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Report - Chatterly Whitfield Colliery - Steam Engines, June 2010

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by layz, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. layz

    layz Conquistador d'Wolverton
    28DL Full Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Been a while since I posted a report as I've been very busy.


    Introduction

    The first site I visited last week on my non-exploring camping holiday was the former Chatterley Whitfield colliery at Stoke. This site has been done a number of times before, and has to be one of the best derelict collieries left in the UK.

    However the icing on the cake came when we stumbled upon a room which contained the original steam winding engine from 1914 in-situ, along with a host of other engines including early steam reciprocators. There were more interesting artifacts of industriana than you could wave a stick at. In fact my friend and I found a stick; started waving it but there was just too much. In the end my friend escorted me off the site in a straight jacket as I was just too excited to walk! ;) The engines were part of the colliery museum which existed there between 1979 and 1991.


    History

    There is evidence of small scale mining in the area from as early as the 13th century however the colliery reached its zenith in 1937, employing over 4000 men and producing nearly 1,000,000 tons of coal a year. However with increasing oil imports from abroad and a number of key contracts to supply local blast furnaces with coal, production dropped to 408,000 tons by the mid 1960s

    The winding house we explored was for the Hesketh shaft, which was sunk in 1914 to a depth of 640yards. The massive horizontal steam engine was installed by the Worsley Mesnes company of Manchester. In addition a new power house was constructed to provide compressed air for conveyors and electricity for the mining tools as before all extraction had been done manually by pick! Stables were also designed into the winding house to provide shelter for the pit ponies who were used at the site until the mid 1930s.

    After 1947 a policy of modernisation took place throughout the whole mining industry. In 1952 mine cars and locomotive haulage were introduced underground at Whitfield and a new mine car circuit installed on the surface. The building to accommodate this is still standing.
    Coal output finally ceased in 1976 when an underground roadway was driven to join the seams to the neighboring Wolstanton Colliery.



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    One piston from the 1914 winding engine:
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    Winding engine valve gear:
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    Driver’s seat and controls:
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    An enclosed stretcher for injured miners, and the corridor to the lifts:
    [​IMG]



    Pit ponies stables under the winding engine:
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    The horizontal compressor engine:
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    The big end:
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    Regards,
     
    #1 layz, Jun 20, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2011

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