1989 - Page 4
Blidworth Closed After 62 Years
Blidworth Colliery (Nottinghamshire), originally known as Newstead No2 Colliery until around 1930, was sunk in 1924 - 1926 by the Newstead Colliery Co Ltd at Blidworth to the north of the old village. It was closed on 3rd February 1989 after 62 years. Shaft positions: 121m above sea level, SK55NE, No1 shaft 459457, 356564, No2 shaft 459427, 356605.
The colliery was situated some 6.4km south east of Mansfield. It was called Newstead No2 originally. The housing was built right up to the pit gates within about 55 yards (50m) of the shafts. Pronunciation referred to locally as 'Blidduth'. Both steam winding engines in the same large engine house were made by Markham and Co Chesterfield 36" x 84" (0.91 x 2.13m). No2 engine had a conical drum 16" x 28" (0.40 x 0.71m) fitted with a Whitmore overwind device. No1 winder was changed to electric in August 1976 and No2 in 1978 when the chimney was demolished. The No2 pit Morcom and Bellis air compressor 300 cfm was sold to English Electric, Rugby in 1954.The buildings around the pit top and headgears were bricked in by 1965.
Output from the Abdy/Brinsley seam 1973-Nov 1988 had fallen to uneconomical levels. Since opening, the Top Hard 1926, 1928 - 2/9/1983 and High Hazles 3’ 5” (1.05m) 1968 - 1/3/1989 had been worked also. The Abdy seam was entered in 1948 but not exploited but the Abdy/Brinsley combined seam opened in Aug 1973 and was abandoned 18/11/1988.
The shafts both 742 yards (678m) deep were 20 feet 6 inches (6.25m) diameter and when sunk were much deeper than anticipated because no borehole had been drilled on site and the anticipated depth to the Top Hard was taken from depths at Rufford and Bilsthorpe, however faulting between these pits had thrown the seam deeper.
Both shafts were lined with brickwork for the first 25m then cast iron tubbing for the next 130m through the water-bearing strata the rest being brickwork down to the sumps.
Due to major problems in the pit bottom with faulting and bad work it was decided to close the pit in 1928. Great expenditure was incurred by the Company and it was decided to close the pit until better methods were available to combat the situation.
Most men were laid off and sacked and the new houses boarded up. Some men found work at the neighbouring mines. Fortunately the pit was re-opened in 1929. There were only goaf connections to Newstead at the Top Hard horizon.
Maximum output 771,117 tons 1948, maximum manpower 1,911 in 1952. From the production figures and the high manpower, it would appear that it was a difficult colliery to work and in later years lost a tremendous amount of money.
The cost of the land for the site for the colliery was £12,600 and the amount for sinking the shafts was about £200,000. The total expenditure for the setting up of the colliery was about £650,000.
Pithead baths were opened in 1938 and the Miners’ Welfare sports pavilion opened in 1939. The pithead baths were then extended in 1950 giving 1.812 lockers with 108 shower units. The canteen opened in 1939 was also extended.
There were 10 faces working in the 1950s extracting just under 4’ 0” (1.22m) from the Top Hard seam.
Manriding was effected by rope haulage and diesels later. A cable belt was installed which ultimately reached almost 2 miles in length.
Groetshel bars were introduced in 24s stable hole in 1958.
Reconstruction work was carried out from 1958 to 1967 when access to the High Hazles seam was made by drifts up from the Top Hard seam, production from the High Hazles starting in Feb 1968.
A mine car circuit above the Top Hard horizon was driven in solid rock. 7 ton capacity mine cars were introduced.
The coal prep plant commissioned in 1961/62 with a capacity of 450 tons per hour, giving 4 grades of coal with an extracting plant for fines.
One of the first to have a surface rapid loading bunker for merry-go-round trains.
A large percentage of the output was to the Trent side power stations plus some to the British Sugar Corporation and general industry, the remainder to domestic market, hospitals, local authorities and concessionary coal recipients as well as boiler fuel for several collieries in the Area.
A new heapstead building was erected at No1 shaft in 1964.
Dirt disposal on the tip was by aerial ropeway and was replaced by conveyor to be spread by bulldozer and motorised scrapers.
Slurry lagoons constructed on No2 tip.
A run-of-mine stockpile was operational in 1977.
A new roadway was driven in the Abdy/Brinsley seam for diesel manriding in 1977.
Surface locos 4’ 8” gauge:
- 0-6-0ST 1924
- Billum 0-6-0ST 1925
- No1 NCB 0-4-0ST 1950
- No2 NCB 0-4-0ST 1950
- Welbeck No6 0-6-0ST 1919
- D13 4wDH 1966
- D22 4wDH 1965.
Underground locos 2’ 0” gauge:
- No1 0-4-0DMF 1946
- No2 0-4-0DMF 1949
- No3 4wDMF 1949
- 4wDMF 1949
- No4 4wDMF 1952
- No5 4wDMF 1949
- No6 0-4-0DMF 1961
- No7 0-6-0DMF 1961
- No8 0-6-0DMF 1955
- No9 0-6-0DMF 1955
- No10 0-6-0DMF 1955
- No11 0-4-0DMF 1972
- No12 0-4-0DMF 1972
- No14 4wDHF 1977
- No15 4wDHF 1977
- No16 4wDHF 1977
- No17 4wDHF 1977
- No18 4wDHF 1978
- No19 4wDHF 1978
- No20 4wDHF 1981
- No21 4wDHF 1981
- No22 0-6-0DMF 1954
- No23 0-6-0 DM 1953
- 4wBEF 1977
- No1 4w-4wBEF 1987
- Kestrel 0-6-0DMF 1954
- Sea Eagle 0-6-0 DMF 1957.