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  #21  
Old 24-04-2016, 05:56 PM
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One the map there are three bench marks recorded at or near Curleheugh, the one to the north is this one I think.

One of the Trig point visiting types on there writes: 'only a short walk across the moor to the trig. Hill pockmarked with old bell-pit mines... presumably for coal.'
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  #22  
Old 24-04-2016, 09:27 PM
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A very interesting thread!

http://www.dmm.org.uk/colliery/e041.htm

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  #23  
Old 25-04-2016, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Coquet View Post
One the map there are three bench marks recorded at or near Curleheugh, the one to the north is this one I think.

One of the Trig point visiting types on there writes: 'only a short walk across the moor to the trig. Hill pockmarked with old bell-pit mines... presumably for coal.'
The trig is a very nice spot for a picnic and not far from the bell pits.....smaller ones to the south and east and presumably the remains of the miners' homes.
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  #24  
Old 25-04-2016, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
A very interesting thread!

http://www.dmm.org.uk/colliery/e041.htm

Vagabond, I always find the Eglingham entry in the Durham Mining Museum very frustrating. There is obviously a serious lack of info. I've been trying to join up the dots a bit, using the census and newspaper articles. It looks to me like Tarry Colliery which went up for sale in 1872 was rebranded and re-launched in 1877, under the grand name of the Eglingham Coal and Lime Company. Fireworks and everything
A new lime kiln had been built and the re-launch involved the official lighting of the kiln.
Interesting too that the parish of Eglingham was known as the parish of Coal Eglingham, at least for a few years, in the 1800s.
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  #25  
Old 25-04-2016, 03:17 PM
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Hi janwhin

That was a link I found on Google which I thought may be of interest, I confess though I`ve not done any research on this subject.

The following imho gives a fascinating glimpse of a miners life in general and his working conditions c 1860. This is taken from my copy of Murray`s Hand-book for Northumberland & Durham (1864). Difficult to know where to begin - there` s a lot of material, but I may as well begin at the mouth of the pit - at the Windlass, appropriately...

Original punctuation retained:

"At arriving at the mouth of the pit a large hole is seen, surmounted by a windlass for raising weights. Into its black abyss (dramatic affect) the colliers are sometimes let down by ropes, to which they cling with one or both legs inserted into a loop at its extremity; sometimes several couples are let down at once in this way, each man holding the rope by one hand, while with a stick in the other hand he shields himself from inconvenient oscillations. Many collieries have corves or baskets, in which the men are raised and lowered. Others are entered by means of a large iron tub which hold eight or ten persons; but the most modern arrangement consists of square iron cases, working in vertical grooves and capable of accommodating either men and boys, or tubs of coal. The ropes employed in this work are sometimes round, from five to six inches in circumference; sometimes the rope is flat, four or five inches wide, and formed of three or four strands, or of smaller ropes plaited side by side. In a few instances chains are used. Some of the ropes are of immense length, owing to the depth of the pits. The deepest pit is said to be at Monkswearmouth, which is of 292 fathoms or 1752 feet. Two ropes for this pit weigh about 12,000 lbs., and cost more than 500£."

There`s more...

Last edited by Vagabond; 25-04-2016 at 04:15 PM.
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  #26  
Old 25-04-2016, 03:52 PM
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More...

"On arriving at the bottom of the pit, the visitor finds a number of passages striking out in every direction, and only lighted by candles, one of which is carried by each of the pitmen. The passages are cut through the seams of coal, which are so worked as to leave `pillars` to support the roof. These are allowed to remain till the seam of coal is exhausted in a particular direction, when they also are carefully removed, and the whole is allowed to fall in. Iron tramways are laid along the passages to facilitate the progress of the heavily-laden `corves` to the mouth of the pit, and are worked by horses, which often exist without ever seeing the light of day, being born, reared and dying in the pit."

Hmm!

Last edited by Vagabond; 25-04-2016 at 03:56 PM.
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  #27  
Old 25-04-2016, 04:31 PM
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Thanks Vagabond. My 6 times gt grandfather was a corve maker of Whickham in County Durham. He died in 1748 a wealthy man!
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  #28  
Old 25-04-2016, 08:53 PM
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Ok, more about corves later; in the meantime, this about the miners themselves.

"The pitmen are a distinct race. They live in villages, and they worship in churches of their own, and they seldom intermarry with their agricultural neighbours. Even their language, their songs, and their amusements are peculiar. A pitman`s village usually consists of one-storied houses, built in pairs, and placed in rows, often with small gardens in front. These contain good, often expensive furniture, and are seldom considered complete without a handsome four-post bedstead with chinz hangings, a mahogany chest of draws, and an eight day clock. The interiors are remarkable for their neatness and cleanliness: each pitman submits to an ample ablution on his return home, and in every respect they are far more cleanly than the rest of the labouring population..."

"The men are usually diminutive, and are often bent and deformed from the stooping position to which their work constrains them. Weak eyes and premature blindness are also frequently caused from the darkness in which they work, followed by the sudden return to the light of day. On Sundays or holidays they are characterised by the gayness of their dress, the most brilliant waistcoat patterns being always the favourites, and by the flowers (roses, dahlias, or sunflowers) stuck jauntily in their buttonholes. The pitman never feels hungry while at work, but on coming out he feels ravenous and takes food as soon as he enters his cottage. Many of the fore-shift men (the night workers) take crowdy which is a compound of oatmeal, hot water, and butter; others take coffee or tea, with bread and butter, and some take dinner. The back-shift men (day workers) always take dinner when they come home. This usually consists of roast beef or mutton and potatoes with a boiled suet dumpling or pudding. They eat their pudding first and beef or mutton after. They take animal food once a day only, and, considering the great muscular exertion necessary in hewing, the amount of mutton they eat is very moderate. They seldom or never drink beer at dinner. Most smoke a pipe. and then they wash..."
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  #29  
Old 27-04-2016, 11:00 AM
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The Windlass and Gin are still listed in 1901 mining text books as temporary winding measures:





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  #30  
Old 27-04-2016, 11:14 AM
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Ladders and staircases in shafts, still popular:

Ellington Colliery had a spiral staircase down a staple shaft between two levels. The staple was also shared with a chute for coal from a conveyor at the top to one at the bottom.

That Polish salt mine above has a exquisite timber staircase down one shaft for entering the mine, and the usual cage and winder in the 2nd shaft for exit.

I did some work in the cable shafts of an underground hydro power station that had ladders and platforms not unlike the 1901 image above, but vertical steel ladders and steel platforms: here is an image of one those very shafts under construction back in the 60s:
http://manapouri.flexedesign.com/ima...ableshafts.jpg
I used to zip up and down those cable shafts many times in a day's work. I'm gasping just looking at them now.
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  #31  
Old 27-04-2016, 12:15 PM
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The colliery "utensils" went up for sale in 1847 for Tarry.
"2 Horse Gins, ropes, tubs, trams, 4 sledge and other hammers, pinches, hacks, pit shovels, blasting gear, 15 fathom (??) rods complete, blacksmith's bellows and anvil &c."

Looks like drum windlass and gin were one and the same, as you said Coquet.
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  #32  
Old 27-04-2016, 04:33 PM
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Just to prove there is a tenuous link between Eglingham and Amble district

Alnwick Mercury, 1 November 1873:

"East Ditchburn, Eglingham; this is the property of Robert Dand Esq. of Gloster Hill, Field House &c.....The steward and his family occupy the farm house, except that portion of it reserved for the proprietor when he visits it, or when used as a hunting seat or shooting box by him or the members of his family..."
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  #33  
Old 29-04-2016, 11:30 AM
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This is going to excite quite a few of you collectors out there, not those after coal in jars!
Apparently waste from Alnwick was used to fill in the mine shafts at Tarry which has resulted in a large number of old Alnwick Brewery bottles being found there. Clay pipes too.
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  #34  
Old 29-04-2016, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janwhin View Post
This is going to excite quite a few of you collectors out there, not those after coal in jars!
Apparently waste from Alnwick was used to fill in the mine shafts at Tarry which has resulted in a large number of old Alnwick Brewery bottles being found there. Clay pipes too.
That's interesting. Must admit though I wouldn't like to dig a 10 foot diameter cylindrical rubbish tip in a mine shaft!

I'm saying 10 foot but I've no idea about those old shafts. 20c shafts are quite some size:




Shaft pilings in position for a new shaft:

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  #35  
Old 30-04-2016, 03:38 PM
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I have come across one reference to the depth of Tarry Colliery in a walking guide, but I don't know where it came from. 19 fathoms or 114 feet.

I have also been told by someone who used to live on the farm where the colliery was, that on the track towards it there was (probably under soil now) a waste mound and near it a metal grid and under it an old engine for the pit.
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  #36  
Old 01-05-2016, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
I have come across one reference to the depth of Tarry Colliery in a walking guide, but I don't know where it came from. 19 fathoms or 114 feet.


Yes 19 fathoms to the Blackhill seam then 27 to the main seam according to the memoir. 35 metres and 49 metres. A shallow pit.



Quote:
I have also been told by someone who used to live on the farm where the colliery was, that on the track towards it there was (probably under soil now) a waste mound and near it a metal grid and under it an old engine for the pit.

Do you think there's still an engine in the hole??
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  #37  
Old 02-05-2016, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
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Do you think there's still an engine in the hole??
Apparently it should still be there!

I've now moved on to Shipley Colliery and it's doing my head in!
http://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/sideb...&right=BingHyb

I think I mentioned that Bannamoor suddenly seems to become Shipley, both pits are on the map. Well in 1899 a back overman at Dudley Colliery leaves to become manager at Shipley and in 1900 they're advertising for 50 coal hewers. 1902 the pit is up for auction but no takers. In 1903 the engineman is being prosecuted for being drunk while at work. 1904 the council is complaining about their road locomotive damaging the roads while transporting coal to Seahouses and in the same year they are prosecuted for the same "smoky" locomotive belching out fumes on the way to Alnwick with bags of coal for sale. The council and prosecutions give another two managers names. After that, absolutely nothing
DMM doesn't have much info either.
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  #38  
Old 02-05-2016, 01:37 PM
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Prosecution of William Reed (Reid) Morpeth Herald 10 January 1903

“William Reed, engineman, was summoned for being guilty of an alleged contravention of the Coal Mines Regulations Act, which set forth that any person who shall have in his possession any intoxicating liquor or be about the mine in a state of intoxication would be liable to a penalty. – Mr. Charles Percy, solicitor, Alnwick, appeared on behalf of the Shipley Coal Company, by whom it appeared the accused been employed. - Mr. Percy alleged that Reed was found in a state of intoxication when he was on the point of lowering the men down the colliery, and there might have been a serious matter if he had not been found out. – Reed said he had been dismissed on the spot, and had since been at Radcliffe, consequently he had not received the summons to appear at court till the night previous. Under the circumstances, he applied for an adjournment to bring forward witnesses to say he was solid and sober at the time. – The Bench adjourned the case.”

He was found guilty after contradictory evidence was given at the next hearing. Witnesses included: Joseph Wolf, manager; George Stoddart, engineman; James Thain, deputy overman; John Stoddart, miner; Thomas Bolton, miner; William John Stoddart, fireman; Andrew Youll, miner.
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  #39  
Old 02-05-2016, 03:09 PM
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Ah just re-read the 1930 memoir and it states that Shipley Colliery was abandoned in 1905.
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  #40  
Old 03-05-2016, 11:31 AM
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Drunk winderman. Now that would put some confidence into the workforce.
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