1986 - Page 17
Hucknall Closed 1986, After 125 years
On 31st October 1986, Hucknall colliery, (Nottinghamshire) which had only recently absorbed Babbington in January 1986, was closed after 125 years.
No1 colliery or Top pit (North) (shown in photo) was sunk in 1860-1861 with 2 shafts, DC and UC to 386 yards (353m) at 11 ft (3.4m) dia by Walker and Co at Hazelgrove on Watnall Road to the south western edge of Hucknall. The minerals were under the lands of his Grace the Duke of Portland and he leased them to W Paget, A Ellis, S Ellis and H Walker from 1/1/1861 to 1882.
Hucknall No1 Colliery or Top Pit (North)
No2 colliery or Bottom pit (Nos 3 and 4 shafts) sunk to 416 yards (380m) both at 12 ft (3.7m) dia in 1865-1866 by JE Ellis and Co at Hucknall Torkard. These were the first of the Leen Valley pits. In 1890 No4 shaft was deepened to Deep Hard.
From 1911 to 1947 the Hucknall mines were owned by the Sherwood Colliery Co.
Shaft positions: SK54NW, No1 shaft 452692, 348033, No2 shaft 452700, 348020, No3 shaft 454081, 348958, No4 shaft 454084, 348941, No5 shaft 454029, 348995, 72m above sea level. There was a Top Hard intake roadway from No1 pit to No2 pit.
Connections were made in all the seams worked and after 1943 when No1 colliery was closed for production and the remaining High Main reserves were worked and raised at No2 colliery. No1 colliery was still used for ventilation, manriding and materials until c1960 when all activities were transferred to No2 colliery in the town. The surface buildings were gradually dispensed with and demolished and the shafts were filled and covered by 1985.
In 1952 No2 shaft at No1 colliery was deepened to the Deep Soft and used as an UC shaft for Babbington and was known as Babbington No7 shaft. Whilst Babbington No1 and No2, Windy and Smoky wooden headstocks were being dismantled and replaced by steel in the late 1950s men from Babbington were transported by bus to No7 shaft at Hucknall No1 pit and back to Babbington pithead baths daily as the Deep Soft workings were approaching Hucknall No2 shaft pillar and it was quicker to transport men by bus on the surface than by manriding and walking underground.
- Top Hard seam
- Comb 2’ 1” (0.63m)
- Bat 8” (0.23m)
- Main seam 4’ 4” (1.32m)
- Stone 4” (0.10m)
- Cannel 1’ 10” (0.55m)
- Stone 2” (0.05m)
- No1 pit 1862-23/11/1908
- No2 pit 31/8/1920
- Tupton or Furnace 1890s
- Clowne or Yard 4’ 7” (1.40m) at 150 yards (137m) deep, exploratory heads ?/7/1893
- Deep Soft 1913-1930 by drifting from Top Hard
- Deep Hard at 587 yards (537m) – 1894
- No 2 colliery Main Bright 3’ 1” (1.0m) 1902-1905, unprofitable, 1926-1967
- High Main 4’ 6” (1.37m) No1 pit -1893
- No2 pit 1914-1928, abandoned 16/12/1930
- No1 reopened 1941-1943, 1955-1/2/1964 (Room and pillar work 1955-1960)
- In 1912/13, 2 drifts from Top Hard to (Deep Soft) Deep Bright at 567 yards (519m) heads 1890-1892 from No4 shaft, worked 1913-Dec 1930 and headings in the pit bottom 1942 (plan deposited 1950)
- Low Bright 2’ 8” (0.81m), short run panel, slow advance, 15/7/1957-4/4/1958
- High Hazels 2 drifts from Main Bright and worked 1959-9/7/1965, abandoned 17/3/1967
- Waterloo (coal 1’ 4” (0.40m)
- Clunch 6” (0.15m),
- Coal 1’ 10” (0.56m) -3/1903, unprofitable
- No1 colliery (No1 and No2 shafts) and 3/4/1901 from No2 colliery (No3 and No4 shafts)
- Deep Soft -1942 (1949) and again to the east of the shafts 1964-19/2/1971, finished due to thinning of the seam and Blackshale drifts from Deep Soft to Blackshale 1967-1968 and the first face K6s began production in 1970-31st Oct 1986.
- No3 12 feet (3.65m) dia deepened to Deep Hard in the late 1950s
Between 1913 and 1930 all surveys of the workings was done using a magnetic dial with measurements taken with a steel chain. These surveys were never checked. The results were plotted to a scale of 1/1584 or 2 chains to 1 inch on a large un-gridded roll plan using a protractor. Note 1 chain = 66 feet or 100 links of 7.92 inches each. The No4 shaft and No5 shaft were measured by steel bands clamped together in the period 1955 to 1961.
In 1957 a major reconstruction of No2 colliery was begun and continued for the next 12 years.
For sinking No4 shaft gelignite dynamite was supplied by the Colliery Company to the Contractors at cost price. All the shots were surrounded by water and fired by electricity. The shaft was 12’ 0” (3.65m) dia and sunk exactly straight and circular with plumb lines. The sinking was done on afternoon/night shift by 2 shifts of 7 hours from 4pm to 6am. There were 5 men in the bottom of the shaft permanently, with at least 3 experienced sinkers. The Contractor was responsible for any accidents which may befall his men he therefore had to satisfy himself as to the strength and sufficiency of all materials supplied to him for use.
No3 shaft was deepened from Top Hard to Deep Soft and No4 shaft 12’ 0” (3.65m) dia and down to Deep Soft was cleaned out and repaired.
A new pit bottom was built at Deep Soft and new reinforced concrete headgears were erected over each shaft.
No5 shaft was sunk 630 yards (576m) deep and 20 feet (6.1m) diameter to the Deep Hard as a coal winding shaft and UC.
In 1966/68 2 drifts were driven down from the pit bottom area to the Blackshale.
Main Bright worked from No 1 colliery 1897-1943, until No1 colliery finished turning coal.
A new coal prep plant was built and dirt disposal to the tips reorganised.
The steam raising plant was dismantled and was replaced by electricity for all power requirements and the new pithead baths boilers.
65 ponies were released from drudgery. Shire horses were employed in the pit yard on materials as at many pits and also to lead coal in wagons for miners’ concessionary coal to be tipped up outside the house on the street to be shovelled up by the recipient (or the local lad for 2s 6d (12½p) a load) wheeled by barrow and loaded into a coal house.
A blower or hooter was sounded signifying the beginning and end of each shift as at most collieries.
Main Bright worked at No2 colliery 1902-1905 and 1926-1967.
Plough faces were worked successfully in the Main Bright seam at 2’ 6” (0.76m) thick with a strong hard floor and a fairly hard grey bind roof from 1961.
Advanced headings are needed with this system and they were bored and multi-fired fired using Group P3 Unigel explosive and the shotholes were filled with hardstem.
An MCIII loader was used to load the heading material into the hopper of the crusher stower blower. This system was used so that working could continue under built up areas mainly.
There was a connection No1 to No2 colliery in 1932. However No1 colliery No2 shaft was deepened to Deep Soft for use by Babbington as an UC shaft and was known as Babbington No7.
Top Hard 1861/62, finished coaling 1943.
No3 and No4 shafts were 12ft dia (3.65m) with reinforced concrete headgear 86ft (26.2m) high over each shaft sunk to 1,235 feet (376.5m).
Winding was by AEI 800hp DC electric motor with 2 decks for manriding and materials.
No5 UC shaft was 20ft (6.1m) dia concrete lined with reinforced concrete headgear 108ft (33m) high with 9 ton skips giving 300 tons per hour.
The engine was an AEI 1,400hp DC electric.
A connection between No1 and No2 re-commenced, then worked from No2 1948-1962.
In 1956/57 2 drifts were driven to Low Bright and in 1958/59 a drift from High Main to Main Bright, working finished Mar 1967. Two drifts were driven to the Blackshale seam in 1967/68.
Ventilation was effected by 2 Aerex radial flow fans 139” (3.5m) dia connected to No5 shaft by a divided fan drift driven by a 750hp motor.
The old Hucknall No1 pit was used as a training school for new entrants.
Mine water pumped to the surface was in the region of 28 gallons per minute.
To access some coal that was not possible by normal means auger holes were drilled in 1954.