Jump to content


high pit wilma :- 

The machine was never salvaged. Typical of coal-board policy.."cheaper to abandon than to salvage...."Together

with HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of pounds worth of machinery left underground in all the mines in which i worked, since 1959, at the very least [ from my personal experience!!]

From the album:

Bates Pit by High Pit Wilma

  • 38 images
  • 51 image comments



Recommended Comments

clockworklozenge :- Maybe one day in a few million years a new generation of miners may stumble across a perfectly fossilised eimco mucker ;-)

high pit wilma :- Heh!Heh! Like an old abandoned bentley in a farmyard barn...Be funny if they switched it on and it started tracking forward...Ready ti redd the caunch.....!!
Cheers clockwork lozenge!

morrisoxford61 :- bloody governments, in any other country all this equipment would be salvage and re used after all old it may be, but only th every best materials were used and it was well looked after

Ted McAvoy :- All these photos are going to be classic archive material. Thanks for taking them and posting them.

high pit wilma :- Thanks Ted!..enjoyed some of your photostream also,but was falling asleep going through them late at night,suffice to say you have some stunners in there,especially the 1934 -39 set!
Will try another time to check them out again.

Owen Edwards :- you'd be surpised how long machiney can last for underground and flood, at Beamishs Great North Steam Fair they had a Engine that was uncovered while open casting, had been down the abandoned pit for 100 years, and amazing how intact it was. where there was oil it kept the water out.

high pit wilma :- Yea, Owen,i was there,and saw all the exhibits,fascinating stuff!,only the difference was, it wasn't lying doon in the 3/4 seam at Bates pit,cos the water there,was analysed in the labs,at the N.C.B. Research centre,to find out why it was corroding electrical panel-boxes,and shearers,and everything on a 1 million pound mechanised coalface,[in the early 1970's!],to destruction,in 6 months,when the same equipment was lasting 2 or three years on faces at other pits,and even in the other seams at Bates,such as the Plessey seam.
The hydraulic chock legs were being changed every day,somewhere on a face,like changing your shirt,in big numbers.....if a shearer wasn't switched on over the weekend,
to keep it running,you couldn't switch it on at all,by the time Sunday night midnight shift went inbye to start coalwork!
Electrician's had to go in every shift over a weekend,to lubricate,and move the switches on every bit of gear in the place.
The water was found to be six times saltier than seawater,and three times more corrosive, so i don't hold much hope out for my old Eimco shovel lasting out!!

hoggy03 :- When i went on the old bates site with my brother and dad, when they knocked down blyth power stations chimneys i saw loads of old bits of pit equipment and my dad told me what it was and what it would be used for i was amased to find so much stuff and in good shape and i recently saw the great mounds of metel and concrete from bates and thought "shame", destroy and prefectly good pit and build houses on the site not another pit.

high pit wilma :- Aye,Hoggy,i bet i'm not exaggeratin' when i say that they left the equivalant of the nation's purse doon there,throughout all the pits in the country,totalled up.
You reckon it up,at Bates alone,hundreds of millions of pounds worth of equipment,like Dosco Roadheaders,£30 million pounds EACH!...,Complete face installations,with
TWO longwall Shearers on each face,200 6-legged hydraulic face "chocks"..[roof supports],
All the associated auxiliary equipment,like Gullick hydraulic pumps,[needed to power the face chocks],miles of cables,hundreds of electrical panel-boxes,and transformers,pipes,rails,mine cars,i could go on and on,but it wouldn't bring home the value of all this gear,to the average layman.
Each coalface installation cost,in 1986,nearly £100 million.....there was always at least Six, to eight,faces working,at any one time...[Plessey and 3/4drift+the "Newbiggin drift"] But they still cut the ropes,where your Dad is hanging from,in the pic where he is standing on the top of the cage..........on thatcher's orders!....and left it all to ROT!

bewildebeeste :- The average layman just googled Dosco Roadheader and even I can tell that these bits of kit are not cheap! For the record there is just as much stuff down the Salt mines underneath Cheshire that was abandoned rather than salvaged over the years.

high pit wilma :- Hi beeste mate!
Thanks for your comments,and i'm interested to hear about the salt mines ,which i knew nothing about!
Were the mines being worked in recent years?,cos up here in Northumberland,Durham and Cumbria,there are loads of ancient Fluospar,Fruorite,Galenite,etc,Mines,so i would have thought....hmm...salt mines?....machinery?....recent times?...please educate me!
Cheers Mate!

Link to comment

Create a free account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...