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Book 8 The 21st Century


Chimneys
2008

2008 - Page 1


Last Deep Mine In South Wales Closed

Tower colliery the last pit in South Wales, bought by a consortium of workers and union was closed in Jan 2008


Compensation Payments

£412m compensation for Nottinghamshire miners stated the headlines in the Recorder newspaper 4th Sep 2008. This is the amount of money since 1999 received for illnesses linked to working in and around coal mines. There has been around 80,000 separate claims, however some have claimed for more than one illness. The biggest amount of £90m has been received by miners or their relatives in Sherwood. £85m has been given out in Bassetlaw and £82m in Ashfield constituencies. In the Nottingham constituencies, there was of a total of £31m, of which around £17m for the Gedling area, £13m for Rushcliffe and around £10m for Broxtowe areas


Wages

Wages at Hatfield (Yorkshires) in 2008 were in the region of £250 per week whereas at Daw Mill (Warwickshire) could be 4 times as much. One team of development workers at Hatfield were Polish and instructions were needed to be shown in that language.


Mines Rescue Service

The Mines Rescue Service at Mansfield Woodhouse diversified into all types of rescue and training to outside bodies due to the ailing coal mining industry. It was necessary to do this to survive as the number of deep mines had dropped to 8 or 9 in the whole country.


UK Coal pits

  • Thoresby (Nottinghamshire) had just been promised another 10 years life (in 2008) by working the Deep Soft seam when the remaining reserves in the Parkgate are exhausted (2010).
  • Welbeck (Nottinghamshire) ‘the sacrificial lamb’ for Thoresby is planned to close in 2009.
  • Harworth is in mothballs since 2006 awaiting possible re-development (some men from
  • Hatfield doing pit bottom dinting work from app June 2008).
  • Daw Mill (Warwickshire) continued to produce up to 3m tonnes per year from the 5m thick seam.
  • Kellingley (Yorkshire) continues to produce well.
  • Maltby (Yorkshire) purchased by Hargreaves continued to work.
  • Hatfield Main (Yorkshire) (RJB/Russian Consortium) is progressing by opening further reserves, however the first retreat face in the Barnsley Bed was worked out fairly successfully but the next face was not developed ready so there was a break in production of quite a few weeks. A heating developed in the goaf and difficulties were experienced withdrawing the supports Joy 2 leg chock shields with gaiters and lights are the face supports and basically only 2 men are required on a face, the machine driver who operates the chainless machine by remote control and an assistant watching the cable as the chocks move over automatically once the machine has passed by. The Manager Chris Daniels (12111) was replaced by Deputy Manager Brian Holland (12...) from May 2011. At that time there was a break in productivity owing to adverse conditions withdrawing chocks off a finished face.

Harworth Could Be Re-Opened When Welbeck Closed

In the Newscene paper it was stated that Harworth could be re-opened by UK Coal. The miners at Welbeck that was due to close in 2009, to pledge support and move to Harworth when Welbeck closes? It was stated that there is 40m tonnes of Barnsley Bed (Top Hard) but some 5 km from the shafts. Seismic surveys to be taken and 3 surface boreholes to a depth of app 900m to the south where the seam is known to split. Drifts up from the existing Deep Soft workings would need to be driven and the cost to open these reserves would be in the region of £100m to £140m, later muted to be nearer £200m. However if one examines the seam sections of the worked areas of the Barnsley Bed the prospects to me do not seem altogether risk free as some of the faces had to leave quite a thickness of top coal to form a good roof and particularly as any faulting may not be able to be mapped to any degree of accuracy at these depths. The seam was also noted for heatings and gas eruptions closing the pit on numerous occasions. However with no takers and Harworth not ready the men at Welbeck were offered work at Thoresby and Daw Mill on a temporary basis.


New Radio-Wireless Link

A new wireless radio link between shaftsmen and the winder using wi-fi-type technology was developed at Kellingley (Yorkshire) during 2008. It is point to point radio system like using a short range radio frequency, similar to that specifically designated to model aircraft. Antennae or sensors are fixed to the cage and the shaft top to communicate by voice. Previously hand held walkie talkie style radios were sometimes unreliable. And of course prior to that hand held gongs were used to communicate with the banksmen who then contacted the winding engine man by signals.

A wire connection and a radio link between shaftsmen and the winding engine driver were put into practice, the latest wi-fi type technology. The original system in the 1980s generated a current flow through the winding rope.


All Time UK Yearly Output That Will Never Be Beaten


Photo Daw Mill - Stuart Tomlins

A magnificent all time record UK output for Daw Mill (Warwickshire) of 3.2m tonnes for 2008 was achieved by cutting 1,600 strips on a face 300m long equating to a distance of 302 miles. Manager Glynn J Robinson (11817), previously Manager at Welbeck.