Report - Wardley Coal Disposal Point, Nr S'land

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Super Moderator
Staff member
Oct 20, 2005
Visit with a Fox and a Wasp... Many thanks to Northern Exposure for taking us along on his first time inside.

History, shamelessley pilfered foom an old post:rolleyes:

The Wardley site was originally Wardley No.1 Colliery - this was in production prior to 1868 when it was acquired by John Bowes & Partners. It was closed in 1911 and replaced by nearby Follonsby Colliery. Wardley was reopened in 1938 by the Washington Coal Co, nationalised in 1947 and was merged with Follonsby Colliery by the NCB around 1959. This in turn was merged with Usworth Colliery in 1969 and it finally closed in August 1974.

The site was then re-used for an opencast washery named Wardley Disposal Point - this is what remains. A Disposal Point was usually a central coal washery serving a number of separate opencast sites, though occasionally was just for one long life site. Wardley DP was opened in 1989 or 1990 as a replacement for Swalwell DP, the site of which was then used for the Metro Centre. Wardley passed to RJB Mining (now UK Coal) on privatisation in 1995 and was closed in 2005. However, it may reopen at some point as UK Coal has other potential opencast sites in the area which would use Wardley.

The site now seems to be used by a container and skip hire outfit named Containers 2000.

Now as you all know I love my coal sites, and a coal site I have not been to is a rare breed in this country. So I was thriled at the chance to have a pop at one. After posting ourselves through the tiny access point, we navigated, mostly without torchlight, through the conveyers. Once inside the geography of the place made no sense at all! Luckily I had taken one external picture in the fading light, which we referred to. Very untouched inside. Electric on throughout, radio contact still buzzing away, the site is really mothballed than derelict.

A good explore... I should love to return in the light at some point.

















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