Industry => Mines & Quarries => Topic started by: BenG on February 07, 2009, 20:49:34

Title: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: BenG on February 07, 2009, 20:49:34
Stopped of at Snowdown Colliery whilst out today. This place is so photogenic in this winter light so sorry for all the pictures.
Here's a bit of info from the Dover council website and a photo of what it looked like in 1986

http://www.dover.gov.uk/kentcoal/exhibition/snowdown.asp (http://www.dover.gov.uk/kentcoal/exhibition/snowdown.asp)

(http://www.dover.gov.uk/kentcoal/exhibition/graphics/cneta0ma000z.jpg)

Quote
The Colliery, situated alongside the main Dover to Canterbury railway line, near to Ackolt which lies between Womenswold and Nonninton, was begun by Arthur Burr's Foncage Syndicate in 1907, and the first sod was cut by Mrs Weston Plumptree. The first shaft at Snowdown hit water at 260 ft and flooded and 22 men were drowned. There were few sinking problems after this and Snowdown became the first commercial pit in Kent, and the first coal was brought to the surface from a depth of 1370ft, on 19th November, 1912. In January 1913 the "Beresford" seam was reached, and at 5" 6" thick it enabled 800 tons per week to be mined.

Due to an act of Parliament in 1920, the Emergency Powers Bill, which temporarily increased wages for six months, in 1921 miners at Snowdown went on strike over the ensuing reduced pay and the company went into receivership.

They closed the colliery in 1922 but maintained pumping operations so it could be sold as a working mine. The colliery was mothballed for almost two years before it was purchased in 1924 by Pearson & Dorman Long who had started a new colliery at Betteshanger.

Pearson & Dorman Long completely modernised the colliery, scrapping the old steam winding plant and installing a powerful electric one. They then purchased a 600 acre site and a Public Utility Society, Aylesham Tenants Ltd., built Aylesham village nearby to house 650 families. Prior to this, most of the Snowdown miners had lived in Dover.

Snowdown was the deepest colliery in Kent reaching well over 3,000 ft (915 metres). It was also the hottest and most humid pit in Kent and was given the name 'Dante's Inferno' by the miners. Regarded by many as the worst pit to work at in Britain, most Snowdown miners worked naked because clothes became too uncomfortable. The miners could consume around 24 pints (14 lires) of water in an 8-hour shift. There were frequent cases of heat stroke.

Snowdown closed in 1987.


(http://www.exploration.gibbsdesign.co.uk/images/stories/industry/collieries/snowdown/DSCF3016.JPG)

(http://www.exploration.gibbsdesign.co.uk/images/stories/industry/collieries/snowdown/DSCF3017.JPG)

(http://www.exploration.gibbsdesign.co.uk/images/stories/industry/collieries/snowdown/DSCF3019.JPG)

(http://www.exploration.gibbsdesign.co.uk/images/stories/industry/collieries/snowdown/DSCF3021.JPG)

(http://www.exploration.gibbsdesign.co.uk/images/stories/industry/collieries/snowdown/DSCF3024.JPG)

(http://www.exploration.gibbsdesign.co.uk/images/stories/industry/collieries/snowdown/DSCF3029.JPG)

(http://www.exploration.gibbsdesign.co.uk/images/stories/industry/collieries/snowdown/DSCF3031.JPG)

(http://www.exploration.gibbsdesign.co.uk/images/stories/industry/collieries/snowdown/DSCF3023.JPG)

(http://www.exploration.gibbsdesign.co.uk/images/stories/industry/collieries/snowdown/DSCF3035.JPG)

(http://www.exploration.gibbsdesign.co.uk/images/stories/industry/collieries/snowdown/DSCF3036.JPG)

(http://www.exploration.gibbsdesign.co.uk/images/stories/industry/collieries/snowdown/DSCF3037.JPG)

(http://www.exploration.gibbsdesign.co.uk/images/stories/industry/collieries/snowdown/DSCF3038.JPG)

Shot of the colliery taken from this bridge:
http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=2317.0 (http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=2317.0)
(http://www.exploration.gibbsdesign.co.uk/images/stories/industry/collieries/snowdown/DSCF3040.JPG)
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Roob Itself on February 07, 2009, 21:53:05
Snowdown colliery i believe was the last colliery to be filled in. The square shaped building i believe was the winding shed for shaft 2 and shaft 1 was behind the long building.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Islesy on January 23, 2010, 22:11:49
Shaft No.1
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2619/4083440587_5de424919d.jpg)

Shaft No.2
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2785/4083442079_53e88bf669.jpg)

Shaft No.3
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4017/4238175385_d52d38a774.jpg)
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: unfairytale on January 24, 2010, 19:12:33
This is a wider view of the shaft capping. As you can see all you need is a manhole key for the nine covers...And 3/4 of a mile of rope!
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2544/3873255527_8b796a563b.jpg)
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Merv on January 25, 2010, 00:49:02
I worked at Bettshanger for a few month in the 70's only contracting for a civil engineering job.
We were building a new loo for the wheel house staff and a road over a slag heapI was amazed by the fact that so many spoke with a northern accents yet were born in Kent, and was due to the fact they lived in a tight community and the generation before had moved here.
One of, if not the Best bunch of blokes I ever worked for.

Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Paul Narramore on January 25, 2010, 09:51:54
I think it had a lot to do with WW2 and the Bevan Boys, when coalminers were brought down to the Kent coalfields from the North. My recollection of the Kent coalfields was during the Miners Strike. I was then in the Police and for twelve months we patrolled Tilmanstone, Bettshanger and Snowdown collieries as there was a fear of damage and/or reprisals. 12 hour shifts wandering around grim, black places wishing the time away. In the Winter, we made big fires using many new pit props we found lying around. The cost!   
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Paul Narramore on January 25, 2010, 19:54:42
Kent miners went on strike during WW2, as well.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Merv on January 25, 2010, 20:23:08
Kent miners were also refused Jobs on the Channel Tunnel also.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Islesy on January 25, 2010, 21:07:52
Amongst all this negativity on Kent Miners, I'd like to point out that Snowdown was the hottest and most humid pit in Kent and was given the name 'Dante's Inferno' by the miners. Regarded by many as the worst pit to work at in Britain, most Snowdown miners worked naked because clothes became too uncomfortable. The miners could consume around 24 pints (14 litres) of water in an 8-hour shift and there were frequent cases of heat stroke.

The first shaft at Snowdown hit water at 260 ft and flooded - 22 men were drowned.

It was a dark, shitty, dusty, claustrophobic, hot and exhausting job - and someone had to do it.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: BBC Kent on January 26, 2010, 12:23:07
As part of a large project across the country, marking the 25th anniversary of the 1984 miners' strike, I spoke to those involved at the time, and looked at the changes to the mining communities since the closures of the pits.

George Horsfall now runs the Aylesham Heritage Centre, and in his film we have included footage of the demolition of the pit head wheel.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/kent/content/articles/2009/08/03/miners_festival_feature.shtml

I thought it may be of interest.

Hamish, BBC Kent
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Islesy on February 05, 2010, 21:54:05
Couple of Saddle Tank 0-6-0Ts working the colliery:

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4041/4332754029_f7103c5b45_o.jpg)

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4056/4333493758_23d7339423_o.jpg)
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Guest on February 06, 2010, 11:13:52
The first picture is a 1927 Avonside saddle tank either St Tomas or St Dunstan both worked at Snowdown. St Dunstan is preserved on the East Kent Light Railway, St Thomas is supposed to be at the Dover museum anybody seen it? The second picture is a 1953 Hunslet Austerity Saddle tank could be 3825 preserved on the Chaswater light Railway.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: howard on February 07, 2010, 22:40:50
Quote from: Guestlink=topic=2439.msg44852#msg44852 date=1265454832
St Thomas is supposed to be at the Dover museum anybody seen it?
It sits just inside the entrance gate. Unrestored but pretty well protected by paint.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: unfairytale on February 08, 2010, 18:32:39
St. Thomas standing outside Dover Transport Museum.
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4033/4341407128_5706c8f87b.jpg)
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Islesy on February 08, 2010, 18:46:32
I seem to recall that EKLR donated this to Dover Transport Museum as it became uneconomical to repair, something to do with cracks in the steam chamber or some such. They now run a DMU on a line that never operated them, as well as vandalising old woodland and denying access to land that has been used by villagers for years. I'll get off my soapbox and get my coat now.....
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Islesy on February 08, 2010, 20:11:25
Avonside 0-6-0 'St Dunstan' was built at Works No.2004 of 1927. Worked at Snowdown Colliery and when withdrawn it was moved to Sellindge. Arrived at the East Kent Railway in 1992 and now owned by them. It is awaiting full restoration, at an estimated cost of 45,000 - 50,000. Another ex-Snowdown loco at the East Kent Railway is a Fowler 0-4-0DM 'Snowdown'. Built at Leeds, works no.416002 of 1952. Was worked at Snowdown as a yard shunter and arrived at the East Kent Railway in April 1990. Owned by Mr A.Larkins.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: unfairytale on February 08, 2010, 22:35:18


 The colliery site, so I'm told, is still leased from the original farming family who owned the land and the original lease states that if ever the pit is closed, the land has to be returned to farm land. A bit difficult when some of the remaining buildings are listed and I guess the land is contaminated. Much cheaper and easier for the 'coal board' to carry-on paying the lease.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: ellenkate on February 09, 2010, 09:41:07

Unfairytale's comments about  Snowdown colliery land:
"The colliery site, so I'm told, is still leased from the original farming family who owned the land and the original lease states that if ever the pit is closed, the land has to be returned to farm land."

I believe this also applied to the old Tilmanstone colliery but the site was not returned to farm land.  
Even a green uncultivated field (with wild flowers), never used by the colliery, because it was owned by the colliery, was converted to industrial use some years after the colliery closed, presumably as it was regarded as a "brown field site"


Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Islesy on February 11, 2010, 21:29:12
Last visit to the colliery yielded this, one decent one left amongst some old paperwork.

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4041/4348944861_fd509b32e2.jpg)

I'm hoping that Paul won't disappoint me by not picking up on 'washed smalls' :)
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: TowerWill on February 11, 2010, 22:05:09
Hi Islesy,that looks rather like the forms i helped the Tilmanstone weighbridge clerk put on the weighed coal truck clipboards before we set off back to Shepherdswell.Have you found a derelict office with these in at the Snowdown Colliery site?Don't think Corby had 'washed smalls' from Timanstone.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Islesy on February 11, 2010, 22:23:02
Hi Islesy,that looks rather like the forms i helped the Tilmanstone weighbridge clerk put on the weighed coal truck clipboards before we set off back to Shepherdswell. Have you found a derelict office with these in at the Snowdown Colliery site? Don't think Corby had 'washed smalls' from Tilmanstone.

Came from one of the two remaining Weighbridge Offices TowerWill, so that ties in nicely - I had assumed that the wagon would be weighed, and the docket filled out with one part going to Admin, and the other going in the coal wagon equivalent of the Yellow/Black bags that travel with the wagons.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: TowerWill on February 11, 2010, 22:38:07
That's right Islesy, at Timanstone Colliery we'd put that type of form under a spring on the clipboard situated on the side of the rail wagon.
I never worked loaded coal trains out of Snowdown but we used to bring up to 60 empties round from Ashford Yard,run the loco round and go back to Shepherdswell.Then set back into the Long Sidings.This was the late 1970's.Was the Snowdown coal going by road then?
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Islesy on February 12, 2010, 15:35:20
TowerWill - as far as I'm aware Snowdown shipped it's coal out by rail right until the bitter end. Couple more pics to add of the pit as it was in 1993.

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4038/4350745843_8cc1180169.jpg)

and the Pit Head Baths in 1993

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4002/4351494058_8d0dc8cb62_o.jpg)

Has anyone got any info on the Mine Rescue Unit that was based at Aylesham?
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Islesy on February 12, 2010, 18:52:29
The second picture is a 1953 Hunslet Austerity Saddle tank could be 3825 preserved on the Chaswater light Railway.

Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0 Saddletank 3825 (68009)

This locomotive was built by Hunslet Engine Company of Leeds and sent to the NCB South Eastern Division's Kent coalfield where it became Number 9. It was delivered to Betteshanger Colliery, near Deal, in September 1954. In December 1972, it moved the short distance to Snowdown Colliery until the mid-1970's when the diesels took over.
November 10, 1981 saw No.9 moving to the Great Central Railway (GCR) at Loughborough where it was overhauled, and during the course of this overhaul, it was discovered that the locomotive carries the boiler/firebox assembly originally fitted to 68009, one of the 75 locomotives purchased by the LNER from the Government in 1946 and designated as Class J94.

(http://www.kirkbystepheneast.co.uk/resources/_wsb_590x481_68009.+2.JPG)

(The above information comes from http://www.kirkbystepheneast.co.uk/index.html (http://www.kirkbystepheneast.co.uk/index.html))
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Islesy on February 13, 2010, 22:16:16
Best aerial pic I have come across of the colliery, dating back to the 1920s. It's possible to map all of the existing buildings from this photo.

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4046/4354730162_c74733659a.jpg)
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Islesy on February 13, 2010, 22:18:29
Snowdown Colliery. A shift ends. 1972.

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4006/4353983151_586985ddbf.jpg)
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: TowerWill on February 18, 2010, 21:42:12
Hi Islesy.Just had a chat with my old workmate and it seems that coal was taken by road probably at least from the late 1970's onwards.The British Rail shunter's job went in that period as i can well remember all the mucking about required running the locoaround 60 empty wagons.A plunger had to be operated when the last wagon was in the sidings(with tail lamp) and the guard had to get down off the loco as it entered the yard to push this button.Another interesting thing about the sidings was the Turk's Head points levers which i didn't like as the points could be damaged if not operated correctly.Don't know why they were used here but not on the line to Tilmanstone colliery and its' various sidings.
If the coal did go by road driving in the lanes around the pit must have been a bit hairy.When did the N.C.B. steam locos stop being used?
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Islesy on February 18, 2010, 22:46:49
Diesel traction replaced steam on the East Kent Railway (Tilmanstone Colliery-Shepherdswell) in 1960, yet 68009 was working at Snowdown Colliery to the mid 70s. I'll have to check the Tilmanstone Colliery records against another reference source in the morning, doesn't seem to add up to me.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: unfairytale on February 18, 2010, 23:02:43
St. Dunstan at Snowdown 1977.
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2681/4368363265_531bc7030e.jpg)

St. Thomas 1972.
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4021/4369112062_f8af70172f.jpg)

Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: unfairytale on February 18, 2010, 23:04:37
A plan for the proposed new road layout 2005.
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4007/4369117970_839c2dc953_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: TowerWill on February 19, 2010, 00:03:02
Now that i think of it i cannot think of any slots in the Working Timetable for coal trains out of Snowdown Yard during the late 1970's.We had one at 0100 (approx.) from Shepherdswell up sidings to Hither Green and at 35 m.p.h. this would have restricted up working for a while of any more freights.While waiting at Hither Green for my back working i can't recall any more coal trains passing up to 0500.We had a train departing Shepherdswell around 2300 via Dover Priory also 35 m.p.h. which would have restricted freight on that line for a while.If any coal went by rail in the period under discussion it would probably have been during the daytime.I do not know which Kent train crew depot would have had the rosters to work Snowdown Colliery.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Islesy on February 19, 2010, 08:47:19
Diesel traction replaced steam on the East Kent Railway (Tilmanstone Colliery-Shepherdswell) in 1960, yet 68009 was working at Snowdown Colliery to the mid 70s. I'll have to check the Tilmanstone Colliery records against another reference source in the morning, doesn't seem to add up to me.

Have cross checked my sources now and can confirm that steam had ceased to be used on the EKR line by 1961. Betteshangar and Snowdown owned their own steam locos, which probably explains why they were still working the yards into the mid '70s. Tilmanstone on the other hand, used hand shunted tubs on the narrow gauge into the '50s, by 1955 they were using a small 0-4-0 diesel similar to a Fowler type engine. Shunting on the standard gauge from at least 1959 was undertaken by an 1955 NCB Hunslet No.4679
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: fosdyke on February 19, 2010, 12:42:51
Amongst all this negativity on Kent Miners, I'd like to point out that Snowdown was the hottest and most humid pit in Kent and was given the name 'Dante's Inferno' by the miners. Regarded by many as the worst pit to work at in Britain, most Snowdown miners worked naked because clothes became too uncomfortable. The miners could consume around 24 pints (14 litres) of water in an 8-hour shift and there were frequent cases of heat stroke.


I was priviledged to go down Snowdon in 1980 or 81 (I forget which), just for the day. We visited one of the faces being worked and other parts of the mine workings. It was extremely hot, and at the face we stood up to our knees in water - It took a week to get the coal dust out of my nose! I considered (and still do) that whatever the miners were paid it wasn't enough!

As to the 'militancy' of the Kent Miners; as well as coming from the north, I believe there were quite a few that came from the Welsh pits following the General Strike of 1926 - This and the strike of the 80's were commemorated in the community production 'Promised Land' at the Marlowe theatre around 3 years ago....
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Islesy on February 19, 2010, 13:34:45
Another view of St. Dunstan on site at Snowdown, outside the Colliery Loco Shed.

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4064/4369386565_26d1f0204a.jpg)

The Fowler 0-4-0 I mentioned earlier, again, outside the Loco Shed

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2800/4370135682_943b185fb9.jpg)

and an unidentified NCB 0-6-0 diesel shunter

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4046/4370137184_3b0cf9263f.jpg)


Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: TowerWill on February 19, 2010, 18:10:14
Yes Islesy i can recall a steam loco shunting the yard when us lads took a trip to Canterbury on the then recently electrified main line.
I was a member of the E.K.L.R. society for a while and they had a steam engine there at the time,a tank engine i think.
I certainly wouldn't have wanted to have worked down a pit,had enough of coal on the railways and the one month i worked delivering the stuff.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: PG on February 21, 2010, 19:55:15
In reply to Islesy and TowerWill, I used to catch the train to school in Dover in the early 70's and went past Snowdown everyday. A couple of pals and I use to have bets on which locos would be shunting in the yard. There were three similar steam locos a I remember, St Dunstan, St Thomas and St Martin. They stopped using St Thomas and St Martin when they brought the Hunslet loco in about 1972. Does anybody know where St Martin went?
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Islesy on February 21, 2010, 20:50:17
St. Dunstan is now rusting away at Eythorne Station.

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2716/4376812242_a7aae2a301.jpg)

Maker's plate on the Buffer Beam.

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4023/4376813598_492df521dc.jpg)

Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: TowerWill on February 21, 2010, 22:31:14
Still steam shunting in the early 1970's then PG.I didn't know the loco names though.Is St. Thomas the loco used at one time to run trips on the EKLR islesy?I must have seen it there when the Ramsgate bus went via Eythorne and Elvington.A steam loco was in use when i helped out one Easter at Shepherswell EKLR booking office and someone living near me had a part share in it.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Islesy on February 22, 2010, 08:50:03
Still steam shunting in the early 1970's then PG.I didn't know the loco names though.Is St. Thomas the loco used at one time to run trips on the EKLR islesy?I must have seen it there when the Ramsgate bus went via Eythorne and Elvington.A steam loco was in use when i helped out one Easter at Shepherswell EKLR booking office and someone living near me had a part share in it.

Sorry TowerWill, I mis-captioned that last pic, it is in actual fact St. Dunstan! It was in use initially, but it is this one, not St. Thomas, that had the problems , leading to it being withdrawn from service. I seem to recall that another Steam Engine was brought in for a while, but I can't bring to mind the details.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: TowerWill on February 22, 2010, 16:55:04
OK Islesy.Maybe boiler problems with the loco.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Islesy on March 06, 2010, 16:26:56
A couple more aerials from the mid 1920s

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2706/4369368481_f2f4ba3767.jpg)

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4001/4370116990_dcd1bdf4c0.jpg)
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Islesy on March 06, 2010, 16:28:43
Late 1970s pic of the colliery.

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2803/4360063125_19339dc472.jpg)
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Islesy on March 06, 2010, 16:33:44
The first hoppit of coal raised at Snowdown, November 12, 1912

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4069/4369368849_0281b47ecb_o.jpg)
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Islesy on March 06, 2010, 16:47:55
Working the Beresford Seam at Snowdown, not far from the shaft. January 1913

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2798/4369368599_16c5889a14_o.jpg)
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: unfairytale on March 07, 2010, 19:51:56
A not so lovely picture.
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4039/4414013897_7e61c35870_o.jpg)
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Trikeman on April 27, 2010, 00:52:51
Taken recently, this is what's left to see at Snowdown - the only substantial remains of Kent's mining heritage, apart from a lot of disguised spoil heaps.
Discover it before it disappears.
Trikeman

(http://i722.photobucket.com/albums/ww221/trikeboy/Mining/IMG_5610.jpg)
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: ellenkate on April 27, 2010, 09:03:13

Arthur Burr and Dover Mayor Sir Wm Crundall celebrating in 1913 the first coal at Snowdown:

(http://i817.photobucket.com/albums/zz93/ellenkate1/dover%20-%20collieries/SnowdownArthurBurrDoverMayorSirWmCr.jpg)

Dover Sea Cadets parade at the funeral of Snowdown boy miner James Joseph Smith in 1936 (I don't have exact date for this):

(http://i817.photobucket.com/albums/zz93/ellenkate1/dover%20-%20collieries/FuneralSnowdownboyminer1936screened.jpg)


Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: unfairytale on August 01, 2010, 22:14:22
In reply to Islesy and TowerWill, I used to catch the train to school in Dover in the early 70's and went past Snowdown everyday. A couple of pals and I use to have bets on which locos would be shunting in the yard. There were three similar steam locos a I remember, St Dunstan, St Thomas and St Martin. They stopped using St Thomas and St Martin when they brought the Hunslet loco in about 1972. Does anybody know where St Martin went?

St. Martin was scrapped whilst St. Thomas and St. Dunstan were still working. It was allowed to freeze solid while full of water!
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: DS239 on January 22, 2011, 21:31:23
and an unidentified NCB 0-6-0 diesel shunter




Well done Islesy for this picture of a rarely photographed locomotive.

It is Andrew Barclay works no.382 of 1955, a 330h.p. diesel-mechanical 0-6-0 that previously worked at Chislet Colliery.

Have you got any more photo's like this?
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: omega4040 on May 27, 2011, 20:28:58
I would love to have got the chance to go underground. It still amazes me whenever I go to Snowdown and stand on top of the sealed shafts.

I've spoken to miners from all over, with many interesting stories. A few that stick to mind:

- Regarding man-riding the conveyors. I'm not sure if it was always forbidden, but certainly in the later years it was not allowed. I have a friend that worked at Snowdown, he said they had a particularly mean boss who would turn his lamp off, and stand by the side of the conveyor and hit anyone that came past with a big stick!

- If anyone ever got hurt underground, whether it be for a cut finger or a broken leg - they would be bundled on to a stretcher. Why? Because it would take 2 guys to hold the stretcher, and another to hold the first aid kit and davy lamp. All of them would receive extra money!!

Something else you might not be aware of is a video of the head-gear being felled at Snowdown. Interesting watching - scroll to the bottom of http://www.kentcoalandcommunity.co.uk/ where it says demolition video. If anyone is aware of any other videos above, or even better below ground at any of the mines i'd be very interested to hear. I'm also fascinated to hear other stories from ex-miners - if you've got a tale to tell, why not write it down!
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: overman on September 07, 2011, 13:36:35

In return to this comment:
If anyone is aware of any other videos above, or even better below ground at any of the mines i'd be very interested to hear. I'm also fascinated to hear other stories from ex-miners - if you've got a tale to tell, why not write it down!



Aylesham Heritage Centre is open for visitors every Wednesday 10am-2pm
Video's old photo's on show, this is run by ex-miners who will try to answer any questions about the Kent coalfield.
All welcome
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Sentinel S4 on September 07, 2011, 21:14:57
I am certain that the little 0-4-0DM was still in Kent, earlier this year I saw her on a farm near Lydden gently rusticating back to natural state. I am certain she was connected to Preston Steam Services as they had her for sale recently, he might have been acting as agent for the sale.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: kyn on November 25, 2011, 11:32:36
On the 7th December 1915 two men were killed when a hoppit crashed down upon ten men working in No.2 Shaft.  The group were working in the 2,100ft shaft when the hoppit, filled with debris at a weight of around 30cwt. broke away from the pithead due to overwinding.  The two men killed were Tom Parker and John Mount.  Mr. D. Mallett had his arm so badly crushed he had to have it amputated immediately after reaching the hospital.  As the tank fell it crashed against the sides of the shaft destroying the electric light gear and breaking pipes.  The shaft was in total darkness for two hours before the rescuers were able to rescue the men, the pit had also begun to flood and it was some time before the bodies of the men killed were able to e recovered.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Stevend on January 18, 2012, 16:02:09
I took these photos when exploring north from Ruberries Bridge towards Snowdown colliery waste at TR 24984 50388.
I would be interested to know what this pipe line is for (there was a concrete 'mushroom' at the base with reference to gas on it).

(http://i1226.photobucket.com/albums/ee411/stevendur/DSCF8296.jpg)
(http://i1226.photobucket.com/albums/ee411/stevendur/DSCF8298.jpg)

These rail lines haven't been used for a while (the main line is just to the right of the camera)

(http://i1226.photobucket.com/albums/ee411/stevendur/DSCF8294.jpg)
(http://i1226.photobucket.com/albums/ee411/stevendur/DSCF8292.jpg)
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: TowerWill on January 18, 2012, 22:31:12
Your photo showing the overgrown rails brings back the memories Stevend.They were probably the lines we used to run the loco round a train of up to 60 empty coal trucks.We would come in from Ashford,run round, head back to Shepherdswell and then push back into the Long Sidings.Snowdown had a signal box back then and there was a plunger button by the the track for the guard to push when the train was in off the main line complete with tail lamp.For a while a company started up at Snowdown extracting something from the colliery spoil heap.I believe it was closed down due to pollution downwind of the site.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Nemo on January 19, 2012, 20:42:50
Couple of points in this wide-ranging thread.  Both sides of my ex's family were miners, one side from Scottish pits (changing name en route) and one from the Welsh.  The immigrants brought their language (and faiths) with them, I think.  In Aylesham, a 'gitty' is what down west we would simply call a 'no cycling lane' - an alley between terraces.  Courting in 1984 had to contend with picket lines both at Snowdown and Tilmanstone; police (presumably returning to Dover) were apt to trail you and PNC the car reg.  I also recall a connection between Snowdown colliery sidings and the Channel tunnel, but for the life of me I can't recall what it was - spoil in either direction, or simply storage of tunnel segments.  I think it crops up in 'A day in the life of British Rail'.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: TowerWill on January 19, 2012, 21:25:49
Hi Nemo, i think our trainmen had some turns shifting spoil from Snowdown spoil heap to a site near Ashford where concrete segments for the Chunnel were going to be stored.I can't recall the new sidings name now and i wasn't involved.Those sidings are still in in use and we sometimes see a loco or de-icing train berthed in them.
I can also recall a train load of coal being held in a Dover siding for ages due to a strike.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Sentinel S4 on January 19, 2012, 21:44:29
Would that be Sevington Sidings Nemo?
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: TowerWill on January 21, 2012, 11:01:11
On a trip to and from Ashford yesterday it looked as though the sidings sign read "Rail Freight Sevington Sidings" or similar.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Nemo on January 21, 2012, 18:53:12
Sentinel: Towerwill's right, Sevington it is.  What the spoil was used for, I can't say but it can't have been for anything terribly substantial (ie. tall/deep) given the tendancy of large amounts of the stuff to spontaneously combust (eg. Welsh valleys) or slip (eg. embankments on the GWR Badminton line).
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Sentinel S4 on January 21, 2012, 19:07:57
I know that a lot of fill had to be used in the rail link. I don't know where it came from but the sidings at Sevington were used for the rail head of the project. From there it went onto road tippers to where it was needed. I was one of the traffic light engineers involved as the company I worked for got the section for the plant crossings from Sandling to just the other side of the Pluckley Road. I do know a lot of stuff was used, at times the haul road was almost gridlocked. Happy Days..... S4.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: TowerWill on January 21, 2012, 22:09:35
Yes happy days SS4!As Nemo says there was something combustible in that spoil.I mentioned earlier that a small factory was started up at Snowdown to get something out of the stuff.The downwind neighbours may have objected as it was shut down.Those Snowdown Sidings were about the only ones i used in the 1970's that had Turk's Head point levers.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: omega4040 on January 23, 2012, 16:22:45
Your photo showing the overgrown rails brings back the memories Stevend.They were probably the lines we used to run the loco round a train of up to 60 empty coal trucks.We would come in from Ashford,run round, head back to Shepherdswell and then push back into the Long Sidings.Snowdown had a signal box back then and there was a plunger button by the the track for the guard to push when the train was in off the main line complete with tail lamp.For a while a company started up at Snowdown extracting something from the colliery spoil heap.I believe it was closed down due to pollution downwind of the site.


The Bragg Aggregate Plant operated on site in the 70s and 80s. It used a sintering process to manufacture blocks from the tip materials (shale mainly i would have thought). The foundations of the works are clearly visible.

My understanding (as Towerwill has said), is that it was shut down on environmental grounds.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: omega4040 on January 23, 2012, 16:27:15
Couple of points in this wide-ranging thread.  Both sides of my ex's family were miners, one side from Scottish pits (changing name en route) and one from the Welsh.  The immigrants brought their language (and faiths) with them, I think.  In Aylesham, a 'gitty' is what down west we would simply call a 'no cycling lane' - an alley between terraces.  Courting in 1984 had to contend with picket lines both at Snowdown and Tilmanstone; police (presumably returning to Dover) were apt to trail you and PNC the car reg.  I also recall a connection between Snowdown colliery sidings and the Channel tunnel, but for the life of me I can't recall what it was - spoil in either direction, or simply storage of tunnel segments.  I think it crops up in 'A day in the life of British Rail'.


A huge amount of spoil was removed from Snowdown and used during construction of the Channel Tunnel (not sure why), this lead to the entire tip being reprofiled. I believe the same material was also used during construction of the hovercraft 'pad' at Pegwell Bay.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: TowerWill on January 23, 2012, 17:28:09
Many thanks for that info o4040 and the name of the plant rings a bell.I remember the chimney chucking out the pollution and articles in the Dover Express about the complaints.Dover Engineering Works didn't worry about polluting us in a similar way some decades earlier but that's in another thread.I expect the land at Sevington had to be built up to the main line's level and the East Stour River runs nearby.Building the new Ambulance station on the other side of the road  was a pretty damp business going by what we could see from the train.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: overman on January 24, 2012, 15:06:28
The spoil from Snowdown tip was used for the area around Cheriton rail link, they did intend to use the spoil from Betteshanger at an agreed price of 9p per ton not quite sure how many million tons they required.

British rail would not allow 1,000 ton trains to go down through Dover via Martin Mill because of the gradient.

The spoil for the Pegwell Bay Hover pad came from Chislet as did the spoil for the Sandwich By-Pass
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: DS239 on October 28, 2012, 01:15:22
More railway images of Snowdown found on the web...

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3283/3127485755_b5402fe1cf_z.jpg?zz=1)
St.Dunstan in 1979.

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3238/3128312574_61137bfe2b_z.jpg?zz=1)
Fowler diesel with ex-BR Classes 11 and 12 behind in 1979.

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7021/6697007311_1457a72f7b_z.jpg)

(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2063/5753734639_a28b178265_z.jpg)

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7246/6951108742_48148002b0_c.jpg)
St.Thomas shunting on 25th Sept 1970.

(http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4100/4884297831_e34b4b5b1b_z.jpg)
St.Dunstan shunting the exchange sidings in March 1976.

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5288/5311632065_75fb8769ea_z.jpg)
A 'P' class 0-6-0T on hire from BR in the early 1950's.


(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5214/5486448373_e33a200ccb_z.jpg)

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5012/5486449889_3ca7ff5d13_z.jpg)

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5057/5487044482_8f10eeaf93_z.jpg)
St. Thomas alongside the Austerity [HE3825/54]

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7158/6697003747_4cccea04cc_z.jpg)
The Barclay diesel.

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5210/5307121096_9ba8479d16_z.jpg)

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5081/5301091029_80c9dcf490_z.jpg)
The exchange sidings in the early 1980's with disused NCB internal user wagons,Braggs brickmaking plant on the right.

Underground in 1987,with English Electric loco's:-
(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7258/7679517670_8fde0f4742_c.jpg)

(http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4093/5433825003_2098296dcc_z.jpg)

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5178/5433809249_f31cdbc0cf_z.jpg)

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5166/5312225716_79768ef898_z.jpg)

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5208/5312225096_0a38edd1a1_z.jpg)

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5206/5303261196_1e7824a570_z.jpg)

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5126/5303215142_07d7da7265_z.jpg)

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5288/5303216098_b857b96dc5_z.jpg)

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5083/5302648153_805bb060cd_z.jpg)

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5083/5302622235_c7f73c3f04_z.jpg)

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5090/5301561342_5e01aaee6f_z.jpg)

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5162/5301609012_e846dd6df9_z.jpg)

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5281/5301610184_1787e6e339_z.jpg)

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7119/7679548106_704056ec72_c.jpg)
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: howard on October 28, 2012, 08:23:32
A wonderful selection of photos! I'll bet that 'P' class wasn't very popular with drivers and shunters - very little power and a pretty useless vacuum brake.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Sentinel S4 on October 28, 2012, 09:40:18
A brilliant set of pics DS239, thanks for posting them. They are certainly evocative of a near forgotten industry in Kent.

Howard, I feel I have to pull you up a bit on the P class. There were eight built as replacement motive power for the railcar sets that were less than successful. They were not as powerful as the LBSCR Terrier however they were good enough to last to the end of steam. Of the eight built four have survived, 50% of the class. If they were that bad the the Southern or BR would have binned them long before. If you look at the Snowdon locos you will notice that they have no brake connections on the buffing beam, the P has. I would also debate with you the effect of 'useless' vacuum brakes. On the Romney that was all we had. After an accident we had to do some experimentation concerned with stopping distances at speed. Now the Romney locos are 1/3rd scale but the track is 1/4 scale. That makes for a mind bend. We found that at 25mph (75mph in 1/3 or 100mph in 1/4) we could stop an 18 car train in its own length. At the time, early 1990's, that was as good as the then new Eurostar. Vacuum brakes work very well. The P also had a powerful steam brake for the loco as well. An old adage for you; The loco is for going, the train is for slowing. In other words the train provided the main stopping power whilst the loco provided the motion. You will also notice that in photo 4 there is a gent walking along side the train. He is the Shunter. Another point is that all the trains behind the locos are only five or six trucks long. The Shunter would be there with his pole to couple, un-couple, brake the trucks (on their hand brakes) and set the road. This was at low speed and the loco would make the train for the main line locos to collect. As I have said all done at low speed and some times the Shunter would have one of the truck's brakes 'pinned down', in other words 'on' all the time. Yes this made the loco work harder but there was less chance of a run away. Very often the locos, industrial designed locos at that, would only have a hand brake and this has lead to many problems in the preservation of them.

Therefore the P class would have been like a Roll Royce for the drivers. She had brakes, train and loco, which meant that she would be as capable as the Avonside or the Hunslet even though she had a lower tractive effort. The point being was that she could stop herself and not rely on being reversed to stop or a hand brake (that really goes back to the dawn of the railways).

Sorry I am banging on again.....

S4.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: TowerWill on October 28, 2012, 10:42:13
Yes a fine set of photos! I can see the sidings that we used to run the loco around the empty wagons from Ashford before going back to Shepherdswell. The plunger that the guard used when the train was completely into the sidings was close to the main line here. Those brown coloured wagons look very similar to the minfits we were using in 1977, by which time were virtually all vacuum brake fitted. I don't think the ones we used had those little hatches above the main hatch though. The dreaded pins holding the hatches shut can be seen. Bill, the Shepherdswell Signalman, noticed a pin wasn't down on a loaded wagon we were shunting across to the Up Siding at the 'Well. With one of us using a crowbar and the other a sledgehammer we knocked that pin down.
We had to scramble about between the trucks to pipe and screw them. I came to prefer coupling/uncoupling the vacuum pipes to doing the same with air braked wagons and their train pipes and main reservoir pipes. Sentinel S4's description of the shunting was very similar to what was required at the 'Well if a cripple wagon had to be put into the Gun Road siding. We'd have to get between to uncouple though and then pull the string to empty the vacuum cylinder. Not to forget hand brake on first. Then handbrake off, a bang from the driver's loco, and then a run beside the wagon into the Gun Road using the brake stick when required.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: howard on October 28, 2012, 11:20:11
Sentinel S4, I didn't suggest that vacuum brakes are useless, only the ones on the 'P' class. I agree with you that the brakes would have been fine as long as all shunting was done at low speed with wagon brakes pinned down. Shunting without a train brake on a 'P' is quite exciting as there isn't a steam brake, at least not on the one I regularly drive, but only a vacuum brake, the cylinder size and therefore power, being dictated by the space available, which isn't much! The steam reverser is quite useful as you can go from full forward to full back at the flick of a lever and stop your train that way if necessary.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Sentinel S4 on October 28, 2012, 11:34:53
I stand corrected about the brakes, thank you Howard. I know that when built they had a steam brake so they must have been removed at some time in the locos life. I believe at some time they had air pump as well as the circuit for push/pull working, this enabled them to work air fitted stock as well as vacuum. I am guessing that the steam brake would have been done away with then.

I think that you should have a word with your fitters about the lack of braking power on your P, maybe they need taking up a bit? :) Nice to have another steam driver out there, mine was almost all on the Romney but you get to play with the Big Toys :). Slightly green with envy now........ :)

S4.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: DS239 on October 28, 2012, 18:20:45
Those brown coloured wagons look very similar to the minfits we were using in 1977, by which time were virtually all vacuum brake fitted.
I think the Southern Region of BR had [apart from special workings] done away with 'unfitted' goods trains by the early 1970's,- hadn't they?
Quote
I don't think the ones we used had those little hatches above the main hatch though.
Whilst in the mid to late 1970's BR were scrapping a lot of their unfitted 16T minerals, they were re-bodying vac-fitted ones, and creating 'new' ones by re-bodying vac-fitted 17'6" long underframes taken from other wagons that had been made redundant by loss of traffic,-'Palbrick' wagons and such, and these re-bodied 'Minfits' [MCV's in TOPS parlance] lacked the top flaps over their side doors.

More images that I've found on the web:-
(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5015/5487043992_e470486be6_z.jpg)

(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2533/5833140582_917ab6fe1b_z.jpg)

(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6130/5991179386_c1cce8669f_z.jpg)
Ex-BR Class 12 0-6-0DE no.15224

[img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5239/ this is Avonside 0-6-0ST 'St.Martin', the one that didn't survive into preservation.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: howard on October 28, 2012, 21:01:08
I think that you should have a word with your fitters about the lack of braking power on your P, maybe they need taking up a bit? :) Nice to have another steam driver out there, mine was almost all on the Romney but you get to play with the Big Toys :). Slightly green with envy now........ :)

S4.
I don't think it's down to the fitters. The loco weighs about the same as a bogie coach but has less than half the braking power as the brake cylinder is smaller than the two fitted to a coach and there is only one. We always run goods trains 'fully fitted' with the 'P' whereas all our other locos will handle them with a 'fitted head' (a number of brake fitted wagons next to the loco for those of you unfamiliar with railway jargon). Anyway, it's all academic at the moment, the 'P' is lying in bits at Rolvenden!
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Sentinel S4 on October 28, 2012, 21:30:27
 Anyway, it's all academic at the moment, the 'P' is lying in bits at Rolvenden!

1; Find CME.

2; Jump up and down screaming "I want my P back NOW"

3; If the above fails jump up and down on CME's head until he puts her back together again.

4; If all else fails drive another loco......

As a driver/fitter ex-Ronmey we used to set the loco brakes, within days some of the drivers would have backed them off so that the train would stop on a rising gauge. It was easier on the three link couplings.

Wandering off thread, sorry. Thanks for posting more pics, DS239. The one of St Martin was great, not there now. I think her stack was not the best looking in the world. Also I never realised that the Avonside's all had copper caps. An interesting embellishment for an industrial loco.

S4.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: TowerWill on October 29, 2012, 08:26:59
Many thanks for the info about the minfits DS239! I think it was in 1978 that unfitted trains were banned from the Southern Region. If I remember rightly this was after some tank wagons, standing at a red signal and over catch points, rolled back slightly and were derailed and went down an embankment when the train restarted. Maybe in the Dartford and Hither Green area. The catch points were all wound into the closed position after this. Previous to this I did work, or learn on, some unfitted freight trains where an unfitted wagon or a "blow through" had to be put on the rear of a train. One interesting trip when I was out learning with "Concrete Boots" and with "Squeeker" up front, was between Dover Town and Hoo Junction via Chatham. This train was made up of oil tanks and with a "blow through" wagon and brake van at the rear. The guard's route books had all the braking points marked down in those days. One wet night passing Shepherdswell I put flats on my brake van wheels where the the route book said "brakes on hard".
Just having minfits with one main hatch was enough to look out for when stumbling around dark sidings. A dropping minfit hatch did cause a derailment. But that was up in the Chatham area and in a tunnel.
We were supposed to ride in the rear cab on fully fitted trains. I was doing this on the Ashford to Snowdown/Shepherdswell empties when I saw clouds of smoke coming off my minfit wagons where some of the brakes had come on. I left the Empty/Loaded levers alone after that, just like the old guards told me to!
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: peterchall on October 29, 2012, 09:00:25
Please, what is a "blow through" wagon. This layman's mind boggles :)
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: TowerWill on October 29, 2012, 10:34:35
Sorry peterchall, I was waffling a bit but the railways and coal mines were very much interlinked. A "blow through" was nothing more than a rail wagon which had the pipework installed to take the vacuum (or air) from the wagon in front to the wagon behind but the wagon itself was not fitted with the automatic brake, only a handbrake. The pipework at each end of the wagon was painted white so it was easy to spot. Where this might have become a problem at Snowdown would have been after running the loco around and a "blow through" next to the loco at Ashford became the rear wagon when returning to Shepherdswell. Not allowed of course but fortunately not a problem I ever had to solve at Snowdown sidings. We needed to check that out before leaving Ashford sidings.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: howard on October 29, 2012, 17:01:02
We have a number of 'blow through' wagons on the K&ESR although we call them 'piped' and a 'fully fitted' train could have a couple of piped wagons in it. It's the Guard's job to make sure the Driver knows because it reduces the brake force available. They are still identified as TowerWill says. If you have a piped wagon on the back of a train and the coupling breaks then the vacuum hoses will break and the train will stop. Unfortunately the piped wagon will roll off away from the train if you are running uphill at the time. This causes a certain amount of upset to the crew of any following train!
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: trainman on November 05, 2012, 19:12:37
    Loose coupled trains were the order of the day (mostly night) when I was a Dover fireman. One turn in particular, 8.0 p.m. goods from Dover to Ashford, shunt at Folkestone junc., signal box working, shunt at Sandling junc., box working, but guard had to work in the dark with hand lamp only, then on to Ashford where we got relieved for two hours while our train was remarshalled. We had also to wait until our return had arrived at the arches and taken water, we could then depart to the station, stop cab to cab for change over. By this time the signal system had changed to block regulation 4, line clear junction blocked, ie next stop signal could be Folkestone Junction, train load +120, steam brake on the engine, vacuum on tender, and maybe one or two vacuum fitted vans and guards brake on the rear. Now here was an engine that had been on the road for nearly 20 hours and had had little servicing in that time. It was normal for the fire to have about 6 inches of ash and clinker on the bars so I had to get under it with the rake and lift it to get some air into the fire, so take up the slack and away we used to go. We would nearly be at the Ashford works before we saw the guards signal, so from here on it was a hard slog to Westenhanger. Going over the top at Westenhanger there was a big lurch as the guard applied his hand brake, but at this point in my mind we were a runaway train, vacuum brake on and driver using the steam brake. Most drivers used to open the drain cocks if the hiss from the cocks stopped - then the driving wheels were skidding. About Folkestone Central things became under control, nearly always got a green light at the junction so next stop, Dover Town Yard - all this talk about vacuum brakes. What vacuum brakes?
  regards trainman
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Sentinel S4 on November 05, 2012, 20:36:42
Thanks Trainman, I enjoyed that very much. A wonderful panacea after a day thumping an 18 tonner around East London for 12hrs. Much appreciated. What loco would you expect for the return working? C, Q1, N, U?

S4.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: trainman on November 05, 2012, 22:52:56
 Thanks S4, c class limited =65 even then the water level was a problem, from Dover u or n Ashford to Dover King Arthur, only fired a coffee pot a few times, had one on a pass to Faversham killed the timings, got to Faversham too early!! They were very fleet of foot.
 regards, trainman
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: trainman on November 06, 2012, 05:09:58
Hi S4, I should have said "U" or "N"  and or Nelson to Dover. The Nelson to me were lumbering giants and they were not fitted with a steam brake and, believe it or not, it was the fireman who gave the driver the ok to proceed, when the fire was right, after 5 nights of this turn one was aching to get a job on the pilots on Saturday for a rest. 
Drove a truck here in Australia for a while, but gave it up, did not like bashing kangaroos on the roads at night, was only a fill- in job but I suppose it`s all part of life`s rich pattern.
regards, trainman

PS, saw a LSWR  "K" class loco  2-6-0 at Dover, but not in steam, very nice looking engine vacuum and Westinghouse brakes - how it got there ?
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: trainman on November 06, 2012, 09:20:16
 I think the unfitted 4 wheelers came to an end on BR when one truck became derailed in the middle of a train. This one truck turned on its side and skidded along the rail in the middle of the train, a diesel railmotor, coming the in the other direction, smashed into it and killed the driver, so end of 4 wheelers.
I did hear that the Southern was so short of bogie vehicles they had to hire some from France.
trainman
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Bryn Clinch on November 06, 2012, 09:51:51
Deleted (Error).
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: TowerWill on November 07, 2012, 10:13:42
The derailment due to catch points was in 1977 at Mottingham involving two freight trains. There are some descriptions and photos on the internet. I think it was in the following year that the Southern Region ordered that the rear two wagons had to have the automatic brake installed and working(brake vans no longer required at the train's rear). We guards had to check this when making a brake test. Disc braked wagons were harder to check than those with brake blocks. Most of the catch points were also wound shut. Around this time I never worked an unfitted train to Shepherdswell via Snowdown Colliery. Yet cross the River Thames and there were still plenty of unfitted wagons to be seen. A year or two later I  worked a specially authorised unfitted train from Dover Priory sidings to Dover Town Yard being mainly a falling or level gradient.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: DS239 on December 02, 2012, 03:43:48
PS, saw a LSWR  "K" class loco  2-6-0 at Dover, but not in steam, very nice looking engine vacuum and Westinghouse brakes - how it got there ?

Okay, a bit OT from Snowdown Colliery, but that'd be an ex-LB&SCR 'K' class,-from the mid 1950's these were 'shopped' at Ashford Works, and loco's newly ex-works were often run-in on local goods turns, so I would think that would account for it...
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: doncaster diva on February 21, 2013, 00:45:45
I was a goods guard based at Faversham in the late 60's early 70's and we worked to and from Snowden Colliery. Mainly with trains for Bowaters Paper Mill at Ridham Dock. Loose coupled goods trains were still very much the order of the day although if I remember correctly they were designated class 7 or 7+ with a fitted head of at least 3 vacuum fitted wagons. It wasn't until I moved to the Eastern Region that I came across class 8 and 9 goods which sometimes needed the wagon brakes to be pinned down before descending steep gradients.

I have attached some pictures of the Snowden colliery locos at work.

Regards

John
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: TowerWill on February 21, 2013, 08:26:16
Welcome to the Forum Doncaster Diva! Glad to have another ex freight guard on the Forum. When I came to Dover Priory Guard's Depot from carriage cleaning, it was either a fitted head or a fully fitted train too. That accident I mentioned ended unfitted trains on the Southern but I'd still see them North of the Thames. When I was out learning, BR still employed a shunter at Snowdown but he must have left soon after. The guard was then expected to do all the uncoupling and recoupling of the loco as well as work the hand points.
Nice photos too! I remember the steam locos working the yard in the early 1960s but I was still at school then.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: doncaster diva on February 21, 2013, 09:40:02
Good Morning

Glad you liked the photos. Got some more of the area which I will dig out.

When I was at Faversham (transferred from Sturry Station 1967ish) we had 3 links each of 12 weeks. The passenger link was of course regarded as the creme de la creme. Two goods links A and B. The work in both links was good quality stuff and involved a lot of passenger work. Goods guards learned routes for both passenger and goods trains. For goods of course we needed to know the braking points and were tested on these when we were passed out by the Guard's Inspector who was based at Hither Green Station. You were allowed to read these from the notes you had made when route learning. We were also given a rules exam and I remember that the '13 exceptions to passing signals at danger' were an important part of that. As guards we didn't sign route cards but were expected to have route knowledge for all the routes covered by your home depot.

Happy days.

Regards

John

Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: TowerWill on February 21, 2013, 12:27:37
Hello again d.d. That all sounds familiar to me, only I went to Beckenham Junction for training and rules exam. Knew those exceptions by heart and all the ding-ding/loadaphone codes. I think our turn in and out of Snowdown with the empties only involved freight work. Down the line we had a Shepherdswell/Tilmanstone coal train turn that finished off working a boat train from Folkestone East to Folkestone Harbour. So looking like Wesley Pegden ('Last of the Summer Wine') we'd do passenger work too.
Look forward to more photos!
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: KentMiner on February 23, 2013, 15:37:55
This is the St Dunstan as it is today, waiting to be renovated.
More pictures and info at http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/eastkentrailway/
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: TowerWill on February 23, 2013, 16:27:13
A nice photo KentMiner! That rather looks like it's standing in the old EKLR platform siding at Shepherdswell. I was a member of that society for a while and I think it was being used to haul the specials down to Tilmanstone. I remember talking to a chap who said he had a part share in a steam loco out at the 'well. That could have been the loco.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: DS239 on February 23, 2013, 17:20:21
That rather looks like it's standing in the old EKLR platform siding at Shepherdswell.

Yes, that's the EKR platform at Shepherdswell.

Quote
I think it was being used to haul the specials down to Tilmanstone.

No, it has never run in preservation.

The EKR preservationists hired in a Barclay 0-4-0ST named 'Spitfire' for a while to work their trains to Eythorne [they've never reached Tilmanstone because of the missing bridge over Wigmore Lane]


Doncaster Diva: Thanks for posting the pictures, -they're always welcome!  :)

Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: KentMiner on February 23, 2013, 17:24:02
Yes it is on the station at Shepherdswell. We have applied for funding to renovate the engine and return steam to the old colliery sites.
We also want to build an engine house for it and a railway workshop with viewing galleries. We are also looking at restoring as much of our mining railway lines, to some of our old colliery sites as we can.
We have much support for this project but we are short of volunteers, any offers would be extremely appreciated.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: TowerWill on February 23, 2013, 19:36:58
Thank you for that information DS239 and KentMiner! So it may have been Spitfire that chap had a part share in. I helped out in the little booking office at the 'well' one Easter when the steam loco was being used and had a ride in the coach for the last trip of the day to Eythorne. It would be interesting to see one or more of these locos chuffing around the Snowdown Colliery site if it is still possible. As I've mentioned on other threads, by the time I started working to Tilmanstone (late '70s) there was only one line and a run-round loop left at the Colliery end and, of course, that bridge has gone now.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: DS239 on June 03, 2013, 01:41:16
Check this set of photo's out folks! There are some cracking pictures of NCB loco's at both Snowdown and Betteshanger.  :)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/irishswissernie/sets/72157626694269563/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/irishswissernie/sets/72157626694269563/)

Has anyone any idea what the Class 71 (with its panto up, working off the 750V overhead wires, something not seen that much in photos) is doing in the Snowdown exchange sidings with a rake of tank wagons??
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Sentinel S4 on June 03, 2013, 06:46:11
This is going to seem a daft suggestion for the 71 and tanks. Could it be heavy fuel oil for the main boilers?

S4.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: DS239 on June 03, 2013, 13:35:25
This is going to seem a daft suggestion for the 71 and tanks. Could it be heavy fuel oil for the main boilers?

Maybe, but wouldn't the boilers be coal-fired  or are the tank wagons to do with the Bragg aggregate plant?
I did wonder if the train was dropping off or picking up a few coal wagons, but the coal traffic always seemed to worked in 'block' trains.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: kyn on April 19, 2016, 18:36:56
Lot's of pictures of this site for you, unfortunately I can't tell you much about it...

We were told by security that the site is on a hundred year lease and that is why it is still under control of the Coal Authority.  Seems a shame that some buildings are missing important parts, like RSJ's (strangely these seem to have been cut out), and are likely to collapse eventually having little support.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: conan on April 20, 2016, 00:14:14
There's some lovely shots there Kyn, I didn't know there was so much left. It's intriguing that someone is still paying for security to be on the site after all these years of closure.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: kyn on April 20, 2016, 09:54:44
I thought the same as didn't even consider there would be security on site. It would be perfect for a trust to be formed and a museum placed on site as they can't do anything with the land!
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: tinkered on April 20, 2016, 21:29:06
Just a couple more pictures taken from inside the old winch room.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: CAT on April 20, 2016, 22:36:01
I hear plans are afoot to build a new mining heritage museum in the area?
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: CAT on April 22, 2016, 19:13:27
Coming away from the 'Guess the Place` string. Would this be the winding gear JohnWalker ?
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: DS239 on April 23, 2016, 20:24:27
Just a couple more pictures taken from inside the old winch room.

Isn't that the fan house..?
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: CAT on April 25, 2016, 08:27:00
I would certainly bow to anyone more in the know on this DS239. All I can say is the series of images I have relate to and are titled 'the new winding house and mechanism' of about c.1952. However, not knowing a lot about the intimate details of mine workings and their buildings, I would be interested if anyone can provide anymore clarity?
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: CAT on April 25, 2016, 15:55:15
Just in case I am incorrect with my identification of the inside of the winding gear house on my previous posted pic., I have looked again at my collection and it includes, in the same batch, a view of the outside showing the new building next to the winding wheel. If you look at the windows on the new winding gear house they are the same as the ones in the inside view. To show it is the same building the cable can be seen coming out of the roof to the top of the winding wheel.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: tinkered on April 25, 2016, 19:03:17
It`s apparent that I've labelled these photos with the wrong title, I should have put the heading up as a question of "Is this the winch winding room?" rather than stating it as a fact.
I am sorry if this has caused any confusion over the building's use.
I am curious to what DS239 said about it might be "a fan house".
As you look into it, the building is rounded at the bottom and the large diameter holes to the left and right have had what looks like bearing mounts could have been fixed on it.
The large green door is hinged at the top as if it could be a flap.
The capped No. 1 mine shaft is in front of the open end, and the No 2 shaft directly behind the green door.
So if this was a fan house, how was this driven?  By the winching equipment?
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: conan on April 26, 2016, 00:29:53
The winding gear in CATs photo seems to be powered by electricity, maybe the fans were run from the same souce.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: DS239 on April 26, 2016, 15:11:50
I'm no expert but, from what I understand, mines have to have at least 2 access points, [usually 2 shafts but could be a 2 drifts or one of each]. To maintain a fresh supply of air to the workings one is an 'upcast' where the stale air is drawn up from out of the mine, and the other a 'downcast' where fresh air is drawn in.Underground there are air locks to maintain the air circuit. The fan would have been electrically driven, although in very old mines years ago before efficient fans were invented they'd have a fire at the bottom of a shaft and a chimney at the top of it to draw air up.
CAT's photo shows the upcast shaft headgear with an airlock around the pithead where the tubs were unloaded, this is to stop air entering via this route when the fan alongside is sucking air up out of the pit and blowing it out of the evase at the top of the fanhouse.
Men accessed the pit via the downcast shaft.

As I say, I'm no expert but I've been down 'Big Pit' at Blaenavon and read a couple of books on the subject.
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: JohnWalker on April 26, 2016, 18:01:32
Coming away from the 'Guess the Place` string. Would this be the winding gear JohnWalker ?

That's very similar to how I remember the winding gear at Chislet Colliery CAT.  I seem to recall that the operator was on a high platform overlooking the gear at Chislet.  The cable fitted into a spiral track on the enormous winding drum.  I believe Chislet might have been deeper than Snowdown but not sure.

JW
Title: Re: Snowdown Colliery
Post by: Nemo on February 12, 2018, 16:47:31
A link to photos of engines at each of the latter-day Kent pits; apologies if they've been posted before: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=XiwbDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA1964&lpg=PA1964&dq=chislet+locomotives&source=bl&ots=Y4ta7BYcdg&sig=qcMluLOE5KO0accAXNeZTa1kVWI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiu_7yk25_ZAhXDCcAKHc7-ATs4ChDoATAAegQIERAB#v=snippet&q=Tilmanstone&f=false