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Calendar

Book 7 The Death Throes

1997 - 2000


Chimneys
1997

1997 Pages

1997 - Page 5


Bilsthorpe Closed After 70 Years

- Continued -

Dulcie Staley
Dulcie Staley a canteen assistant is shown serving up mugs of tea.

Huge profits were made from 1979-1989 in the region of £10m per year with a maximum of £11.2m in 1986. A total loss of around £5m was made in the 2 years 1981 and 1984. However the pit was never a big money maker prior to this period. Total production of coal over 70 years was approximately 55m tonnes. The 592 men had produced the 9th and final one million tonnes for the year.

Following cessation of coal production 90 men were kept on for a further 3 months to recover equipment worth millions of pounds in order to transfer it to other working collieries.

All guides and ranges removed from shafts but left weights hanging from frame in pit bottoms. Shaft fill began 28th Sep 1997 at No1 sump and both shafts from 29th Sep. Slow fill at one period due to mechanical problems. Clay plugs in position by 3rd Oct 1997, approx 12m thick. Best rate of fill 64m in 24 hours, average 50m and filled to surface by 10th Oct 1997. Amount of material used was 54,000 tonnes of limestone chippings / hardcore and 1,400 tons of clay. Concrete plugs grade C40/20 Class III sulphate resisting. Concrete cappings were placed over the shafts and the headgears demolished and the site was cleared.


Manager, Albert Littler and Jack Wood, Area Director 1988

Area Production Manager:

  • Jimmy Reid 1967 (retired to Bournemouth).

Agents:

  • Norman D Todd (3058) General Manager and Agent for the company 1925-1939
  • H Alfred Longden 1939-1940
  • Edwin W Lane (856) Agent 1940-1946
  • Alf E Naylor (1928) Agent 1950-1952
  • Jack Hanman (3115) Agent 1953-

Sub-Area Managers / Group Managers / Production Managers:

  • Peter L Richardson (3242) transferred from South Midlands as Sub-Area Manager
  • Charlie W Ringham (2199) Sub-Area Manager 1953-
  • Jack Hanman (3115) Group Manager 1956-1965
  • Jim B Kerr (5266) Group Manager 1965-1967 (Special duties 1971-1972 later committed suicide on London Underground at Holborn station)
  • TJ Robert (Bob) Sales (5516) Group Manager 1967-1973 (sacked over money problems,later went to mines in South Africa, committed suicide by revolver 1981)
  • Robert (Bob) Anderson (5547) Production Manager 1973-1985
  • David S Widdowson (8857) Production Manager 1985-1994.

Managers for Bilsthorpe:

  • Leonard T Lindley (2227) sinking 1925-1936 (transferred from Pleasley)
  • Edwin W Lane (856) Manager 1936-1942, and Agent from 1940, (promoted to No3 Area Production Manager)
  • Arthur Holmes (350) Manager 1942- Jan 1953 (promoted from Undermanager)
  • John H Otter (5592) Jan 1953 (transferred to Manager Bevercotes new sinking May 1953)
  • Johnny H Williams (4368) Manager 1953-1959 (promoted from Assistant Manager, transferred to Clipstone)
  • Stan Hacking (4274) Manager 1959-1960 (promoted from Deputy Manager, suffered stress, retired from the post, demoted and transferred to Deputy Manager Mansfield, later Manager Sherwood, Deputy Director Admin North Nottinghamshire)
  • F Jim Hooley (4668) Manager 1960-1963 (promoted from Mansfield)
  • John H Otter (5592) Manager (transferred back from Bevercotes) 1963-1965
  • John Smith (4964) 1965 (promoted from Thoresby, suffered a heart attack after a few months, transferred and demoted and returned back to Deputy Manager Thoresby, later transferred to Mechanisation dept Area HQ)
  • Peter Watt (4975) Manager 1965-1969 then Agent Manager 1969-1971, General Manager 1971-1984 (promoted from Deputy Manager, died in post)
  • Albert E Littler (9307) General Manager 1984-1986 (promoted from Deputy Manager, transferred to General Manager Thoresby, later transferred to Mansfield, worked for Caledonian Co for a time after leaving British Coal in 1990, died in 1991)
  • David W Baldwin (10132) General Manager 1986-1991 (promoted from Blidworth, transferred to Gedling)
  • Robert (Bob) W Robson MBE (10955) General Manager 1992-1993 (transferred from General Manager Harworth, left to Coal Investments)
  • Keith Williams (11489) General Manager 1993-1996 (promoted from Deputy Manager Thoresby, transferred to Daw Mill (replacing Mick Orchiston), later Manager Gascoigne Wood, then Welbeck Feb-May 2005)
  • Sean Burns (11354) (promoted from Deputy Manager Bilsthorpe 1996, previously Assistant Manager Silverhill, Undermanager Bentinck, Annesley, Technical Assistant Clipstone)
  • Kevin Bancroft (11819) Manager 1997 (promoted from Calverton, transferred to Manager Calverton on closure, later Manager Clipstone)
  • Chris Kellaway (11335) for abandonment of the mine.

Deputy Managers:

  • Jack Winnard (3909) 1959-1964 (promoted from Sherwood, transferred to Clipstone)
  • Stan Hacking (4274) (previously Manager Amington, Staffs 1951, Assistant Manager Kingsbury and Dexter 1953, promoted to Manager Bilsthorpe)
  • Peter Watt (4975) 1964-1965 (promoted from Rufford, promoted to Manager)
  • William Bridge (6973) 1965-1966 (transferred to Shirebrook, later Manager High Moor, North Derbyshire)
  • George E Wild 1967
  • Eric Baker (8246) 1968-1972 (transferred to Thoresby, later Manager Sutton, Sherwood)
  • Jim GE Cannon (7674) 1972-1975 (transferred from Bevercotes, transferred to Sherwood, then Welbeck, later Area Safety dept)
  • Alan Allsop (9700) 1975-1977 (transferred to Harworth, later Manager Gedling)
  • Albert E Littler (9307) 1977-1984 (promoted from Undermanager Bilsthorpe, promoted to Manager Bilsthorpe)
  • Robert (Bob) W Robson (10955) 1984-1986 (promoted from Undermanager, promoted to Manager Bevercotes)
  • Steve J Parkin (11138) 1986-1988 (promoted from Silverhill, promoted to Manager Silverhill later to Unity mine S Wales, sacked 2012)
  • Keith Williams (11489) Aug 1988-1991 (promoted from Assistant Manager (Services) Gedling, transferred to Harworth, then Thoresby)
  • Chris J Daniels (12111) 1990-1991 (promoted from Assistant Manager, later Deputy Manager and Manager Clipstone with RJB Mining, then Prince of Wales, Hatfield (sacked) Yorkshire, moved to Aberpergwm South Wales 2012)
  • Willie McGranaghan (11633) 1991-1993 (transferred from Bevercotes, transferred to Asfordby, later Manager Rossington and Wistow, Yorkshire, transferred to Harworth Nov 2004-Oct 2006, appointed Manager at the National Coal Mining Museum, Caphouse Colliery, near Wakefield, Yorkshire Nov 2007-Mar 2014)
  • Sean Burns (11354) 1993-1997 (promoted from Assistant Manager Silverhill, promoted to Manager Bilsthorpe).

Assistant Managers:

  • Johnny H Williams (4368) (promoted from Undermanager Sherwood, promoted to Manager Bilsthorpe) 1952-1953
  • Roy Briggs (5193) 1956-1957
  • Robert (Bob) Anderson (5547) 1957 (promoted from Warsop, promoted to Manager Sherwood, Manager Warsop later General Manager Thoresby then Production Manager North Nottinghamshire Area -1985)
  • Frank Mallinder (3236) 1958-1959 (promoted to Deputy Manager Sherwood)
  • Jack Winnard (3909) 1973-1981 (demoted from Deputy Manager Mansfield)
  • None in post 1981-1988
  • Chris J Daniels (11335) 1988-1990 (promoted to Deputy Manager, later Manager Clipstone)
  • Sean Burns (11354) 1993-1994 (transferred from Silverhill, promoted to Deputy Manager).

Undermanagers for Bilsthorpe:

  • Arthur Holmes (350) 1928-1942 (from Grassmoor, promoted to Manager)
  • Frank Wheatcroft (2164 / 2nd) 1942-1948 (transferred to Rufford)
  • Charles Hawksley (4442) 1949-1955
  • Abe L Goodwin (3834) 1952-1953 (transferred to Thoresby)
  • Geoff C Barber (5465) 1953-1955
  • Roy Briggs (5465) 1954-1956 (promoted to Assistant Manager)
  • Frank Mallinder (3236) 1955-1958 (promoted to Assistant Manager)
  • Jim (Cloggy) Downes (4678) 1958-1959 (left to North East)
  • Bas Spencer (4965) 1959-1969 from Night gaffer (transferred to Safety Engineer Bilsthorpe. Note, he had only ever worked at Bilsthorpe from a pit lad) died 2015
  • William (Bill) H Roberts (2nd) 1960-1969, heart problem transferred to Surface Superintendant
  • Raymond M Morley (5849) 1960-1961 (transferred from Harworth)
  • Mick Bailey (6176) 1960
  • William Bridge (6973) 1961-1965 (transferred from Harworth, promoted to Deputy Manager Bilsthorpe)
  • Ken F Greaves (6166) 1965-1972 (transferred from Harworth, demoted and transferred to Assistant Undermanager Ollerton, later Safety Engineer Ollerton) died 2014
  • H Brian Bennett (8306) 1967-1968 (transferred from Bevercotes, transferred to Warsop)
  • John V Faben (5203) 1967-1969 (transferred from Harworth, transferred to Mechanisation and Strata Control, North Nottinghamshire Area HQ, Edwinstowe 1969-1984)
  • Albert E Littler (9307) 1972-1977 (promoted from Ollerton, promoted to Deputy Manager)
  • Owen L Gravestock (9970) 1977-1979 (promoted to Deputy Manager Sutton, transferred to Mansfield and later Manager Annesley)
  • David W Baldwin (10132) 1979-1981 (transferred from Mansfield, promoted to Deputy Manager Blidworth)
  • Robert (Bob) W Robson (10955) 1981-1984 (transferred from Welbeck, promoted to Deputy Manager)
  • David Murray (7993) 1984-1987
  • Keith Williams (11489) 1984-1988 (promoted from Assistant Undermanager, promoted to Deputy Manager)
  • John R Egan (11988) 1989-1991
  • S Pothurst 1991- (11...)
  • Robert (Bob) S Townroe (11....) 1990-1992
  • John N Bowler (11...) 1991-1992 (moved to Thoresby as Roof-bolting Engineer)
  • Stuart G Pollard (11...) 1992-
  • David M Shelton (11...) 1993 (promoted from Ollerton, killed in underground accident, posthumously awarded a medal for bravery)
  • Jim A Daykin (11...) 1993-1996 (promoted from Harworth, transferred to Thoresby)
  • Terry Davidson (11...) 1993-1997
  • Kevin J Allen (11....) promoted from Rufford) 1989
  • Chris Kellaway (11335) 1996-1997 (signed abandonment plans).

Acting Undermanagers:

  • Morris King 1952-1953
  • Alf Postlethwaite 1952-1955
  • L Baxter 1960-1962
  • Ivor Moreton 1965-1970
  • Barry Mangles 1965-1970
  • John Wilson
  • and Jack Brittain 1978-1980.

Assistant Undermanagers included:

  • John Proudlock (1975, from Safety Engineer Rufford, promoted to Undermanager Harworth, 1979)
  • Frank Bagguley (2nd) (1978 transferred to Teversal)
  • George Brown (1978 transferred from Teversal, later Method Study dept)
  • CP Jennings (11422) promoted from Mansfield Dec 1982)
  • Chris M Cooper transferred to Bevercotes 1988)
  • Paul A Townsend (12095) promoted from Technical Assistant Bilsthorpe) Aug 1988 - , promoted to Thoresby.

Roof-bolting Specialist:

  • David L James 1993-1997 moved to Daw Mill, later to Australia).

Surveyors:

  • George K Knight (1...) (affectionately known as Poppa) 1925-1948 app (transferred to HQ, still in post as Area Geologist aged 73)
  • Austin Leach (1...) his Assistant was promoted to Mansfield, later Group Surveyor)
  • Cliff Malkin (2...) 1948-1958, (was moved to No3 Area HQ Subsidence dept)
  • WE Brian Barlow ARICS (2730) (qual 31/7/53) (transferred from Teversal May 1958, promoted to Senior Surveyor June 1975, later promoted to Deputy Area Chief Surveyor)
  • Geoff Austin (4...) 1975-1990 (transferred from Sutton, died aged 56, after retiring)
  • David Archer (6064) (promoted from Rufford) 1990-1997
  • Graham Millward (6376) (promoted from Deputy) 1997 (transferred to Thoresby as Planner, then as Planner for Thoresby, Welbeck and Daw Mill. After leaving the industry set up a business called Interlock Surveys).

Several other Assistant Surveyors at Bilsthorpe were promoted to Unit Surveyors,

  • Ken Mirfin ARICS to Ollerton, later Bevercotes
  • Norman Preater to Welbeck
  • Mal Smith to Teversal
  • Eric Fretwell, Apprentice at Bilsthorpe, later Assistant Surveyor Ollerton and North Nottinghamshire HQ Subsidence department was appointed Chief Surveyor for RJB Mining 1995.