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Forum Home > Mining History. > Moat Colliery, Tipton, c1812

Alaska.
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Posts: 1409

Not the first mine in Tipton by any means, but when put up for sale by the Turton family from West Bromwich, listed were some interesting items. The main problem with almost all the mines in the area, was the constant ingress of water. It was in the end, this water, that put paid to nearly all the mines west of Tipton. The mine, situated near Upper Church Lane, Tipton, had been fitted, at some conciderable expense I suspect, with not one, but two Water Engines. Built by Boulton and Watt, at the Soho Foundry, Smethwick, in 1812, they could pump, from a depth of over 150 feet, enough water in an hour, to fill a swimming pool. They served a dual purpose as well, for the mine, covering over 171 acres of boggy land, had the Birmingham Canal as a near neighbour, the excess water being fed directly into it. ( no doubt Mr Turton charged for this ) These Engines were double beamed, unlike the previous models such as the Smethwick Engine, ( currently in the Think Tank, Birmingham ) but would have been similar to the engine sited on a Traffic Island, at Dartmouth Circus, also in Birmingham. This engine was built in 1817, for M W Grazebrook, Netherton, and was for blowing air into the furnaces, rather than pumping water. In the sale documents was listed a Rail Road, Waggons, Ropes, and several Gins. ( Horse powered for raising the coal, a rotary engine, suitable for winding, came later ) Interestingly again, there were no Chains, for hauling the loaded tubs up the shafts, surprising, given that the mine produced 1,500 tons a week. Why the Turtons sold up is something of a mystery, they had only mined 71 acres of the site, and had over 100 years left on the lease. Beneath the thick coal, lay another seam, and below that, a great deal of Ironstone. Customers weren't a problem either, as they were almost surrounded by Ironworks, at Bloomfield and Horseley Heath being just two. The price paid isn't listed.

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

April 15, 2012 at 11:47 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1409

One of the reasons for highlighting this mine, was that it had such a long history, not all of it good. It changed hands a few times, but according to the records, by 1830, it was owned by The Moat Colliery Company. I've said elsewere on the site, record keeping was never a strong point with any of the early mine owners, and there in an almost total silence on accidents until 1830. On the 2nd April,1830, Job Haines, a Pikeman, was killed by an explosion of sulphurous air. His relatives went on to own and operate quite a few mines in both Tipton, and Rowley Regis. ( They will feature in a future item in the Mines and Owners Page )  Back to the Moat Colliery, and the next accident is recorded in 1863, mainly due to some records being destroyed in a fire. Richard Adams, 51, a Bondsman, was blown halfway down the gate road, when a collapse of coal released a large quantity of gas. It was sparked off by his candle, and put his lights out for good. James Rogers, age unknown, was badly injured on 8th September 1865, and died on 7th October, from a large fall of coal. There were 4 fatal accidents in 1868, Joseph Jephson, 28, on 11th March, when the roof fell in after he had taken out to many supporting timbers, James Thomas, age unknown, injured on 2nd April by a roof fall, but lasted until 8th October, Joseph Parkes, 50, injured by falling coal on 14th November, dying on the 20th, and William Baker, 44, whose job it was to hook up the loaded skips, got crushed to death underneath the decending cage, while apparently " fooling around ". A steady stream of deaths continued. Henry Gordon,16, a Horse Driver in Jan 1869, John Thomas, 25, a Bondsman, a few months later in April, and two serious injuries to round off the year. James Evens,17, was found dead under the cage in May 1875, William Grainger, 27, an experienced shaft sinker, and his mate, James Whitehouse, were cast down the shaft, at conciderable speed,  when the winding engine brakes failed, and Henry Grimsall,18, a horse driver was killed in an explosion. ( The horse survived )  When the pit finished producing coal, due to the high water table in the area, the mine was taken over by the Mines Drainage Commissioners. From then until it closed, it pumped out millions of gallons of water, which kept a few other pits in the area in production. By the early 1900s, there were not many left in full working order in Tipton, most had closed down, either just before, or just after the Great War. I do not have the date of the old Moats demise, can anyone help?

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

April 18, 2012 at 4:14 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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