Shropshire

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Alveley Colliery

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Alveley (SO754842)

Coal

 

During the 1930s, the Highley Mining Company decided to develop the area east of Highley Colliery and so, in 1935, a shaft was sunk at Alveley with a concrete headgear and electric winder. It was connected to Highley Colliery in 1937 and production commenced in 1938, with men and coal winding being progressively transferred to Alveley. By 1940, Highley Colliery was closed although the shafts were retained for ventilation.  Full output was reached in 1944, with 275,000 tons per annum. The Science & Art of Mining of 1944 recorded “The 800 employees at the H.M.C’s ‘wonder colliery’ at Alveley have received a £600 token of appreciation from its directors. Every one of them has been given a 15/- savings certificate for his efforts in attaining the record output for the pit of 5,547 tons per week ended 7th October 1944. The new mine was modern for its day, being electrified from the start, so there was no need for boilers. Coal face working was fully mechanised and, in 1947, the capital cost of Alveley Colliery was £206,937. There were 289 men working at the coal face, 135 for haulage and another 561 underground. With the 180 employed at surface, there was a total workforce of 741 men. Coal was taken over the River Severn to a screening plant by a rope-worked tramway.  The colliery was taken over by the NCB in 1947 and 10 years later it employed 1,000 men with an annual output of 300,000 tons. In 1949 they were working the Brooch Seam. Alveley worked to the north, south and east directions but not to the west where the Highley mine had been. A natural boundary to the east was the Romsley Fault but this appears to have been penetrated at a much later date. The future of Alveley looked promising but in 1968 the quality of the coal deteriorated dramatically at a time when there was a national over supply and a major pit closure programme being implemented. Had the quality problem occurred during or immediately after World War II, or during the mid-1970s when there was an energy crisis, then it might not have mattered. However, coming at a time of oversupply, the mine was closed as uneconomic in January 1969. At the time of nationalisation, it had been estimated that up to the Romsley Fault the estimated reserves were 22 million tonnes for the Brooch Coal, 10 million tonnes for the New Mine Coal and 15 million tonnes for the Flying Reed Coal, making a total of 47 million tonnes. At most, only 15% of these reserves were subsequently worked. Figures from the Mineral Statistics are :-

 

Year

Manager

Underground Workers

Surface Workers

1935

H Eardley

-

-

1936

C Nicholas

 

-

-

1937

24

15

1938

T Stonehouse

562

214

1945

H Machin

619

232

1948

623

191

1949

R Hasbury

640

190

1950

637

232

 

SO747842

Site of screens (C20)

SO748839

Angle station (C20)

SO748839

Return wheel (C20)

SO750840

Tramway to screens (C20)

SO752842

Pithead baths (C20)

SO752842

Lamp room (C20)

SO752842

Deployment centre (C20)

SO752842

Office (C20)

SO752842

Workshop (C20)

SO752842

Canteen (C20)

SO752842

Medical centre (C20)

SO752842

Weighbridge (C20)

SO752842

Aerial ropeway base (C20)

SO756843

Pump house (C20)

SO754842

Shaft (capped)