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Book 8 The 21st Century


Chimneys
2001

21st Century

2001 - Page 1


Just A Handful Of Collieries Left

The 21st Century arrived with there being just a handful of collieries working in the country; very different from the beginning of the 20th Century when there was getting on for 3,000 pits, with 47 in Derbyshire, 21 in Leicestershire and 42 in Nottinghamshire. Now there was only 1 small drift mine in Derbyshire, 4 deep pits in Nottinghamshire, 3 in Yorkshire and 1 in Warwickshire. There were 2 or 3 small drift mines in South Wales. Opencast mining continued in several areas of the UK.


Mines Rescue

The Mines Rescue Station at Mansfield Woodhouse was now a non-profit making limited company on 24 hour-call, funded by the new mine owners and some aeroplane companies. It was previously funded by the nationalised mining industry. Now though the only coal mines left that were covered by the station were Clipstone, Eckington, Harworth, Maltby, Rossington, Thoresby and Welbeck. The Gypsum mines at East Leake and Barrow on Soar were also covered. Previously Brigades men reaching the age of 45 were forced to retire but now, providing that a man passed the fitness test they were allowed to continue. There was an increase of 1p per tonne levy for the Mines Rescue Service.


Richard Budge Resigned

Richard Budge Chief Executive and founder of RJB Mining resigned in February 2001. Gordon McPhie the Accountant succeeded to the post. The firm had been created by a management buyout in 2003. Budge quit as Chief Executive of RJB Mining on 14th July 2001.


RJB Mining Name Changed To UK Coal Ltd

The company name was changed to UK Coal Ltd on 25th May 2001. Kevin Irving (11453) Deputy Director of mines was appointed to a new post and David M Betts (10958) Manager of Thoresby colliery succeeded him.


More Money Available From Labour Government

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott (Lab) and MP for Hull, announced that a further £45m was available to the Coalfields Generation Trust to assist to continue its work for a further 2 years.


8 Former Pit Tips In Derbyshire And Nottinghamshire
Have Been Restored And Converted Into Country Parks


Clipstone Back In Production

Clipstone (Nottinghamshire) was back in production in February 2001.

Seam worked: Yard. However the manpower was reduced to around 150.

Manager: Kevin Bancroft (11819)

Deputy Manager: Paul H White (10798)

Surveyor: John Cranham (6534).

Paddy Tipping Sherwood MP (Lab) went underground at Clipstone in March to talk to the miners about the future of the coal industry and see work at the coalface. His visit followed the announcement that the Government was to give a £70m subsidy to the coal industry.


Coal Needs To Be Produced At 1.05 Per Gigajoule

Pressure was now on UK Coal to produce coal at £1.05 a gigajoule (a new idea to baffle everybody) - Pressure now on UK Coal at £1.05 a gigajoule, this meant cutting costs yet again. Could the industry survive as more and more imported coal is brought in at a cheaper rate?


Parliament

John Mann was elected Labour MP for Bassetlaw and would be a major spokesman on the future of coal.
Trade and Industry Secretary, Stephen Byers (New Labour) Jan 2001- . Energy Minister Peter Hain (New Labour) Jan 2001-2002.


Compensation For Canteen Ladies

More than 70 canteen ladies from the Mansfield area accepted a compensation offer which ended a 24-year equal pay battle. The NUM agreed to a deal with the Government which gave female workers who were paid less than men for doing the same job an average payout of £10,000 to £15,000. At one time, around 1993, male employees were earning £20 to £25 a week more. In 1987 the UDM had secured a victory in a historic sex discrimination case for Canteen ladies at Ellistown and Bagworth in Leicestershire.


Nottinghamshire Scouts

The Hollgate Campsite for activities for Nottinghamshire Scouts was opened in May 2001 on 10 acres of reclaimed land at the closed Cotgrave colliery site (South Nottinghamshire).


Coal Authority

Ken Ferguson ended his term as Chief Executive at the Coal Authority (Mansfield) in May and he was succeeded by Dr Ian Roxbrough from June 2001. Albert Schofield was transferred from Operations Director to Director of Mining Records and Services. Ian Wilson succeeded Malcolm Edwards as Director of Mining Projects and Property.


Huge Profit

Director Albert Wheeler OBE (7349) praised Nottinghamshire miners for making an operating profit of £66m in 2000-2001 and holding second place in the national productivity league.


St Paulinus Church To Have Stained Glass Windows Dedicated To Former Miners

Three stained glass windows dedicated to former Ollerton miners were to be installed in St Paulinus Church in the centre of New Ollerton village. Fund-raisers in the village had accrued over £3,000 for the project. The Miners Church as it was originally called, was built shortly after the sinking of the mine in 1926 and was then named St Paulinus, after the patron Saint of miners.


Mining Records Move From Bretby To Coal Authority At Mansfield

In the autumn of 2001 the mining records and a collection of approximately 100,000 plans were transferred from Bretby to purpose made premises at the Coal Authoritys Headquarters at Lichfield Lane, Berry Hill, Mansfield, under the custodianship of David Clarke. Some 40,000 odd photographs were also held. I began researching abandoned mines now with relish as the office was ‘on my doorstep’, attending frequently then every Friday when possible.

Mining reports and surface damage, opencast mining, shafts, subsidence, working rights etc, is dealt with at the Headquarters also, however in the original building opposite, used to house the wages computer.

Coal Mining reports contain information about past workings, opencast working, surface geology, such as seam outcrops etc, shafts and adits, Mine gases, Working rights and subsidence. Most of the searches are sent in on standard enquiry format sheets agreed and approved by the Law Society. Of course the information given is only extracted from the records kept by the Authority and it is known that in certain areas there are unrecorded mine workings, as yet not come to light or occasionally found after the collapse of the surface or an old shaft. Some of the information has to be treated with respect, as the correlation of the underground workings with the surface is sometimes in doubt and some of the old surface plans do not agree with today’s plans and particularly when having to be changed to a modern scale from some of the rather strange scales of the past as previously mentioned. However the superb ultra modern computer system, continually being updated is able to produce a plan in colour from the vast library of plans scanned in, onto a computer screen whereby it is also possible to measure distances too on any scale by using the ‘computer tools’.


National Minimum Wage for Everyone

From 1st October 2001 minimum wage for all the country in all jobs increased from £3.70 to £4.10 / hour for adults and from £3.20 to £3.50 for 18 to 21 year olds.


The Coalfield Community Fund

Up to £150,000 was made available to reverse the demise of the former coal mining areas. The Coalfield Community Fund is part of a 5 year effort to revitalise the worst hit areas. North Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire Coalfield Alliance project manager said the amount of money to each area would be made by a network of local project leaders. The money was to be spent on any non-statutory community project, including Residents' Associations and Charities.


CISWO

CISWO (Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation) partnership 2001/02 was to try reverse the decline and build a viable welfare charity capable of maintaining the proud mining heritage and to provide holidays for the East Midlands Coalfield. Open to all with a mining background. Offices are at Berry Hill, Mansfield, adjacent to the UDM office etc.


Jeopardy From Old Spoil Heap

Immediate action was taken at the beginning of December 2001 by the owners of former Annesley Bentinck colliery to prevent the 153m high spoil heap collapsing and jeopardising the nearby Newstead colliery village. Dr Harvey Wood of Clean Rivers Trust, a consultant for the mines owners, blamed new tram work at the David Lane rail crossing of the Robin Hood lineat Basford for blocking the 17 km long drainage pipeline from the pit site to the River Trent at Bobbers Mill. When the mine was closed in 1999 the pipeline was carrying 3,000 gallons of mine water a day and the blockage had caused water to back up flooding lagoons on the pit waste site. However the contractors had denied that breaking the pipeline had caused this as there was no water in it and there was a valve at the River Trent end preventing water returning. When the mine ceased, the pumping gear was stripped out. Anyway the lagoons were extended as well as new drainage ditches constructed and the Environment Agency allowed the runoff water to go into the nearby river due to the gravity of the situation whereby the water could have engulfed the village and damaged the Robin Hood railway line (Worksop to Nottingham).


Opencast Sites

  • Hall Lane Waste Dunsil (second part) 30/6/2001
  • Carrington Farmsite (HJ Banks & Co) mining Piper, Hospital Upper leaf, Hospital Lower leaf, Deep Hard, Low Main and Threequarter.

Manpower

Total manpower employed underground at all English mines for 2001-2002 was 7,171 with a further 1,149 employed at Opencast sites, a far cry from the 1.25 million men and boys employed in 1921 and the 750,000 in 1947.