Sunday, 21 August 2011

Gedling Colliery (14th June 1986)

So, what were you doing on the 14th June 1986?  Don't you know?  Well I was eight years old and I was going to work with my Dad... and my Mum... and my little brother... weird...No, not really it was an open day at the Colliery my Dad worked at.  He was a Coal Prep plant Foreman.

I remember a few things about the day, I remember my Dad being quite excited to show us around his work place, somewhere that you'd not normally ever be allowed to go, and I also remember the sheer magnitude of the noise of the machinery giving me a really splitting headache and ending up in the infirmary... but I also remember in the infirmary there was one of the first proper database driven "Expert Systems", it was used to diagnose simple aliments in a series of questions to help the on staff first aiders sort out problems... Probably not the lesson my Dad wanted to teach me, but I was fascinated with information and technology even then...

But, that colliery is long since gone, lost to the destruction of the mining industry and the site itself is flattened, the shafts filled in, possibly even capped, and the area is slowly (very slowly) being regenerated and they are possibly building houses on the site soon.  A sad loss, as my Dad did tell me once there were over 100 years worth of coal still down below that mine (and there are a lot of mines in Britain)... so why now I'm all grown up are we paying through the nose for electricity generated with (mostly) imported coal beggars belief.

Anyway, on that open day my brother and I received a booklet, with a little bit of history and some current information about the colliery, as well as a plan of the site.  During my recent decorating I spotted them still tucked inside a book... from 1986 to now, they had been scribbled on a little, they had a sticker or two on them, they had been... moved from my parents home, to my university digs, to a flat I had in Warwickshire, to a house I rented in Long Eaton and finally to my new home here in Brinsley (another ex-mining village)... so with two copies I've been able to scan them in, clean up the childish scribbles, edit off some of the mess and sticky finger prints we left on them as kids and I've got them for you all to enjoy here.

Please click on the images to enlarge them, and be patient these are high resolution scans.  Some of the pictures given on the pamphlet (all the pictures actually) are printed as grey dots (news paper style) so they scanned in as grey scale, if they look really grainy or granular then just zoom in/out the image (with most internet browsers you can do this with CTRL and + or CTRL and - respectively) to get the right "height" and you'll see the nice images.

The images are indeed nice, they show workings from far below Gedling, workings which will probably never be seen by a human again... least not until we've paid for all the foreign coal and some bright spark realises as all the lights go out, we can still power our power stations from the reserves below our feet.  But until then, lets pay a pretty penny for my running this computer to show you these pictures.
















If you right click you can open the image in a new browser, new tab or download it...

For posterity.

5 comments:

  1. my dad also worked at gedling pit,i once went to a open day there i was facinated by all the forbiden sights i seen, sadly never to be seen again sadly. infact i often used to play over six trees and day dream over looking the pit

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  2. Hi Xelous. I am a writer (living in Adelaide, Australia). I am researching Gedling Colliery for my novel. Coincidently, I am also married to a Games Programmer (see Overbyte.com.au) and (also coincidently) on 14th June 1986 I was going out with a Gedling miner! (Yes, it's a long story). Would you be interested in helping me with some of my research queries? Mainly I've just got questions about the housing estates that flanked the Gedling pit. If you are able to help, please contact me through my Gmail address. Cheers, Margot

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    1. I'm afraid I can't help you with the estates around the pit, I didn't live in Gedling itself, I lived in Arnold, and was a little boy in the 80's... If you want to ask me though, xelous@hotmail.co.uk is the best place to get a hold of me. As for your g-mail, I can't access it, its private.

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  3. Would you know anything please, of an engine that worked the colliery, Pecket 1253 of 1911 that was named Gedling No.2, later called Audrey?

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    1. I'm sorry, I don't know anything about the engines, however a quick google (which I'm sure you've performed) brings up this from the Evening Post http://www.nottinghampost.com/pictures/Gedling-Colliery-years/pictures-26618655-detail/pictures.html

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