tons, 1,824 men
  • 1951: High Main, Upper Main, Middle Lount, Yard, Lower Main, 969,065 tons, 1,824 men
  • 1952: 960, 481 tons, 1,856 men
  • 1953: Desford Merrylees 1,021,562 tons, 1,872 men, 1,490 u/g
  • 1954: 1,064,674 tons, 1,889 men
  • 1955: 1,000,942 tons, 1,915 men
  • 1956: High Main, Upper Main, Middle Lount, Yard, Lower Main, 1,036,707 tons, 1,911 men
  • 1957: 1,062,313 tons, 1,965 men
  • 1958: 1,032,712 tons, 1,996 men, 1959: 1,032,598 tons, 1,860 men
  • 1960: 971,228 tons, 1,744 men
  • 1961: 915,475 tons, 1,635 men
  • 1962: 893,310 tons, 1,571 men
  • 1963: Upper Main, High Main, Nether Lount, Middle Lount, Yard, Lower Main, 941,567 tons, 1,635 men
  • 1964/65: 853,090 tons, 1,435 men
  • 1965/66: 746,830 tons,1,272 men
  • 1966/67: 829,420 tons, 1,151 men
  • South Midlands Area: 1968/69: 857,984 tons, 1,091 men
  • 1969/70: 670,027 tons, 1,018 men
  • 1970/71: 643,809 tons, 939 men
  • 1971/72: High Main, New Main, Middle Lount, Yard, Lower Main, 571,589 tons, 865 men
  • 1972/73: 615,146 tons, 847 men
  • 1973/74: 486,945 tons, 794 men
  • 1974/75: 578,662 tons, 762 men
  • 1975/76: New Main, Yard, Lower Main 606,077 tons, 775 men
  • 1976/77: 615,477 tons, 816 men
  • 1977/78: 550,455 tonnes (541,760 tons), 804 men
  • 1978/79: 599,693 tonnes, 832 men
  • 1979/80: 513,548 tonnes, 840 men
  • 1980/81: New Main, Yard, Lower Main 484,245 tonnes, 838 men
  • 1981/82: 406,364 tonnes, 804 men
  • 1982/83: 273,405 tonnes, 713 men.

Agents:

  • E Edward Bramall 1900-1936
  • Arthur D Butterley 1936-1950s
  • Sam A McKee (3637) 1955-1956.

Sub-Area Managers:

  • Harold Rutherford (3958) 1950 -.

Group Managers: Sam A McKee (3657) 1956-1957

  • William C Statham (3660) 1958-1964
  • John H Northard (4954) 1964-1966
  • Harold E Taylor (5793) 1966-

Managers for Desford:

  • Sam Wheatley (422) 1900-1901
  • JC Binks (1256) 1901-1907
  • JE Homer (2311) 1907- ….Herbert Johnston (2289) 1933-1949 (promoted from Undermanager)
  • Samuel A McKee (3637) 1949-1954 (transferred from South Leicester Colliery)
  • merged Desford/Merrylees: James (Jimmy) MacPherson (5237) 1954-1956
  • Desford: R James W Agar (3049) 1956-1959 (transferred to Bagworth)
  • split again, and for Merrylees: Arthur Summers (4896) 1956-1959
  • for Desford: John Northard (4954) 1959-1960
  • Reginald Price (5134) 1960-1966
  • Agent Manager, Desford/Merrylees again: - 1971
  • Lionel Lees (7262) 1971- Colliery General Manager - 1977
  • Barry Carlisle (6058) 1977-1983
  • Norman Harvey (8467) Mar- May 1983
  • Terrence E Gregory (7955) May 1983-1984.

Deputy Managers:

  • Sherratt G Joyce (4827) 1961-1963
  • John Chris Boyle (5733) 1963-1964
  • Lionel Lees (7262) 1964-1966
  • Lol Newbold (5589) 1966-1972
  • David Drake (8700) 1972-1973
  • Lawrence Elverstone (9080) 1973-1975
  • Norman Harvey (8469) 1975-1977
  • Denis T Childs (9940) 1977-1981
  • Harry S Baker (6795) 1981 -
  • Deputy Manager Services: Cyril W Smith (8941) 1973-1976

Undermanager Services:

  • MJ Herbert (9989) 1976-1982.

Assistant Managers:

  • Tom Ollerton (3828 / 2nd ) 1948-1953, back to Undermanager -1957.

Undermanagers: No1:

  • JT Berry (3279 / 2nd) 1902-1933
  • JH Mee (644 / 2nd) 1933-1944
  • A McDougall (3953 / 1st) 1945-
  • Tom Ollerton (3828 / 2nd) 1943-1948
  • No2: E Weston (3274) 1904-1915
  • H Kilbourne (36 / 2nd) 1915-1917
  • JR Jenkins (371 / 2nd) 1917-1921
  • John W Walters (4116 / 2nd) 1921-1931
  • Jos Taylor (905 / 1st) 1931-1933
  • Herbert Johnston (2289 / 1st) 1933 (promoted to Manager)
  • Samuel A McKee (3266 / 2nd) 1933-1944 and (3657 / 1st) 1944-1945 (promoted to Manager South Leicester)
  • E Nestor (3309) 1947-1950
  • JH Mee (644 / 2nd) 1950-1955
  • William Tatham (4103) 1952-1956
  • A McDougall (3953) 1953-1956
  • A Hunter (3949) 1954-1956
  • Matthew Smith (3248) 1956-1958
  • M McPherson (5551 / 2nd) 1958-1960 (transferred to Ellistown)
  • A Harry Savage (7967) 1962-1966
  • J Geoff Ilsley (8107) 1966-1968
  • Alf H Henson (5775) 1968-69
  • HAM Liddell (9696) 1970-1975
  • Lewis Elverstone (9080) 1972-1973
  • RS Abbott (8862 / 2nd) 1972-1983
  • BR Oleskiewicz (10844) 1982-1983.

Surveyors:

  • Ian Skelding (1101) 1940s (for Merrylees also)
  • A Jim Cooper (1706 Sep 1945) 1/4/1956 (transferred from Ellistown)
  • Keith Goodwin (5956 Dec 1972) 1983 (Acting Surveyor) – 1984 (transferred to Asfordby).

Fatal Accidents Desford: No1 Pit

  • George White (52) fall of coal 28/3/1907
  • No2 pit John Watson (61) hit by a bar at the face and died from his injuries 10/4/1907
  • Albert Gibson (30) fall of coal 11/7/1916
  • William Thomas Prime (49), injured his arm on 5/12/1923 and died from his injuries 25/2/1925
  • John Palmer (45) electrocuted underground 2/2/1931
  • George Bertie Frearson (55) fall of coal at the coal face 10/1/1941
  • Harry Staniforth (38) fall of coal 3/4/1943 In Memory Harry
  • SH Foster (?) runover by a mine car, ?/8/1961.In Memory Foster

Cottam Power Station


On 14th June there had been a spate of stone throwing incidents outside Cottam Power Station in which seven coke lorries in a convoy were damaged. There was heavy picketing at High Marnham and West Burton power stations. A lorry was hit by ball bearings thrown from a car travelling the other way in Arnold Lane, Gedling. This kind of action only showed the general public the stupidity of some.


Pickets at Warsop

There had been 100 pickets at Warsop colliery (Derbyshire), 50 or so at Bevercotes and others totally 2,000 at other Nottinghamshire pits. Scargill had vowed to step up the blockade on the power stations and steel works. Such a foolish move because all it hurt was the innocent general public and in particular hospitals at some places.

 

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