1993 - Page 13
Clipstone Closed, 1993, After 70 Years
On 28th April 1993, Clipstone colliery (Nottinghamshire), another pit sunk by the Bolsover Colliery Co in 1920-1922, was closed after 70 years.
In September 1912, the Company acquired a lease of Top Hard coal from the Duke of Portland, there being areas already leased for Mansfield and Rufford collieries adjoining.
Sinking began in 1913 to the east of Newlands just over 3 miles (6km) to the north east of Mansfield but was suspended in 1914 due to the First World War (1914-1918) and recommenced in 1920 and coal being reached in April 1922 at 648 yards (592.5m).
Both shafts were 21 feet (6.4m) diameter and sunk originally to the Top Hard but were deepened to 1,002 yards (915m) and 1,007 yards (921m) to the Blackshale horizon around 1950-1952.
Shaft positions: SK56SE,
- No1 shaft 459518, 363296
- No2 shaft 459543, 363228. The original headgears were replaced by tall offset pulleys being the highest in the country at 217 feet (66m) built around them, before they were removed. Koepe ground mounted electric winding was then employed replacing the steam engines.
- No1 shaft used for winding materials, dirt and men
- No2 shaft had skips each 12 tonnes capacity.
The shafts were very close to the main road and the office block abutted same.
A model village (First Avenue, Second Avenue etc) was built to house the workforce, but at first many were housed temporarily in the old Army camp adjacent until the houses were built. As usual apart from a Welfare offering various sports such as bowls, tennis, cricket and football etc, indoor facilities for darts, dominoes, cards (whist drives), fruit and vegetable shows were organised. There were also poultry shows and art classes. There was a local cinema and various shops to keep the village almost self-contained. Large imposing villas were built by Bolsover Co for some of the higher management.
The Welfare was opened in 1933 and the Drill Hall in 1934.
A trip to Nottingham or even Mansfield was quite an occasion.
Compressed air cutters were introduced in 1923 and electric face cutters and face conveyors in 1930. Colliers handfilled their stint of coal onto these conveyors.
In 1931 single shift working was achieved by 100% mechanisation.
Pithead baths were opened on 6th November 1937.
A washery to handle 120 tons per hour was installed and by 1938 a flocculent plant had been added.
The first Meco-Moore cutter-loader was introduced in 1943.
Diesel locos were introduced in 1945 for coal haulage and manriding.
A major reconstruction scheme began in 1946. A borehole was drilled from Top Hard down to Blackshale to prove the lowere seams.
Underground locos: 2’ 4” gauge
- 2 x 0-4-0 DMF 50hp HE 1945, 0-4-0 DMF 68hp HC 1948
- 3 x 0-6-0 DMF 100hp HC 1955, 0-6-0 DMF 100hp HC 1957
- 5 x Roadrailer trapped-rail system introduced 1977
- The first seam worked was Top Hard (Coombe 1ft 1½in (0.34m), dirt 2½ in (0.06m)
- brights 1ft 2½ in (0.37m)
- rifler 7½ in (0.19m)
- gees 4½ in (0.11m)
- hards 1ft 7½ in (0.50m)
- brights 5½ in (0.14m)
- dirt 1½ in (0.04m)
- brights 3 inches (0.08m), total 6 feet (1.8m)
1922-25/3/1961 followed by Low Main 1951-9/12/1989.
The Yard seam 1974-1993 and Deep Soft (coal 0.30m, dirty coal 0.04m, coal 0.82m) from Nov 1975-30th Apr 1993 were worked with 967 men. Maximum output 1,310,034 tons in
1964/65 and maximum manpower 2,390 in 1928.
The local name for the pit was ‘Clippo’.
The 9 feet (2.74m) diameter 168 feet (51.2m) high pit chimney was demolished on 19th May 1957. Contractors who were to have dismantled the chimney brick by brick had made a hole through the brickwork at the base to allow the bricks thrown down the shaft to be recovered and loaded out. However high winds prevented the firm dismantling from a scaffold at the top of the chimney so it was decided to blow the chimney down by explosives. Benny White, Overman at the colliery arranged for charges to be placed around the base and he detonated the explosives successfully as the chimney toppled into the planned area.
When the chimney was built in 1922 one of the three horses used on the pit top hauled the bricks up to the building scaffold by rope and pulley using 2 hooks on the handles of the wheelbarrow containing bricks and one hook on the wheel. The horse was strong enough to haul the full barrow up and gentle enough to back off and lower the empty barrow down.
In 1925 the Bolsover Co had connected Bolsover to Creswell with an overhead 22,000v power line. Their other 4 collieries were supplied by similar lines using a special transformer and 1500kW generators meeting at Thoresby. The Clipstone feeder supplied Cavendish Lodge, Shaw Browne's farm, the Dog and Duck and village of Old Clipstone, Broomhill Grange, Bielby's and Waterfield farm. The final link from Clipstone to Mansfield colliery was uncoupled in 1988.
Connections underground were made to Warsop May 1965 and Thoresby Aug 1965 at Top Hard level and Mansfield High Hazles and Rufford Low Main. A fan house and duplicate fans were installed in1959.
An extension to the pit-head baths, a new medical centre and canteen were built in 1959/60 on the opposite side of the main road from the pit yard and an underpass connected the two.
In 1960 the coal prep plant modifications included 400 tons per hour dirt disposal to 500 tons capacity surface bunker then loaded into dumper trucks and transported to the tip and layering by scraper. Originally overhead aerial buckets took dirt to the tip, later delivered by conveyor.
Special horseshoe shaped arches were set in a pit bottom roadway in 1962 to counteract severe strata crush. It was named Abernant roadway after the Welsh pit where the arches were used. It was 1,000 yards (915m) South East to loading point. A circular roadway was called Hercular, North West 1,000 yards (915m) to loading point, both for diesel hauled mine cars.
A new Miners’ Welfare opened in 1965.
Manless transfer points introduced underground in 1967.
Methane-extractor house on the surface, with a 12” (0.30m) dia shaft main installed in 1969, the gas being used to fire the boilers.
Automation of pit top discharge and pit bottom skip loading at No2 shaft in July 1973.
Charles Whyte Area Surveyor was summoned to higher authority to explain a mistake on an overcast roadway. This remains with you forever as explained before. Nobody remembers the good work only a mistake.
No1 shaft equipped with moving cage base (tilting deck) for transporting large and long items.
Reorganisation of the coal transport system in the pit bottom culminated when diesel locos and 3½ ton mine cars were replaced with trunk conveyors, and a conveyor system to a central spiral 950 tons capacity staple shaft sunk by the Area Tunnelling Team (first in the Area) It was one the first pits to have a vertical bunker underground. This one had a metal central spiral that needed constant repair after a few years.
A Becorit captive rail haulage system was used inbye due to the excessive floor lift in the roadways.
A new vertical bunker with a tiled outer spiral was built in 1980-1981.
For a period a carpet was laid in No1 pit bottom as an advert for a firm to show how hard wearing it was, having had several thousand pairs of feet walking on it.
Diesel locos and rope haulage were used for supplies.
Manriding was by loco, rope haulage and conveyor belt systems.
Hydroglass water storage tanks on the surface in 1978. Around 10 gallons per minute of underground water was pumped up No2 shaft from the Blackshale horizon in the sump, static head 1,017 yards (930m), and discharged into a sewer.
The photo shows Sir Derek Ezra Chairman of the NCB and Merrik Spanton (4612) Area Director and John Brass (8587), Manager on an underground visit. Deep Soft seam lies approximately 780m deep. Feeder gate was the term used for Supply gate at the pit.
As late as 2014 the future of the headstocks was in doubt. Around half the residents wanted them demolishing and the others wanted them to stay, however the cost of maintenance is high.
Manpower: Bolsover Co:
- 1915: sinking suspended due to War
- 1916: 132 men on surface
- 1920: restart sinking, 395 men
- 1921: 161 sinkers, 268 s/f
- 1922: 151 sinking, Top Hard, 303 s/f
- 1923: Top Hard 560 u/g, 397 s/f, 957men
- 1924: 805 TH, 393 s/f
- 1925: 1560 u/g, 429 s/f, 1,989men
- 1926: 1,590 u/g, 428 s/f, 2,018 men
- 1927: 1,912 u/g, 427 s/f, 2,339 men
- 1928: 1,962 u/g, 428 s/f, 2,390 men (max)
- 1929: 1,862 u/g, 400 s/f, 2,262 men
- 1930: 1,739 u/g, 389 s/f, 2,128 men
- 1931: 1,250 u/g, 306 s/f,
- 1932: 1,238 u/g, 310 s/f,
- 1933: 977 u/g, 295 s/f, 1,272 men
- 1934: 1,002 u/g, 295 s/f
- 1935: 881 u/g, 298 s/f, 1,179 men
- 1936: 883 u/g, 303 s/f
- 1937: 963 u/g, 323 s/f
- 1938: 969 u/g 316 s/f
- 1939: 964 u/g, 320 s/f
- 1940: 959 u/g, 323 s/f, 1,282 men
- 1941: 932 u/g, 338 s/f
- 1942: 922 u/g, 325 s/f
- 1943: 888 u/g, 332 s/f
- 1944: 936 u/g, 320 s/f
- 1945: 911 u/g, 334 s/f, 1,245 men 739,907 tons
- 1946: 1,204 men.
Tonnage & Manpower NCB: No3 Area EMD:
North Nottinghamshire Area: 1967/68: 1,205,869 tons, 1,465 men
- 1947: 674,599 tons, 1,233 men
- 1948: 724,461 tons, 1,289 men
- 1949: 759,486 tons, 1,295 men
- 1950: 824,717 tons, 1,284 men
- 1951: 792,199 tons, 1,003 Top Hard, 1,272 men
- 1952: 771,067 tons, 1,287 men
- 1953: 797,301 tons, 1,321 men
- 1954: 798,086 tons, 1,354 men
- 1955: 754,462 tons, 1,372 men
- 1956: 772,434 tons, 1,057 Top Hard, 1,403 men
- 1957: 840,823 tons, 1,150 Top Hard and Low Main 1,440 men
- 1958: 855,606 tons, Top Hard and Low Main 1,483 men
- 1959: 968,944 tons, 1,244 Low Main 1,531 men
- 1960: 987,162 tons, 1,551 men
- 1961: 1,002,104 tons (first 1m tons), 1,662 men
- 1962: 1,025,512 tons, 1,677 men
- 1963: 1,261,566 tons, 1,667 men
- 1963/64: 1,252,078 tons, 1,661men
- 1964/65: 1,310,034 tons (max), 1,607 men
- 1965/66: 1,262,762 tons, 1,542 men
- 1966/67: 1,200,285 tons, 1,467 men
- 1968/69: 1,066,806 tons, 1,503 men
- 1969/70: 1,295,655 tons, 1,573 men
- 1970/71: 1,168,196 tons, 1,549 men
- 1971/72: 794,439 tons, 1,560 men
- 1972/73: 1,106,665 tons, 1,583 men
- 1973/74: 690,117 tons, 1,523 men
- 1974/75: 974,379 tons, 1,520 men
- 1975/76: 963,874 tons, 1,508 men
- 1976/77: 984,730 tons, 1,499 men
- 1977/78: 1,035,358 tonnes, (1,019,003 tons), 1,486 men (profit £10.179m)
- 1978/79: 893,460 tonnes, 1,506 men (profit £5.467m)
- 1979/80: 996,530 tonnes, 1,525 men (profit £10.490m)
- 1980/81: 900,011 tonnes, 1,547 men (profit £6.798m)
- 1981/82: 873,360 tonnes, 1,487 men (profit £5.719m)
- 1982/83: 781,880 tonnes, 1,470 men (profit £?m)
- 1983/84: 848,888 tonnes, 1,426 men (profit £2.518m)
- 1984/85: 586,010 tonnes, 1,373 men (loss £4.336m)
- 1985/86: 907,531 tonnes, 1,383 men (profit £6.183m)
- 1986/87: British Coal: 796,152 tonnes, 1,308 men (profit £1.052m)
- 1987/88: 705,100 tonnes, 1,079 men (loss £4.357m)
- 1988/89: 945,000 tonnes, 1,025 men
- 1989/90: 1,005,050 tonnes, app 1,000 men
- 1990/91: 1,044,000 tonnes, app 980 men
- 1991/92: 973,450 tonnes, 947 men down to 813 u/g, 116 s/f, 86 under officials and 42 WPIS
- 1992/93: 822,400 tonnes. Coal face workers 266, Development 51, Roads 81,Salvage 23, Others 408, Surface 165.
1 million tonnes per year was achieved 15 times in the colliery’s history.