Coal Mines in Leeds

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The Parksider
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Postby The Parksider » Fri 03 Sep, 2010 10:04 pm

Leodian wrote:
Not a coal mine but this does relate to coal in Leeds.

When construction work was going on in 1984 for a new laboratory block at the Blood Transfusion Centre in the grounds of Seacroft Hospital a few thin coal layers were exposed. At only around a couple of centimetres thick (say an inch) they could hardly be called seams but they did show that coal was still present in the area.


That's also very interesting, thank you. One of the deeper mid victorian coal mines "Mary Pit" was situated just behind Seacroft Hospital (marked today by an open grass space with a few trees) so as well as the shallow seams near the surfces there's a thicker seam below the hospital!
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chameleon
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Postby chameleon » Fri 03 Sep, 2010 11:03 pm

The Parksider wrote:
Leodian wrote:
Not a coal mine but this does relate to coal in Leeds.

When construction work was going on in 1984 for a new laboratory block at the Blood Transfusion Centre in the grounds of Seacroft Hospital a few thin coal layers were exposed. At only around a couple of centimetres thick (say an inch) they could hardly be called seams but they did show that coal was still present in the area.


That's also very interesting, thank you. One of the deeper mid victorian coal mines "Mary Pit" was situated just behind Seacroft Hospital (marked today by an open grass space with a few trees) so as well as the shallow seams near the surfces there's a thicker seam below the hospital!


Mary Pit is (was) another rare example of the brick lining of the shaft head being vissible at the surface for long enough. There is also what could be a further, possibly air, shaft marked on the maps a short distance east of the main shaft.

The area used to be surrounded by an iron railing fence as seemed to be the norm for these sites, though absent in places making it a wonderoud 'playground' in days gone by.

The seam you refer to under the hospital is likely that also mined at Killingbeck colliery to the south and west of the hospital grounds beyond the railway track.

A fault line runs vaguely east-eat under the hospital and adjacent housing with differing geology and coal depths on each side, coal being seen at less that two feet in places.
grumpytramp
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Postby grumpytramp » Sat 04 Sep, 2010 12:50 am

Leodian wrote:

When construction work was going on in 1984 for a new laboratory block at the Blood Transfusion Centre in the grounds of Seacroft Hospital a few thin coal layers were exposed. At only around a couple of centimetres thick (say an inch) they could hardly be called seams but they did show that coal was still present in the area.


If you look at the First Series 1:10,560 OS plan of the area the good surveyors of that age added a mass of useful mining relating information:

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/mapsheet.aspx?compid=55145&sheetid=9543&ox=3978&oy=335&zm=1&czm=1&x=457&y=149

If you look to north of Killingbeck Lodge, you will see that the Middleton Main outcrops to the south and paralell to Foundary Lane before crossing York Road to the immediate north of its junction with Foundary Lane. The outcrop is then thrown a short distance north by a fault and begins heading south towards 'The Valley'

Now look to the South West and note that Middleton Main is shown as outcroping in the vicinity of Killingbeck Hall before crossing York Road by the Milestone and trending South East towards 'The Valley' (to the north of the railway and the old Primrose Valley Pub)

Effectively this represents a shallow fault bound syncline, with a pocket of the Middleton Main laying between the two outcrops beneath Seacroft Hospital (note the annotation to the south of Foundry Lane "Old Shallow Workings"

The Middleton Main was a very good house coal and in most parts of West Yorkshire the bottom part was a useful gas coal (it is known further south and east as the Silkstone - where it is still mined at least for the moment at the Big K, Kellingley Colliery). It was probably substantially worked out by the mid 1850's and would have probably being grouted up during modern redevelopment of the Seacroft Hospital site

It is likely that any coal encountered in excavations for the National Blood Service buildings would be in the strata above the Middleton Main. It is unlikely to have been the next major overlaying seam the Middleton Little (known elsewhere in Yorkshire as the Flockton, which is a composite seam comprising of three seams split by shales and in Halton was recorded as three leaves of 36", 46" with dirt bands and 30"). It is probably a minor seam of coal which is recorded in boreholes in the area (for example at Swillington No.3 bore sunk for Allerton Main Collieries a coal of 6" is recorded 29' above the Middleton Main)

This wee commentary has a special resonance with me!

Sometime in the late 1960's a very young Grumptramp began excavations in the 18" gap behind the garage and nextdoors wall in Valley Drive, Halton. I was armed with nothing more than a bucket and spade bought by a doting grandmother during a long weekend break at Saltburn (exotic...... I know). These early excavation were in the same strata somewhere just above Middleton Main. The house platform had been cut into the hillside and bare rock was soon reached and not long after, much to my fascination, I hit a 4-6" band of this lovely mucky shiny black stuff ........... which my mother informed me was coal just like my Grandad mined! I thought it was so cool, though I vaguely remember my wee pals being less impressed

Some 13 or 14 years later I found myself working as a haulage hand with a Becorit locomotive on S3's district at Kellingley Colliery working in the Silkstone Seam (or Middleton Main)!

........ and some 40 years later I remain fascinated by coal!    
grumpytramp
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Postby grumpytramp » Sat 04 Sep, 2010 2:03 am

richardc1983 wrote:
Anyone aware of any deaths/accidents at brown moor colliery site.

Thorpe Park business park is now built here but we are getting ghostly goings on... blinds parting as if someone is looking out from the inside.

Lights coming on in areas no one is sat (sensor operated) sound of doors closing.

This happens during the night when only a couple of people are working.

Is it possible there could be hauntings?


Well I suppose it could be a haunting ........... but then only if you are willing to believe in a load of superstitious bunkum!

As a pit operating for the most part in the second half of the nineteenth century I am sure that Brown Moor Colliery had its fair share of deaths, debilitating injuries and a multitude of early deaths as a consequence of miserable industrial diseases or abject poverty.

If this was the qualification for a haunting ........ then the miserable fall out from the former Mills, Collieries, Ironstone Mines, Fireclay Mines, Foundaries, Factories, Quarries, Sweatshops, Tanneries etc of Victorian Leeds would make the city a physic hotspot (for the weak minded believers of this sort of nonesense)

The reality was deaths at places like Brown Moor Colliery were the miserable consequence of appaling attitudes to safety, a blatent culture of risk taking for profit and little or no legal protection for the lowly collier

A case in point, is the unnecessary and pointless deaths of Robert Taylor and William Ambler killed in 1861 at Brown Moor Colliery. They were killed when the crank of the winding engine failed. Despite there being a requirement to undertake a test wind using a loaded mine car, but this was ignored (the Deputy wanting the men down the pit). Three men entered the cage; the deceased and Thomas Greenhow, an Oversman. When the crank failed, the engine man John Ward was not able to break the cage; probably because of ice

The cage hit 5 yards of water at the bottom of the 120 yard shaft. Joseph Bulmer, a collier, was lowered on a crab rope (no idea??) ........ he found Thomas Greenhow alive [he had grabbed a piece of wood and then having found the pumping main hauled himself clear of the water (remember he would have no lights)]

The inquest recorded that the bodies of Taylor and Ambler, recovered after the sump had been drained, where free of any sign of brusing

The Leeds Mercury reported:

Quote:
The Coroner having briefly charged the jury, the latter found the following verdict:-

"Accidental death; but the engineman and banksman at the colliery are deserving of the severest censure for not obeying the 33rd rule of said pit, with reference to trying the rope with a loaded truck before allowing men to descend"

Mr Morton subsequently intimated that he would recommend the prosecution of the engineman and the banksman to the Secretary of State


Mr Morton was one of HM Government Inspector of Mines ......... probably quite rightly had sought the prosecution of the guilty parties ....... Mr Ward (engineman) and John Simpson (the banksman) but for some (perhaps obvious) reason had no interest in tackling the Waud family that owned, operated the pit and had benefited from a healthy profit at the expense of the dead colliers and their comrades!

Next time a light comes on unexpectadly or a blind moves, please contact your Facility Manager ............ forget about any paranormal nonesense and thank your lucky stars you are not a collier employed by the Waud family!


    

Leodian
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Postby Leodian » Sat 04 Sep, 2010 12:21 pm

Hi grumpytramp. I did not know what a 'crab rope' was either. I have just found this in the mining terms section of the Durham Mining Museum website:-

CRAB. — A species of capstan, worked usually by horses, for the purpose of raising or lowering heavy weights, such as pumps, spears, &c., in a shaft. Ground crabs are used in sinking for lowering the sinking set of pumps as the pit is deepened. The sinking set is collared to two sets of spears, called ground spears; one spear on each side of the set. At the top of each spear is one of a pair of three, five, or seven-fold blocks, called ground blocks, the other being placed near the pit mouth, and the pumps are lowered by means of the ground ropes which pass through these blocks to the ground crabs. These crabs are worked by men and are of very great power. Steam power is now largely applied to main crab work.

CRAB-ROPE. — Hempen or wire round rope used for pump or other heavy work performed by a crab.
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chameleon
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Postby chameleon » Sat 04 Sep, 2010 11:08 pm

grumpytramp wrote:
Leodian wrote:

When construction work was going on in 1984 for a new laboratory block at the Blood Transfusion Centre in the grounds of Seacroft Hospital a few thin coal layers were exposed. At only around a couple of centimetres thick (say an inch) they could hardly be called seams but they did show that coal was still present in the area.


If you look at the First Series 1:10,560 OS plan of the area the good surveyors of that age added a mass of useful mining relating information:

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/mapsheet.aspx?compid=55145&sheetid=9543&ox=3978&oy=335&zm=1&czm=1&x=457&y=149

If you look to north of Killingbeck Lodge, you will see that the Middleton Main outcrops to the south and paralell to Foundary Lane before crossing York Road to the immediate north of its junction with Foundary Lane. The outcrop is then thrown a short distance north by a fault and begins heading south towards 'The Valley'

Now look to the South West and note that Middleton Main is shown as outcroping in the vicinity of Killingbeck Hall before crossing York Road by the Milestone and trending South East towards 'The Valley' (to the north of the railway and the old Primrose Valley Pub)

Effectively this represents a shallow fault bound syncline, with a pocket of the Middleton Main laying between the two outcrops beneath Seacroft Hospital (note the annotation to the south of Foundry Lane "Old Shallow Workings"

The Middleton Main was a very good house coal and in most parts of West Yorkshire the bottom part was a useful gas coal (it is known further south and east as the Silkstone - where it is still mined at least for the moment at the Big K, Kellingley Colliery). It was probably substantially worked out by the mid 1850's and would have probably being grouted up during modern redevelopment of the Seacroft Hospital site

It is likely that any coal encountered in excavations for the National Blood Service buildings would be in the strata above the Middleton Main. It is unlikely to have been the next major overlaying seam the Middleton Little (known elsewhere in Yorkshire as the Flockton, which is a composite seam comprising of three seams split by shales and in Halton was recorded as three leaves of 36", 46" with dirt bands and 30"). It is probably a minor seam of coal which is recorded in boreholes in the area (for example at Swillington No.3 bore sunk for Allerton Main Collieries a coal of 6" is recorded 29' above the Middleton Main)

This wee commentary has a special resonance with me!

Sometime in the late 1960's a very young Grumptramp began excavations in the 18" gap behind the garage and nextdoors wall in Valley Drive, Halton. I was armed with nothing more than a bucket and spade bought by a doting grandmother during a long weekend break at Saltburn (exotic...... I know). These early excavation were in the same strata somewhere just above Middleton Main. The house platform had been cut into the hillside and bare rock was soon reached and not long after, much to my fascination, I hit a 4-6" band of this lovely mucky shiny black stuff ........... which my mother informed me was coal just like my Grandad mined! I thought it was so cool, though I vaguely remember my wee pals being less impressed

Some 13 or 14 years later I found myself working as a haulage hand with a Becorit locomotive on S3's district at Kellingley Colliery working in the Silkstone Seam (or Middleton Main)!

........ and some 40 years later I remain fascinated by coal!    


Grumpy, that is a most eliquant and informative narative and explanation of the geology in a small area which has intrigued me from the time The Valley (as it was simply known to local inhabitants) was a regular Sunday walk with mum & dad as a very young chameleon - didn't realise you were from anywhere quite that close.

So much cand be seen still as the railway cuts through the inclines either side of the old valley bottom which was rather lower that the rail track you'll doubtless remember, and the remains of the small quarry to the west approaching Halton - but never any coal to be seen - not that I recognised as such anyway.

The place has changed beyond recognition since then, having become asite for land fill many years agoe know, landscaped with the original contours no more, the old black hill slag heaps around what was once Killingbeck colliery now part of the Urban Green corridor around the city. The old stream having long since become part of the major sewer which was built through Halton some long time before.

I have a small collection of as it is now pics taken recently, I'll try to knock them into order sometime to put up with some historical bits I have to show how things have changed.
Loiner in Cyprus
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Postby Loiner in Cyprus » Tue 16 Nov, 2010 10:33 pm

A very detailed and interesting history of Middleton Broom Colliery in the attached link: http://www.fomp.co.uk/downloads/survey/finalreportpart1.pdf
Leodian
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Postby Leodian » Tue 16 Nov, 2010 10:43 pm

Loiner in Cyprus wrote:
A very detailed and interesting history of Middleton Broom Colliery in the attached link: http://www.fomp.co.uk/downloads/survey/finalreportpart1.pdf


That is a fascinating and excellent work. I have had a quick skeg at it and have downloaded it to read thoroughly another time.
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history
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Postby history » Fri 19 Nov, 2010 3:47 pm

I am trying to find any information out regard a pit what was called cud hill pit, moortop, it belonged to farnley iron company in leeds...the pit was up the A58 (whitehall road )and was near the woodcock
The Parksider
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Postby The Parksider » Sat 20 Nov, 2010 2:35 pm

history wrote:
I am trying to find any information out regard a pit what was called cud hill pit, moortop, it belonged to farnley iron company in leeds...the pit was up the A58 (whitehall road )and was near the woodcock


It was next to Cud Hill farm, and today the site is an industrial company. The pit was sunk probably around the turn of the century with a main shaft and ventilation shaft, and it mined both ironstone and Coal so I asume it was a farnley Ironworks job. It was worked out probably around 1930 and probably around the 80's the spoil heaps may have been taken for M621 embankment - this being a wild guess!!!!

That's my best potted history, sorry no more detail!

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