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Calendar

Book 7 The Death Throes

1997 - 2000


Chimneys
1997

1997 Pages
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1997 - Page 4


Bilsthorpe Closed After 70 Years

- Continued -

A new village was built by the Stanton Ironworks Co. A 60m cover line to water bearing strata established by seismic survey. The axis of the Eakring anticline is 2km east of shafts running approx North to South. There are 199 oil bores in the Eakring oil field. The oil bearing measure sat base of carboniferous below Kilburn seam. Down bores were made from Ollerton Parkgate to Low Main to relieve gas. As Bilsthorpe Low Main worked into Ollerton take, beneath the old workings, leakage air was pulled from Ollerton Parkgate above down into Bilsthorpe workings. It was monitored carefully for gas content.

Methane drainage was practised and the gas was exhausted into the general body of the air stream. 111s sealed off because of heating 25/3/1987. Water was found behind 77s stopping, oil found at 79s LH return drift.

Sir Derek Ezra visited the colliery accompanied by the Director of North Nottinghamshire Merik Spanton, Alan Allsop Deputy Manager, John Berry Deputy Director and Wilfred Miron the Chairman of the East Midlands Division.

Parkgate Panels:

  • 1s North 1966-7th Feb 1970, slow advance from Dec 1969, rolls on face
  • 2s South June 1968 - 16th Aug 1969
  • 3s North West May 1969-9th Sep 1972, slow advance from June
  • 21s in South West direction finished 2nd Feb 1974, worked slow from Dec 1973
  • 27s North West Feb 1979-6th Oct 1982
  • 25s North West Mar 1974, turned Oct 1976-29th July 1978
  • 7s North West Oct 1969-28th Aug 1972, slow advance from June
  • 9s North West Dec 1972-8th May 1976, slow advance from March
  • 11s North West Dec 1976-4th July 1981, slow advance from March
  • 15s North West Sep 1982-23rd Oct 1987
  • 44s South East Retreat Jan 1993-9th Sep 1993
  • 46s South East Retreat Mar 1995 -
  • 23s North West July 1980-27th June 1983, slow from March
  • 30s South -6th Dec 1980, slow from Sep, washout of seam
  • 4s North West Mar 1986-21st Apr 1989, face headed out to work due North, change of plan and headed out to work North West in a different location
  • 43s North East off 4s, North West Retreat Mar 1992-1992
  • 46s North West Retreat, shorter face length due to sewage works 1995-30th Oct 1995, slow work from Aug
  • 47s North West Retreat Mar 1996-3rd Oct 1996
  • 41s North West Retreat Feb 1994 - 23rd Dec 1994, slow work from Sep. (20 panels).

Blackshale / Ashgate Panels

  • BS A1s start 11th Sep 1993 22nd July 1994
  • BS 3s Retreat 3rd Aug 1995 27th May 1996
  • BS 2s Retreat 10th Sep 1994 10th May 1995 (plastic mesh and roof bolting for salvaging)
  • BS 6s Retreat panel, 252m long and some 3 miles from the pit bottom, 19th July 27th Mar 1997. (4 panels).

The Coal prep plant was built in 1928 to process 250 tons per hour. Dirt disposal originally was by overhead bucket system to the tipping site then later by conveyor about 1959-1960 to a 400 tons capacity reinforced concrete bunker, the dirt then transported up the tip and spread and layered by Euclid scraper after 1967.

An automatic wagon lowerer is shown to right. Bilsthorpe rail connection was 4 miles from the Blidworth Colliery branch line, which was 1 miles from Clipstone and was also mile from the Farnsfield Nottinghamshire Joint line (to Ollerton).

New Plans

New 2km x 1km ‘flat sheet’ plans on 1/2500 scale, oriented to the National Metric Grid were now required to be constructed after 1958. The workings previously were plotted on large roll plans to a scale of 2 chains to 1 inch on Dunnose grid. Correlation of workings by wire 1951; check on position through 140 yards (130m) connection heading from Rufford in 1956, to 20s LH gate at Bilsthorpe, the difference in bearing of 02’ 02” on a base line and 2.383m in distance (a reasonably good tie allowing for the distances involved and the bay levelling style system of measuring, all tied through 7 colliery inter-connections). However I would have carried out another survey, and re-angled and measured, using the catenary method from a main base in Bilsthorpe pit bottom to a main base in Rufford pit bottom to find where the discrepancy was. A demarcation point between the collieries was mid-way along the connection roadway.


Gyro-theodolite
Chock On Steep Gradient

Shaft Measurement

Shaft measurement by wire in June 1958 gave a difference of 1.53 feet (0.466m) from the original value in 1928. Subsequent checks by Gyro-theodolite in 1971 and 1974 and 1981 agreed with the values of 1956 and so did the shaft position by auto-plumb in 1982.


A Failed Project

In 2004 a £3m project was outlined to transform the old former 300 acre pit top area into a major rail freight terminal. The redevelopment could bring many welcome jobs to the site as Bilsthorpe with its rural setting was also an isolated pit village which suffered when the mine closed. It lies 17km North West of Newark off the A614 trunk road.

Existing Project

The pit top site has been transformed into a development area for various units e.g. Council Depot, Harworth Estate etc.

Surrounding this are 5 wind turbines generating power for the National Grid.

An appeal against a proposed incinerator for household rubbish is ongoing.

At the entrance to the old pit lane, leading to the development area, finally at the end of February 2015 a half winding wheel was erected in memory of Bilsthorpe Colliery 1927 to 1997 and those who worked there.


Eakring Anticline

One particular panel in the Low Main seam, 106s, rose up one side of the Eakring anticline fairly gently then dipped savagely down the other side at a maximum grade of 1in 2.2. Like most miners I had never ever experienced such dips until then when I was invited by Geoff Austin the Surveyor to visit the face it was awesome! The men called it ‘Cardiac Hill’.


Surface Control Room


New Winding House


Winding Man
Electric Engine Winding Man
New winding house for No2 shaft and a new electric winding engine was installed in 1978. The old winding house was clad with tin sheets! It housed a third hand steam winding engine, transferred from Pleasley colliery as a sinking engine where the engine had been bought from a steam ship for the shaft deepening there. It was never replaced until now when electrification was introduced and a further second hand engine from the closed Ormonde colliery installed. The new drum weighing 100 tonnes had to be lifted into place with a special crane.

During 1957 there were 4 Meco Moore cutter loaders in use, Top Hard 41s, 46s, Low Main 63s and 69s panels.


Tonnage and Manpower: Stanton Ironworks Co

  • 1925: sinking, 223 surface men
  • 1926: sinking, 329 men total
  • 1927: Top Hard 102 u/g, 203 s/f (305)
  • 1928: 487 u/g, 265 s/f (752)
  • 1929: 384,586 tons, 899 u/g, 310 s/f (1,209)
  • 1930: 299,821 tons, 1,127 u/g, 307 s/f (1,434)
  • 1931: 606,487 tons, 1,318 u/g, 308 s/f
  • 1933: 562,678 tons, 1,357 u/g, 288 s/f, (1,645)
  • 1932: 646,707 tons Top Hard, (selling price £338,536), 1,574 u/g, 330 s/f
  • 1934: 624,8119 tons, 1,225 u/g, 244 s/f
  • 1935: 541,674 tons, 1,398 u/g, 273 s/f, (max 1,671)
  • 1936: 599,382 tons, 1,481 u/g, 295 s/f
  • 1937: 1,532 u/g, 294 s/f
  • 1938: 644,801 tons, 1,482 u/g, 296 s/f
  • 1939: 677,503 tons, 1,360 u/g, 285 s/f
  • 1940: 1,261 u/g, 277 s/f (1,538)
  • 1941: 1,150 u/g, 294 s/f
  • 1942: 586,905 tons, 1,119 u/g, 285 s/f
  • 1943: 427,825 tons, 1,024 u/g, 281 s/f
  • 1944: 404,876 tons, 1,042 u/g, 278 s/f
  • 1945: 388,596 tons, (selling price £651,223), 944 u/g, 262 s/f (1,206)
  • 1946: 364,320 tons, 1,250 men total, 12 Overmen / Deputies, 146 Getters, 5 Drillers, 3 Shotfirers, 44 Pan or conveyor shifters, 22 Coal cutter men, 83 Rippers, 46 Packers, 12 others mechanical, electrical and maintenance, total face 373, 18 Overmen / Deputies outbye, 198 Haulage, 52 Repair work, 54 on Drivage development, 126 others, total 448, giving a total underground of 821.

Tonnage and Manpower NCB: No3 Area EMD:

  • 1947: 519,620 tons Top Hard, 1,294 men
  • 1948: 584,750 tons, Top Hard & Low Main 1,135 u/g, 316 s/f, total 1,484 men
  • 1949:646,931 tons, 1,592 men (inc 261 s/f)
  • 1950: 631,821 tons, 1,300 u/g, 287 s/f, 1,551 men
  • 1951: 673,479 tons, 1,529 men
  • 1952: 714,633 tons, 1.566 men
  • 1953: 730,589 tons, 1,581 men
  • 1954: 755,909 tons, 1,572 men
  • 1955: 777,569 tons, 1,558 men, (coalface 605, other u/g 663, surface 290)
  • 1956: 720,990 tons, 1.548 men
  • 1957: 677,819 tons, 1,539 men
  • 1958: 605,831 tons, 1,457 men
  • 1959: 518,563 tons 1,382 men
  • 1960: 466,716 tons, 1,368 men
  • 1961: 573,491 tons, 1,406 men
  • 1962: 616,838 tons, 1,460 men
  • 1963: 610,384 tons, 1,443 men
  • 1963/64: 641,879 tons, 1,434 men
  • 1964/65: 684,695 tons, 1,382 men
  • 1965/66: 589,359 tons, 1,340 men
  • 1966/67: 565,710 tons, 1,280 men

North Nottinghamshire Area:

  • 1967/68: 688,660 tons, 1,236 men
  • 1968/69: 758,041 tons, 1,190 men
  • 1969/70: 799,251 tons, 1,212 men
  • 1970/71: 902,676 tons, 1,195 men
  • 1971/72: 600,296 tons, 1.188 men
  • 1972/73: 870,657 tons, 1,173 men
  • 1973/74: 633,700 tons, 1,120 men
  • 1974/75: 808,260 tons, 1,106 men
  • 1975/76: 841,432 tons, 1,151 men
  • 1976/77: 668,762 tons, 1,183 men
  • 1977/78: 751,488 tons, (763,549 tonnes), 1,195 men
  • 1978/79: 589,342 tonnes, 1,210 men
  • 1979/80: 953,497 tonnes, 1,240 men (profit £680,000)
  • 1980/81: 928,620 tonnes, 1,312 men (loss £4.343m)
  • 1981/82: 970,022 tonnes, 1,287 men (profit £3.513m)
  • 1982/83: first 1m tonnes, 1,011,724 tonnes, 1,263 men (profit £6.697m)
  • 1983/84: 887,021 tonnes, 1,215 men (profit £1.627m)
  • 1984/85: 748,158 tonnes, 1,172 men (loss £1.069m)
  • 1985/86: 1,034,427 tonnes, 1,205 men (profit £10.412m)
  • 1986/87: British Coal: 1,120,905 tonnes, 1,113 men (profit £11.202m)
  • 1987/88: 1,221,600 tonnes, 998 men (profit £10.986m)
  • 1988/89: 1,163,700 tonnes, 1,006 men (profit £9.983m)
  • 1989/90: 958,500 tonnes, app 1,000 men
  • 1990/91: 961,309 tonnes, app 1,000 men

UK Coal: 1991/92: 873,200 tonnes, 1,013 men

  • Coal face workers 190, Development 35, Roads 86, Salvage 30, Others 528, Surface 143, down to 772 u/g, 126 s/f plus 73 under officials and 31 WIPS staff
  • 1992/93: 1,363,700 tonnes, 960 men
  • 1993/94: RJB Mining 1st Jan 1994: 1,340,300 tonnes, 592 men plus contractors down to 454 men u/g, 85 s/f and 94 contractors u/g and 40 s/f, plus 60 under officials and 26 WPIS staff
  • 1995: 1,281,000 tonnes, 643 men
  • 1996: 9th and lastplus1m tonnes,1,621,000 tonnes max, 386 men
  • This does indeed show, as at other pits in this period, that changes in working practices to retreat mining and high rates of advance in development headings with a vastly trimmed down workforce resulted in record outputs being achieved.
    Colliery closed in March 1997.