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  #101  
Old 16-05-2014, 10:49 AM
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At Shilbottle a mining inspector was actually visiting the colliery when the explosion occurred. He went to the district and measured 25% methane near the caunch. He was in the district before even all the injured had been removed!
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  #102  
Old 01-11-2015, 10:17 AM
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Default whiitle colliery

can anyone tell me where the water pumped out of whittle colliery when it was working . there was no lagoons that I know of . T here was no pit heaps, there was a little bit near the road lorry hoppers is this from the old drift ?
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  #103  
Old 02-11-2015, 06:26 PM
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can anyone tell me where the water pumped out of whittle colliery when it was working . there was no lagoons that I know of . T here was no pit heaps, there was a little bit near the road lorry hoppers is this from the old drift ?

Good Question. The pumped water - I doubt it would end up in the burn without processing of some sort but I cannot recall a lagoon or similar either.

I don't know what happened to the screened stone waste at Whittle. Taken away by rail I guess but to where - Shilbottle pit heap or further afield?
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  #104  
Old 02-11-2015, 08:49 PM
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Not by rail, that was coal only down to Southside where BR took it onwards. No rail link with Shilbottle, I thought Whittle had its own spoil heaps which have since been removed?
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  #105  
Old 03-11-2015, 12:36 AM
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There was an old heap uphill behind the screens, along to the coal loading hoppers, or the area behind the row of houses at Hampeth; which is like Phil says, near the old drift, but I cannot remember it being active.
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  #106  
Old 22-11-2015, 06:12 PM
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Default Whittle stone and lagoons

As I remember it (32 years ago) there was a stone belt that ran out the side of screens, I think it loaded into wagons that tipped near the 'land sale' hoppers and was moved by bucket loader up the 'stone road' and was levelled off up behind the old drift.
Were the settling ponds not on the hill above the 'new drift'? I seem to remember being taken up there one one occasion during my apprenticeship to check the outlets (by Old Ted White an Amble man from Albert Street and former Hauxley Fitter) I think the water came up there from the big centrifugal pumps in the pump house along at 7 or 8 West ?? which as on the left of the 10 West belt road down to the Shilbottle bunker.
The pumps didn't run all of the time, there was float level in the tanks which switched them on. I think there were 4 pumps along there with 2 running at any one time. They had to be primed by hand by allowing some of the water in the delivery pipe back into the pump which was held by a 'Clack Valve' in the suction side and the air was bled out of each stage of centrifuges by the pump man, hence the 24/7 staff cover. The road along there was very low in places and you could feel the air blowing along so it must have vented somewhere beyond the pump house? The pumps were maintained by the electrician and fitter based in the underground Loco battery charging shed. (Willie Taylor was the Fitter as I remember)
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  #107  
Old 27-11-2015, 09:54 PM
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As I remember it (32 years ago) there was a stone belt that ran out the side of screens, I think it loaded into wagons that tipped near the 'land sale' hoppers and was moved by bucket loader up the 'stone road' and was levelled off up behind the old drift.
Were the settling ponds not on the hill above the 'new drift'? I seem to remember being taken up there one one occasion during my apprenticeship to check the outlets (by Old Ted White an Amble man from Albert Street and former Hauxley Fitter) I think the water came up there from the big centrifugal pumps in the pump house along at 7 or 8 West ?? which as on the left of the 10 West belt road down to the Shilbottle bunker.
The pumps didn't run all of the time, there was float level in the tanks which switched them on. I think there were 4 pumps along there with 2 running at any one time. They had to be primed by hand by allowing some of the water in the delivery pipe back into the pump which was held by a 'Clack Valve' in the suction side and the air was bled out of each stage of centrifuges by the pump man, hence the 24/7 staff cover. The road along there was very low in places and you could feel the air blowing along so it must have vented somewhere beyond the pump house? The pumps were maintained by the electrician and fitter based in the underground Loco battery charging shed. (Willie Taylor was the Fitter as I remember)

It's gone from my memory the stone tipping at Whittle so thanks for that. Looking at the plan to remind me the pump house was around 9 West area (or east of it, as you mention, 7 or 8 West). East of there was the old Whittle workings which were flooded and were effectively the standage for the pump house? I should have a better recall of that area as I spent my apprenticeship with John Trotter (from Berwick) and we were often in the pump house, mucking about with the phones. (skiving).
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  #108  
Old 27-11-2015, 10:17 PM
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Who was Willie Taylor's marra? the electrician? was it Cyril Stokoe?

I did have a few bits and bobs, souvenirs, of the old Whittle electric Locos but I think they've gone now.

Odd thing about the locos, as fitters and electricians we were authorized to drive them for testing, so naturally on many quiet weekends (bank holidays, Christmas etc) the electrician or fitter working inbye would become the 'loco driver' denying the skilled loco driver of an overtime shift. I can remember doing this a number of occasions but never felt comfortable doing it, denying someone o.t., or taking the loco safely miles inbye.
Anyway, we'd hitch the 'yellow submarine' on the back and off we would go. The 'yellow submarine', a single carriage, would hold about 10 men (generally deputies and fitters/electricians), and you could also fit two extras in the loco itself (double ended, two driver's cabs), or three if you squeezed one in with the driver. Totally bonkers. It got worse than that but I'll shut up! Mines and Quarries act and all that!
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  #109  
Old 27-11-2015, 11:08 PM
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Did you (Jumpy Shore) ever travel to the Whittle Shaft? I'm sure it was our 'Second means of egress' for the period before the roadway driveage at the bottom of the drift eventually connected the Whittle and Shilbottle workings. After that point we were expected to walk to Shilbottle Grange Shaft I think? I have no memory of going up that Whittle shaft.
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  #110  
Old 28-11-2015, 08:29 AM
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Default whittle colliery

when I worked at Whittle come winter the coal froze in the loco wagons be for going into the screens , there was plenty of overtime on the freeing the coal , a line of burning coal along the line were the wagons were parked . the wagons were pushed past the screens towards the land sale hoppers then dropped down by hand over the burning coal and into wear the bottom doors opened to let the coal out but with coal still being frozen we had steel rods to poke coal from the top , 7lb ,14lb mels to bang on the sides to try to free coal I also some time went up onto the land sale storage site the conveyer belt heaped the coal every so often you had to move conveyer I think a man called zegler showed me what to do. never seen any stone that I can remember , I often went down into 9west pump house with Georgie headley , the pumper always said he will take me into old whittle never did pumper was Jakay Stevenson . When we put the big pipes down the drift we had to keep the drift free at right time so we were finished early [this was in the holidays ] so we had our bait in the hopper cabin never seen any ponds this Loffs farm .
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  #111  
Old 28-11-2015, 11:48 AM
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I can also remember fires being lit at the drift entrance to warm the air when ice threatened to close it off.
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  #112  
Old 28-11-2015, 12:05 PM
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Another place often mentioned was the old Whittle drift. Never knew where that was precisely on the surface either. Perhaps it ended up under a spoil heap?
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  #113  
Old 04-12-2015, 10:59 AM
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Default Whittle Shaft and the Loco' House

Cyril Stokoe was indeed Willies marra, I also remember a Gordie 'lang back' Stokoe who frequented the Loco shed. During my apprenticeship I was lowered down the Whittle shaft by Eric 'Eck' Grey a surface mechanic who did the weekly check. I was with a deputy who's name I can't recall (may have been Barnfather) and we walked down hill to the winnings road. It was used as part of the ventilation system right up until I left - pre strike. It was extremely low and rough path, it was indeed the secondary means of escape until they broke through at 10 West. When I joined the Mines Rescue Service we conducted an exercise at the bottom of Whittle shaft in which stretchers with dummies had to brought up in the cage vertically as they were too long to lie down.
Can you imagine having to walk from Y64 to Shillbtottle Grange to escape!! Firstly you would either have pass the drift on the belt road or go to the winnings road to get down 10 West it would have quite a journey! The yellow sub was also used for transporting the Manager / Under Manager / and Drillers who started late than the main shifts. Driving the loco was standard practice at weekends, I can also remember people riding on top of the batteries 'indian style' rather than walk out!
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  #114  
Old 04-12-2015, 11:19 AM
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Default Old Whittle Drift and stone spoil

The entrance to the old drift was between the land sale and and the screens as I remember, half way up the hill it was covered by stone but you could see a ventilation pipe sticking out from a drystone wall which was covered with spoil. There was a concrete foundation there which I assumed was for the conveyor drive head. There were men at Whittle who had used the old drift and and often recalled the 'bad old days' on the way home from fore shift on Smiths bus. Jonny Raine, Salty Sam to name but two! I walked passed the old pump house on a couple of occasions but never reached the old drift, the roof looked quite precarious and it was very low in places.
I seem to remember a large fall of stone just inbye of Shillbtottle Grange shaft not long after it closed when we were still doing maintenance on the shaft and pumps. The Overmans cabin at the shaft bottom was the only refuge from the gale of ice winter wind coming down the shaft!
Very little stone came from Whittle screens, only the caunches from the gates and winnings and a little from the shearers. Winnings stone was large and loaded by MC3 Gathering Arm Loaders so it was easy to deal with at the surface. DOSCO and shearer stone was small and easily washed out in the screens so there wasn't much to deal with, maybe thats why we don't remember it.
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  #115  
Old 15-12-2015, 11:45 PM
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That lot brings back a few memories!
Cyril Stokoe was funniest man I've ever known. Never got anything done for laughing when I was put with him.
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  #116  
Old 16-12-2015, 10:07 AM
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Looking at electric brewer's photo of the view up from near the Drift bottom.
I think he is slightly out with the west winnings description on this one.
I think the pipe on the left just went into a standage.
The turn into the west was a much larger affair and had a set of points and a curve. I think the turn to the west must be behind the photographer.
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  #117  
Old 16-12-2015, 10:23 AM
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Anyway, I remember Eck the fitter.
Electrical shops guys at the time were Sid and Norman Marshall, Athol Barrass, Ronnie Cadwalander, Davie Barron & ??. I was Ronnie's apprentice at the start. Bizarrely ended up working with his brother, Freddy, in a miner flat after the move to Ellington. The 12CM machine operator in the flat was Ian Lavery. Now high flying Wansbeck MP.
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  #118  
Old 16-12-2015, 10:27 AM
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Last deep mine closes on Friday. 200,000 miners in the UK when we started I think. End of an era.
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  #119  
Old 21-12-2015, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coquet View Post
Looking at electric brewer's photo of the view up from near the Drift bottom.
I think he is slightly out with the west winnings description on this one.
I think the pipe on the left just went into a standage.
The turn into the west was a much larger affair and had a set of points and a curve. I think the turn to the west must be behind the photographer.
I think you are right, he must be standing on the points where the supply set turned off the drift.The roller in the front of the photo was for the winder cable.
The cable belt was famous for trapping the fingers of "early lowsers" desperate to get to the surface for a smoke, every nook and cranny at the top of the drift was filled with contraband hidden to apease the need for a nicotine hit!
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  #120  
Old 21-12-2015, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
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Anyway, I remember Eck the fitter.
Electrical shops guys at the time were Sid and Norman Marshall, Athol Barrass, Ronnie Cadwalander, Davie Barron & ??. I was Ronnie's apprentice at the start. Bizarrely ended up working with his brother, Freddy, in a miner flat after the move to Ellington. The 12CM machine operator in the flat was Ian Lavery. Now high flying Wansbeck MP.
I remember the electricians shop well and spent time in there with Norman Marshall, The surface fitters as well as Eck, were Kevin Dodd (later transferred to u/grd), Ted White, Paul (Dappa) Appleby, Wilson Grey, 'Rolly' Jobson and Davey (Fisal) Brown. The Blacksmiths and Joiners shops were favourite haunts in the winter months as they had forges and fires with ample supply of good household coal!
There was also a prop fitters shop in the back of the Blacksmiths. 'Snuffy' Arthur the Blacksmith was a character who's beard and 'tash contained many ounces of menthol snuff, it was available from the canteen in small round tins along with the chewing tobacco.
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