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Calendar
The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947

Chimneys
1993
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1993 - Page 16


Shirebrook Closed 1993, After 96 Years
- Continued -

In April 1967 Shirebrook colliery which was in No3 Area was transferred to North Derbyshire Area.

The colliery had a reputation for underground violence throughout its history, from sinking to closing, ascribed by some as relating to the origins of the original workforce, brought in by the Shirebrook Colliery Co in the late 1890s. The violence used to erupt on the surface also as a visit to the ‘Drum Public House’ on the Market Place was fraught with danger for many years I remember even in the 1960s. I only visited it once with a couple of pals and we felt a ‘hundred pairs of eyes’ boring into our backs. We left quietly after a swift half.

As Surveyor at Ollerton I visited Shirebrook mine Survey department to see what the technicalities and snags were of deepening a shaft whilst still coaling. Johnny Banks (3231) at that time Deputy Surveyor (later promoted to Surveyor at Ireland) explained fully the system they had employed. I wrote an indepth report and met with the DCME Keith Shaw at North Nottinghamshire HQ and after deliberation it was agreed that cross-measures drifts would be driven to the Parkgate from Top Hard at Ollerton sooner than shaft deepenings. I must admit I was not keen on the shaft deepening proposal as it would have required a great deal of operational time and accuracy and at a time I could ill afford due to lots of other surveying needs. The drifts actually were the better option as was proven later when the shafts were deteriorating just before closure in 1994.

The Shirebrook mine was situated close to the border and 4 miles north of Mansfield and 12 miles south east of Chesterfield. At the time there were 3 shearer faces in the Deep Soft seam, 4 faces in the Clowne (or Main Hard) with hand filling methods using props and bars until 1968/69 when Conveyor-mounted trepanners and powered supports were installed making the pit 100% mechanised. In 1971 a Gleithobel plough was tried in the 31” (0.79m) thick Clowne seam.
A team jokingly called ‘F Troop’ could be relied on to complete the odd and difficult jobs.

In Jan 1977, around 60 tonnes of fine coal per hour was sent 356½ yards (326m) up the shaft in a blowpipe, air passed through a Radmark feeder unit with water injection, the first practical installation of its kind, helping to increase the output.

Pipe installation had started in Jan 1976.

Coal destined for the power stations was loaded from a 2,000 tonnes Rapid loading bunker into merry-go-round trains.

Deep Hard Panels: S14s an advancing face worked on the Littleton system, P49s, P53s, P54s, S153s, S155s Retreat, S157s, S16s, S14s, S159s retreat, S12s slow, S15s, slow advance, S10s, S17s, S157s. Coal Deep Hard middle leaf seat earth mudstone 0.70m, Deep Hard bottom leaf 0.37m, mudstone with coal bands 0.45m, coal 0.58m, mudstone 5 Piper seam, coal 0.56m.

Blackshale panels: S322s, short, S321s, heads stopped, face line headed out, stood, S320s, S301s Retreat, S300s, S303s, short, S302s, S200s, short life panel. Section: silt, mudstone 0.12m, coal 1.17m, seat earth.

This was the penultimate large deep mine in North Derbyshire to close.

The second pit headstock was blown up and demolished by controlled explosion on 15th August 1994.

Manpower Shirebrook Colliery Co:

  • 1896: sinking 140, 260 s/f
  • 1897: 188, 231 s/f
  • 1898: 618 Top Hard, 227 s/f
  • 1899: 713 TH, 220 s/f
  • 1900: 887 TH, 221 s/f
  • 1901: 1,218 TH, 255 s/f
  • 1902: 1,077 TH, 249 s/f
  • 1903: 1,114 TH, 264 s/f
  • 1904: 1,070 TH, 271 s/f
  • 1905: 1,145 TH, 268 s/f
  • 1906: 1,148 TH, 252 s/f
  • 1907: 1,291 TH, 782 s/f, total 2,073
  • 1908: 1,345 TH, 282 s/f
  • 1909: 1,540 TH, 152 s/f
  • 1910: 1,545 u/g, ? s/f
  • 1911: 1,550 u/g, 328 s/f
  • 1912: 1,614 u/g, 290 s/f, total 1,904
  • 1913: 1,565 u/g, 301 s/f
  • 1914: 1,638 u/g, 313 s/f, total 1,951
  • 1915: 1,115 u/g, 296 s/f
  • 1916: 1,140 u/g, 305 s/f
  • 1917: 1,140 u/g, 306 s/f
  • 1918: 1,190 u/g, 336 s/f
  • 1919: 1,324 u/g, 398 s/f
  • 1920: 1,432 u/g, 400 s/f
  • 1921: 1,467 u/g, 353 s/f
  • 1922: 1,507 u/g, 335 s/f
  • 1923: 1,574 u/g, 349 s/f
  • 1924: 1,607 u/g, 352 s/f
  • 1925: 1,585 u/g, 351 s/f
  • 1926: 1,454 u/g, 316 s/f
  • 1927: 1,470 u/g, 335 s/f
  • 1928: 1,568 u/g, 376 s/f
  • 1929: 1,556 u/g, 373 s/f
  • 1930: 1,555 u/g, 386 s/f
  • 1931: 1,544 u/g, 378 s/f, total 1,922
  • 1932: 1,524 u/g, 388 s/f
  • 1933: 1,486 u/g, 388 s/f
  • 1934: 1,128 u/g, 345 s/f, total 1,473
  • 1935: 1,079 u/g, 350 s/f
  • 1936: 1,090 u/g, 32 s/f
  • 1937: 1,072 u/g, 362 s/f
  • 1938: 1,089 u/g, 378 s/f
  • 1939: 1,060 u/g, 385 s/f
  • 1940: 1,040 u/g, 391 s/f
  • 1941: 1,092 u/g, 422 s/f
  • 1942: 1,092 TH, 443 s/f
  • 1943: 1,059 Top Hard and Main Hard (Clowne), 422 s/f
  • 1944: 1,122 HH, MH and First Waterloo, 411 s/f
  • 1945: 1,086 TH, MH, 435 s/f, 1,521 men and boys total producing an output of around 500,000 tons a year.

Output and Manpower NCB: No2 Area EMD:

  • 1947: 519,522 tons, 1,093 Top Hard and Main Hard, 404 s/f, 1,497 men
  • 1948: 540,715 tons, Top Hard, Main Hard 1,457 men
  • 1949: 563,681 tons, 1,495 men

No3 Area: 1950: 629,249 tons, TH, MH, 1,528 men

  • 1951: 665,939 tons, TH, MH, 1,578 men
  • 1952: 657,143 tons, 1,232 Top Hard and Main Hard, 358 s/f, 1,590 men
  • 1953: 676,293 tons, TH, MH, 1,578 men
  • 1954: 708,891 tons, TH, MH, 1,564 men
  • 1955: 783,652 tons, 1,250 TH, MH, 358 s/f, 1,608 men
  • 1956: 775,755 tons, TH, MH, 1,627 men
  • 1957: 736,354 tons, TH, MH, 1,666 men
  • 1958: 711,568 tons, TH, MH, 1,713 men
  • 1959: 741,650 tons, TH, MH, 1,713 men
  • 1960: 637,384 tons, TH, MH, 1,342 u/g, 349 s/f, 1,691 men
  • 1961: 635,566 tons, Top Hard fin, Main Hard, 1,585 men
  • 1962: 732,949 tons, Main Hard 1,556 men
  • 1963/64: 789,161 tons, 1,541 men
  • 1964/65: 796,602 tons, 1,514 men
  • 1965/66: 825,852 tons, 1,472 men
  • 1966/67: 794,434 tons, 1,446 men

North Derbyshire Area:

  • 1967/68: 760,066 tons, 3 shearer faces in Deep Soft with powered supports and 4 handfilled faces in Main Hard supported with props and bars, 1,412 men
  • 1968/69: 763,980 tons, 1,451 men
  • 1969/70: 1,049,251 tons, (first 1 million tonnes in a year) 1,565 men
  • 1970/71: 1,062,417 tons, 1,560 men
  • 1971/72: 884,160 tons, 1,555 men
  • 1972/73: 841,528 tons, 1,524 men
  • 1973/74: 719,658 tons, Main Bright, Main Hard, 1,520 men
  • 1974/75: 1,091,957 tons, MB, MH 1,533 men
  • 1975/76: 1,099,197 tons, MB, MH, 1,543 men
  • 1976/77: 1,111,045 tons, MB, MH, 1,597 men
  • 1977/78: 1,132,180 tonnes (1,114,296 tons), 1,665 men
  • 1978/79: 1,242,167 tonnes, 1,738 men
  • 1979/80: 1,288,636 tonnes, MB, MH, 1,828 men
  • 1980/81: 1,388,805 tonnes, 1,896 men
  • 1981/82: 1,681,261 tonnes, 1,904 men
  • 1982/83: 1,577,109 tonnes, 1,915 men
  • 1983/84: 1,027,900 tonnes, 1,937 men
  • 1984/85: strike 307,620 tonnes, 2,048 men max
  • 1985/86: 1,498,000 tonnes, Main Bright, Main Hard fin, Deep Hard fin, Deep Hard/Piper 2,028 men

British Coal 1986/87: 1,721,272 tonnes max MB, DH/P, 1,956 men, Area record

  • 1987/88: Central Area: 1,231,423 tonnes, MB, DH/P, 1,866 men
  • 1988/89: Main Bright fin, DH/P, 1,422,294 tonnes, 1,594 men
  • 1989/90: DH/P, BS, + 1m tonnes, app 1,450 men
  • 1991/92: + 1m tonnes, app 1,300 men

Midlands and Wales Group

  • 1992/93: Deep Hard/Piper, Blackshale 1.3m tonnes, 1,005 men
  • 1993/94: DH/P, BS ... tonnes.

Colliery closed May 1993.
1 million tonnes of saleable coal per annum was achieved 17 times.

 

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