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Calendar
The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947

Chimneys
1993
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1993 - Page 22


Rufford Closed 1993 After 82 Years

- Continued -

Major Incident

The defunct No1 shaft seen in the background was filled 7th Aug 21st Oct 1987.

Limestone chippings about 2” (0.05m) was used for the fill, however a hole was punctured in the tubbing allowing water to gush into the shaft and then later a plug was knocked off the external type English tubbing with the filling material at 12.05am on 22nd Aug and the shaft filled with water from the Permian strata.

I was personally involved as Senior Surveyor in assisting the Unit Surveyor to monitor the shaft fill / water level in the shaft and pumping arrangements. Andy Wells (5934) Surveyor, had been at work for about 24 hours when John Higginbotham (9293) the Manager sent for me to assist in monitoring the shaft fill as a concrete plug had been put in on the Wednesday, but after tipping 50 buckets of limestone chippings into the shaft, water was issuing into the shaft, suggesting that the tubbing had been damaged. A meeting was called at the colliery for 10am on Friday by Tony Caunt (8028) Chief Mining Engineer) re the situation and suggestions made re putting a concrete plug in the shaft to alleviate the situation. I was given the task of taking the minutes then to monitor the water levels. However it was found from measurements taken by me that water was rising up the shaft fairly quickly. There was no pit bottom pump at this shaft and one delivering only 4 gallons per minute normally from below the sump road at No3 at 800m deep was discharged into Rainworth Water.

The Rescue Brigade from Mansfield Woodhouse took the emergency winder equipment across and 2 Blacksmiths from Rufford descended the shaft in a kibble and successfully plugged the 1” to 2” hole in the tubbing with a wooden oak plug and the water stopped issuing at 12.35pm. Eventually the water level dropped and shaft filling continued. A further meeting was held by David S Crisp (9601) (Production Manager) at 1pm on Friday 21st August. I agreed again to monitor the water levels through as necessary. I left at 9.50pm. Next day I was back again at 9am to assist Andy Wells to monitor the shaft fill as requested. However it was to happen again. I was contacted at home at about 6pm on Saturday 22nd August to be told that a further hole was punctured in the tubbing. An emergency meeting was held at 10am on Sunday 23rd August chaired by Brian C Wright (9913) (Deputy Chief Mining Engineer). I took minutes again. Now Don Brown (Civil Engineer) was involved and the concrete fill ordered for Monday and Tuesday had to be cancelled. Again the hole was plugged by oak pegs successfully by the Blacksmiths in the emergency kibble. It was agreed that in future all shaft fills were to be delivered through steel air tubing lowered part-way down the shaft and raised periodically as filling rose up the shaft. The idea was that the stone chippings would drop down the shaft fairly centrally and not spew ont the shaft sides with any force. Shaft filling then continued afterwards with no further incident and was completed by 21st October. I had filled out the M and Q 212 notice of abandonment of the shaft on 5th October 1987 and had given it to Mike Goldsby (8208) (Deputy Chief Mining Engineer) in readiness to inform the Mines Inspector as is required by law. Later a concrete cap was placed over the shaft and the old headgear was demolished.

Rufford was always thought of as a very large colliery, but the output never reflected this. The first 1 million, 1,063,183 tonnes produced under NCB in 1964-1965 with 2,121men. Maximum manpower under NCB was 2,272 in 1959, when 951,913 tons was produced. Under British Coal second 1m tonnes with 1,020,000 in 1990-1991 and third and final 1m plus, 1,130,000 tonnes (max) in 1992-1993.

Top Hard seam worked by stalls on longwall extending until mid 1930s when conveyor panels were introduced. Extensive workings, coupled through to Bilsthorpe 20s for ARP reasons in 1956. The closure distance between bases was about 2.7m, only barely within the limits of accuracy. I don’t think a check survey was done at either pit to sort out the error. Of course the method of measuring was by the old fashioned time consuming system of bay levelling. The workings were surrounded by workings from Bilsthorpe, Blidworth, Clipstone and Mansfield collieries. The Meco Moore cutter loader was pioneered in that seam. Abandoned 17/9/1969.

High Hazles:

  • As panel South East May 1928-Mar 1931 exploratory narrow panel, coal 3’ 11” (1.19m). Re-opened 1963: 100s North East Feb 1964-July 1967
  • 101s North West Sep 1965-Dec 1967
  • 102s South East Dec 1966-Apr 1971
  • 106s South East May 1969-Dec 1971
  • 103s North West Apr 1971-May 1973
  • 115s North West June 1972-Aug 1973
  • 120s South West July 1973-Oct 1974
  • 111s North West Feb 1974-Oct 1975
  • 121s South West Oct 1974-July 1976
  • 105s North West Sep 1975-June 1977
  • 117s retreat South East July 1976-Mar 1978
  • 122s South West Mar 1977-Feb 1982
  • 153s South East May 1977-Apr 1981
  • 107s North West Feb 1985-Oct 1986
  • 155s South East Jan 1982-July 1985
  • 118s South West May 1983-Oct 1984
  • 109s North West Feb 1985-Oct 1986. Some panels affected by swilleys.

Low Main:

  • 45s South East
  • 29s South East short life
  • 41s South East
  • 44s South East
  • 37s South West
  • 42s South East
  • 30s North West short life
  • 4s North East short life
  • 7s North East
  • 35s North West
  • 16s North West
  • 6s North West
  • 20s North West
  • 5s North West
  • 31s North West
  • 9s North West
  • 21s North West
  • 33s North West
  • 27s North West
  • 25s North West
  • 11s South West
  • 1s South East
  • 2s South East
  • 8s North East short life. Tupton rock within 45m, of the seam causing wet to very wet conditions.

Rapid methane gas emissions on

  • 35s 20/12/65
  • 16s 23/4/63
  • 31s 8/11/61 and 11/6/63
  • 9s 16/3/63, 11/10/63, 5/2/65 and 23/10/65
  • 21s 25/5/66
  • 33s 6/12/69
  • 25s 11/7/69
  • 11s 16/5/62 and 13/6/64
  • 1s 5/5/61 and 8/11/61.
  • There was a connection made through to Clipstone on Clipstone 29s panel to 5/7/1968 then unusually the panel was taken over and worked from Rufford. Methane drainage holes bored up and down in the return gates.

Yard:

  • Y2s South West May 1974-Dec 1975
  • Y1s North West Jan 1973-Nov 1974
  • Y9s North West Jan 1981-Feb 1983
  • Y11s retreat South East May 1988-July 1989
  • Y15s North West May 1984-Mar 1986
  • Y17s North West Jan 1979-Mar 1980
  • Y14s North West Aug 1981-June 1983
  • Y16s North West Mar 1986-June 1988
  • Y7s North East Nov 1975-Dec 1976
  • Y3s North East Mar 1978-May 1979
  • Y3sA Jan 1980-Mar 1981
  • Y5s North East Jan 1975-Feb 1978
  • Y201s retreat North West Jan 1980-Aug 1981
  • Y6s South West Jun 1982-Jan 1985
  • Y19s South West Mar 1982-Mar 1984
  • Y24s South East Apr 1983-June 1986, swilleys
  • Y20s South East Jan 1977-Oct 1979
  • Y18s South East short Oct 1986-Sep 1988

Blackshale:

  • 7s South East
  • 3s North West
  • 4s retreat North West
  • 5s North West. Methane drainage practiced.

Yard/Blackshale:

  • 206s retreat
  • 204s advancing
  • 208s (first retreat face)
  • 214s retreat
  • 212s retreat

220s retreat. Methane drainage practiced.

Manpower: Bolsover Co:

  • 1913: sinking 160, 37 s/f, 197 men
  • 1914: 99 sinkers, 205 s/f
  • 1915: Top Hard 682, 461 s/f, 1,143 men
  • 1916: 897 Top Hard, 455 s/f
  • 1917: 1,193 u/g, 470 s/f
  • 1918: 1,196 u/g, 467 s/f
  • 1919: 1,476 u/g, 596 s/f
  • 1920: 1,667 u/g, 660 s/f, 2,327 men
  • 1921: 1,665 u/g,704 s/f
  • 1922: 1,755 u/g, 668 s/f
  • 1923: 1,809 u/g, 605 s/f, 2,414 men
  • 1924: 1,993 u/g, 575 s/f
  • 1925: 1,857 u/g, 555 s/f, 2,412 men
  • 1926: 1,698 u/g, 455 s/f, 2,153 men
  • 1927: 2,084 u/g, 463 s/f, 2,547 men max
  • 1928: 1,923 u/g, 460 s/f, 2,383 men
  • 1929: 1,888 u/g, 470 s/f, 2,358 men
  • 1930: 1,782 u/g, 454 s/f, 2,236 men
  • 1931: 1,854 u/g, 482 s/f
  • 1932: 1,005 u/g, 296 s/f
  • 1933: 841 u/g, 305 s/f, 1,146 men
  • 1934: 967 u/g, 320 s/f
  • 1935: 1,020 u/g, 321 s/f, 1,341 men
  • 1936: 1,028 u/g, 315 s/f
  • 1937: 1,090 u/g, 318 s/f
  • 1938: 1,108 u/g, 332 s/f
  • 1939: 1,080 u/g, 337 s/f
  • 1940: 1,032 u/g, 347 s/f, 1,379 men
  • 1941: 1,021 u/g, 356 s/f
  • 1942: 1,021 u/g, 369 s/f
  • 1943: 1,057 u/g, 360 s/f
  • 1944: 1,179 u/g, 368 s/f
  • 1945: 1,000 u/g, 335 s/f, 1,335 men.

Tonnage and Manpower NCB: No3 Area EMD:

  • 1947: 812,938 tons, 1,553 men
  • 1948: 854,513, tons, 1,688 men
  • 1949: 874,855 tons, 1,710 men
  • 1950: 834,579 tons, 1,748 men
  • 1951: 898,988 tons, 1,791 men
  • 1952: 847,620 tons, 1,859 men
  • 1953: 895,300 tons, 1,896 men
  • 1954: 871,410 tons, 1,991 men
  • 1955: 864,391 tons, 2,056 men
  • 1956: 859,163 tons, 2,079 men
  • 1957: 898,517 tons, 2,146 men
  • 1958: 863,108 tons, 2,216 men
  • 1959: 951,913 tons, 2,272 men (max)
  • 1960: 970,330 tons, 2,234 men
  • 1961: 979,431 tons, 2,265 men
  • 1962: 861,364 tons, 2,228 men
  • 1963: 967,991 tons, 2,189 men
  • 1963/64: 966,998 tons, 2,178 men
  • 1964/65: 1,063,183 tons, 2,121 men
  • 1965/66: 904,092 tons, 2,030 men
  • 1966/67: 805,584 tons, 1,919 men

North Nottinghamshire Area:

  • 1967/68: 877,010 tons, 1,844 men
  • 1968/69: 916,952 tons, 1,830 men
  • 1969/70: 826,574 tons, 1,778 men
  • 1970/71: 945,275 tons, 1,637 men
  • 1971/72: 656,105 tons, 1,594 men
  • 1972/73: 766,048 tons, 1,567 men
  • 1973/74: 554,351 tons, 1,470 men
  • 1974/75: 620,358 tons, 1,413 men
  • 1975/76: 628,354 tons, 1,435 men
  • 1976/77: 609,064 tons, 1,418 men (profit £218,000)
  • 1977/78: 647,540 tonnes, (637,311 tons), 1,405 men (profit £946,000)
  • 1978/79: 676,065 tonnes, 1,391 men (loss £75,000)
  • 1979/80: 618,219 tonnes, 1,404 men (loss £1.308m)
  • 1980/81: 597,064 tonnes, 1,486 men (loss £2.649m)
  • 1981/82: 692,865 tonnes, 1,501 men
  • 1982/83: 792,639 tonnes, 1,506 men (profit £3.313m)
  • 1983/84: 697,544 tonnes, 1,442 men (loss £3.687m)
  • 1984/85: 529,734 tonnes, 1,365 men (loss £6.173m)
  • 1985/86: 598,193 tonnes, 1,418 men (loss £4.020m)
  • 1986/87: British Coal: 681,340 tonnes, 1,345 men (loss £1.188m)
  • 1987/88: 826,615 tonnes, 1,114 men (profit £4.978m)
  • 1988/89: 587,590 tonnes, 1,025 men
  • 1989/90: 645,255 tonnes, app 1,000 men
  • 1990/91: 1,020,000 tonnes, app 900 men
  • 1991/92: 981,300 tonnes, 824 men
  • 1992/93: 1,130,000 tonnes (max), 629 u/g, 111 s/f plus 80 under officials and 39 WPIS
  • 1993/94: 558,200 tonnes, 287 men and at 20th November 1993 manpower stood at 226 u/g, 50 s/f plus 61 contractors u/g and 48 s/f and 29 under officials and 18 WPIS. Coal face workers 196, Development 81, Roads 48, Salvage 5, Others 368, Surface 126. Colliery closed 11th November 1993.

Agents:

  • John Bingley (1106) Agent 1911-1918
  • Sam Evans (1430) Agent 1919-1929
  • T Eric B Young (later Sir Eric) Agent 1930-1937
  • William H Carter (1809) Agent 1937-1938
  • Wilfred H Sansom (858) Mining Agent 1938-1945 (later Area General Manager No3 Area)
  • John T Rice (816) Agent 1945-1949
  • George G Heathcote (2438) Agent 1949-1952 (promoted from Silverhill)
  • Jack A Jones (1292) Agent.

Sub-Area Managers / Group Managers / Production Managers:

  • John T Rice (816) Sub-Area Manager No1 1947-1953
  • Alfred E Naylor (1928) Sub-Area Manager 1953-1958
  • Charlie W Ringham (2199) Group Manager No3 1958-
  • John S Thompson (3006) Group Manager
  • Charlie C Clarke (3684) Group Manager
  • David R Mounsey (4840) Group Manager 1963-1973 change Group (later DCME)
  • TJ Robert (Bob) Sales (5516) Production Manager 1973- (sacked over financial problems, later went to South Africa, committed suicide by revolver)

 

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