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Report - - Firbeck Main Colliery, Notts, May 2019 | Mines and Quarries | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Firbeck Main Colliery, Notts, May 2019


HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
1. The History
The two shafts at Firbeck Main colliery were sunk between 1923 and 1925 as part of a joint venture between the Sheepbridge Company and the Doncaster Collieries Association. Mining started in 1925 on the Barnsley Bed Seam of coal. Mining had earlier started in the surrounding area around 1911 and that there may be a workable seam of coal at Langold. The two shafts were cemented for the first 120m to prevent water entering it. On reaching 410m water flooded the workings necessitating the installation of pumps. The Barnsley coal seam was finally reached a the 757m and continued down for 26m. The headgear for the shafts was installed in 1923, and 55m chimney constructed in three months. The winding engines were powered by six boilers and a Baume washer capable of washing 160 tons of coal per hour was also installed

Access to the colliery was provided by 5 miles of temporary railway track which opened in April 1924 which was then upgraded to permanent track in October 1927. Mining back then was a physical task. Miners had to provide their own pickaxes and shovels and sharpening of a pick blade had to be paid for out of the miner's wages. Coal was transported from the coal face to the shaft in big tubs pulled along rails by ponies. No less than 200 ponies were employed in the mine and at any one time, half of them were below ground.

Firbeck Main old 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The mine produced coal for industry supplying coking coal, gas coal, manufacturing coal and steam coal. Shortly after opening, however, it was affected by the miners’ strike of 1926, but production resumed afterwards. In 1934 the Firbeck Pit Head Baths where opened which improved conditions with the opening of the pit baths in 1933. There was even a charge for these (6d per week) deducted from the miner's pay. By 1938 the colliery was owned by Firbeck Main Collieries Ltd of Chesterfield. The mine employed 1,457 underground workers and 357 surface workers.

The winding house and head-stocks, and the 55m chimney:

Firbeck Main old 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr

In 1940 the pit was taken over by the Doncaster Amalgamated Collieries Ltd and nationalised as part of the National Coal Board in 1947 and placed in the NCB North Eastern division, Area No 1. Production peaked in 1953 but after then problems gradually started to occur, including flooding, ventilation difficulties and geological faults. Transport of the coal to the surface was slow, as the shafts were unsuitable for the installation of mechanical skip winding. In March 1967, Firbeck was assigned to the South Yorkshire area along with Shireoaks, Steetley and Manton, before closing the following year in November 1968 due to “uneconomic production”, finally closing on 31st December 1968. Between 1970-71 both the up and downcast shafts where filled-in and the site abandoned.

Over it’s 43 years of operation, 60 men lost their lives at Firbeck Colliery, with hundreds more suffered life changing injuries.

2. The Explore
Came across this place when I spotted an old report. Given the lack of recent reports I assumed that this place had long gone. Then to my surprise, while looking at GoogleMaps at the nearby Firbeck Hall, spotted the former bathhouses. A little more digging and it came to light that there was still quite a lot to see here. And so it proved. The substantial bath houses, along with the enormous winding house were very much still there along with a few other buildings. In the end it turned out to be a great little wander. There’s a lot to see in physical terms, even though it is pretty much trashed. There is the added bonus of some fantastic graffiti by Colorquix and Brayk which made things even more enjoyable. It’s also very much an easy in making me wonder why it doesn’t come up on the forums very often. Visited with non-members Dale and Ryan.

3. The Pictures

First up – the bath houses:

img0685 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Firbeck 03 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0645 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Firbeck 10 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0628 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0631 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0625 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Firbeck 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Firbeck 09 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Firbeck 06 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Firbeck 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Firbeck 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr

This apocalyptic building was next to the bathhouses:

Firbeck 11 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0649 by HughieDW, on Flickr

On to the enormous winding house:

img0654 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Firbeck 20 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0655 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0668 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Firbeck 18 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0676bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

Firbeck 13 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0670 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0667 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0666 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0661 by HughieDW, on Flickr
 
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HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
CONTINUED:

There’s some great graff by Colorquix and Brayk here:

Firbeck 19 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Firbeck 16 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Firbeck 15 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0675 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Slightly further away, this building played some role in the rail link;

img0684 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0682 by HughieDW, on Flickr

While the remnants of some of the rail track are here:

img0681 by HughieDW, on Flickr

These red brick offices were part of the admin of the side of the pit. They would have been nice back in the day but are now pretty much trashed and burned. Photogenic, nether-the-less:

Firbeck 23 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Firbeck 25 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Firbeck 24 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Firbeck 21 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0700 by HughieDW, on Flickr

This was next to the office blocks and was the caretaker's house:

img0686 by HughieDW, on Flickr

This was what it looked like back in the day:

Firbeck offices by HughieDW, on Flickr

Overall, a great explore.
 
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MrDevla

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
This is a great report, for an area with such mining heritage it’s a shame to let these buildings get in this state. They could surely keep these structures and turn them into offices etc to preserve what little is left.
 

HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
This is a great report, for an area with such mining heritage it’s a shame to let these buildings get in this state. They could surely keep these structures and turn them into offices etc to preserve what little is left.
Cheers mate. And couldn't agree more with re-using the remaining structures.
 

Mr Sam

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Excellent you have just reminded me I've got some pics from here on a hard drive i never got round to putting on Flickr at the time!

Not sure if the stone and masonry yard is still operation out of some of the outbuildings but one of the pit shaft cap is just visible unless they have buried it now?

 

Mr Sam

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Decided upon having another mooch here today I am pleased to say the shaft cap stone is still visible at the rear (I've a feeling the stone company got in a bit of bother for covering up the other one but its still covered) and also came across a memorial to the colliery which seems to be nearing completion.



 

HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Excellent you have just reminded me I've got some pics from here on a hard drive i never got round to putting on Flickr at the time!

Not sure if the stone and masonry yard is still operation out of some of the outbuildings but one of the pit shaft cap is just visible unless they have buried it now?

Missed the capping stone. Next time!

I think we both might have been there on the same day.

That bath house is very photogenic

View attachment 804813

View attachment 804814

View attachment 804815
It is isn't it? Love the perspectives given how long and thin it is. Love that last shot of yours.
 

In2TheShad0Ws

28DL Member
28DL Member
this place looks amazing, i was at firbeck hall last month and was disappointed to see it under tight security, i think ive got to return to find this place and snap some pics for my collection, amazing report on its history, thanks
 

Crissisdecon

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
EDIT:

Hi there, we don't do video posts on the main forums anymore, we do however have a separate group for them, I've sent you an invite so you can share on there :thumb
 

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