I hope you don't mind me contacting you - I'm a science editor working on the Oxford English Dictionary.
I'm very impressed with your site - it's a great resource.
So this made me wonder if you or one of your contacts would be able to help with a term I'm working on? - it's "bink" (or "benk").
I can see from your glossary that it means "coalface", which is what I thought it meant, and I'll certainly put that in the definition. But, additionally, I had some quotation evidence that made me wonder if it sometimes meant a bit more than that. Here are a few of the quotations:
1675 From the bottom run four Binks, as they call them; four yards wide, and forty yards long, except that in which they met the fiery damp.
1797 The long way of working collieries, where the roads along the benk faces are narrow.
1962 Main roads in there these benks, getting thick and wide
I wonder if the binks are also the passageways in which the coal faces are worked - but I simply don't know enough to be sure. It could be that "coalface" would cover the passageway anyway, and I'm worrying about nothing!
If you are able to help in any way, that would be fantastic.
Very best wishes,
Dr Emma Lenz
Principal Science Editor
Oxford English Dictionary
19 Jan 2017
Binks and Benks
I trust this rather belated e-mail finds all well. The binks and benks motivated the grey cells into a finding frenzy.
1675 - Bink probably refers to a low travelling way to the working face. The width seems about right for an unsupported face in a four feet or lower seam.
1797 - Benk face, definitely a longwall face working. The date is at the start of longwall working if conditions allowed this.This would have two or three benks (roadways) for ventilation, transport and manpower access.
1962 - Benk, due to the wording of the sentence it has got to be a high and wide well supported benk (roadway).
I have attached 6 screen grabs, I have also attached 2 grabs of definitions for bank. The dictionary comes in 6 volumes and was downloaded in pdf format from The Internet Archive.
Philip Wyles - Menu - Coal Industry From Circa 1900