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Dr Pit 1930's showing washery


This photo shows the coal washer that was in use at the Doctor Pit until the 1940’s. The waste material from this washer formed the pit heaps around the Doctor Pit (now rehabilitated and covered in trees.) This was a fantastic adventure playground for the kids in the area. There was what would be known today as a BMX track – we called it a “scrambler track”. Sliding down the heaps on a piece of conveyor belt or corrugated iron sheet was also popular. Much of the heap was still burning so you had to make sure you didn’t end up falling into a section that was still smouldering. Health and Safety was not such a big thing then and you had to carry out your own risk assessment before heading out to the heaps! There was also a pedestrian tunnel went under the heaps and railway line known as the “cundy” and this could be a bit scary for a kid.

From the album:

Doctor Pit and Rows

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THE CUNDY!!! THAT'S a blast from thi past.James!

Ye can just see the Concrete entrance ,lower left of the pic,and yes,when thi lights were oot in the Cundy,and there was a lot of rainwaata collected in the swalley inside there,we used to dare new kids ti gaan through by thasell's!

James,wud ya initials be JH,by any chance?,a hae thi feeling a knaa ye ,or knew ye,very well!!

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On 22/03/2021 at 18:20, Canny lass said:

This might seem like a daft question but, why did a coal mine need a chimney? What was being burned?

At the Doctor pit, in the early days, the main winder and the John Pit ventilation fan were driven by steam engines. As with all steam engines, each had a boiler in which coal was burnt to produce the steam to drive the engines and each had a chimney high enough to provide sufficient draft to efficiently burn the coal. The chimney of the main winder was 160 feet high and was demolished in 1921 when an electric winder was installed. I don’t know when the John pit fan was converted to electricity but the chimney was demolished in 1952.

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