Jump to content


high pit wilma :- R20'S was a retreating coalface,won out after the roadways were driven in about a third of a mile ,down to the dip.[with water coming in straight from the seabed-and running in to a dead-end.!]...flooding the face constantly..yes ...we had some clever boys in the planning and management teams....!NOBODY ever thought of asking the people who WERE experienced.....like ...the MINERS!.........

Sign in to follow this  

From the album:

Bates Pit by High Pit Wilma

  • 38 images
  • 39 image comments


Recommended Comments

Dr. Drewboy :-I can't imagine... minig "under the sea" must have been really dangerous! :-/

high pit wilma :- Hi Drewboy!
Sorry for a late reply,yeah,it wasn't the best of occupations,but you got used to it after nearly thirty years of it....!
You know what?,just up the coast from Bates pit,was Ellington colliery,the last pit in Northumberland to close,and that pit had huge thick sea-doors in the main roadways.
These were intended to be closed,in the event of a major inrush of the sea,trapping men in the workings forever,to try and save the rest of those in other parts of the pit.
Sacrifice the few,to save the many,was the intention....
But no-one in management level would accept the responsibility of making the heart-rending decision,even though they were never called into action,to close those doors.
At Bates pit,the unions refused to accept having these doors fitted in the first place!

Stephen Franks :- Are they Hollybank girders holding the roof up?

high pit wilma :- No Wesdtrie,just ordinary straight RSJ'S [Rolled-Steel - Joists],with corner clamps to help them from being knocked out.
Hollybanks have a knuckle joint on each component part,like each leg fitted into it's corresponding end of the roof girder,and were held together with a large nut and bolt....badly designed,by someone who has never been down a mine...methinks,cos we used them in one roadway,and they just buckled and broke at the bolted knuckle ends!
They would be okay in a model pit,where there is no roof or side pressure,and nice to see a straight line of them for N.C.B. Promotional photo's...but no gud in the pits i have worked at where heavy-section 10" x 8" straight girders have ended up like arched girders after afew months!

high pit wilma :- Did you read my description about this roadway,above? Wesdtrie,these planners are typical of the design engineers i just referred to in my last comments there.....
Who on earth would plan a retreating coalface by driving into the dip,knowing the amount of water that was teeming in....with nowhere for it to go...do you know anything about pitwork,and retreater's...Wesdtrie?
The water constantly mixed with small coal scufflings,turning it into a thick black slecky soup,which no pumps could handle without constantly burning out,therefore the way to help keep water under control was to get as much coal onto the face conveyor as possible,and this carried a lot of water away,only to deposit it somewhere else along the pit roadways.
It was quite pleasant walking around all day with thick black sleck inside your wellies up to your knees.......!!

Stephen Franks :- Ive never worked in a UK coal mine so my experiance of retreating and UK pit work is limited! Its great hearing from experianced people like yourself on matters like these!

high pit wilma :- Thanks a lot Pard!

high pit wilma :- Westdrie,on an advancing coal face,you win the Main roads,and the back airway roads,a few yards,[usually] in advance of the coalface,so you always have advanced headings.Right?
On a retreating coalface,you win out your roadways fully to their boundaries,to "prove" the coal seam,then you win out the coalface,at the end of the roads,and install the machinery facing outbye,so every shear you take,you have to remove previously installed roof-supports,and shorten the conveyor belts.
You also have to periodically move the electrical switchgear,gullick[?]hydraulic pumps etc,cables...outbye,just the same as you would if you were advancing!
Hope you understand how it works,and presumably by now,you have found out by other means!

Share this comment

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...