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The Decline Of The Industry Continued
After Nationalisation 1947

Book 6
1991 Pages   1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10     11    12    13    14 

1991 - Page 5

Gedling Closed After 89 Years

More Photos Of Gedling At Pete Shucksmith's Page

Gedling colliery (Nottinghamshire) sunk in 1901-1902 by the Digby Colliery Co to the north of Gedling, to the south east of Arnold and to the south west of Lambley and situated towards the bottom of the hill from Mapperley Plains, some 6km to north east of the City of Nottingham, was closed on 8th November 1991 after 89 years.

Shaft positions: 183.7 feet (56m) above sea level, SK64SW

  • No1 shaft 461221, 343923,
  • No2 shaft 461177, 343949. Both shafts were 18 feet (5.5m) dia and No2 UC was sunk to a depth of 498 yards (455m). No1 shaft had 34m of concrete lining and both shafts then had 88m of cast-iron tubbing through the water-bearing rocks then brickwork below to the sumps. The basal breccia at the base of the Permo-Trias measures was at 508’ 0” (155m). There were 27 seams of coal varying from a few inches (cms) to 3’ 9” (1.14m) before the 5’ 2” (1.57m) thick Top Hard was reached at 1405’ 0” (428.3m).

Seams worked: Top Hard 1901/02, to the West there was a washout, 4 headings driven through it to re-develop in 1922, 2 heads through fault -1925, finished 1926, re-opened 1940/41-3rd Aug 1961, and 2 drifts were driven from BPD North East in the High Hazles (Hazel) seam Jan 1969-Nov 1969 ro re-enter the seam again.

The boundary for the seam was a 25 yards (23m) fault to the North off D1s. Top Hard D1s was developed to North East 1,433 yards (1,310m) Sep 1970-Nov 1972. Further panels were developed from scours driven in the goaf started in Jan 1971.

D2s worked to the South East for 833 yards (762m) Oct 1972-Oct 1973 up to the stop point of the Trent Valley Zone line, this being the boundary to the South and East and to the West old workings.

D3s worked North West to the opposite side to D1s for 467 yards (427m) from Aug 1973 Aug 1974 up to a 50 yards (45.7m) pillar left to old workings that had finished in 1928 and thought to contain water.

D6s worked South East for 1,133 yards (1,036m) to May 1976 up to the Trent Valley Zone line and D10s finished in Jan 1976 after only 700 yards (640m) advance due to adverse geological conditions.

D7s worked parallel to D1s off D3s panel for 1,300 yards (1,189m) finishing 8th Dec 1977, when the seam was abandoned due to adverse geological conditions, soft bind 2’ 0” (0.60m), coal brights 5” (0.13m), clunch 2’ 3” (0.68m), coal brights 1’ 1” (0.33m), clunch with ironstone nodules 2’ 9” (0.84m), coal Top Hard 2’ 11” (0.89m), sandy clunch floor.

High Hazel at 369 yards (338m) deep, (known as Low Hazels start 1927, North Hazels district 1928 hand got to Sep 1933. By 1937 the coal was 100% cut by machine. Re-opened 1939-1941.

West Hazels district handfilled to 1932, longwall to 1941, panel working finished 8th Nov 1991, salvage cuts to 18th Nov 1991, 1903/1904-Sep 1918 dark ‘rotten’ bind was above the seam causing bad roof conditions and expense, (known as Main Bright 1927 re-opened 1933 to 1940), 3’ 9” (1.14m) 1967 reopened discontinued 1968, drifts 1987/88 reopened Mar 1991-17th November 1991

Low Hazel 1940-1991 and Main Bright first worked immediately after sinking from 1901-1914/16-23/11/1918 (bad roof and expensive getting), abandonment report sent in 15/2/1930, reworked from drifts from Top Hard 1933-1938, discontinued 1940, -1949 and reopened 1967-1968.

A new washery plant capable of 240 tons per hour throughput was commissioned in 1938 as part of a surface reconstruction.

Further surface alterations were made in 1957.

Cross measures drifts 1987-1988 restarted production Mar 1991-7/11/1991 when the seam was abandoned, MB3s retreat face. The shafts were 458 yards (419m) and 471 yards (431m) deep and both 18 feet (5.5m) diameter. As one can determine from the remarks there appeared to be a major confusion when correlating the seams. The seam was abandoned as High Hazel in Sep 1918 but the name was changed to Main Bright later. The High Hazel was known as the Low Hazel for some years due to a seam correlation mistake.

The Main Bright seam (or High Hazels for old workings) was abandoned due to economic reasons.

The Main Bright was worked from 1901 from headings driven from the shafts to the shaft pillar edge and radiated out in all directions. The seam was abandoned in 1918. It was re-entered in 1933 to the South West of the old workings via 2 cross-meaures drivages up from the Top Hard. The seam was abandoned again in 1940 but a report was not completed until 20 Apr 1950. The seam was re-opened once again in 1967 to the North East of the shafts by 2 cross-measures drivages from the High Hazles seam workings. The seam was discontinued again in 1968. A report was completed 30 Sep 1969. A further attempt to work the seam began in 1987/88 when 2 cross-measures drivages (known as Main Bright Intake and Main Bright Return) at 1in21 and 1in29 from the High Hazles pit bottom area entered the seam to the East. 2 headings were driven to the North.

The first face MB3 started retreating in May 1991 but friable roof and intrusions of sandstone blocks gave persistent roof problems and also a couple of faults on the face so with poor advance and low production the working was stopped on 7 Nov 1991. The workings were limited to the West by subsidence considerations the main thing being the huge spoil tip. The depth of the workings varied from 340 to 410m. No excess methane gas was experienced but the High Hazles seam was within 40 yards (37m). There were no pumps in the seam and only nuisance water to the dip. The seam was abandoned as being uneconomic.

The first Anderton shearer in the region was installed in the Top Hard in 1956? The conditions were poor but the production results were good. (On the basis of this Tommy Wright (3048), Area Production Manager for No4 Area at Huthwaite ordered 6 shearers. One went to Kirkby, another to Teversal)

The colliery was sold for £140,000 in May 1937 and the balance of 500,000 £1 ordinary shares in BA Collieries Ltd.

The boilers to raise steam for the winders were causing concern and ultrasonic crack detection tests showed that 8 out of the 11 boilers would need replacing. 9 boilers were needed to supply steam for winding, pithead baths and space heating system. Maintenance costs were averaging £7,000 per year. Winder maintenance was costing around £12,700 per year. These prices did not include NCB labour. No1 winder bed needed replacing at a cost of £4,000 because it was cracked. Coal winding was at both shafts at a maximum rate of 330 tons per hour at each shaft.

No1 winder previously steam driven Markham 1,124hp was changed to 1,025Kw Fullerton-Hodgart & Barkley parallel drum winding engine raising 10 tonnes skips with balance ropes. No2 shaft had a similar engine at 1,390hp used to raise and lower twin deck cages with manriding on 2 decks and materials on the bottom deck. The ‘new’ electric winding engines were transferred from Wellesley Colliery (closed 1967) in Scotland and installed there in 1970. They were transferred for a price of 40,000.

A Ganger Was Sacked On 1 March 1917

A ganger was sacked on 1 March 1917 and the rest of the boy gangers went on strike forcing the company to reinstate him on the following day. Around 1,500 tons of coal production was lost through their action and all the strikers had to appear at Nottingham Shire Hall on Saturday 17 April 1917 so that the pit production would not be affected such as on a week day. They were charged with being absent from work without notice. It was stated by Digby Co that this was the sixth such incident since August amounting to a total loss in production of 5,000 tons of coal. The boys were all found guilty and those out for one day were fined 10s (50p) each and 3s (15p) costs and 34 boys who had been out on strike for 2 days were fined 1 and 3s (15p) costs. The fines were deducted out of their wages.

In October 1920 there was a lightning strike when over 2,000 men and boys were out. The dispute was over the continuing work under the Butty system, however they returned to work after a week but the Butty system carried on until the last stall working finished in 1934.

There was further unrest when a National strike was called from 18 October to 4 November 1920. During the 1921 strike hundreds of men were employed on the pit bank cleaning up the huge heap of smudge or coal dust. It was loaded up and sent to various destinations such as public institutions, food manufacturing factories and flour mills. The police were in attendance but there were no problems. Sir Henry Dennis Bayley the Managing Director of the Digby Colliery Co Ltd had food and liquid refreshments supplied to those who were working.