Annesley Pit near Kirkby-in-Ashfield was sunk in 1860 and began production in 1865. I worked at Annesley 1970 - 1988 as a face worker, hard times but miss the mates.
All the best John Harris
By 1982 the Annesley Bentinck Concentration Scheme was completed, but the pit closed in January 2000.
Photo H.G.Owston of Annesley Woodhouse 1909.
Annesley Pit Was Taken in 1991
This picture of Annesley pit was taken in 1991. On privatisation the pit was sold to Coal Investments PLC, and then Midland Mining Ltd. Coaling ceased in January 2000, despite claims of 20 years of reserves available in the Blackshale and Lowmain seams if they had been worked more sensibly. Bentinck went at the same time and both sites are now more or less cleared.
This shows the pit site from the North in late December 2001. It's a sad scene with many surface buildings cleared, and the upcast winder now standing without its partner. Coaling had finished in January 2000, with the last two faces (BS86 & BS101) running into difficulties, and the owners (Midland Mining) running out of money to overcome a catalogue of problems. Many of the men at Annesley were bitter, and partly blamed the company for the pit's problems, e.g. the introduction of fast retreat faces that led to geological problems. Midland Mining didn't seem to get the government cash afforded to RJB
(UK Coal) for development work, and so a potential 20 years of Blackshale and Lowmain reserves have now been isolated, and everyone lost their jobs in an area already devastated by 15 years of rapid pit closures. I suppose you can only hope that the winder survives as a memorial (unlike Woodside)
One of the Annesley locker rooms in late December 2001.
I don't know just how long salvage work went on after cessation of coaling, but it was an eerie scene, with boots, socks, jackets, helmets and half used shower gel strewn around, almost as if from the night before.
The other part of the Annesley mine was Bentinck near Kirkby-in-Ashfield, amalgamated with Annesley by British Coal by 1982 to form the Annesley-Bentinck Concentration Scheme. All coal from the take of these mines now went via drift to the surface prep' plant at Bentinck, with men and materials via Annesley's shafts. Bentinck's shafts had been sealed some years earlier. The surface prep' plant was the biggest in Europe, and this picture from December 2001 shows it partly demolished. The site is now (December 2002) virtually flattened, with one new devlopment for methane gas extraction/power generation now on site.