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Report - Hatfield Colliery 2007

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by dweeb, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. dweeb

    dweeb Super Moderator
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    Another attempt at replacing lost pictures...

    I made 3 visits to Hatfield Colliery in 2006/07. The colliery had been mothballed by UK coal, and had sat unused for years. Richard Budge, of RJB Mining fame bought the colliery, with Russian funding and has since developed it into a going concern, with his now company "powerfuel".

    Sadly, many of the original colliery buildings have been demolished during the collierie's revamp. They have been demolished to be replaced with new functioning buildings, so they have not been needlessly demolished this time. I am a traditionalist, an would have loved to see the bathhouse get a revamp, but the important thing is the coal is coming up out of the ground and men are in jobs... so all is well.

    I should note that all three times I just rocked up to the colliery, and the men there were kind enough to show me around. The third time I was given a full tour, literally every inch of the place. I was allowed to take so many colliery relics it felt like christmas day! They really are the nicest bunch of lads anyone could wish to meet, and I wish them the best of luck now the colliery is up and running...


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  2. caiman

    caiman 28DL Full Member
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    Great set of photos - I went underground there a couple of times back in the day. BJD shearers...

    However, not quite right on the recent history. Hatfield was mothballed by British Coal in 1993 prior to privatisation (salvage completed March 1994) and was bought by a company put together by the last BC manager - Jeff Ainsley. The company was called Hatfield Coal Co Ltd. This ran for several years and was a genuinely nice bunch of people. However, economics caught up with it and it went bust in 2001. It was used in the film Brassed Off during this period.

    Richard Budge got ejected from RJB Mining round about the same time and decided to buy Hatfield, using a company he controlled named Coalpower. This fell over in 2004 and he then went on to put a second company together, Powerfuel. This was supposed to float on the stock exchange but never got away and in 2006 he brought in the Russians. They have put in a lot of new money which has been used to re-develop access to the Barnsley seam, some way below the High Hazels which was the last seam worked by British Coal and Hatfield Coal Co.

    Your second photo is particularly interesting - if you look to the right of the big round window on the winding engine room you can see a big dink in the brickwork. This was caused by an accident in 1939 when there was a serious over-wind event. In essence, the winder continued to wind beyond the limit position, the cage went up into the headframe where it was held on the overwind catches and the rope was detached. Said rope then went over the sheave wheel and hit the winder house rather hard, hence dinked bricks. One man died.
     
  3. mulletminer

    mulletminer 28DL Full Member
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    You gotta be joking right? lol.

    Worse pit design imaginable.

    The lockers.
    1.The clean end have no internal heated air ducts which means your towel never dries out from one day to the next and so slowly changes in fragrance from mushrooms to fish. No heating in the entire block for that matter.
    2.The lockers are much smaller than previous, so many men resort to leave their boots and bottles out side cos there just aint room. Three tiny hooks inside to try and hang everything on.
    3.Layout of clean end-showers-dirty end without a corridor, means anyone needing to pass from one end of the block to the other gets pissed wet through when anyone is getting showered.
    4. Poor drainage means an ingress of water into the locker ends from the showers.

    Showers.
    1.1/2 inch valve on or off only. No temperature control be it summer or winter.
    2.Limited supply of hot water. Goes from boiling to cold before the last men get in. Suppose that makes the first item irrelevant really.
    3.No pressure/flow regulation. This means when the whole shift is showering I could piss faster.
    4.Domestic shower heads mean you need to run round in circles to get wet. Not like the old watering can type.

    ELECTRIC immersion heaters when we mine coal. WTF.

    Believe me, there isn't a man there that wouldn't go back to the old silver lockers and full bore showers.

    Rant done.

    BTW not as draughty, nothing pit related stays shiny for long, and we wear flip plops in the baths.:thumb
     
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