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Author Topic: Betteshanger Colliery  (Read 31886 times)

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Offline smiler

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Re: Betteshanger Colliery
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2012, 08:33:10 »
Kent miners were good at striking, even doing during ww2.
    In February 1960 400 miners went on strike at Betteshanger in protest at the NBC decision to sack 140 men.The 400 stayed below ground for 160 hours in an attempt to get the dismissal notices suspended.

Offline unfairytale

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Re: Betteshanger Colliery
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2011, 19:00:35 »
My Great Grandad worked at Betteshanger, my Grandad and two of my Great Uncles worked at Tilmanstone. My Grandad's Father and his Brother were both killed there in the late 50s; their job was to remove the pit-props from exhausted seams so they could be used elsewhere, I think this process was called Drawing-out, they died together when the ceiling came down on them. As for my Great Grandad, he eventually died of silicosis after years down the pit.
   An Uncle of mine worked at Snowdown and he was caught in  Pit collapse, when he eventually got out, he vowed never to go down there again and he didn't. I think it took a lot of guts to go down the pit and even more to go on strike at that time.
When you've got your back to wall, there's only one thing to do and that's to turn around and fight. (John Major)
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Offline Bryn Clinch

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Re: Betteshanger Colliery
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2011, 14:55:27 »
When I registered for National Service, a very unfriendly individual pushed a leaflet on coalmining in front of me which I immediately pushed back to him. He then told me to read it which I refused and told him my Mother came from Tonypandy in the Rhondda Valley and that her father and brothers suffered from poor health due to working in the pits, and an uncle who had lost a leg, to which he didn`t reply. Poor pay and dreadful conditions which, without doubt, shortened their lives by many years. I find it difficult to believe that coalmining was offered as an alternative to National Service - I thought that it had all ceased when I registered. I met a few lads in the army who had `signed on`solely because anything was better than `the pit`. 


zany_duckboy

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Re: Betteshanger Colliery
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2011, 10:55:22 »
Doug.
The Kent Miner and his family were good at many things.
 May I remind you that there are always 3 reasons needed for a strike? The workers involved, the complaint for the dispute and the managementís reaction to the workers complaint. Simply talking of the act of striking or date of striking and not taking into account the reasons or history of the dispute, makes your comment inappropriate.
Two things you have not commented on during the war period was a).That most miners wanted to leave the pits, join up and fight for their country in the war and were stopped. That led to the management seizing the opportunity to implement dubious and sometimes dangerous practises on its workforce, at a time when they thought they could get away with it. A shameful act, that backfired on them.

b). That, the Germans dropped a bomb on Betteshanger, wiping out the fan & winding house, leaving a whole shift of men underground. After the men were rescued the management decided to close the colliery for safety reasons, not because the Germans might bomb it again but due to the fan being out of action. The men complained and asked to be allowed to continue producing coal for the cause and it was agreed, a certain amount of men, with health & safety officials keeping them safe, they continued to produce coal. Brave men donít you think?
The Kent Miner and his family should be remembered for much more than his ability to go on strike. 


Offline doug

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Re: Betteshanger Colliery
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2011, 20:04:14 »
Kent miners were good at striking, even doing during ww2.

Offline unfairytale

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Re: Betteshanger Colliery
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2011, 10:08:12 »
I note that the Betteshanger pit attracted a large number of union men who were unable to get work in their home pits up north and in Wales after the 1926 General Strike.

I think that applied to all the kent pits. A lot of blacklisted miners from northern and Welsh towns had little choice but to move south, although a lot of the pits down here were first manned by northern and Welsh workers, the locals weren't experienced enough in mining at the time.
When you've got your back to wall, there's only one thing to do and that's to turn around and fight. (John Major)
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Offline detmold

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Re: Betteshanger Colliery
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2011, 09:44:33 »
I note that the Betteshanger pit attracted a large number of union men who were unable to get work in their home pits up north and in Wales after the 1926 General Strike.
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Offline detmold

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Re: Betteshanger Colliery
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2010, 20:32:03 »
Social club Christmas dinner 1950s

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Offline detmold

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Re: Betteshanger Colliery
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2010, 14:46:05 »
View of the bathouse i believe?

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Offline detmold

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Re: Betteshanger Colliery
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2010, 14:43:16 »
Betteshanger Social club

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Offline ellenkate

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Re: Betteshanger Colliery
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2010, 11:22:44 »
Betteshanger  Colliery - toasting the sinking, 1924:

                     
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Offline unfairytale

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Re: Betteshanger Colliery
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2010, 16:20:35 »
The Colliery in the 1940s.
When you've got your back to wall, there's only one thing to do and that's to turn around and fight. (John Major)
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seafordpete

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Re: Betteshanger Colliery
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2010, 14:32:09 »
They also "infected" 172 Tunnelling Coy RE, who mostly being ex miners had mixed with the Kent lads presumably at the "welfare" . Having heard how much they were earning against the 2/- a day the sappers were getting they were on the verge of mutiny when they arrived at Newhaven according to Lt Dennis Day then section OC.

Offline Islesy

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Re: Betteshanger Colliery
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2010, 22:43:47 »
Opening in the late 1920s Betteshanger was the largest of the Kent collieries. It had two shafts of almost 2000 feet, and plaques can still be seen where the shafts were once sunk. Betteshanger had a tradition of union militancy; it was the first pit to come out on strike during the second world war and took active part in the miners' strikes of 1972, 1974 and 1984/5. It was the last Kent colliery to close, closing for good in 1989.

No.1 Shaft - 687.65 metres


No.2 Shaft - 739 metres


On 10 July 1940 the government introduced Defence Regulation 58AA allowing the Minister of Labour to ban strikes and lockouts, and force compulsory arbitration. Order 1305 then allowed the Minister to refer any dispute to existing arbitration structures or the National Arbitration Tribunal - either alternative was to be binding. But as the Chief Industrial Commissioner recognised ?The Order has a substantial deterrent effect but it is an instrument which would probably be shown to be useless if any considerable body of workpeople chose to defy it.? He was right.

On 9 January 1942 miners at Betteshanger Colliery in Kent struck over the level of allowances for working difficult seams. The Ministry of Labour decided to prosecute 1,050 miners for contravening Order 1305. Three local union officials were imprisoned, the men working difficult seams were fined ?3 each, and 1,000 other miners were fined ?1 each. Betteshanger continued their strike and other pits came out in sympathy. On 28 January they won, and in February the Home Secretary dropped the prison sentences. By May, only 9 miners had paid their fines. Most fines were never paid.

On 11 February 1942 in Parliament, Sir J. Mellor asked the Secretary for Mines, Mr. Grenfell, for an estimate of the coal production lost to the nation as a result of the unlawful stoppage of work at Betteshanger colliery. Mr. Grenfell replied that it was estimated that the total loss of production due to the Betteshanger dispute between 10th and 28th January was about 21,000 tons. (Source: Hansard)
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jonesnet57

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Re: Betteshanger Colliery
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2009, 21:27:19 »
This is part of the drill bore taken before the colliery was "sunk" into the ground, the original bore would have been a few hundred feet long for them to establish where the coal was

 

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