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Book 7 Privatisation Once More

1995 - 2000


1995 Pages

1995 - Page 3

Dangerous Outburst at Thoresby

There was an outburst of hydrocarbons (gas, oil and water), in a Parkgate seam heading near 175s district at Thoresby (Nottinghamshire) at 10am on 12th October 1995. One man, Andrew Fielding (39) a contractor, went back to collect his tools and fell into a pool of oil in a rut made by the tracks of the heading machine and died after inhaling poisonous gases and oil, and another 7 were injured, including the Deputy who collapsed but was revived and 4 Mines Rescue personnel, who were overcome by fumes. The incident followed repeated complaints from the miners about headaches, sickness and lethargy caused by gas seeping into the heading. The heading was approaching the Bothamsall oil field. Several Rescue personnel who entered the heading without using breathing apparatus andmanagement personnel were reprimanded, including one who was demoted. They were severely criticised for their actions.

RJB Mining Managing Director Wm Rowell (10141) and HMI Robert Stevenson (10121) attended the scene.

Inrush of water at Asfordby

Photo Daren Haywood

By October 1995, the sole coalface at Asfordby (North West Leicestershire) was stood, due to an inrush of water from the overlying strata. This was followed by a roadway collapse in the pit bottom area. The water was affecting the concrete arching. There was no production for 5 or 6 weeks and they restarted cutting on 25th November 1995. In December, another fate befell them as a heating occurred at the sole coalface, again hampering production.

Transfer offers

Miners from Bilsthorpe colliery (Nottinghamshire) which was to close received £2,000, and were offered transfers to Asfordby (North West Leicestershire), Daw Mill (Warwickshire), Thoresby and Welbeck (Nottinghamshire) and Maltby (Yorkshire) and would keep their existing grade for 3 years.

Training Opportunities

RJB Mining offered 20 local young people training opportunity through the new Career Plus a modern apprenticeship initiative. The apprentices at RJB Mining signed an Apprentice Agreement and would train towards a National Vocational Qualification level three in mining engineering.

Annesley Bentinck in Jeopardy

The miners at Annesley Bentinck (South Nottinghamshire) went back to work early over the planned Christmas break 1995, in an effort to save the pit, as poor results were putting the pit in jeopardy. Coal Investments, the company who had re-opened the pit, were beginning to feel the pinch.

Light Weight Girder

Superbeam a lightweight girder was manufactured by Loadmaster a subsidiary of Kitchin Engineering, Chesterfield, from 1985-1995, Director Bryan Hollinshead.

There had been lightweight girders in the past but they had to be withdrawn because they were made of aluminium which was a sparking risk.

Opencast Sites

  • Spinkhill (RJ Budge) various seams
  • Trinity Top Soft and Roof Soft 6/6/1995

Output 1995

Annual output figures for RJB Mining 1995:

  • Asfordby 347,500 tonnes, 740 men
  • Bilsthorpe 1,281,000 tonnes, 643 men
  • Calverton 618,000 tonnes, 259 men
  • Clipstone 500,541 tonnes, 295 men
  • Harworth 1,542,600 tonnes, 872 men
  • Thoresby 1,846,000 tonnes, 813 men
  • Welbeck 1,807,100 tonnes, 708 men.
  • Incidentally Riccall combination in the Selby coalfield produced 4,281,386 tonnes with 1,389 men.

Headings From Thoresby Thirled

Headings from Thoresby successfully thirled into the old workings at Ollerton in preparation to mine Parkgate seam reserves allocated to them, when Ollerton (Nottinghamshire) closed in 1994. The gates had to be pressurised to hold back the gas that had built up whilst stoppings were built in the old roadways.