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Book 8 The 21st Century


Oil Museum 2017

Because of the isolation of the wooden shed housing the Museum at Dukes Wood near Eakring the new owner of Kelham Hall, Mr Pass, was concerned with the possibility of vandalism and decided to house the Museum at Kelham. The building was the premises for the Newark & District Council until around July 2017. Parties, weddings etc are catered for plus the extensive grounds are used for caravan meetings at various times throughout the year.

Mr Pass arranged with the drilling team at Gainsborough to empty the shed and transport all the oil artifacts and books by lorry to Kelham Hall where a room was made available for visitors to see the numerous exhibits and the various books on oil drilling.

Kevin Topham the curator sometimes assisted by a colleague opens the room to visitors on Sundays and at other times by appointment if convenient.

Kelham Hall is on the site of two previous buildings both being destroyed by fire, the first one in early 1700s and the second in 1857. It was the Manners-Sutton family’s ancestral home linking back to the 12th Century to Kelham and Averham (pronounced Airham).

Between 1903 and 1974 the Hall was used as a College by the Society of the Sacred Mission for novice monks training for monastery work.

It was requisitioned by the army in World War I (1914-1918) and also in World War II (1939-1945).

In 1943 it was used as a base and living quarters by American oil drillers working at the Eakring oilfield. Refer to 1943, page 2.

Demolition 2018

Thoresby Colliery, the last deep mine in Nottinghamshire, closed in July 2015 and the Head Gears were demolished, by Hydraulic methods, in Feb and April 2018.

Kellingley Colliery, Yorkshire, the last deep mine in the UK closed in Dec 2015 and the Tower Winders were demolished by explosion, 1st early in the year and the 2nd in Aug 2018.


South Wales

Aberpergwm and Unity Drift Mines were closed on occasions but continue to operate at this time. Aberpergwm Manager D. Davies. Big Pit Museum continues to attract many visitors.

Last Deep Mine in Germany Closes

The last deep bituminous coal mine in Germany closed in December 2018


The Pride Remains

The End of Official Coal Mining in Germany


Eckington Drift Mine in North Derbyshire Unexpectedly Closed on 10th January 2019

Here I am at the Top of the Drift on a Visit to the Mine

Eckington Drift Mine in North Derbyshire was unexpectedly closed on 10th January 2019. The men working underground were told to come out of the mine for a meeting. Once told that the mine was closed the gates were locked.

This was not the first time the mine had been closed or had been in financial difficulties. Money was owed to a finance company and due to overall working losses it was impossible to repay the amount and the mine went into administration. The mining equipment in the mine such as heading machines and bob cats etc was on loan and quite old and no doubt would be more expensive to recover than it was worth in scrap value. Also the Friends of Pleasley Pit had loaned a bucket loader from their museum and are concerned whether they will be able to get it back. The news for the 30 odd men who work at the mine no doubt was devastating and wondering whether wages would be paid. Several years ago PAYE income tax was not paid by a previous owner and every man received a tax demand for money owing that they assumed had been paid out of their wages. Whether the mine will reopen again is very uncertain. A diesel generator is going to be used to operate the fan for ventilation and pumping to lower the water which is backing up into the working area. The mine needs to be examined where the railway line passes overhead to make sure that it is well supported before it is sealed off. The manager, at closure, was John Dawson. Colin Stocks who was overall in charge had finished earlier.


Alpine Miner




Ollerton Colliery Monument - Feb 2019


The above statue dedicated to all miners who worked at Ollerton Colliery from 1923 to 1994 is situated on the entrance to the Sherwood Energy Village and Tesco Supermarket.