1995 - Page 2
Residents Of Old Arkwright Town Move To New Village
On 22nd May 1995, the first people were moved out of the old village at Arkwright, to a new village built some 500m away. Methane gas from the closed down Arkwright drift mine (North Derbyshire), had been affecting the housing in the old village for some 7 years. The amount of gas seeping into the houses was classed as dangerous, and British Coal had agreed to re-house the people.
Proposed Gas Turbine Power Station
Photo From RWE
With the knowledge that Bilsthorpe (Nottinghamshire) was to be closed by RJB Mining in 2 years time as the proposed entry into the Blackshale seam costing an estimated £3m was squashed, the UDM talked of taking over the colliery when it closed, and any other pit that was to close, providing markets could be found for the coal. Neil Greatrex, President of the UDM bitterly attacked plans to build a new £450m gas turbine power station at Staythorpe, near Newark and stated that ‘It was another kick in the teeth for Nottinghamshire miners’. He said that talks were underway with National Power about using coal to fuel its power stations and he believed a future Labour Government would rethink the country’s energy strategy.
Vote In Favour Of Strike
The NUM postal vote was a result in favour of strike action and Arthur Scargill implied that selective action would be taken, following the refusal by RJB Mining to improve rates of pay.
24 hour strikes were to commence on 13th June, however RJB Mining went to the High Court.
British Coal Chairman Visited Mansfield
British Coal Chairman Neil Clarke visited Mansfield in May to look at Oakham Business Park which has helped to create more than 120 jobs in an area where pit closures had created a surplus of manpower.
More Problems At Asfordby
In June 1995, the first retreat face at Asfordby (North West Leicestershire) in the Deep Main seam was struggling with adverse conditions. The colliery had started production in April, but had been plagued with overlying volcanic sills causing bad work and heavy weighting and had only completed 25 machine cuts.
Albert Wheeler (7349) (Deputy Chairman of British Coal) made a visit to the pit. A circular concrete roadway had collapsed, a heating was causing concern, heavy weighting and water influx so it would seem that even at the £500m ‘Super pit’ things seemed to be going awry. Igneous stratum was within 45m and the Deep Main would incrop into the Permo Trias strata. In 1992 workings were up to the cover line of 45m to the base of the Permo Trias.
At Asfordby a huge coal storage hanger on the surface, that could hold 14,000 tonnes and had a re-claimer machine, was commissioned. All the coal was destined for Ratcliffe power station
H M Inspectors Lose Powers To Veto New Roof Bolting System
Robert Stevenson (10121), Principal District Inspector of Mines told the UDM Conference that he would soon lose his powers to veto new roof bolting operations in the local pits, and he had strong reservations about the change. Under the current Regulations colliery Managers were required to submit plans for new roof bolted tunnels and had to receive permission before starting excavations. UDM President Neil Greatrex vowed the union would fight to keep the present system as an independent body was required to monitor the workings, although many had accepted roof bolting as a normal mining practice.
This example was from Rufford Blackshale seam drivage using roof bolting with straps and mesh covering. 2 tell tales are shown in the photo. The wire holding the coloured marker rod is fastened in the hole bored into the strata above. By noting the position of the colour at the borehole entry will denote whether or not the strata above the gate are lowering or stable. For example if the strata lowered the coloured marker would hang lower and the colour would determine how much the strata had lowered.
Proposed Strike by NUM Deemed Illegal
On 12th June 1995, the proposed strike by NUM members at RJB pits was deemed illegal by the High Court, and therefore did not go ahead as planned. Nottinghamshire NUM Secretary Henry Richardson said he was disappointed but not surprised that his unions attempt to take strike action had been thwarted by the Courts.
Calcium Chloride Spread
By July 1995, 1,094,000 tonnes had been produced at Thoresby (Nottinghamshire). A roadway gritter spreading calcium chloride on the floor to suppress dust was commissioned. On the reclaimed tip over 300 sheep were grazing.
Manager at Kiveton Park Awarded MBE
Ernest Hardy (9483), Manager at Kiveton Park, (South Yorkshire) for 5 years up to Dec 1994 was awarded the MBE. He had been Manager at High Moor, (North Derbyshire) some 7 years earlier and had played a major role in the rescue of 10 trapped miners following a massive cave in. He had been awarded the Queens Commendation for brave conduct and a St Johns medal for life saving.
A (Tony) R Barnes (5990) ARICS Minerals Manager for RJB Mining replaced Graeme E Marshall ARICS (4894). Eddie Hindmarsh (Mining) was at RJB HQ, Harworth also.
New Drift Mine Sunk at Eckington (North Derbyshire)
Moorside a new small drift mine was sunk at Eckington (North Derbyshire) in 1994/95, (Moorside Colliery Ltd), renamed Eckington Colliery later, (Eckington Colliery Partnership). A licence was granted by the Coal Authority from 17th August 1995 to work the Flockton seam, locally known in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire as Deep Soft in remnant areas adjacent to the old Renishaw Park colliery. Surveyor Phil Toseland (6002) took over from Ray Rushton in 1998 and spent 2 to 3 days a week working at the pit and/or similarly at the offices of the Coal Authority.
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Ian Lang (Con) July 1995-1997.