On 15th February 1937 South Normanton Colliery or Winterbank as it was known locally, was the scene of two violent explosions on 11′s district in the Waterloo seam. 7 men were killed and an 8th succumbed to the injuries a week later. Several other miners were injured. The explosion was a “double wamy” igniting both methane gas and coal-dust.
As with most explosions in the past crowds of men and women folk gathered at the pit head to hear of the dead or relief for the survivors. Volunteer miners assisted in the rescue operation and according to one of the survivors, Ram Simpson, they did so without thought of the danger to themselves.
South Normanton Colliery staggered on in production through World War Two (keep the home fires burning) and finally closed in 1951. It became a pumping station for minewater until the late 1960s to protect other nearby pits. Following the demolition of the headstocks the site became the home to the NCB South Nottinghamshire Transport Depot until 1988.
How many of the vast hordes that congregate on the site today would have though the site was a scene of immense tragedy 75 years ago. What is the site today I hear you ask; why its the McArthur Glen Shopping Outlet near Junction 28 of the M1 Motorway!
31st January 2012 saw the 20th anniversary of the closure of Sherwood Colliery near Mansfield Woodhouse in Nottinghamshire. The colliery finished production after 90 years due to the ever increasing problems associated with the problems of subsidence damage in the built up urban regions around Mansfield. Ironically the colliery achieved its highest ever output of 1,012,550 tons of coal only two years previously in 1989-90.
Lord Bernard Taylor of Mansfield, formerly MP for Mansfield in the 1960′s, was perhaps Sherwood’s most famous former employee. His 1972 book “Uphill all the way” told the story of a pit-lad making it to the House of Lords.
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.