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Old 26-03-2010, 01:54 PM
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Default Whittle Colliery Mining to resume?

Noticed on the front page of the Northumberland Gazette (25/3/2010) that a company called EuroMining Ltd are on site at Whittle Colliery.

Rumours of mining restarting are going around?

Apparently though they have been ordered by the council to remove the accommodation block that has appeared on the site.

Photo we took a few weeks ago:


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Old 15-04-2010, 10:21 PM
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I thought water pumping had ceased at Whittle some years ago?
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Old 16-04-2010, 11:58 AM
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Worked there myself in the 80s but have not been keeping up to date with the recent history of the place.

I do know when it sold to the private mining company in the 1990s they went for the easy option - removed the coal pillar between the two arterial west drivage roadways (also main intake and return roadways) thus removing access to coal in the west, and collapsing several miles of tunnel as 'goaf'

The Drift I assume has been at least partly filled in - no trace on google maps of the entrance. A second means of egress & ventilation shaft existed a few hundred metres or so north of the drift, this also appears to have gone. A third ventilation shaft at a place called 'Overgrass' at a mile or so the other side of the A1 was sunk in the 80s - what has happened to that I dont know. (you could shout up and down this shaft between the bottom and the surface. I recall the booster fan at the bottom of this shaft - it was a monster (for Whittle) with a 500kw motor.

The Whittle workings were connected to Shillbottle Colliery workings underground too but I think Shillbottle shafts are filled in.


Not to mention the flooding, gas etc. problems facing anyone trying to reopen assumming some form of access still exists. Basically a near impossible task.
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Old 16-04-2010, 12:17 PM
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Actually the only shaft I can think of that is 'open' in the district is Hauxley, which had a concrete cap fitted, or at least that was the situation with it in the early 90s. Although it will be in some state with 60 years of neglect. Again though once flooded virtually impossible to reopen I believe.

Funnily enough there are apparently massive reserves of coal off the coast at Amble and Hauxley; Ellington Colliery was going for these but Ellington now too is history. Ellington actually sucessfully passed through the main area of faulting, the Hauxley fault, and the igneous rock body the 'Causey Park Dyke' and its associated fault which were the main obstacles to this area- spending millions doing so in the 80s, then they abandoned the project due to the coal rank in the new area being too high for Alcan power station, their primary customer. There were rumors of going back north for the next 20 odd years but it never happened.
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Old 16-04-2010, 12:30 PM
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Just been having another look at google maps, this is where the Whittle drift entrance was I believe:

https://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?ms...00201,0.005659


Bizarrely there is a 'black hole' here:


http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&so...00283&t=k&z=19



which would not be far from the other shaft entrance? Surely that's something that just 'looks like' a hole in the ground????
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Old 16-04-2010, 06:22 PM
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That black hole looks like it may be standing water Mike.
Some of my pals went to work at Whittle when it was being privately run. They reckoned it was like stepping back in time 200 years after working at Ellington
It's a crime that we no longer have any deep mines, although 'elf n safety would probably close them anyway.
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