I am a ranger at Shipley Country Park, Heanor, Derbyshire and I am currently working on a Heritage Information to highlight the mining history of the park.
I discovered a picture on your site of Shipley pit bottom and I would like to use this in the panel – I am therefore emailing you to request your permission to do so.
Also, I have found out that the first 'Rammel Fan' to be used in Great Britain was erected on the Shipley Estate. Do you know what a 'Rammel Fan' is? I'm guessing it is some kind of mechanical ventilator for underground mining but would appreciate any information you have on this type of fan.
Many thanks for your help with the above.
The first Rammel Fan in Great Britain was erected at Shipley Colliery, Derbyshire in May 1869 - Fionn
As far as I'm aware a Rammel Fan was a type of centrifugal ventilation fan for deep mines introduced from the 1860s onwards. The purpose would be the exhausting of mine gases and temperature control within the workings. At Shipley this would have been steam driven, and surface mounted. There doesn't seem to be much documented on the Rammel design; well known types are Guibal, Waddle, Schiele, Walker, Capell and Sirocco. Perhaps the Rammel was problematic in some way, noting that "rammel" is a term for rubbish or waste within some mining/former mining communities.
It would appear that the Rammel fan could assume huge dimensions (depending on the target air movement value), with the 1897 inventory of Bettisfield Colliery (North Wales) listing one with a diameter of 82 feet.
Centrifugal fans took over from fire ventilation (e.g. the Nutbrook Colliery Cupola), air pumps and various other less efficient/more dangerous methods.
Joe (Joe Henshaw)
From: PHILIP WYLES
Sent: 05 September 2007
Subject: Shipley Collieries Info
A couple of sites which may be of use to the Ranger Michelle Marriott and to Wendy White, (above) also anyone else who is interested. Have a look at Heanor History Society, this has a section on local collieries for starters. Scroll down to the bottom of the home page and there is a link to the society’s forum with a section devoted to mining.
The absolute cracker is Internet Archive, hope that I have it correct. This is a US based site which holds downloadable archives in various formats including books in pdf format. Mine ventilation, coal, coal mining and blasting used in the search facility produce good results. There are several copies available of the transactions of The North of England Mining and etc Society (correct title has departed the two brain cells for the time being), to find these use the word transactions in the search facility.
Please be aware that US coal mining textbooks can contain working practices and techniques that would not have been used in UK coalmines. I have only downloaded publications that have been published by UK sources.
The second site is best visited before early afternoon; North America starts to go online at about that time. This makes the site quite sluggish in response to searches and downloads.
I have had a look for Rammell fan in my collection of books. No trace unfortunately but someone will have the information. The local papers may hold a few more clues, might be worth looking at planning permission or similar records.
Paxman-Lentz Steam Engines
Order date 12-08-1908
Order Number 8880
Engine Number 14873
Engine specification twin compound, 140 rev/min, 150 bhp, 11 1/4ins (hp bore) 18 1/2ins (lp bore) by 20 ins stroke
Built by Davidson and Co Siroco Works Belfast for Shipley Colliery
Direct coupled to colliery ventilation fan
Date sent 10-03-1909
Dwg ref 2009/2A
The engine was a Paxman Lentz design which was one of the most economical designs for its power output in terms of steam consumption and running costs. The engine maker works name, Siroco, is used to describe a type of ventilation fan for colliery use. It may be that Rammell was responsible for erecting and commissioning the fan and engine hence Rammell being used in the description.
Hope the above is of use,
Apologies for the late response but a slight medical problem has kept me away from the PC for most of 2007 so I am slowly putting my two penn'orths in to my interests.