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Report - Castlebridge Colliery surface buildings, Aug 2016

dweeb

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
#1
Longannet was the remnant of three mines, established in the 1960s. Built on the north side of the Firth of Forth, east of Kincardine, it connected with the Bogside, Castlehill and Solsgirth Collieries, forming a single, five miles long, tunnel.[1] They provided fuel for the nearby, 2,400MW Longannet Power Station.

The Bogside Colliery closed in the 1980s, and by the early 1990s, the Castlehill and Solsgirth coal reserves were exhausted. Production continued from the Castlebridge area. On privatisation of the coal industry, the complex passed into the ownership of Mining Scotland and later Scottish Coal (Deep Mine) Ltd.[1] In the late 1990s, new "roadway" tunnels were driven to access a coal seam beneath the Forth, downstream of the Kincardine Bridge. When production from Castlebridge ceased, in 2000, the northern side of the complex was sealed off and flooded. Dams were constructed, isolating the old workings from the active Kincardine working.[1]

In March 2002, millions of gallons of water flooded into the underground workings. The 15 people below ground at the time were in another part of the mine and all were evacuated safely.[1] Shortly after the flooding, Scottish Coal (Deep Mine) Limited, went into receivership. It became clear that no new operator would take over the mine, and all the pumps were switched off, allowing further flooding. Without access, the true cause of the flooding could not be conclusively determined by the investigation. It was concluded that one of the dams, or the surrounding strata, had probably failed, but the exact reason was not known. The design margins for the dams appeared to be adequate.[1]

Longannet was the last deep mine of any significance in Scotland and its closure effectively ended underground coal mining in Scotland. As of 2008, opencast coal miningcontinued in Scotland, with 51.4% of Great Britain's opencast coal mines (18 out of 35 mines) and 60.1% of the saleable production by weight (5.68m tonnes out of 9.45m tonnes).[2]

OT, Turk and I did the headgear here many years ago, and back then the buildings around it were still in use. Fast forward five years or so and this is what they have become.... Seriously, the neds have gone WILD in this place!

Castlebridge is worth seeing if your interested in your coal. It is one of the few pits in the UK to be fully constructed post war. When these buildings were built they would have been state of the art. As with the workings below, this was indeed the future of the coal industry.

Castlebridge closed forever in grand style when the whole mine flooded. There is much speculation over the cause of this disaster, and if you have an interest in pits and would like to know more I'd recommend a read of this
http://www.hse.gov.uk/mining/longannet.pdf

The former showers had been converted to archive storage when deep mining had ceased and I was literally ankle deep in NCB epic for quite some time :) As the power is now off (I can guarantee that fact by the shell of a substation we walked past) I figured I wouldn't better my headstock photos without the help of the sodium lights so we just stuck to ground level.

I'd also like to point out that the offices, complete with sodden ceiling tile mush under foot is the future of urban exploring we have to look forward to :confused:

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Coal fed boilers for the bath's hot water supply
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You can see where the various doors leading from lockers to showers have been bricked up
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The showers / archives

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Sauna
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Attachments

Session9

A life backwards
28DL Full Member
#2
We were quizzed whilst parked up by the boys in blue here, never mind half the population of Alloa who were roaming around on the inside!
 

dave

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#3
The day i went it took 2 trains a bus and very long walk only to find the place crawling with workers (removing asbestos apparently) that said the foreman was ok and let me wander about on the understanding he hadnt seen me.
 

Idle Hands

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#4
That archive room was upright and largely intact as recently as April this year but it was trashed by July. Headstocks have been savaged by the metal thieves though, and yes - it is pitch black up there.

I had wondered why we couldn't find the shower rooms - thanks, this explains a lot!
 

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