Moorgreen Colliery – 1865-1985
The 25th closure anniversary of Moorgreen Colliery, near Eastwood recently took place. The colliery finished production in late July 1985. The colliery had been agreed for closure prior to the 1984-85 miners strike due to exhaustion of viable reserves.
The colliery was the last Eastwood pit of the Barber-Walker Company and the last pit to operate in the former NCB East Midlands No.5 Area. The pit featured in DH Lawrence’s “Sons and Lovers” as Minton Colliery.
A local saying was “What’s grayner then grayn”? – Answer – Moorgrayn (Eastwood dialect)
Brinsley Headstocks Festival – 12th September 2010
Just a short distance from Eastwood Hall lies the site of the former Brinsley Colliery. The colliery finished as a production unit in 1934 but the headstocks remained in position for egress and ventilation purposes till 1970. They returned to Brinsley from the ill fated Lound Hall Mining Museum in 1991. The headstocks are of the Tandem headstocks design which was popular in the Midlands coalfields in the 19th century.
The small festival saw a number of stalls with some putting on diplays of mining photos. A guided walk at 11am took in the former haunts of the famous Eastwood author, DH Lawrence. Lawrence’s father, Arthur, was a butty (sub-contractor) at Brinsley pit. The former pit site now forms part of the DH Lawrence Heritage based around the former authors birthplace museum in Eastwood.
Eastwood Hall – former Colliery Offices and British Coal Operations HQ
On Sunday 12th September the former coal HQ of British Coal and the Barber-Walker Company opened its doors to the public. Easdtwood Historical Society put on a small display about the history of the place. Eastwood Hall was the operations HQ for British Coal from c1986 till 1994. It was the former home of the Walker family of the Barber-Walker Coal Company. It is now owned by Hayley’s and is a conference and leisure centre.
Whoever though of putting the Scargill room and the McGregor room next to each other? Perhaps they should have preserved the rooms as they were as a monument to failure!
Pleasley Colliery – Heritage Open Day 11th September 2010
The second weekend in September each year sees thousands of heritage sites around the country open their doors to the public. The MuBu Miner attended the site of Pleasley Colliery on the Notts / Derbys border. The pit merged with Shirebrook in 1983 and both headstocks and steam winding engines are preserved. It is hoped to get them both steaming again sometime in the future.
Various stalls were at the event , many showing displays of mining memorabilia. Lamps and miners motties are very popular memorabilia items. It was a pleasure to see some former work colleages, including Terry Hickling (Chick) with his vintage Annesley Colliery Lorry. Also very interesting were some of the mining models on the Bilsthorpe Heritage Display stand – they were very lifelike.
Pye Hill Colliery Reunion
The MuBu Miner attended the 25th anniversary of the closure of Pye Hill Colliery in Nottinghamshire. Since around 1970 the pit had been a merger of the former Selston Colliery at Underwood and Pye Hill Colliery near Jacksdale on the Notts / Derby’s border. The last production shift was on 9th August 1985 in the Black Shale seam. The closure was due to exhaustion of viable reserves and was agreed at local level prior to the 1984-85 miners strike.
The reunion was held at the Dale Club in Jacksdale, the former Jacksdale Miners Welfare Club. Exhibitions were put on by the Jacksdale Area Cultural and Heritage Group (JACH’s) and Terry Tomlinson. The MuBu miner put on a Power-Point display of images from the Pye Hill Complex.
Food for thought – a relatively young man of 35 who would have worked at the pit for twenty years is now a older man of 60! How time flies.
The MuBu Coalmining Project took place from April 2010 to the end of March 2012. The remit was two-fold - firstly to see how the once vast coalmining industry in the East Midlands was represented in the Heritage sector and secondly to bring aspects of social media to that representation. The Coal mining project was funded by Renaissance East Midlands (REM) and the Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS) at the University of Nottingham. The Bursary holder is Dr. David Amos who completed a PHD on the 1984-85 Miners Strike in the Nottinghamshire Coalfield. David is an ex miner, having worked in the deep mining coal industry at Annesley Colliery for 24 years.