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Alaska.
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Posts: 1404

A brief history of some of the more prominant mines that sprang up, or should I say went down, between 1800 and 1890. Just click on the page heading above. More areas to be added later, and I will include the names of some long dead miners, as requested.



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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

August 25, 2011 at 11:07 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1404

A full list of the Mines of West Bromwich and the Owners, from 1865, to 1880, is now in my files. If you have ever wondered if there was one close to where you live, just drop me an email, or post a request.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

October 23, 2011 at 9:53 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1404

I almost missed the comment posted by Len Fanthom concerning a mining relative. No dates mentioned i'm afraid, however Len, does this fit in with what you know. There's a William Ball, birth registered in Cambourne, Cornwall, in 1873. He is listed as having an accident in the mine at Callington, which was a tin mine. He fell down a "pass ". ( a short shaft connecting two different levels ) injuring his shoulder and badly cutting his chin. There's a William Ball, in 1911, living at 20, East Street, Lower Gornal, not far from Shavers End, Dudley, and he has 3 sons, and 4 daughters. By this time, most of the nearest pits had closed down, Didale No1 and No 2, as had the mine at Russells Hall. A new mine had started up in production in 1910, The Baggeridge Colliery, which went on to employ between1,500, and 2,000 men. All the mines mentioned were owned by the Earls of Dudley.  Sorry I can't be more specific, but do let me know if I have the right man.



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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

February 28, 2012 at 3:03 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1404

Now if anyone in the Blackcountry mentions the name Monmore Green, two things spring to mind, Speedway and Dog Racing. The area is sandwiched between the Bilston and Ettingshall Roads to the east, Birmingham Road and Thompson Avenue to the west, and at the southern end, Parkfield Road. It may be full of housing now, but way back in time, it was a hive of industry. This small area contained four Coal mines, Cockshutt Colliery, shafts sunk around 1818, Monmore Green Green Colliery, sunk around 1830, Rough Hills Colliery, sunk around 1829 and the New Rough Hills Colliery, sunk around 1858. There were also two Ironworks, including the Wolverhampton Furnace's, ( Later the Victoria Ironworks ) a Chemical Works, and also two Brickworks. A very busy and smoky part of Wolverhampton, and some close customers for the mine owners. Cockshutts Colliery, as well as producing coal, also bought up a conciderable amount of Ironstone as well, which must have pleased it's owners, Aston and Corns, ( Could also be spelled Ashton.1859 ) and Aston and Shaw. ( 1862 ) The mine seems to have closed about 1871. Rough Hills was owned, amongst others in 1856, by Cadman and Dodds, Henry Hill, and in 1858, by Corns and Ashton. It was this last partnership which open the new mine in 1859, next door to the old one. Aston and Shaw owned it in 1863, followed by J Cadman and Company in 1864, who held on until 1870, when it was lasty owned by W. & E Fenn. It closed around 1880. I can only find one owner of the Monmore Green Pit, Corbett and Company, and it has disappeared from the records by the late 1860s. They were all small pits, at least two of them were operated by horse driven gins. It was at the Monmore Green pit, that a pit bank wench, Mary Swift, fell to her death whilst fitting on the net used to lower and haul up the horses. She was just turned 21, and the shaft was over a 100 feet deep. Cockshutts Lane, off Thompson Avenue is almost on the site of the old mine, as is Rough Hills Road, for the other two. The nearest I could place the Monmore pit would be the end of Cable Street, where it meets Caledonia Road. If anyone has further information on the mines, do let me know.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

September 19, 2012 at 3:46 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
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Posts: 1404

Back down the road in Tipton and Coseley, one small mine owner made a name for himself. Edward Wones, who was born in the district when it was still a part of the Parish of Sedgley, in 1834, was the son of John Wones, a stone miner, who worked for the Earl of Dudley, at Wrens Nest, Woodsetton. He, and presumably the family, had moved into the area from Westbury, in Shropshire, where he was born in 1804. His father, Edward Wones was reported to have been killed in the 1820s, when supervising explosive charges during the mining in Wrens Nest Caverns. Edwards career followed his father John's, he became a miner, and then a Coal Master after his father died in 1869. He was involved with the old Hurst Colliery in Tipton, in 1870, the Foxyards Colliery in 1876, the old Bran Colliery at Bilston, in partnership with Joseph Wones, his brother from about 1881 to the 1890s, and the Coseley Moor Colliery being their last venture. Joseph died in 1892. The Collieries had all gone by the early 1900s. He lived for many years at Straits House, Lower Gornal, ( and had, it appears, a second home in mid Wales for a time ) and became first, a member of the early district Council Board, ( 1884 ) and in 1892, voted to be its Chairman. An active man around the area, improving the living conditions for many, he died, aged 86, in 1920. Sadly mourned by many, and a careful man it seems when it came to money, for he left behind what today would equate into a very substancial sum, £33,988.3s.3d. An unusual name, and for an old time Coal Master, an unusual philanthropic nature.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

December 12, 2012 at 10:53 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
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Posts: 1404

Noah Hingley, Benjamin Hingley, George B Hingley.


Now although well known for the production of Anchors, Chains, and Quality Iron, not so well known is the Companies ownership of several mines. When Noah Hingley aquired the works at Netherton, there was a coal mine already operating on the site. It was however almost worked out, so a second mine was purchased, Reddal Hill, in nearby Old Hill. Next they purchased the Manor Collieries, just off Manor Lane in Halesowen, followed by the Old Hill Colliery, and then opened the most profitable, Gawne Colliery, in the late 1860s. This was also the most dangerous, for no less than 12 men lost their lives working here, 5 of them during the lifetime of Noah Hingley. The Dudley Wood Colliery, which came with the purchase from The British Iron Company's bankrupt sale, was finally closed in 1880, and Benjamin Hingley expanded the mining operation after his father died in 1877. A new mine was opened at Netherton, The Primrose Colliery, and the Company, having sustained loss'es on the Manor mine, purchased the fairly new Golden Orchard Colliery, at Coombes Wood. It's not clear, when the Company purchased The Old Hill Iron Works, from the liquidators of the New British Iron Co. ,  around 1893, if the Powke Lane Estate, included the Colliery then still in operation next to the works, and called Pearsons Colliery. J.& W Pearson had sold it around 1879, to Gill Brothers, who still worked it in 1884. In 1896, Hingley's opened a new pit, The Blue Bell, just south of the Gawne, the spoil heap from which, threatened to overwhelm the White Lion Inn, then at the end of Cox's Lane. By 1920, nearly all of their mines, bar one, Golden Orchad, had either closed, or become uneconomical. Surprisingly, they had refused to contribute to the running of the pumping station at the bottom of Waterfall Lane, which had forced all the mines lower down the valley to close. The Company had, during it fairly short history of mining, had over 30 men killed in their mines. Not all the deaths were the fault of the company, but some of the treatment of those that were, left a great deal to be desired. Some widow's. struggling to make ends meet, had to repeatedly remind the company, that the free load of coal they were entitled to, had failed to be delivered as required. Very few, got any other kind of compensation, even when it was proved, that subsidence from the mining had  seriously damaged their homes. Large employers they may have been, but Noah Hingley's were never as benevolent as most would have you believe.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

December 15, 2013 at 2:43 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1404

Now it's virtually impossible to list all the mines in a given area, for many names are lost in the passage of time, indeed, some were never properly recorded at all. A recent question, regarding Cop Hall Colliery, West Bromwich, is a case in point. It was quite a small undertaking, owned by James Bagnall and Sons, and operated by one Daniel Lambeth, ( well at least until his untimely death in 1880 ) acting as Chartermaster to the owners. Situated just south of the canal bridge in Sheepwash Lane, near the old brickworks in the New Town area of Great Bridge, it seems to have ceased production around 1887/89. The coal would have been used in either the local Iron works of Tipton, or even used to power the ovens of the brickworks. A branch of the old Tame Valley Canal provided a wharfe, which itself was a short distance from the Dudley Port section of the Birmingham Canal.


Another question that has arisen was how did they fill in the old shafts you see marked on the older maps of the Black Country. Small pits sometime didn't bother, just putting on the top a wooden cover and covering it with earth and spoil. Others took a bit more care and filled in with the spoil and then capped the shaft with a domed brick structure, or built a wall around the danger spot. It was left to later Councils and Housing developers to complete the work for many only came to light while the land was being leveled. There were no regulations to compel an owner to guarantee that the work was to a satisfactory standard, until after the 1890s. There are many recorded cases, of children and adults coming to a nasty end at the bottom of one of these long abandoned shafts. Wednesbury was a blackspot for such accidents, for mining here had a history from before the 1800s.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

August 9, 2014 at 3:08 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1404

While researching the above topic, I came across a rather unfortunate incident, dated 1915, which took place in Dudley Port, Tipton. The poor victim lived in Cleton Street, and to make it worse, she was just 3 years old. Richard Hampton, ( the girls father ) told the inquest, that about an hour before the dreadful event, he was "nursing" his young daughter at home. He only realised something was wrong, when some children arrived, bearing some alarming news, ' Emma's in the Pit ' . Mary Emma Hampton, was indeed in the pit, for she had fallen over 600 feet to the bottom. A witness, another youngster, John Whitehouse, who also lived in Cleton Street, said they had been playing at the site, which was not fenced off, throwing cans and other stuff down the old shaft. The old mine in question, was the Tividale Hall Colliery, which records suggest, had been abandoned for some time, and which was about 600 yards south of Cleton Street. The last owners appear to have been Downing and Priest, and no efforts had been made to fill in the old shaft, or to cap it effectively. Whitehouse said Emma had been swinging on some bars at the top of the shaft when she fell, which would indicate there was no wall of fence around the opening. The fact that it was supposedly private property, and young Emma had no right to be there, seems to have cleared the owners of any blame for the tragic death. There were at least two Pits in the same area, The Hall Colliery being one, ( the old shafts on that were also still open) and the other one, The Port Colliery. Not a very healthy place then for young children was Dudley Port, borne out after the War, by the terrible loss of life in a huge ammunition explosion. Accidental death said the Inquest Jury, and I can't help wondering just where Richard Hampton really was that Sunday afternoon about 3.30pm, as his daughter plunged to her doom, down that dark and deep mine shaft.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

August 15, 2014 at 3:40 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1404

A recent request highlights the difference between actually owning the Colliery, as against the far more common practice of Leasing it. I have many enquiries about the subject of Mine ownership, and the assumption, that just because that was what was entered in a Census must be true, is incorrect. Some however get it right. Benjamin Chavasse, and his brothers, Joseph and Samuel, leased mines from The Earl of Dudley, and The Earl of Dartmouth.  All of what they leased had been operating for many years, and were no as profitable as their owners wished, so they were, in effect, rented out to those willing to take a gamble for profit. Around 1850, Benjamin Chavasse took on a pit at Ettingshall, Sedgley, and worked it for about 20 years, only losing four men in the process. Concidering the times, not a bad safety record, as the deaths included a careless shaft sinker, who managed to fall down the shaft he had just completed. In a partnership named Chavasse and Wilcox, they held the lease for a time, in 1855, of Church Lane Colliery, West Bromwich. This mine produced both Coal and Fireclay. Under the name of Benjamin Chavasse and Company, he held the lease, in 1859, for the Colliery at Deepfields, Coseley. His brother Joseph meanwhile, held the lease, in 1858, for one of the Earl of Dudleys pits, Kingswinford Colliery. Again, this mine produced both Coal and Clay, and was still in production in 1872 under the control of P. Chavasse. As the owners had already profited greatly in the early years, not many of those willing to risk a few pounds made a vast fortune. Just enough to live a fairly comfortable life.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

March 10, 2015 at 11:47 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1404

In 1867, the Mine Agents, who worked the collieries for the actual owners, dicided to form their own organisation. Very similar to that which the Iron Works owners had done many years before. It had a rather grand sounding , and a very long name. The Incorporated Society of Mine Agents of South Staffordshire and East Worcestershire. These were the men mostly called " Coalmasters ",  although the true masters were the owners such as the Earls of Dudley and Dartmouth. In the second year of operation, 1869, over 60 of them met at the Dudley Arms Hotel, Dudley, to listen to speaker on the subject of mining, and to preview inventions, and new ideas and theories of better mining. Now they were not all listed as attending, but for those who have an interest in the subject, here are the names of men who did.


William North, Daniel Davies, David Peacock, John Aston, James Lindop, A. H. Lindop, Richard Thomas Jnr, Thomas Checkley, Aaron Evans, Elijah Davies, Edward Greenway, John Fellows, Isaac White, Thomas Latham, William Blakemore, George Spruce, William Hartshorne, Thomas Oakes, Matthew Fletcher, John Williamson, Benjamin Caswell, Thomas Roper, Walter Ness, James Cope, Joseph Cole, John Lawley, Henry Johnson Jnr, James Hammonds, John Field, William Spruce, Richard Evans, Jonathon Bowen, Isaac Mecham, John Hughes, Isiah Foley, James Ritson, Jeremiah Skidmore, Benjamin Callear, and J. H. Cooksey. Missing from the list due to illness, was the Societies President, Job Taylor, who was also the Mayor of Dudley.


The mines they worked, are not listed either. but I can say that Jeremiah Skidmore was a bit of an expert on the extraction of Fireclay from around Stourbridge and Lye. If you have been lucky enough to spot a family name, I wish you well in the research, for you now know your relative was certainly taking an interest in the subject matter. Another man with knowlege of the work, William Blakemore, agve a detailed account of the various Coals that would be encountered. Bituminous, burnt hot but left behind a stcky residue that would clog up the boiler. Anthracite, not in abundance in South Staffs, but the best steam coal, and much in demand. Cannel Coal, and the Chemical composition of New Mine Coal, which wasmuch given to produce obnoxious and inflamable Gas and was a dangerous coal to mine. Shallow Coal, and Bottom Hole Coal, both of which wre of poor quality, but could be used to fire the brickyard kilns. Following a question, he them went on to say that since the reign of Henry III, ( 1239 ) Coal had been mined in the region in ever increasing amounts. He believed, that in spite of over 10 million tons being mined every year, the stocks would last for another 100 years. ( He didn't take into account the wasteful way it was mined, for by the 1880s, most of those named above were out of work, the Colleries long abandoned )  Some of them though, already owned a profitable Ironworks, see if you spot them.



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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

April 6, 2015 at 3:35 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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