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SummitSummit Colliery

By Chris Kidger

Summit Colliery as it will always be known is officially called Kirkby Colliery.

The pit was owned by the Butterley Company and was sunk in 1883 and sadly it closed in 1968 with the loss of over 1,000 jobs.

In its hey-day the pit was the main employer in the area, having a brick yard and a railway attached to it.

There was a very good community spirit in the area with the miner's families taken on trips to the sea-side and children also treated to a Christmas Party. The miner's welfare also looked after the older members of the community by putting on trips for them also.

Summit also had a very good band who competed in many competitions.

There was a big influx of miners from Wales that came to work at Summit pit and it is interesting how many of them have stayed and brought up their families and have been accepted as Kirkby people.

There are 5 streets of houses which were built for the miners and at one time water and electricity for these houses was obtained from the pit. The only building left standing from the pit is the pit-head baths which is now owned by Kirkby Tyres Co.

The area was devastated when the pit closed which had a knock-on effect for the local tradesmen and businesses. There was devastation in the area.

There is quite a lot of industry in the area now but a lot of local people have now left Kirkby as most of the pits in this area have now closed.

The local Church of St. Andrew's where a lot of the miners were married and their children were Christened is now a factory.




The school where most of the miners children were educated was School Street infants and juniors is now called Morven Park but only infants are educated there now.

The seniour schools were Kingsway, Vernon Road and Mowlands in the days before Comprehensive schools. Kingsway and Vernon Road are now junior schools.

Nearly everybody in Kirkby had some connection with Summit pit in one way or another, either the brick-yard, pit or the railway.