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Bygone Stanley - Collieries

STANLEY COLLIERIES

Mention must be made of the last three collieries to work coal in the Stanley area. Newmarket Colliery closed 9/12/83, Parkhill Colliery closed 27/12/82 and Lofthouse Colliery 24/7/81. Newmarket's original owners were the Fenton Brothers, later J. & J Charlesworths. It is recorded that in 1837 a Charles Morton was employed as Manager/Colliery Agent. The output for the year 1865 was recorded as 54,000 tons.

A valuation of Newmarket in 1889 was recorded as £37,339. 4s., 11d. A pump known as 'The Old Sarah' worked until 1917 and was then dismantled in 1918 and her piston and accessories were presented to the Science Museum, London, where there is a dimensional drawing of this pump. The Old Sarah was said to be almost 100 years old. Newmarket worked coal under the Stanley village for many years as far as Lane Ends to the south and Lee Moor to the west. From 1837 until its closing date in 1983 most families in Stanley had had connections with Newmarket Colliery, many, including myself, could trace their families back to the beginning.

Substantial reserves of coal from the Stanley Main seam were worked in the Stanley area. The Stanley Main seam outcropped in the Lane Ends area, hence its name 'Stanlev Main'.

Parkhill Colliery, whose original owners were the Hudson family, started producing coal in 1878 and closed in 1982. Coal from Parkhill was transported to its markets by canal and river for the whole of its life.

Lofthouse Colliery was known as Lofthouse Station Colliery in 1873. It closed 24/7/81. This colliery worked coal under the Stanley village for many years. Most of the output from Lofthouse in its early days was transported through the village to the river and canal at Ferry Lane and also to Bottomboat on to the River Calder. The disaster in 1973, resulting in the loss of life of seven men, involved the village. Almost every able-bodied miner from Stanley took part in the attempted rescue operation. Many Lofthouse Colliery workers from its beginning to the end came from the Stanley village.

Other collieries worked in Stanley:-

In the early days there were many groups of Bell Pits, many not identified on known plans. The Stanley Pit 1794 owned by the Fentons; Ferry Lane Pits 1872-1901 owned by the Hudsons; Victoria Pits (deep drop) owned by the Hudsons; Parsons Pits owned by J. & J. Charlesworths and Bottomboat Pits owned by J. & J Charlesworths.

I estimate that 107,352,00 tons of coal have been excavated from under the village of Stanley since mining of coal began in this area. There is 29,372,00 tons of coal left in mainly seams of two feet in thickness or less. Most of these seams are of good quality coal with low ash and sulphur content, but it was not economical to extract these seams nor will they now ever be worked as all the mines are closed.

As a point of interest, in F. N. Steele's 'Glimpses of Stanley' there is mention of a Nicholas Bateley who, in 1311, was brought before the Manor Court for digging coal underground at Stanley on Henry De-Waldas land. This caused the soil and fences to fall in, Nicholas Bateley had to pay 12d costs and put the damage right.

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