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Report - Chatterley Whitfield Colliery Stoke 06/2010

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Oldskool, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. Oldskool

    Oldskool Guest
    Guest

    Our first attempt at this site didn't go to plan we ended up approaching from the wrong direction and wadding through what we thought was cow or horse manure...when the contractors hauled us of to security they explained with smiles on their face that is was human shit from the bottom of the treatment tanks. Now as host had gone in the sludge knee deep he had to drive back to Manchester in his socks leaving his boots on a street corner....

    Chatterley Whitfield Colliery is a disused coal-mine in Stoke-on-Trent. It was the largest in North Staffordshire, and was the first colliery to produce 1,000,000 tons of saleable coal in a year.
    In 1974 it was decided that Chatterley Whitfield coal could be more easily worked from Wolstanton Colliery and an underground roadway was driven to join the two pits. In 1976 coal drawing at Chatterley Whitfield came to an end. Two years later, a Trust was formed to establish theChatterley Whitfield Mining Museum. The Museum, which offered an underground tour to visitors, operated for twelve years, but finally closed in August 1991 because of drainage problems

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    The Chatterley Whitfield Partnership was set up in 1999 between English Heritage, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Advantage West Midlands and Joan Walley MP to find a way to restore the derelict colliery.

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    The Colliery was originally established in the 1860’s when opening of Biddulph railway led to the re-opening of shafts so that coal could be used for iron working. The Chatterley Whitfield Iron Company acquired leasehold of Whitfield Colliery in 1872 to obtain suitable coal for three blast furnaces. Between its closure and 1993 the colliery was a working museum, and the area is currently undergoing an English Heritage sponsored regeneration programme. The site still has many original features; the oldest surviving structure is dated 1883. A stack of 1891 and 1920-1930’s winding gear remain.
    There are some restrictions on access to the Chatterley Whitfield site because the site is currently under re-development, but conducted tours are sometimes available.


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    caped shaft........


    It was a battle between brains and brawn, money men and grafters. Margaret Thatcher and the Tory Government of the time were insistent that coal mining in this country was uneconomic and expensive and could be imported for less, and that deregulation of financial markets would make everyone rich.
    They were wrong, on both counts. Maybe the coal industry was uneconomic at the time, but that was a short-term view, whilst financial freedom has simply led to polarised communities, with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. On election in 1997, Tony Blair vowed to eradicate poverty, but this has proved nigh on impossible thanks to the untamed monster that Thatcher and her friends created, allowing financial experts to create more ingenious ways to make money. Maybe the pain that they are currently suffering is some form of social justice.
    Margaret Thatcher and her Government may have had valid points, and ultimately an argument that could have been won. Deep down though, she believed that the strike was unjustified, and it presented her with an opportunity to flex her political muscles and hone her Iron Lady image. And that she did.
    However, what has caused most damage and hurt was the virtual abandonment of coalfield communities that followed, communities that were raised on coal, that relied on the industry for their living. Told to “get on their bikesâ€￾ to find new sources of employment, such communities became alienated from mainstream life, with the now recognised social ills of such public policy (drug and alcohol abuse, health issues, housing problems) spiralling out of control.

    With a little luck and ninja skills we managed all four head stocks just spending enough time up each to take a quick photo.Some free climbing was needed but only for one heres the pictures....

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    Thanks for looking OLDSKOOL................
     

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