1989 - Page 1
British Coal Restructured
From 1st January 1989 there was a Group and Area re-structure in British Coal as the industry was once again reorganised. Four Areas including Nottinghamshire and Central Area (Derbyshire) plus four at Group status reported to Albert Wheeler MBE (7349), Director of Group Operations.
- Frank Middleton (8180) previously a Manager at Rufford and Production Manager North Nottinghamshire Area was appointed General Manager of North West Group.
- Terry E Wheatley (8348) previously Manager at Thoresby then Production Manager was appointed General Manager South Wales.
- Robert (Bob) G Siddall (9974) previously a Manager at Blidworth was appointed Director of Selby.
- William (Bill) Rowell (10141) Assistant Area Director of Opencast Operations Scottish Area appointed Deputy Director (Mining) Central Area
- Dennis T Childs (9940) (Production Manager since 1987, appointed Operations Manager North Derbyshire pits
- Chris Smith (10952) (formerly Manager Snibston then Coventry appointed Operations Manager South Derbyshire pits)
- David Drake (8100) (DCME (Mining Services) Central Area 1985 appointed Operations Manager for Warwickshire pits)
- Alan Houghton (8957) Deputy Director, R A (Tony) Caunt (8028) Chief Mining Engineer, Roger Bexon (9393) DCME (Services) and David S Crisp (9601), Brian R Turner (9654), David S Widdowson (8857) Production Managers Edwinstowe Nottinghamshire Area
- John CH Longden (9134) promoted to Deputy Operations Director British Coal, Eastwood Hall.
New Grades For Managers
A new 3 grade structure for Colliery Managers based on consistently achieved saleable output was implemented.
Full agreement for flexible working at the new Asfordby mine (Leicestershire) was signed by Nottinghamshire Area officials and UDM. This was the first flexible working agreement in the country.
Under the agreement each underground worker would work 218 shifts instead of 225 with each shift being 15 minutes longer, i.e. 7 hours plus one winding time. In 3 rostered-on weeks out of 4 a miner would work 6 days instead of 5, i.e. 18 days every 4 weeks instead of 20. Every fourth week would be a holiday. There would be 146 days off a year 52 at weekends, 78 rostered off and 16 days holiday. That compared with the ordinary system of 139 days off a year 104 at weekends and 35 days holiday.
The new system would give higher shift rates plus additional pay for weekends working normal shifts for working unsocial hours. There would also be a payment of 220 each at Christmas and summer breaks. Existing overtime rates to continue.
At the end of January pumping ceased at Babbington and the mine water mainly from Cossall began to migrate via Moorgreen Blackshale to the new inbye water lodge at Annesley Bentinck through the boreholes connection (Nottinghamshire).
There was a water problem at Markham (North Derbyshire) inrush?
Principal District Inspector
- Malcolm R Bottomley (5747)
- Sam D Briggs.
Incidentally the progress of ex Management staff from the area found that Alan Vincent (9400) (North Yorkshire) (ex Teversal, Sutton, Bolsover and Ireland) and Ian Waugh (North West) (ex Goldthorpe, Linby and Ollerton) were both District Inspectors and Mick Hopkinson (9390) ex Silverhill, Sutton and Welbeck) in Yorkshire. Fred Tootle previous District HMI for Midlands (died Oct 1988 aged 67).
Manpower Halved At Cotgrave And Gedling
Early in 1989, the manpower at both Cotgrave and Gedling collieries was halved in an attempt to improve efficiency. The average age for miners throughout the country was 34.
At Bretby a Landscaping department for tips set up in the late 1970s / 80s proved that there had been excellent restoration work carried out at Bentinck, Bevercotes, Bilsthorpe, Clipstone, Cotgrave, Manton, New Hucknall, Ollerton, Sutton, Sherwood, Warsop, all in Nottinghamshire.
Welbeck (Nottinghamshire) was granted a further 16m to access new reserves by driving 2 drifts some 3,940 yards (3,600m) long to the Parkgate seam. Over 22m had been spent at the colliery in the last 2 or 3 years, however it was anticipated it would soon be recouped by increased productivity.
Sinking at Asfordby Completed
Collieries sunk or opened in 1989: In March 1989, the sinkings at Asfordby (Leicestershire) were completed, at 598 yards (547m) and 584 yards (534m), both having started in 1985. Unfortunately the shallower shaft had struck extremely hard volcanic rock, which proved impossible to bore with the existing equipment, and the original plan, to have the pit bottoms at the same horizon with loco haulage was scrapped. The two horizons would be coupled up later via a steep drift. Rigid guides at the ends of the cages were used. The new colliery was administered by South Midlands Area then taken over by the Nottinghamshire Area. The target seam was the Deep Main, a combination of the Deep Soft and Deep Hard seams lying in a shallow basin. The hoppit seen is the one I rode the shaft in on my underground visit there.
Shirebrook (North Derbyshire) produced 1,422,294 tonnes for the year 1988-1989, with 1,594 men. North Derbyshire output 4,359,335 tonnes, 4,977 men, 3.72 tonnes OMS. South Derbyshire pits 1,056,300 tonnes, 1,221 men, 3.70 tonnes OMS.
Annesley Bentinck (Nottinghamshire) mine production produced the first 1m tonnes in the year with a total of 1,346,036 tonnes and a combined manpower of 1,405 men. A programme had been implemented to abandon the old Bentinck shafts in turn and fill and cap them, as they were now no longer necessary for ventilation, air still being available at the Bentinck adit and the two shafts at Annesley.
There was a record output at Creswell (Derbyshire pit in Nottinghamshire Area) of 10,371 tonnes from the very thin Threequarter seam on 25th February 1989.
At Silverhill a floor mounted 270 hp trepanner captivated to the AFC with full steering facilities, cutting at 6m per min produced a record 30,529 tonnes from 106 strips in 5 days from an advancing face extracting 1.08m.
At Harworth (North Nottinghamshire) the Haigh Moor seam was abandoned.
A rapid loader pad system was commissioned at Manton surface (Nottinghamshire).
Donisthorpe Closed After 129 years
Donisthorpe (Leicestershire) part of Rawdon closed 1989.
Sunk in 1857 at Donisthorpe village.
- No1 43/3114/255332, 289 yards (264m) deep
- No2 43/3114/265288, 308 yards (281.5m) deep
2 further shafts were sunk in 1871 to 260m deep and a surface drift some 220m long driven in 1957.
Measham sunk 1850 was merged with Donisthorpe in 1985 and closed in 1986.
There was a Training gallery set up for new entrants.
Donisthorpe and Rawdon merged in Oct 1986 but they had been linked underground since 1981 and since then all the production from the 2 pits was raised at Rawdon.
The old Oakthorpe shaft abandoned in 1893 and flooded was pumped dry and re-opened in 1947 to access the Main coal seam in the Oakthorpe area and as a satellite and manriding shaft for Donisthorpe and remained open until Donisthorpe / Rawdon was closed. It was known locally as ‘Who’d a thought it?’, abbreviated to ‘Thought it’.
Underground locos: 0-4-0 DMF 50hp HE 1947, 0-4-0 DMF 50hp HC 1949.
Seams worked: Up to 6 seams were worked at one time.
- Main 14’ 6” (4.42m), finished 16/1/1989
- Kilburn 4’ 0” (1.22m), finished 17/3/1989
- NCB 1947: 1950: 847 Woodfield, Stockings and Eureka and Little discontinued. 246 s/f
- 1951: 879 u/g, 238 s/f
- 1952: 890 u/g, 237 s/f
- 1953: 891 u/g, 236 s/f
- 1955: 925 u/g, 215 s/f
- 1956: 942 u/g, 211 s/f
- 1957: 963 u/g, 223 s/f
- 1961: 888 u/g, 221 s/f
- 1962: 852 u/g, 224 s/f
- 1963: 906 u/g, 234 s/f
- 1965: 873 u/g, 259 s/f
South Midlands Area:
- 1967: 858 u/g, 258 s/f
- 1968: 838 u/g, 261 s/f
- 1969: 863 u/g, 252 s/f
- 1971: 804 u/g, 266 s/f
- 1972: 814 u/g, 242 s/f
- 1974: 814 u/g, 242 s/f
- 1987: 1,033 u/g, 135 s/f
- Harry B Bennett (2820) 1951-1955
- William C Statham (3660) 1956-1957
- Harry Blakemore Bennett (2820) 1947- 1951
- Eric P Lawrence (3181) 1951-1956
- Les R Watkin (4376) 1956-1962
- Arthur Summers (4896) Agent / Manager 1962-1964
- Jock R Gibson (4391) 1964-1970
- F Malcolm T Ashley (5548) 1970-1981
- Barry A Finch (8619) 1981-1987. Merged with Rawdon, see below.
- John A Pash (5758) 1960-1962
- John Chris Boyle (5733) 1962-1966
- A Harry Savage (7967) 1966-1970
- Granville Fowkes (8391) 1970- .
- HE Whaling (338 / 2nd)
- Reg Price (5134) 1956-1957 (promoted to Desford)
- John A Pash (5758) 1956-1960
- Stuart A Skelding (6257) 1957-1960 (promoted to Cadley Hill)
- F Gregory (5757 / 2nd) 1960-1961
- Peter Moulton (6364) 1960-1962
- Ken Bradford (5553) 1962-1965
- Mick B Jones (7958) 1965-1966
- F Herbert Johnson (9460) 1966-1974
- WJ Thomas (7235 / 2nd) 1971-1973
- Ivor J Popejoy (5505) 1971-1986
- Harry DB McPherson (9137) 1971-1976
- Ray Whittaker (9715) 1976-1980
- Thomas Albert English (8610) 1982-1986
- Ken J Tunnicliffe (10450 / 2nd) 1987
- Roger P Williams (10848) 1987.
- F Herbert Johnson (9460) 1974-1976
- Harry DB McPherson (9137) 1976-1986. (see below)
- Denis Berry, (promoted to Group then Area Surveyor and later National Chief Surveyor)
- Derek Taylor (3305)
- Ron Parkinson (5078)
Shaft position 4/3116/265256,
- Marquis shaft 43/3016/952035.
- Little Kilburn 13/8/1969
- Lower Main 26/9/1969
- Stockings seam abandoned 19/3/1986
- Woodfield coal 6’ 4” (1.93m) fireclay 2’ 0” (0.61m), coal 1’ 0” (0.30m), 9/4/1986
- Main seam coal Rider.
Rawdon (Leicestershire, South Midlands) Moira Colliery Co Ltd, sunk at 3’ 1” (0.94m), coaly shale 2’ 0” (0.61m)
- Coal No2 Rider 1’ 2” (0.36m), coaly shale 2’ 1” (0.63m)
- Main coal 6’ 3” (1.90m), coal unworked 2’ 0” (0.61m)
- Nether Main 4’ 0” (1.22m), fireclay 1’ 2” (0.36m), sandstone floor
- Block 3’ 8” (1.12m)
- Upper Kilburn coal (1.13m) -1986
- Little Woodfield 21/6/1987.
The first shaft at Rawdon was sunk as an UC for Marquis.
Moira Colliery Co Ltd:
- TA Wilson 1895-97
- SA Warburton 1897Jan 1915
- JH Bailey 1915-
- L Clay (7222)
- (Malc) D McPherson (5237)
- John W Bond (6307)
- Barry A Finch (8641) 19/3/1986
- Mick E Skelding (7563)
- Alan Hawkins (10760)
- Alfred H Henson (5775) (transferred from Cadley Hill).
- Mike Richards (11005) 1980-1983 (previously Agecroft on haulage 1968, University, South Leicester MET 1975-1976, Rawdon Deputy 1976-1977, Tilmanstone Development 1977-1978, promoted to Undermanager Coventry Feb 1983).
- Ray T Gould (2363) qual Aug 1950
- Ron Parkinson (5078) 19/3/1986
- Terry M Williams (5931) 9/4/1986.
Fatal Accidents Donisthorpe included: see reference earlier.
- Eric Whotton (c50) Face man, in 1960s, setting a temporary prop and fell onto the AFC into a crusher.