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Newbold Heritage Group New Lount Colliery Heritage Trail Board 3

Underground Changes over the years:-

The two shafts were sunk in 1924 No.1, the Downcast and No.2 the Upcast (Later called "Jackie Pit") with both being completed in September 1924. Both shafts were initially 15ft in diameter and brick lined. The winding engine on No.2 was smaller than the one on No.1 pit shaft.

Initially the tubs were filled manually, but in 1928 a 15hp Meco Face Shaker Conveyor was introduced to the Middle Lount face and this fed a machine for loading the tubs.

Significant changes were made in 1933 when No.2 shaft was sunk a further 30 yards down to the Lower Roaster seam and a new pit bottom created. And in 1934 the headgear of No.2 was modified to accommodate the larger cages, was enclosed with brickwork with sliding doors to form a better airlock. A more powerful winding engine was also installed, apparently having been obtained from a closed colliery near Darlington.

Around 1940 a new brick-arched endless haulage house was built approximatelt 100 yards from the bottom of No.1 shaft bottom, to accommodate a large 150hp Becander endless haulage system, driven by a 100hp motor. This system brought all the coal from both Middle and Nether Lount seams to the bottom of No.1 shaft.

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Over the following years there was an increase in the use of conveyors at the coal faces and to convey coal to the tub loaders. In the early days of the NCB the coal in tubs was brought to the bottom of both shafts and then brought to the surface. At the surface the tubs were conveyed onto the gantry and taken to the tipplers, from where the coal was passed to the shakers and screens. Tubs were used to bring coal up the shafts until 1955 when the surface drift was installed. This drift incorporated a single main conveyor belt which coveyed direct to the screens and was linked to all working coal faces. As a result all coal was now brought to the surface via the drift.

Full mechanisation of most of the faces was achieved by the mid 50's, although there was still some handfilling on the Lower Roaster seam (2ft 6ins depth) until the pit closed.  By the early 1960's both the Middle Lount and Nether Lount faces had been equiped with mechanisation in the form of cutter/loaders although the Upper Roaster faces were still handfilled. This had the effect of significantly reducing the number of miners working at the coal faces ( down to just 614 underground in 1960 from 800 in 1950).

Surface Drifts.

In 1953 a drift from the surface at Coleorton Colliery was driven down to the Upper Roaster Seam,which was unworked in that area at the time. The purpose of this drift was to provide a new ventilation circuit and to give an alternative emergency exit. This drift also provided an easier access to work for the miners working in the Coleorton area who used the drift to walk to their job locations.

In 1955 a drift was driven from the surface at New Lount 450 yards with a 1 in 5 gradient to the main trunk roadway in the Nether Lount Seam. The purpose was to bring all of the coal to the surface on a single main conveyor. All the faces were linked to this single conveyor which then fed directly to the screens. The coal was weighed whilst it was on the single conveyor. The two shafts were still used to take equipment, materials (pit props, timber etc.) down and tubs of spoil came up. A new washery was constructed some time after the drift was installed, but there were no new screens added.

Trail Trail Board 4