COAL MINING IN ALLERTON

 

BYWATER

 

IT IS KNOWN WITHIN THE LOCAL AREAS THAT MINING EXISTED AS EARLY AS 1410; RECORDS SHOW THAT THE VICAR OF KIPPAX WAS PAID WITH TITHES OF COAL, ALLERTON BYWATER WAS PART OF THE PARISH AT THE TIME.

 

 

 BY THE 17th CENTURY THE POTENTIAL FOR MINING IN THE AREA HAD BEEN RECOGNISED AND SIR JOHN LOWTHER BOUGHT THE HAMLETS OF GREAT PRESTON AND ASTLEY FOR THE SUM OF £3050.00 BECAUSE THE AREA WAS RICH IN COAL AND LIMESTONE.

 

 

THE END OF THE 17th CENTURY SAW ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS FOR COAL MINING WITHIN THE AREA.

IN MAY1669 THE ROYAL ASSENT WAS GIVEN TO THE AIRE AND CALDER NAVIGATION ACT AND BY 1703 FORTY MILES OF ADDITIONAL WATERWAY HAD BEEN OPENED UP TO NAVIGATION ALLOWING KEEL BOATS TO  SAIL UPSTREAM AS FAR AS LEEDS ON THE RIVER AIRE AND WAKEFIELD ON THE RIVER CALDER. THIS ALLOWED THEM TO ALSO SAIL DOWNSTREAM WITH COAL INTO THE RIVER OUSE SYSTEM AND OUT INTO THE HUMBER.

 

 

RAIL TRANSPORT CAME EVEN LATER IN1878 WHICH COINCIDED WITH THE WINNING OF THE OF THE PRESENT DAY COLLIERY.

 BUT IT WAS THE NAVIGATION THAT PROVIDED THE MAIN MEANS OF TRANSPORT FOR NEARLY 250 YEARS OF RECORDED MINING WITHIN THE VILLAGE.

 

THE FIRST COLLIERY WAS THE FENTONS WARREN HOUSE 1756-1820 LITTLE IS KNOWN OF THE WORKING OF THIS COLLIERY.

 

IN 1786 ALLERTON MAIN COLLIERY SHAFT WAS SUNK,  AND A MAP OF THE COLLIERY WAS DRAWN UP BY JAMES MUSCROFT FOR WILLIAM STABLES


OWNERS

THOMAS FENTON && WILLIAM FENTON WERE SOLE OWNERS FROM 1808 - 1820

TIMOTHY SMITH

WILLIAM RICHARDSON

WILLIAM STABLES


THE SECOND COLLIERY WAS CARTERS HAIGH MOOR 1840-1875 A LEASE WAS TAKEN OUT TO SINK AND WORK THIS COLLIERY BY THOMAS CARTER & CO: INITIALLY HE SANK TWO SHAFTS NEAR TO THE RIVER AIRE BETWEEN THE PRESENT VICTORIA STREET AND ROBINSON STREET INTO THE FOUR FEET SIX INCHES THICK SEAM AT A DEPTH OF 140 YARDS. DURING ITS LIFE THE COLLIERY PRODUCED ABOUT ONE AND THREE QUARTERS MILLION TONS OF HIGH QUALITY HAIGH MOOR COAL AT AN AVERAGE RATE OF 50000 TONS PER YEAR OR 10000 TONS PER WEEK.

 

THE PRESENT DAY COLLIERY WHICH CLOSED IN 1992 AND IS NOW THE SITE OF THE MILLENNIUM VILLAGE WAS OPENED AROUND 1875.

 

WITH THE PREVIOUS MINE ENDING ITS LIFE THOMAS CARTER FORMED THE SILKSTONE & HAIGH MOOR COAL COMPANY WITH A CAPITAL OF £50000.00 OF WHICH £43843 WAS ACTUALLY RAISED, THE MAJOR PART OF THE MONEY BEING A MORTGAGE FROM A MR WHEATLEY. WORK COMMENCED ON THE SINKING OF TWO NEW SHAFTS 315 YARDS DEEP INTO THE SILKSTONE SEAM.

 

IN 1878 THE MINE COMMENCED COAL PRODUCTION FROM THE HAIGH MOOR AND SILKSTONE SEAMS.

 

THE NEW MINE SOON RAN INTO FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES AND IN DECEMBER1888 THE COMPANY WAS SOLD. FOR THE NEXT FEW YEARS THE COLLIERY STRUGGLED ON UNTIL IN 1919 A NEW AMALGAMATION WAS FORMED WITH FRYSTON & WHELDALE COLLIERIES AND THEY UNITED UNDER THE NAME OF AIREDALE COLLIERIES. SOME TIME LATER ALLERTON MAIN COLLIERY WAS ACQUIRED AND THE COMPANY FLOURISHED RIGHT UP TO NATIONALISATION IN 1947.

 

IN 1947 THE FIRST POWER LOADING MACHINE WAS INTRODUCED WHERE THE COAL WAS CUT AND LOADED MECHANICALLY ONTO A CONVEYOR, PREVIOUSLY ALL THE WORK HAD TO BE DONE BY HAND.

OVER THE COMING YEARS NEW RECORDS WERE ACHIEVED FOR PRODUCTION. RUN OF MINE 51778 TONNES SALEABLE COAL, 35900 TONNES, OUTPUT PER MANSHIFT 14.9 TONNES, FACE OUTPUT PER MANSHIFT 85.4 TONNES, CONVENTIONAL FACE OUTPUT 22790 TONNES, SINGLE FACE ENTRY 13110 TONNES.

 

IN ITS FINAL YER OF PRODUCTION ALLERTON BYWATER COLLIERY PRODUCED 806462 TONNES OF SALEABLE COAL, MAKING A PROFIT OF 9.9 MILLION POUNDS.

 

DURING THE 216 YEARS HISTORY OF COAL PRODUCTION IN ALLERTON BYWATER SOME SIXTY MILLION PLUS TONNES OF COAL AND 22 MILLION TONNES OF DIRT HAVE BEEN MINED.

 

THE COLLIERY DIRT STACKS COVERED AN AREA OF 373 ACRES.

 

THE SADDEST STATISTIC IN THE PITS HISTORY IS THAT OVER SIXTY MEN LOST THEIR LIVES IN ACCIDENTS AT THE COLLIERY THE YOUNGEST BEING 14YEARS OLD.


A MINERS MEMORIAL IN MEMORY OF THESE MINERS IS TO BE BUILT IN THE NEAR FUTURE AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE MILLENNIUM VILLAGE WHICH HAS BEEN BUILT ON THE FORMER COLLIERY SITE.

 

Miners Memorial

please click on the above link

Colliery Explosion Report 10th March 1930

please click on the above link

George Norton Colliery Fatality Report 1927

Colliery fatality 1927.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [64.7 KB]

Please click on the link above to read report.

Boat Ferry Across River from Methley

please click on the above link

 

 

Pickets attempt to blockade Allerton Bywater Colliery 1984

image of Allerton Bywater Colliery by David Newbould
colliery shunting engine

Miners Memorial - A fitting end to mining in our village

Miners Memorial Dedication Service
ABC Miners Memorial Dedication Ceremony [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [1.2 MB]

Please click on the link above to view.


Pictures of the unveiling day parade and service