Saturday, 26 March 2011

Apedale Mine Adit Heritage Centre

Apedale "Minnie Pit" rescue team about to descend in 1918. Despite my best efforts I have been unable to locate the copyright owner of this image: if you have any information please contact me thorough this blog.

 Apedale colliery was a drift mine operating between 1850 and November 1969.  Prior to nationalisation of the coal industry in 1947 it was managed by the Shelton Iron, Steel and Coal company which also controlled steel production at Shelton Bar. Rail links connected the Apedale mine to the Holditch and Silverdale collieries where coal from Apedale was washed.

 Assessments made in 1947 stated that the pit had enough economic coal reserves to continue working for 50 years but it closed in 1969 with the loss of around 200 jobs. It briefly reopened in 1971 as a licensed mine under the control of Hampton Gold Mining Areas Plc, but this venture was eventually unsuccessful.

 The site of Apedale colliery is now covered by Apedale Country Park and the Apedale Heritage Centre offers underground tours of the mines.

 On Nov 28th 1949 Dick Simms age 77 was presented with a cheque and a NCB Deploma with two other miners, when Dick worked at Apedale Coal Mine (Minnie Pit) back in 1918 he helped out with a mine rescue operation after an underground explosion.

 May 19th 1950 Apedale Footrail to open again after the Fire.

 Nov 25th 1952, there was a miner (Mr Wilmott Wilshaw aged 50)from the village of Talke killed by what can only be described as a misteriouse explosion, at court the jury returned with a verdict of accidental death, he died from shock due to severe burns to his face and also a compound fracture of his skull, this explosion was caused by an accidental detonation of an explosive whilst using a pick in the heading in the Apedale Coal Mine.

 April 8th 1953 A Mr Donald Statham who worked as a switch operator died due to a conveyor mishap to this day it still remains a mistery as he should not have been in this part of the Mine, the conveyor which was held by a temporary structure fell on his head fracturing his skull, again in court the jurys verdict was accidental death.

1953 on the 31st of December a Mr Arthur Hibbs sustained a back injury.

 Oct 14th 1954, A Mr D Alexander who is an Ex-under Manager from Apedale was presented with a Barometer and a Clock.

 Oct 11th 1962, Apedale Coal Mine has just beaten there last record of coal output per man shift set back 13 years earlier to the new record of 59.4 cwt, 3 cwt more than the previouse record, The coal face workers new record now stands at 186.4 cwt. Apedale is the only NCB West Midlands Division mine to be a "Drift" whilst the rest are shaft mines.

 December 27th 1962, Again Apedale Mine broke there record of production of coal ending in the week of December 15th with a staggering output of 1976 tons, there last record was set 1 year earlier which was 1918 tons, Apedale has the smallest manpower mine in the Division.

 March 15th 1968, Again Apedale push and break there last record, at the coal face the output has risen by a massive 76 cwt.

 May 30th 1968 A remark by the Manager of Apedale mine "we are only a small team but everyone pulls togeather, this shows the true spirit of our 125 men to keep setting new records"

 August 7th 1969 The production of coal at Apedale will continue longer than expected until around October with the man power at 112 men.

 November 21st 1969 A Sad day as production stops at Apedale Drift Mine "Britains once top production pit per man hour"

First set of pictures from "Top side"...

A look over the yard.

A cutter once used at a pit face.

The old work shop.

Air fan...nice to be able to breath.

No 7 Adit getting pushed after it had
been filled in many years ago.

A Shaping Machine and a  Pipe threading Machine.

Time to look inside the Museum.

A cutting head from a drill.

Old miners protective helmet and bellows.

A Brick collection given to the museum by a widow.

Now for the good part (In my eyes) time to go under ground...

The Mine Manager (David Rushton) and r lass Jo.

Hight measuring stick.

Time to go back top side...

Looking back to the way out.

Looking to the way in.

Battery room.

Snap tins.

Time for a change !...

Finally I would like to thank David Rushton for all his help with this project, below is a link to there facebook page.
Apedale Heritage Centre.

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