Old Days Area Workshops
24 Sep 2014
I can only recall some of this information from memory as at the time I had no interest in the engineering side of the NCB.
I believe that the workshops were set up as mechanisation came in to try to be more efficient. The first Anderton shearer in the region was at Gedling in 1956 and then 6 others were bought for No4 Area, one at Kirkby, another at Teversal to start with and in No6 Area one installed at Radford.
I think that because of the trepanners and shearers and various other machines such as Meco Moores ( still used in No3 Area up to 1966/67), Huwood Slicers, Ploughs, etc it was thought that Central stores and workshops be set up sooner than continually having to send back to the relevant firms for repairs or replacements etc, teams of mechanical and electrical engineers were set up and obviously spare parts were ordered from the firms and so a reasonably quick replacement part could be supplied to the relevant colliery and/ or a reconditioned unit supplied with the broken down unit being sent back to the workshops. It was thought that using central stores and workshops to specialise then only one place would need to be contacted for a particular item. I remember that lorries were kept at 2 central depots, South Normanton and Thoresby. Once the system got going it worked reasonably well. 'A calls' from the pit meant that a replacement part or another machine was needed immediately or as soon as possible or production would suffer. 'B calls' meant general replacement as and when in stock within a few days. Only the Manager could authorise 'A calls'.
As you say Bestwood was opened in 1958. Duckmanton was used for chock repairs. Moorgreen was probably opened in mid 1950s although one source quotes 1950? Later cables were repaired at Blackwell. There was another workshop at Swadlincote then Bretby which eventually became the NCB major development unit.
I hope this information is helpful but I am not sure whether it is all correct. Maybe some other reader could enlighten us.
You say that you were on Method Study duties from 1965 - 1968,
I hope this information is of use.
From 1st April 1967 the NCB was reorganised. New Areas were formed. Area Directors replaced Area General Managers.
- No3 Area at Edwinstowe became North Notts Area HQ (HM Spanton)
- Shirebrook (working Deep Soft and Main Hard) and Warsop (working High Hazles and Main Bright) were transferred from No3 Area to the new North Derbyshire Area with HQ at Bolsover.
- Creswell (working High Hazles and Clowne) was transferred from No1 Area to North Notts.
- Bevercotes - Not operating due to shaft problems then blocking out.
- Bilsthorpe - Top Hard and Low Main
- Blidworth - Top Hard
- Clipstone - Low Main
- Harworth - Top Hard (Barnsley Bed)
- Mansfield - High Hazles and Deep Soft
- Ollerton - Top Hard
- Rufford - Top Hard, Low Main and High Hazles
- Sherwood - Deep Soft and Deep Hard (start 1967)
- Silverhill - Deep Hard, Low Main and Piper
- Sutton - Low Main and Piper
- Thoresby - Top Hard
- Teversal - Dunsil and 1st Waterloo
- Welbeck - Top Hard
The rock that you describe could not be with Low Main, Deep Soft, Deep Hard, Piper, Dunsil, 1st Waterloo.
That leaves TopHard that did have rock above the seam in places.
Do not know about High Hazles or Clowne or Main Hard or Main Bright. One of these is possible which could lead you to the district in question.
Here's hoping that the list may jog your memory.
Cheers for now