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Holbrook colliery shaft

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RLongden
12 minutes ago, Unitedite Returns said:

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.

 

Apologies, but I'm still in the process of trying to edit the photos I took at the National Archives into something suitable that I can post here. There are several more of the buildings and plant at the colliery, as well as some people photos at the 1937 Eckington Carnival. I'll try and get these posted ASAP chaps, so please watch this space...... and thanks for your comments.

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Unitedite Returns
6 minutes ago, RLongden said:

Apologies, but I'm still in the process of trying to edit the photos I took at the National Archives into something suitable that I can post here. There are several more of the buildings and plant at the colliery, as well as some people photos at the 1937 Eckington Carnival. I'll try and get these posted ASAP chaps, so please watch this space...... and thanks for your comments.

Sorry RL, it was not my intention in anyway to pressurise you! The photographs that you have posted are very interesting indeed and thanks, once again, for all the effort that you have expended.

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RLongden

Next batch, fresh out of Photoshop.....

Holbrook Colliery, taken during the 1937 Eckington Carnival

 

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RLongden
47 minutes ago, Unitedite Returns said:

Sorry RL, it was not my intention in anyway to pressurise you! The photographs that you have posted are very interesting indeed and thanks, once again, for all the effort that you have expended.

No need to apologise. I'm not feeling pressurised, just slightly frustrated trying to get the images off my phone and into a format that will make for easy viewing here. Still working on the rest...... :)

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RLongden
1 hour 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.

I believe the photographs are meant to show the proposed site for the pithead baths? Strange that, as the canal runs virtually in front of that tower, so one wonders where they intended to build the baths?

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lysander

The photos are fascinating. I shall try and show them to the old tea drinkers I know nd see if any more light can be shed on them. Miss Well's was a benefactor of St.Mark's Church in nearby Mosborough ( Halfway and Holbrook were a part of the Parish) A mission Church had been erected at Holbrook to serve the mining community...this has been demolished but the Methodist Church building still exists...as a tyre fitting bay.

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RLongden

Holbrook Colliery. Chimney, Coke Ovens, Headgear and Winding Engine House.

Photos taken 1944-1956, between closure and demolition.

 

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Unitedite Returns

Quite brilliant. Thank you so very much indeed for posting.

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RLongden

If the images were of any interest, then it was worth the effort to go and copy them from the National Archives, just a pity their photograph scanners were busted? When I'm there again, I have the reference on my readers record, so may get some better detailed images. However, I doubt even then we would be able to see if the collection was of the different 'Holbrook' collieries, or these were just all of Norwood (Holbrook No.2) from different locations, angles and perspectives?

There are some clues that I need to give some more thought to. Like the differences between the headgear, the adjacent buildings, the different styles of chimney, the gasometer (behind the carnival float).... or I could just get out more? :P

Did Norwood have Coke Ovens, or was that just the Holbrook (Halfway) Colliery? No.1, 3., or whatever number it was? If not, the ovens and the gasometer would not have been there? Headgear on Images 8 & 9 is on a raised site (with a retaining wall). Headgear on Image 2 is on a level site, no wall?

The plot thickens.........!

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lysander

I am told the Holbrook 1, 2 and 3 referred to the three shafts that were sunk on the site.

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lysander

wI spoke to my friends this afternoon and nothing really new came up about Holbrook except, forgive me if it has already been mentioned, a1939 article from the Star about Worrall's coal mine.  The article reads:-

"At a one horsepower coal mine nestling in green fields away from the main Rotherham Road at Killamarsh Mr John Joseph Worrall, is owner, manager, wheel wright, blacksmith, tub repairer and anything else the occasion demands. The mine has been in his family for over 100 years and it still continues to work at full pressure. It was sunk by the present owners grandfather and after closing for a short time, re-opened in 1913.Occasionally, the mine which is run by eight men and Mr Worrall has produced as much as 150 tons in a week but today weekly output is about 50 tons. Coal is brought from the depths of the  60 feet deep shft by means of a horse-operated "Jenny" wheel. The shaft is hewn through hard rock and is about 10 feet wide."

The mine lasted a few years longer and was dismantled in 1943

The above is taken from an illustrated booklet entitled "Halfway and Holbrook the Early Years" by James Walton which was published privately in 1996. The booklet contains a few illustrations of Holbrook Colliery including ...the Colliery Offices ,the Lamp Room, a party of youngsters walking at side of Pit Chimney, a semi-dismantled view of the cooling towers,,,,in snow and Holbrook Colliery Ambulance Brigade.

 

I am pretty useless with IT but will try and post them on here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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RLongden

I thought that the 'Wiki' page below had nailed the locations of Holbrook No.1 & 2, which is Holbrook / Halfway and Norwood respectively, until I tried to corroborate this elsewhere, for example on the DMM site.  http://www.dmm.org.uk/company/w1026.htm

No.3 was a big concern, judging by the number of men above and below ground, but is 3 the same site as 1 or what, as there's not even a mention of 1 on the DMM records???

There's lots more info to wade through, to find the locations 3&4, which must surely be documented (and ideally mapped) somewhere?

Looking forward to seeing your post lysander

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RLongden
15 hours ago, lysander said:

wI spoke to my friends this afternoon and nothing really new came up about Holbrook except, forgive me if it has already been mentioned, a1939 article from the Star about Worrall's coal mine.  The article reads:-

"At a one horsepower coal mine nestling in green fields away from the main Rotherham Road at Killamarsh Mr John Joseph Worrall, is owner, manager, wheel wright, blacksmith, tub repairer and anything else the occasion demands. The mine has been in his family for over 100 years and it still continues to work at full pressure. It was sunk by the present owners grandfather and after closing for a short time, re-opened in 1913.Occasionally, the mine which is run by eight men and Mr Worrall has produced as much as 150 tons in a week but today weekly output is about 50 tons. Coal is brought from the depths of the  60 feet deep shft by means of a horse-operated "Jenny" wheel. The shaft is hewn through hard rock and is about 10 feet wide."

The mine lasted a few years longer and was dismantled in 1943

The above is taken from an illustrated booklet entitled "Halfway and Holbrook the Early Years" by James Walton which was published privately in 1996. The booklet contains a few illustrations of Holbrook Colliery including ...the Colliery Offices ,the Lamp Room, a party of youngsters walking at side of Pit Chimney, a semi-dismantled view of the cooling towers,,,,in snow and Holbrook Colliery Ambulance Brigade.

 

I am pretty useless with IT but will try and post them on here.

The paragraph describing Worrall's coal mine sounded familiar, so I looked through my reference material and...

Streetfield, Worrall and Holbrook Collieries

The piece by Alan Rowles puts the location somewhere along Hollow Lane at Halfway, whereas the location in your description I would have thought was more like the small coal mines behind Barbers Row in Killamarsh?

You can see the cluster of small collieries on Hollow Lane, at the bottom left hand corner of this map

Yorkshire CCXCIX.NE - 1902

(which also begs the question whether the Pumping Shaft of Holbrook Colliery, also shown on the map, is the elusive Holbrook No.4???)

I'd be very interested to see your post on extracts from "Halfway and Holbrook the Early Years" and would like to try and get a copy of it if possible. When you say it was published privately, do you know if it was ever on sale and does it have an ISBN number?

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lysander

 The book was, I understand ,only sold locally amongst friends and acquaintances. It doesn't have an ISBN but as the author I am told, had been a Councillor it is quite possible he deposited one at the Local Studies.

The article was written by a reporter in the Star and the location is quoted verbatim...but there is a note in the booklet which confirms the site as being on Hollow Lane, Halfway

As I mentioned in an earlier posting my old local friends opinion is that Holbrook 1,2 and 3 were the shafts,,,but age does play tricks with memory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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RLongden
4 hours ago, lysander said:

 The book was, I understand ,only sold locally amongst friends and acquaintances. It doesn't have an ISBN but as the author I am told, had been a Councillor it is quite possible he deposited one at the Local Studies.

The article was written by a reporter in the Star and the location is quoted verbatim...but there is a note in the booklet which confirms the site as being on Hollow Lane, Halfway

As I mentioned in an earlier posting my old local friends opinion is that Holbrook 1,2 and 3 were the shafts,,,but age does play tricks with memory

 

I found the book at Local Studies, so I'll arrange to go and take a look

It was the 'Rotherham Road, Killamarsh' that threw me. If it had said 'Rotherham Road, Halfway', that would have made more sense, but given there is a Rotherham Road in both villages (although up to 1896, Rotherham Road, Killamarsh was known as Gannow Lane and Halfway didn't even exist?!). Easy mistake to make!?!

I'm working on the theory that Holbrook 1&3 were the two shafts at Holbrook / Halfway and Norwood was known as Holbrook No.2 when J&G Wells bought the colliery from the Sheepbridge Iron Company c.1880's, but the maps continued to show the colliery as Norwood. If the Pumping shaft No.4 (where the flats opposite Morrison's are now) is Holbrook No.4, that's a full house! If only it were that easy to prove by documentation, rather than guesswork eh? lol

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RLongden

That photo looks familiar?! :)

Holbrook Abandoned 1952.JPG

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lysander

Just had a look at the Killamarsh Heritage website which states that Holbrook had 3 shafts sunk in the 1890s and Norwood had 2,which were sunk in 1866. The Westthorpe Colliery opened in 1923 was connected with Holbrook. and on closure Norwood's men transferred to the new colliery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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RLongden

Local studies library came up trumps and let me take out a copy of 'Halfway and Holbrook - The Early Years', so I can have a good look through. It looks really interesting and has some great photos, but all photocopied and have lost some of the detail.

lysander, do you know James Walton personally, or do any of your pals? It would be great to find out if the original photos still exist and even better to get some digital copies of them?!

Some rare shots of Holbrook Colliery, so will compare them to the photos I got from the National Archives, so I can separate Holbrook from Norwood.

thanks for the lead...

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RLongden
On 2 March 2016 at 4:01 PM, lysander said:

wI spoke to my friends this afternoon and nothing really new came up about Holbrook except, forgive me if it has already been mentioned, a1939 article from the Star about Worrall's coal mine.  The article reads:-

"At a one horsepower coal mine nestling in green fields away from the main Rotherham Road at Killamarsh Mr John Joseph Worrall, is owner, manager, wheel wright, blacksmith, tub repairer and anything else the occasion demands. The mine has been in his family for over 100 years and it still continues to work at full pressure. It was sunk by the present owners grandfather and after closing for a short time, re-opened in 1913.Occasionally, the mine which is run by eight men and Mr Worrall has produced as much as 150 tons in a week but today weekly output is about 50 tons. Coal is brought from the depths of the  60 feet deep shft by means of a horse-operated "Jenny" wheel. The shaft is hewn through hard rock and is about 10 feet wide."

The mine lasted a few years longer and was dismantled in 1943

The above is taken from an illustrated booklet entitled "Halfway and Holbrook the Early Years" by James Walton which was published privately in 1996. The booklet contains a few illustrations of Holbrook Colliery including ...the Colliery Offices ,the Lamp Room, a party of youngsters walking at side of Pit Chimney, a semi-dismantled view of the cooling towers,,,,in snow and Holbrook Colliery Ambulance Brigade.

 

I am pretty useless with IT but will try and post them on here.

Comparing the details about Worrall's pit above, to the section in Ken Wains excellent book, the location is given as 'Norwood Bank', which is not far from Norwood Colliery?! So was it at Halfway, or Norwood?

Worrall's Pit, Norwood Bank

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lysander

,I never knew James Walton but I believe some of my friends did...I will ask about him. We meet at a small community centre on a road which bears his name and I understand his wife became a Sheffield Councillor after the City took over the area ( I am informed that contrary to what I wrote, James Walton was never a Councillor )The Norwood connection does seem strange...as the two accounts seem to be the same. The 1939 Star article, hints a location in Killamarsh... yet Walton clearly makes the point that it was sited in Hollow Lane, Halfway. That is always the problem when there are so few primary accounts available and you are reliant on secondary sources and people's memory. Glad you were able to borrow a copy of Walton's booklet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Guest Unitedite

Not our neck of the woods I know, and I am sure that we will do things better up here than they do 'dawn-sauth', but never-the-less, a sobering reminder to those, whom like myself, love wandering around old colliery workings.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35800866

 

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ken wain
On 28/12/2015 at 5:05 PM, Unitedite Returns said:

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

 

In answer to your article above ,I can recall travelling past this building in the early 1960s, and at this time the building was occupied by the Nibit's potato snacks company.

regards, KEN WAIN.

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ken wain

Hi everybody, you may well have been wondering why I have not contributed to this topic earlier, but as with everything, time is of the essence.

I have been spending a lot of time looking at all the evidence at my disposal, plus some additional research which enabled me to come up with what I think may well answer a lot of the questions raised. With regard to the newspaper article regarding Worrall's pit, just off Rotherham Road at Killamarsh, I can say that I am sure that this is the colliery operated by Mr John Joseph Worrall which he took over from his grandfather. It was situated on "Norwood Bank", midway between the Midland railway and The Chesterfield canal close to the Norwood Colliery on Rotherham Road. Known locally as "Norwood Lane".The colliery closed for three years in 1910 due to a slump in the coal trade and on resumption of work continued to work for a further 40 years until its closure in 1943. All the eight men working at the colliery were members of the Worrall family.  Coal was drawn from the 60 foot shaft by a horse operated "Jenny Wheel". See below the photograph which was taken of Mr Worrall on Norwood Bank in 1939, standing beside the Jenny wheel with the horse harnessed to the operating arm of the wheel. If you look very closely to the right of the photo you can see the horse driver holding its harness! The diameter of the jenny wheel was such that enough rope was wrapped around it to allow for the depth of the shaft so the horse would only have to walk for one revolution of the wheel to raise or lower the coal tub up or down the shaft.

.56f466cbeac03_jennywheel.thumb.jpg.dab96

LUKE WORRALL, of Mosborough who was a farmer and local shopkeeper,went into partnership with a man named Hodgson and sunk two pits in 1830, one in "Beighton Hollows" on Hollow Lane which is just off the main Rotherham Road at Halfway and another smaller one further down the village, but I don't know its location. Hodgson's daughter was killed in the second pit just before Christmas in 1837. The Beighton Hollows pit is the one which I believe was the one which James Walton was referring to in his publication. I knew his son very well; as was mentioned earlier James was not a Councillor but his wife Dorothy was; She was the Lord Mayor of Sheffield for a While, James becoming the Lord Mayor's Consort.  Worrall was a shrewd business man and very little money changed hands between him and his employees as they were forced to buy their food and clothing from his  shop. Vegetables,milk and eggs e.t.c. were all produced on his farm, giving him the monopoly in the local community.

Re Holbrook and Norwood collieries :- Between 1870 and 1872, J&G Wells sunk 3 shafts at Holbrook each being 13 feet in diameter. The shafts were sunk in close proximity to each other. No 1 shaft into the Silkstone seam, and a pumping shaft also into the Silkstone seam. The No3 shaft was sunk into the Parkgate seam.

The photo below shows all three shafts close together along with the three winding houses, but it is of poor quality.

56f7e8330d14d_Holbrookcolliery..thumb.jp

The No 4 shaft which was a pumping shaft was sunk between 1884 and 1885 near to the roundabout in front of Morrisons car park on Rotherham Road. Although this was primarily a pumping shaft a few men worked underground and brought out a small amount of coal. Holbrook colliery had a bank of coke ovens and a wooden framed cooling tower. The coke ovens were modernised in 1908 but were eventually closed in 1935. I have been underground at Holbrook several times, but I will tell you about that later in a new topic. The photo below shows all three shafts close together, but it is of poor quality.

Between 1865 and 1867 the Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Company sunk a shaft at Norwood, off Rotherham Road Killamarsh, into the Top Hard seam at 510 feet; I am very proud to say that my great,great grandfather Elijah Wain was the master sinker; He and his team completed the sinking without a single accident of any kind. Why the shaft was known as the No2 Shaft remains a mystery because the Holbrook and Norwood collieries were not connected and were at least three miles apart. Common belief is that J&G Wells gave it this name when they took over the Norwood colliery?  I lived in Rotherham Road until I was 25 years of age and as a child I played around the colliery yard watching and riding on the shunting engine under the watchful eye of Mr Smith the engine driver who sometimes let me operate the regulator and drive the engine and operate the whistle.  SHHHH! Those were the days. The company deepened the shaft to 1,000 feet into the Sitwell seam when they took over the colliery in 1916. The third seam, the Thorncliffe  was reached via a Surface drift which was driven some 360 yards away from the colliery shaft. My grandfather worked underground at the colliery and non of my family could remember a second shaft. The colliery had a bank of coke ovens and a wooden framed cooling tower. A gasometer was near to the colliery just across the midland railway line.

Look below for old photo of Norwood colliery and postcard from 1935 which shows Rotherham Road with Norwood colliery at the bottom of the road. You can clearly see the headgear, winding house,chimney and the coke ovens cooling tower. There was never a hint of the colliery having any connection with Holbrook only through ownership and it was always called Norwood Colliery. I hope this has helped answer some of the questions on these topics and look forward to your comments.

nor1.thumb.jpg.54f9c9e055f52857678f704a5

KILLAM.jpg.294d3eb18fd1924e75a619d7efe26

 

Regards,

Ken.

 

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ken wain

Message for Miami vice, Lysander, R Longden and Unitedite Returns. Please look on page three for my replies to your topics regarding Holbrook Colliery .

I thought that there was so much for me to say on all of your topics that it would be better to speak about everything together rather than keep flitting about from one to the other.

Please excuse me for doing this but I hope you will understand why.

Best wishes.

Ken.

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lysander

Thanks very much for that detailed answer. I am not a Mosbroite but I now live in the area and you have answered a lot of my questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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