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miamivice

Holbrook colliery shaft

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miamivice

Hi does anyone know the location or existence of the Holbrook Colliery shaft cap? I've had a wander round the site but can't find it?

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miamivice

That's assuming there is still evidence of a shaft there? When was it closed and capped off?

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lysander

The pit closed in 1944 and was finally demolished in 1961. I am told that the concrete cappings are behind the filling station on Station Road.

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miamivice

Does anyone have any pictures of Holbrook Colliery?

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lysander

I had a quick Google and noted that Sheffield Archives have at least one...SY/385/K137/1

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miamivice

I've made a visit to the site, it has the remains of possibly the pit head base approx 4m from the footpath, along the path running at 90 deg there's a wire netting fence that's dilapidated then inside there there was a steel tube poking out 3ft surrounded by some loose looking concrete. I'm not sure if this is the shaft as it should have some sort of identification?

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RLongden

After looking at some maps of the colliery site, overlaid with current aerial views, I took a stroll down to see if there were any remains of the many buildings that made up Holbrook Colliery, which were built during the years it was operational.

Starting on the East side, I walked South, parallel to the existing railway line, on the track bed that would have been the colliery branch line. I was surprised how marshy it was, with lots of standing water, reeds and rushes on either side of the path. At the extreme Southern end of the site, I checked the GPS co-ords and started walking back North, which should have taken me across the area most densely populated with buildings and the pit head itself. Sadly, apart from some clear signs of buildings having been there (piles of old bricks and broken concrete) there were no traces of actual buildings anywhere on the site. Also, the ground was covered in black shale and brick dust, typical of the kind of terrain where these types of buildings stood, but most of the site was so muddy as to make the going difficult.

Attached are some images that were taken on the visit, which hopefully will give some idea of the current state of the site. With the exception of the wide tracks across the site and the many smaller trails, cross-crossing between, almost the entire area is covered with trees and bushes, none of which look older than the 50 years since the colliery was demolished, but dense enough to make exploration difficult (along with the water and mud!)

The only building standing is the one next to the filling station, but appears to be unconnected to the colliery, as it only appears on maps post-closure of the colliery and is labelled 'dairy'. These are images 4&5 and the building is derelict, heavily graffitied and contains nothing particularly interesting.

What was intriguing were the structures in images 6-14, found at the point shown on the map. Although almost impossible to access , there was an extensive area of concrete, bricks, dressed stone and riveted girders (pre-dating welded fabrication) and the surrounding ground was distinctly more undulating that the rest of the site, which was almost level.

I have tracked down a number of images of Holbrook Colliery, held at the National Archive in Kew, but they are non-digitised media, mostly film and plate negatives. The cost of having these developed by the Archives is prohibitive, so I plan on arranging to visit when next in the area, to explore what other options of obtaining these images.

There's not much here, but hopefully it will be of some interest? If I manage to obtain the images of the colliery, I'll post them here , as and when.

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Unitedite Returns

An excellent bit on investigative work, and very interesting.

I do know a little about the remaining building structures and I can confirm that, to the best of my knowledge, that they were not connected with the colliery.

They were originally erected by the Express Dairy Company, as a milk distribution depot, and were used primarily, in their later years, as a collection point by a number of private, doorstep milk retailers, [bottled milk buyers], operating in that local area.

I seem to think that their dairy association finished sometime in the early 1990's and afterwards, were taken over by another, non-dairy related business, although, as to whom they were, and as to what they traded, unfortunately I cannot recall.

 

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miamivice

Rlongden... As you see the pit head foundation in your picture, looking at it from the footpath, if you walk a little further south there's a small unpaved path that goes parallel with the track bed, follow that and to your right after about 50m, you will see there is some chain link fencing albeit dilapidated, get through that and there's a pipe that comes out the ground surrounded by some loose looking gravel. This might be the shaft cap. I'm informed by the Coal Authority that there's 3 shafts , 2 filled in 1959, then another that was unfilled until the late 1980's that was filled and capped in around 1988. This may be the one I've seen. Could be wrong but go and have a look. Take care though!

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RLongden

Thanks 'miamivice'. When it dries out a little, I'll take another look, as it's like the Okefenokee down there right now!

.............. and I'll strap a plank to my back he he

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miamivice

If I get time at weekend I'll try and get a picture of what I mean. I'm sure I must look a bit odd poking about in the bushes looking for this sort of stuff. I half expect the police turning up assuming I'm about to pounce on someone!

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RLongden

Using a bit of 'Blue Peter' cut-and-paste magic, I overlaid the 1956 map on the modern aerial view and transposed the locations of the two shafts, shown on the maps (see below). They look about bang on the location you are describing, so I'd certainly have a fiver on it! You also mentioned something about a bit of pipe sticking out of the ground, so d'you think that might be the remains of the pumping station that was shown in the 1981 map? That in turn could have been one of the shafts that they used to pump water out of the workings (to relieve Westhorpe, Brookhouse or Beighton pits maybe?) before sealing that off too in '88?

Pure speculation of course, but it's the thrill of the chase..................... :)

 

 

 

Holbrook Colliery_Shafts Location.jpg

Holbrook_Colliery_Modern_1956_Cropped.jpg

Holbrook_Colliery_1981_Cropped.jpg

 

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miamivice

It's about there yes. The pipe is approx 15cm diameter IIRC. The chain link fencing is about right for the time it was filled in. Further to this there's an Adit on the north side of the site facing EMR site, that was treated in the early 1990's. It was open until that time then subsequently stopped with some concrete with a 2ft access vent. Another one to look for!!! Comes out roughly where the pond appears on the 1980s map.

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miamivice

Im guessing the pumping station shut down once the other pits had given up the ghost. Have you seen my other post about Swallows Colliery on the Mosborough Collieries post?

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miamivice

Found it! There's a concrete trig point that demarks the position of the shaft. It's no longer bearing the steel plate showing when it was filled in, but from research it was filled in in 1959. Approx 6m to its right is a steel vent pipe, with some slightly subsided soil round it, although blocked presumably provided ventilation. To the north west there's also a concrete patch approx 4m square. A cap to another air shaft.

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RLongden

Nice one! Thought it might be a little more impressive, like Birley East cap, but a lump of concrete is never going to be glamorous, is it? Did anyone ever turn up any photos of the colliery before it was levelled? I only ask, as there's those negatives still at the National Archives in Kew and I'm heading down to 'Landan' in a couple of weeks and was toying with the notion of calling for a butchers?!....

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miamivice

I've not seen a single photo of the pit prior to its closure. The actual photo of the marker won't upload so I'll have to pop down and take another picture. Apparently the 2 shafts were filled in during the late 1950's then a subsequent shaft filled in 1988, beyond the pits closure the shafts still serviced the pits in killamarsh by way of ventilation. 

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RLongden

lol

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RLongden

I took the opportunity whilst in London to visit the National Archives and request the information they were holding on Holbrook Colliery, the extent of which were a dozen or so photographs in a folder. Despite the copying equipment being out of order, I managed to get some decent copies on my phone, of the front image and the description on the back of each.

To my disappointment, the photographs appear to be of Norwood Colliery, as it appears this was referred to as 'Holbrook No.2', even though I have never seen it on any map of the period? After doing some more research, it appears the Holbrook Colliery at Holbrook is actually 'Holbrook No.3' (unless anyone knows different?).

The reason I know the location of the photos is that one clearly shows the Angel Inn on the right of the image, with '(OLD) ALBION BEERS' on the roof, the Old Albion Brewery. The background of the photo also shows Rotherham road, the hill climbing towards Wales Bar, with the terraced houses of the period just above the Angel on the same side of the road.

The ongoing mystery is that although some of the photos are clearly of Norwood and marked as such (Holbrook No.2), others are just marked 'Holbrook' and although the buildings, winding gear, chimneys look of a different construction, there are no clues of the surrounding topography to get any bearings on the actual location?

All the photos are interesting in their own right, with several of people that were managers, directors and staff at the colliery. Others are of the buildings that were on the site. The frustrating thing is that (with the exception of the ones with landmarks) the photos could be of any of the 'Holbrook' collieries, of which there are at least three (but I'm yet to find where or what No.1 was?)

Once I've tidied up the images in Photoshop, if anyone's interested, I'll post them here, so others may have some view on locations?

The only consolation of the entire day was after battling the train, Tube, the crowds and the general chaos, it reminded me what a great place 'Oop North' is lol

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lysander

I have a number of OAP friends who have lived around Halfway and Holbrook all their lives. Next time I see them ,over a cup of tea, I will ask for their memories ( if I remember)

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RLongden

Thanks lysander and if the records are relating to the Holbrook colliery at Holbrook / Halfway, rather than Norwood, it ceased production in 1944 and was demolished in 1956. So, your friends may remember the derelict buildings, if not the working colliery? It would be fascinating to find out and if anyone was snapping away with their box brownie, the teas are on me! lol

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RLongden

Holbrook No.2 (Norwood) Colliery

Photo 3, Angel Inn on extreme right

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lysander

I was with an old collier ( Renishaw Park) this afternoon whose father worked at Holbrook until it closed. He was then transferred to Norwood Colliery where the work was considered to be hard...the seam was only about 6 inches thick and had to be worked by pick and shovel lying on ones back...that really is the "price of coal". Norwood Colliery , he tells me, is now occupied by an industrial estate ( Coopers Tours and Coopers Transport occupy most of the area.) He then told me that after Norwood was worked out his father went to Waleswood Colliery. The photos are revealing especially those of the baths...which for all the world looks to me like a cooling tower for the pits own electric generator.

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Unitedite Returns
8 minutes ago, lysander said:

I was with an old collier ( Renishaw Park) this afternoon whose father worked at Holbrook until it closed. He was then transferred to Norwood Colliery where the work was considered to be hard...the seam was only about 6 inches thick and had to be worked by pick and shovel lying on ones back...that really is the "price of coal". Norwood Colliery , he tells me, is now occupied by an industrial estate ( Coopers Tours and Coopers Transport occupy most of the area.) He then told me that after Norwood was worked out his father went to Waleswood Colliery. The photos are revealing especially those of the baths...which for all the world looks to me like a cooling tower for the pits own electric generator.

What fascinating images and thank you for posting.

It is difficult to accurately judge the size of the large timber tower, but I must admit, that it has all the appearance of a coking oven, quenching tower.

However, there appears to be no sign at all of the coke oven batteries themselves, that would normally be associated with such a structure, and so I would surmise that it must have been used for some other purpose.

Perhaps some function similar to that of an electricity station cooling tower, as Lysander has mentioned above? Could be a boiler house alongside, judging from the vapour hanging around the roof.

Certainly, it would be nice to know as to what purpose it did serve.

 

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