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Two Class 3F 0-6-0 Jinty Tank Locomotives (Black with BR late emblem) at the Williamthorpe Colliery,
c 1970 ?
Holmewood (Williamthorpe) Colliery
About this image
These two Jinties came to Williamthorpe after their life on British Railways. They retained their BR livery despite being acquired by the NCB. Date must be late 1960s or 1970.The Williamthorpe colliery shaft sinking started in 1901. Underground roadways from Holmewood were driven downhill into the pit bottom area of the Williamthorpe colliery. The idea was to carry out coal haulage from the districts to the pit bottom using gravity and not powered means. Problems were encountered because the shafts were sunk in a basin of water from the old Lings colliery workings. Less than a third of the 1650' shaft depth was achieved over a 2 year period because of flooding. The shaft was lined with tubbing. The ground yielded 2.5 tons/min of water at a pressure of 600 psi, the tubbing kept the shaft watertight for the extent of the flooded strata. The shaft was completed in 1905 and at that time, Williamthorpe colliery became the deepest colliery in the Midlands. Williamthorpe colliery had a cage capacity of 12 trams (7 tons of coal) with a hoisting time of 45 seconds. The steam winding engines were manufactured by Markham and Co (Chesterfield) with a 42 inch diameter cylinder and a 7' stroke. Following Nationalisation in 1947, Williamthorpe Colliery became a part of the National Coal Board No 1 Area which was managed by Mr.W.V.Sheppard, Area General Manager. Williamthorpe Colliery was inspected in 1948 and the inspectors' records show that the colliery was managed by Mr.A.McNeish with Mr.H.Lowe and Mr.W.Lavin as the under-managers. The colliery was working the Deep Hard, Tupton and Three Quarters seams at this stage with a workforce of 891 underground and 258 surface workers. The colliery ceased production in 1970. The site was subsequently used as an area store and plant depot under the name of 'Williamthorpe Complex'. It supported the neighbouring collieries and latterly the salvage and landscaping operations carried out when other local collieries closed. Today the site is unrecognisable as a colliery and has undergone substantial redevelopment as an industrial park. The colliery remains sit on the edge of the park. (Information about the colliery was extracted from the excellent 'A Miners Son' web site, which is fascinating for anyone with an interest in Derbyshire Coal Mining)