Mansfield (Crown Farm) Colliery

1904 - 1989

By Pauline Marples

A Brief Look at Mansfield Colliery

The Beginning

 

Photo:Bolsover Colliery Logo

Bolsover Colliery Logo

The Bolsover Colliery Company  was established in 1889 to mine coal. It sank its first two pits in Derbyshire with coal being reached at Bolsover in September 1891 and Cresswell in February 1896. The Company then sank its third pit at Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. Sinking began in February 1904, and coal was reached in May 1905. The seam of workable coal known as the Top Hard Seam was 5' 4" thick and reached at a depth of 544 yards.

 

Photo:Early photo

Early photo

PC Sherwood Photo Co

This colliery was officially named Mansfield Colliery but because of its close proximity to a local farm called Crown Farm, it soon became known as Crown Farm Colliery or Crownie.

To accommodate the initial workforce the new village of Forest Town was built, this provided housing, shops, a school, religious establishments, and social facilities etc.

 

TRAVEL

Photo:Miners travelling to work

Miners travelling to work

As the colliery grew both in size, and coal production over the years, the workforce also increased and miners travelled from a wider area to work at Mansfield Colliery. In the early years miners would walk to work, go by cycle (a cycle store that would accommodate 150 cycles was provided by the company), others would travel by tram.

 

PIT PONIES

Photo:Underground Stables

Underground Stables

A report in the Courier Newspaper 1910, said there were four sets of underground stables at Mansfield Colliery that accommodated 120 ponies which received every care and attention. Cleanliness was an outstanding feature. A number of years later in 1936 H. W. Carter (Manager) reported 'it had not been possible during the year to reduce the number of ponies below ten'.

Initially coal was wound from the mine in small tubs, but after the reorganisation of the shaft bottom in 1947, skip winding was introduced.

 

PIT HEAD BATHS

Photo:Pit Head Baths

Pit Head Baths

For over 20 years miners went home in their 'pit muck', this all changed when in 1936 the Pit Head Baths were built and opened. These had a bay with lockers for clean clothes, and another bay for 'mucky' ones. Shower cubicles were in the centre of the building. H.W. Carter (Manager)in a report dated 1936, said the Pit Head Baths were a great success and highly appreciated. He also stated that the Canteen opened in connection with the baths was a great boon, and that the men appeared to enjoy the opportunity for light refreshments after a bath.

Before Nationalisation in 1947 miners had to provide their own working clothes.

Photo:Coal Production

Coal Production

 

Over the years many changes took place at the colliery, both to increase production and also to improve safety and working conditions. At one time Mansfield Colliery was the largest coal-producing mine in the country.

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THE DATES BELOW GIVE  AN  INSIGHT TO SOME OF THESE CHANGES

1904 Shafts Sunk to Top Hard

1905 Coal Reached

1923 Coal Cutters introduced

1930 Hazel Seam Developing

1931 Single Shift Working

1932 Fully Mechanised Units Working in High Hazel Seam

1933 Drift Connecting High Hazel and Top Hard

1935 Conveyors Introduced

1936 New Washery

1936 Pit Head Baths & Canteen Opened

1940 Exploration of Lower Seam

1941 Exploration of Lower Seam

1942 Exploration of Lower Seam

1944 Major Re-organisation Scheme Commenced

1945 Details on Re-organisation Summary

1947 Skip Winding Introduced

1947  Nationalisation of the Coal Industry - Now The National Coal Board

1951 Steam Winders Replaced by Electric Equipment

1953 Coal Preparation Plant Installed

1957 Ventilation, Main Fan Installed

1960s Pit Head Baths Extended to Include New Boiler Plant

1960s New Canteen & Medical Centre

1965 Stores Building & Stockyard Established

1988 Colliery Closed After 83 Years. (When built the estimated life of the colliery was 50 years).

1989 Demolition and Filling of Shafts. The Headstocks Were Finally Pulled Down in June.

Acknowledgement - Information on Mansfield Colliery has been gathered over the years from many sources, people, and establishments - all are acknowledged. It is hoped the information displayed on these web pages will ensure the history of the colliery, and the people that worked there do not fade.

This page was added on 01/08/2009.
Comments about this page

THE TOP HARD SEAM WENT OUT AS FAR AS TABLE TOP TREE ON NOTTINGHAM ROAD,THE HIGH HAZLE SEAM FINISHED APPROX 80MTR FROM SURFACE UNDER NOTTS ROAD, APROXIMATLEY UNDER BONHAM AND TURNERS ON NOTTS ROAD.HORSE STABLES WHERE STILL THERE IN 1986 WHEN I RETIRED.

By MR ATHOLSTONE CLARKE
On 13/07/2010

I would like to question the date for the electrification of the steam winders as I have a very clear memory of hearing the steam winders working when I visited my Aunty in Forest Town in the 60s. You could hear the steam engine labour on start up running to the mid point and then free wheeling to a stop. When I visited Sherwood Colliery in the late 70s they were still using the steam engine and the operation sounded exactly the same. If the electrification info is correct can anyone provide an explaination as to what I was hearing.

By Joe
On 30/12/2012

Re the above query on date of electrification of steam winders, I have checked the records I have and a NCB report in May 1956 states ' A major reorganisation scheme was begun in December 1944, and came into operation as shown below:- Skip Winding, Locomotive Haulage with 3½ ton Mine Cars..May 1947 Electric Winders..July 1951 Coal Plant Preperation..May 1953 This infomation is given in more tham one document I have. Pauline M.

By Pauline Marples
On 31/12/2012

Hi I wonder if anyone knew John Leatherland who worked on the locomotives down the pits?

 

 

By frances
On 02/12/2016

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