Industry => Mines & Quarries => Topic started by: ginic on March 10, 2011, 14:07:55

Title: Chislet Colliery
Post by: ginic on March 10, 2011, 14:07:55
Chislet Colliery was classed as gas free until 1941 up until then personal lighting was supplied by carbide (Acetylene) hand and cap lamps until a face in the Main West District had a flash over and one of the men was burned. Flame lamps were then banned in that district and electric flame safety lamps were supplied to the men. The other two districts continued to use carbide lamps for a while but eventually the pit was classified as gaseous and flame safety lamps were supplied to all the men. One thing to note is although the colliery supplied the carbine for the lamps the men had to pay six and a half pence a week off their docket for it.
In 1962 the coal board decided to introduce into the South East district a 24inch gauge overhead single wire loco system with the roadways being driven higher and wide enough to eliminate the risk of gas problems the colliery was supplied with four 67 hp 16ton locos with a central positioned pantograph running on the over head single wire conductor,  these locos in tandem could pull 30 minecars up the 1 in 40 gradient

Ginic
Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: steamengineerpmw on April 16, 2012, 13:37:59
Following closure of the Chislet pit the slag heap remained in place all around the old colliery for a good number of years. Am I correct in remembering a steam locomotive sitting out of use and just visible on the slag heap - when viewed from the A28 if travelling towards Canterbury from Margate? Does anyone know the details of the engine concerned and whether it was scrapped on site or removed, perhaps for preservation?

Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: Sentinel S4 on April 16, 2012, 13:53:29
I remember seeing one of the two locos at Chislet high on the slag heap propelling a couple of trucks. It was NCB No 2, 0-4-0 Bagnall saddle tank, the other was No 27 (NCB number as her full BR number was 31027) an ex-SECR class P 0-6-0. Both, according to my source, made it into preservation on the Bluebell Railway in Sussex.

Sentinel S4.

Ref book; Branch Lines around Canterbury, Middleton Press.
Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: Sentinel S4 on September 05, 2012, 22:35:21
This is great stuff IanDB. The closure of the pit marked the end of coal fired boilers at St Augustine's Hospital at Chartham. They had several Lancashire boilers as well as a couple of Babcox and Wilcox Watertube boilers. All were fed by Chislet coal bought in on a couple of the old Bullnose Thames Tippers. I can just remember them all working, as well as the tippers and the steam locos at the pit (I was four in '69). It also marked the end of the brick chimney as well, this was one of the saddest results of the old boilers going as it was much better looking than the steel replacement. Thanks for all you are doing on this thread.

S4.
Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: IanDB on September 06, 2012, 08:17:40
It's very hard to stand in the way of progress, but so much is lost in the process. You'd hardly know that there had been a large coal industry in East Kent as the pit head buildings have been demolished to make way for the shiny sheds of small industrial parks.
There are many and varied political and economic reasons for the decimation of the coal industry generally and it's thanks to a few in the former coal mining areas who are keeping the heritage alive. There are contributors to this forum who worked in the industry for far longer than I did, but who would I'm sure agree when I say that the closure of a pit is like the disintegration of a close family.
On the last day shift at Chislet we made our work places secure then made our way to the pit bottom for the last ride to the surface. There was none of the usual happy banter that went with the end of a shift, but men in a state of bewilderment that it had all come to an end. Sure there were some who were glad to be out of a dangerous and dirty environment, but many questioned what on earth happens now......all they had ever done was win coal, like their Fathers and Grandfathers before them. All were angry and many threw their tools and work clothes into the sides of the tunnels, declaring that they would never need them again, albeit that there were teams of people on the pit top waiting to interview each miner and determine their choices of which other pit they would like to transfer to, or what help could be given in finding alternative work.
A few, including myself, remained at the pit on underground salvage work for some weeks after the closure and it was a strange place to work. None of the noise of coal production, but an eerie silence broken by the sounds of mother nature slowly closing down and re-capturing her territory after 50 years of coal extraction. Mice becoming more bold as their food in the form of discarded snap declined, even a different rapport between men unburdened of the desire to save their pit from closure.
The pits and the buildings may have gone, but in those who are still around the camaraderie  and respect for each other remains.......... witness the  Kent Miners Gala that was started by a dedicated few in 2009, 20 years after the last pit in Kent closed, and then the re-location of the statue of The Waiting Miner to a more fitting place at Fowlmead Park near Deal, a park regenerated from the former Betteshanger Colliery spoil tip.

This picture of the Waiting Miner was originally displayed on the "Coalfield Heritage Initiative Kent" site and photographed after it's move from the entrance to Richborough power station to a position on Dover sea front near the National Union of Mineworkers offices.
(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b6/bettesh/miner.jpg)
Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: Lyn L on September 06, 2012, 10:24:48
It seems really odd to me, that when I was at school ( an awful long time ago now ) in Broadstairs, we had a trip to Chislet Colliery to show off our skills at dancing round a Maypole  :) I really can't think why it happened now, why would miners be interested in seeing something like that? I don't suppose for one minute that we were fantastic at it either  :) it would have been late 50s.

That really is a great pic of the Waiting Miner thanks for sharing it IanDB  :)
Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: IanDB on September 06, 2012, 16:40:49
we had a trip to Chislet Colliery to show off our skills at dancing round a Maypole  :) I really can't think why it happened now , why would miners be interested in seeing something like that ?

Lyn.....you'd be surprised. There was a fabulous community spirit in the mining villages. Sports days were arranged, dance competitions and a whole host of other events took place throughout the year. The Colliery Welfare Club was built in the late '50's to support the village and it's miners and as far as I know is still active today.
Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: Lyn L on September 06, 2012, 17:22:07
That's nice to hear IanDB, to be honest I'd not thought of it being a 'community spirit' thing, I can't say there's an awful lot of that spirit around these days. The only time I experience it in my local area is when it's snowing like the clappers and I meet people out on a nice walk in it ( I like snow  :))
Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: Sentinel S4 on September 06, 2012, 18:48:36
From what I understand, talking to my Father who was an Engineer at St Augustine's, the main reason for the demise of Chislet was the coal itself. He has told me that it was Top Grade Steam and Coking Coal. One of the main buyers of the steam coal was the Southern Railway, steam ended in '68, and the fact that around that time we were converting to Natural Gas, thereby ending the need for coking coal. The best steam coal in the country however was produced at Betteshanger, 1900's I believe was the seam. I have a chart here somewhere listing the Calorific Value, Ash content, clinker content and several other factors. It makes interesting reading and is very surprising to find that we had the best coal in the UK right here in Kent.

As soon as I find the chart I will scan it and post it here, all I have to do is remember which book it is in.

S4.
Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: IanDB on September 13, 2012, 17:01:46
Pit bottom roadways at Chislet Colliery leading to the East and South east Districts of the mine.

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b6/bettesh/East-SEJnct.jpg)
Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: DS239 on October 13, 2012, 01:45:30
A couple of photos of the ex-Cadbury Bourneville Peckett 0-4-0ST [2156/55] at Chislet:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/60790501@N04/5686655306/sizes/l/in/pool-1191229@N23/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/60790501@N04/5686655306/sizes/l/in/pool-1191229@N23/)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/31514768@N05/4644098901/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/31514768@N05/4644098901/)

This second photo shows it painted in a silver colour to match the Yorkshire Engine Co. 0-6-0ST that also worked there.
Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: Sentinel S4 on October 13, 2012, 11:04:35
I can remember her in green after the pit closed, about 1970, working out on the slag heap propelling a couple of internal use trucks. She look awful in silver. Thanks for posting.

S4.
Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: steamengineerpmw on January 18, 2013, 12:00:30
Hello,

This is my first posting to this forum and hopefully one of the readers will be able to offer some information.
My enquiry concerns the fate of the steam engines at Chislet Colliery after closure of the pit.
I can remember seeing the silhouette of a saddle tank engine sitting on the coal spoil heap, it was visible when travelling by bus from Margate to Canterbury just before the bus entered Hersden village. I was only about 10 years of age at the time, c1971 and would have been travelling to Canterbury for a shopping trip or sightseeing.
From memory I think the engine was left standing there for a year or two, seemingly never moving. I wonder what happened to it and whether it was one of the NCB Austerity engines or the smaller Chislet Pecket engine?
Any information would be helpful in clearing up this research of my childhood memories.

Best regards
Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: Sentinel S4 on January 18, 2013, 17:59:11
I have mentioned in a post somewhere here that both the P class and Pecket made it into preservation on the Blue Bell Railway in Sussex. I have no idea whether the Pecket is still there but the P certainly is.

S4.
Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: DS239 on January 18, 2013, 23:59:59
Hello Steamengineerpmw!

The saddle tank you saw at Chislet could've been either the Bagnall 0-4-0ST, the Peckett 0-4-0ST, or the Yorkshire Engine Co. 0-6-0ST.
Off the top of my head, both the 0-4-0ST's were scrapped, whilst the 0-6-0ST made it into preservation, see:
 http://www.brc-stockbook.co.uk/chislet.htm (http://www.brc-stockbook.co.uk/chislet.htm)

The NCB's 'Austerity' locos in Kent were Betteshanger locos, I've never come across any mention of them working at Chislet. Two were scrapped on site at Betteshanger and the third was transferred to Snowdown, and subsequently preserved.

As Sentinel mentions 'P' class 31027 that worked there is also preserved, but it was never a NCB loco, of course, just being on hire from BR on occasions. [Ex-LSWR B4's were also hired out to Chislet]
Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: Sentinel S4 on January 19, 2013, 10:00:42
My fault as I misread the book I was using. The 0-6-0 Yorkshire Engine Company loco is at Quainton Road named Chislet, the P class and the B4 are both on the Bluebell. I apologise for misleading people. There are many pictures on Flickr of the locos in question. I am suprised that the two 0-4-0's were scrapped as one of them was ex-Cadburys and both survived into the mid 1960's.

S4.
Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: DS239 on January 19, 2013, 15:05:33
Further to my earlier post #16.I have now dug out the relevant Railway Bylines magazine [Vol.6,issue 7,June 2001 for those who may be interested in acquiring a copy] and can add a little more info from that source:

Locomotives at Chislet when the colliery closed in July 1969:

NCB CHISLET No 2, Bagnall 0-4-0ST [2961 of 1950] Scrapped May 1969,-so just before closure!

[ex-Cadbury] Peckett 0-4-0ST [2156 of 1955] Scrapped August 1969.

[ex-S.Fox Ltd.] Yorkshire Engine Co. 0-6-0ST [2498 of 1951] Sold to Buckinghamshire Railway Centre January 1970.

52, Andrew Barclay 0-6-0DM [382 of 1950] Transferred to Snowdown Colliery December 1969.
Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: doncaster diva on February 19, 2013, 19:58:52
I worked as a Leading Porter at Sturry Station from 1965 and Chislet Colliery Sidings came under the authority of our Station Master Mr. Haynes. The 'man in charge' at Chislet was called Charlie (can't remember his surname) and one of our unofficial jobs was counting the number of empty coal wagons on the morning goods from Ashford and pass this to Charlie by the internal phone system so that he could make the necessary arrangements for their disposal. There was an intermediate block signal box at Chislet which was switched in during the day.

My parents ran the Rose Inn at Sturry and many of our customers were from the mining community who lived both in Sturry and Hersden. My father was an ex miner from Yorkshire so as you can imagine there was many the ton of coal mined in the public bar of his pub. I remember that the 'pit buses' were operated by a gentleman called Gerry Lehane who's coaches we hired for trips from the pub.

Happy days.

Regards

Doncaster Diva

Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: Sentinel S4 on February 19, 2013, 20:32:15
Lehane still run their coaches.

S4.
Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: Dowtyprop on August 09, 2013, 00:01:08
Pit bottom roadways at Chislet Colliery leading to the East and South east Districts of the mine.

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b6/bettesh/East-SEJnct.jpg)
I remember the junction well, the paddy wagon used to stop there and from there on we had to walk to the coal faces. The return journey was easy because we used to ride out on the conveyor belts, laying on top of the coal, keeping a lookout for the likes of Chris Bland, the undermanager. Yes, it was illegal, you could get fined for it!
Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: AdrianPearce on March 01, 2016, 01:47:16
An ex-miner Albert Gee recounted some of his memories to me of working at Chislet Colliery. They can be seen here

http://shropshirehistory.com/misc/chislet.pdf

Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: DS239 on February 06, 2018, 14:16:51
A Youtube clip of Yorkshire Engine Co. 0-6-0ST [2498 of 1951] at Chislet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ_U8XiPLbE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ_U8XiPLbE)

Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: DS239 on February 17, 2018, 12:06:04
The YE 0-6-0ST in the shed.
Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: DaveTheTrain on February 17, 2018, 20:26:32
Great pic DS239, when was it taken?
DTT
Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: Sentinel S4 on February 18, 2018, 08:30:18
She has been named 'Chislet' and is under restoration at the Quainton Railway Centre in Buckinghamshire.

S4.
Title: Re: Chislet Colliery
Post by: DS239 on February 19, 2018, 14:50:54
Great pic DS239, when was it taken?
DTT

I don't know to be honest, but judging by her condition, with grubby aluminium paintwork,  I reckon late on, just before being removed for preservation.