1986 - Page 20
I Was Promoted To A Senior Surveyor
At the end of September 1986 I moved into Nottinghamshire Area HQ at Edwinstowe, being promoted to Senior Surveyor. I made it my first task to visit every Colliery in turn, meet the staff, note down everything regarding office accommodation and facilities, plans etc. It was my aim to integrate the two Areas North Nottinghamshire and South Nottinghamshire, just merged, to create a common system on all fronts where possible. This was not achieved 100% as some methods of surveying and plan work and organisation had been continued from the old Colliery Co’s prior to Nationalisation in 1947.
The Parkgate seam at Bevercotes (Nottinghamshire) was opened. For opening seams an M&Q 212 notice has to be served to the HMI notifying the Inspector of such. A similar form filled in for closing a seam.
A Parish Council meeting was held in the evening for the parishes regarding Bevercotes working under Gamston aerodrome. I attended same in my capacity as Senior Surveyor (Nottinghamshire Area).
Unfortunately at Thoresby (Nottinghamshire) there was unexpected water flowing onto 170s panel Parkgate from neighbouring old panel 101s hampering production. One of my first tasks was to assist the Surveyor as he was being pressurised from above re failing to notify the Manager of the possibility of water but there was no reason to assume there was water there in the first place as the panel was dry when working. Obviously the water had drained in to the old panel from an unknown source. It appeared from calculations by me that up to 1.3 million gallons had built up at a pressure of 9.5lb/sq inch. A pump was installed and the water was removed allowing the panel to continue safely.
My duties as a Senior Surveyor at Nottinghamshire HQ Edwinstowe was quite different to my duties as Surveyor for the Mine previously at Ollerton.
Based at Edwinstowe office the integration of the South and North Areas was my main concern, as sometimes vastly different approaches to the same problem had been made in the past and a common approach was badly needed, as well as some kind of standardisation of staff numbers, depending upon workload.
The south part of the Area appeared to have more staff – not good from a promotion point of view nor from gaining experience with instruments etc.
Functional Authority Over Colliery Surveyors
Immediate superior was Charles Whyte Area Surveyor and Minerals Manager, however also his boss Mike Goldsby Deputy Chief Mining Engineer (Mine Planning and Survey) who constantly needed information from me directly, his office being just across the corridor, regarding various operations and particularly re-writing of SM1 notices regarding possible dangers as written by the Colliery Surveyor to the Colliery Manager, sent forward to Area HQ for confirmation by me, then onwards to him. I did not like this type of interference as he would invariably insist that almost all the notices sent had some sort of nit picking statement he did not like and would insist that I took it back to the individual colliery Manager for him to re-phrase a sentence. If he did not sign it the form could not be sent on to the Inspector. Of course I did not take it back to the Manager directly but to the Surveyor for him to see the Manager as it was his job. I would be there to advise of course. Goldsby at times was intolerable and eventually after 3 years I snapped and told him so. It didn’t do me any good of course for further promotion but it did give me great satisfaction. He tended to leave me alone somewhat after that altercation.
The list of collieries in the two Areas shows the various seams worked over the years and my personal observations of the Survey department facilities at each colliery.
North Nottinghamshire Pits
Bevercotes worked Top Hard, Low Waterloo, Deep Soft, Kents Thick seams. Survey department on first floor had a large main office, annexe and a Surveyor’s office, print room. Strong room, double glazed, light and airy, good condition but could do with decorating, no tea
Bilsthorpe: Top Hard, Low Main, Parkgate, Blackshale/Ashgate seams. Main office and private office, only fair, draughty, store room and strong room and tea facilities but printing machine in main office
Blidworth Top Hard, Abdy/Brinsley, High Hazles seams. Very good ground floor main office with new double glazed windows, print room and tea
Clipstone: Top Hard, Low Main, Deep Soft, Yard seams. Good main office, quiet although close to main road, strong room, print room
Creswell: Top Hard, Clowne, High Hazel, Threequarter seams. Dingy office on first floor of old building, old tables, steps down into office, poor layout, print room, noisy machine, tea cupboard, no strong room, plans kept in different type wooden folder than in the usual metal cabinet, poor floor, plans left on table at shift end
Harworth: Top Hard or Barnsley Bed, Blythe, Swallow Wood, Haigh Moor, Deep Soft seams. Large first floor main office on first floor and Surveyor’s office, clean and tidy
Mansfield: Top Hard, Main Bright, Abdy headings, High Hazles, Deep Soft, Deep Hard/Piper, Low Main seams. Good large ground floor carpeted office, well lit with high ceiling and plan safe but no print room
Ollerton: Top Hard, Main Bright headings, Parkgate seams. Ground floor Surveyor’s office, large main office, good condition, 2 large tables and a small one, tea facilities, store room, print room and second exit
Rufford: Top Hard, High Hazles, Low Main, Yard, Blackshale, Blackshale/Ashgate seams. Ground floor office, deplorable condition, dirty and dusty, people lounging about in pit clothes, plan safe but no print room
Sherwood: Top Hard, Dunsil, Clowne and Abdy headings, Deep Hard/Piper, Yard, Blackshale plans. Clean small office with small windows on first floor, strong room but Working plan sectional sheets kept in cabinet in main office, tea
Silverhill: old pit: Top Hard, Dunsil, new pit: Deep Hard, Piper, Low Main, Threequarter, Yard, Silkstone or Blackshale seams. Excellent facilities in ground floor large main office, Surveyor’s office, strong room, print room and tea, private entrance also
Sutton: Top Hard, Dunsil, Deep Hard, Piper, Low Main seams. Excellent facilities, Vic Hallam hut ground floor extension to main office block, Surveyor’s office and main office, strong room, print room and tea
Thoresby: Top Hard, High Hazles, Parkgate, Deep Soft headings. Good, large main office and private office but no print room. New computer equipment laid out well for experimenting with coloured plan reproduction. Drinks delivered
Welbeck: Top Hard, Deep Soft, Parkgate seams. New large ground floor office rather exposed at entrance to colliery, large windows, double glazed, new tables, strong room, print room but old printing machine noisy and needs replacing, no tea making facilities, drinks delivered.
South Nottinghamshire pits: Annesley: Top Hard, Dunsil, High Main, Deep Soft, Tupton, Blackshale seams. Relatively new ground floor office, very good condition, carpeted and clean, quiet although close to main road, well lit main office with 3 tables, Surveyor’s office, print room
Bentinck: Top Hard, Waterloo, Deep Hard, Low Main or Tupton, Blackshale seams. Large office in need of redecoration
Calverton: Top Hard, High Main, Low Bright/Brinsley seams. Ground floor office, untidy,scruffy, area at one end for new computer system and accessories strewn about, private office, tea
Cotgrave: Deep Soft, Deep Hard, Parkgate, Blackshale seams. Good facilities, first floor main office and Surveyor’s office, print room, strong room
Gedling: Top Hard, High Hazles, Low Hazles, Main Bright (however some of the seams had been wrongly correlated), large ground floor office, clean
Hucknall/Babbington: Top Hard, Dunsil, Low Bright, Main Bright, High Main, Deep Soft, Blackshale seams. Offices closed
Linby: Top Hard, Dunsil, Main Bright, High Main seams. Ground floor main office, fair, suspended ceiling, quiet, print room, tea
Newstead: Top Hard, Dunsil, Low Bright, Main Bright, High Main, Tupton (Low Main) seams. First floor office old but fairly good, clean, plans in old cabinets, cupboards could do with painting.
Liaison between collieries and all departments, Groups and Areas through Production Managers, Deputy Chief Mining Engineer, Area Surveyor and Minerals Manager and to give advice and assistance to Colliery Surveyors and monitor progress of Assistants and supervise the training of Apprentices and report to Area Chief Surveyor.
To contact by phone and/or visit each Survey office periodically and discuss immediately with the Surveyor and his staff any new scheme and/or information received from another colliery which would be appropriate.
Ensure a duplicate copy plan of each Working seam plan was updated as necessary and kept in adequate fire-proof accommodation or the strong room at Area HQ as required under Reg 4 of the Coal and Other Mines (Surveyors and Plans) Order, 1956 or enactment.
Ensure that copies of plans kept at the pit or HQ are available to other departments, particularly Planning and Geological.
I was appointed a JEB/MQB examiner to assist as observer at the Linby underground Examination Centre and invigilate candidates at the Office tests at HQ and check mark the notebooks. Mock examinations set up for our own Apprentices at Harworth with Tony Barnes for the following year exam. Give periodic instruction to them. Give talks at the Annual conference of all Unit and HQ staff on a variety of subjects. Give talks on surveying at various other venues to Safety, management personnel etc.
Appointed link man to oversee the new computer systems at Calverton and Thoresby and report the findings to Mike Goldsby DCME.
There was a need for continual awareness of Production Department Instructions and any new legislation following the M and Q Act 1954.
The Code of Practice for ventilation, I was link man between the Area HQ staff and collieries.
Dealing with outside bodies e.g. Nottinghamshire County Council, British Rail, etc.
Link man to instrument firms Zenith and Kern for new techniques, new instruments and HP re batteries, repairs to existing and Invoices for same to Staff dept. Calculators, HP 65, Sharp, Computer Graphics and PC 1640 machines.
The serving and posting of Parish notices informing the public of impending underworking. Working Rights, Section 3.
Ensure adequate up to date plans were available for use by Planning department, Geological department etc and other bodies and exchange plans with neighbouring Areas.
Signing of Mine Plans for future development – follow check list before signing.
Check on coal stocks at the Area stocking ground at Rufford and surveys and calculations of same.
Liaise with Prof Doug Hodges Nottingham University re Gyro observations at the University, and observations on each occasion with the relevant personnel from the colliery and then underground and/or surface bases at collieries and calculations of same.
Yearly rating figures and Valuation of all collieries both surface and underground visits with Inland Revenue personnel 1989.
Use the Auto-plummet in shafts for checking the underground position for the correlation of the underground workings with the surface.
Use Electronic distance measuring equipment.
Liaise with Dr Ashkanazi (University) re GPS (Global positioning by satellite).
To peruse and monitor progress of SM1 forms (Surveyor to Manager re hazard etc) from collieries to Senior Area personnel, in particular DCME.
To ascertain that spoil, coal and slurry was not deposited on land other than that scheduled and agreed for tipping and stocking.
Liaise with Estates department re lands, housing within 250m of tips etc and restoration, grassing, tree planting etc.
Adjust or update Colliery demarcation plans and monitor progress to Area Director for signing.
To inform the Area Surveyor and complete and send M and Q A 212 notices to Mines Inspectorate regarding opening and closing of seams/mines at collieries. Also to inform him of any new discharge or alteration of effluent outlets at a colliery as required under Rivers Prevention of Pollution Acts 1951, 1961 and any proposed abstraction requiring licences under Water Resources Act 1963 or new legislation.
Keep Water abstraction records.
Send information and relevant form to STWA (Severn Trent Water Authority) regarding boreholes.
Record underground water pumping figures from each pit yearly and some collieries such as Creswell, Oxcroft, Pleasley / Shirebrook on a weekly basis and liaise with the respective Surveyors.
Write water reports, particularly following colliery closures, to assess whether water from those collieries could affect working mines in future.
Statutory Undertakers such as CEGB, EMEB, STWA, Br Gas, Highways, Nuclear, British Rail notices and BP, British Geological Survey at Keyworth re mine plans following the Lofthouse disaster in Yorkshire and meeting personnel and examining each colliery layout plan. Old mine shafts, their discovery or deterioration and arrange safety.
Meeting HM Mines Inspectors On Occasions.
Link man for lasers, order same, deliver, distribute and send for repair and receipts for same to Purchasing and Stores dept.