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Author Blagill Mine Overview (photo)
oldpitman

Joined: 11/05/2012

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Blagill Mine Overview (photo)
Posted: 06/07/2018 20:26:46
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It's well before 95. I moved up 91 and it was shut. It will be 80's. Good photos

Photograph:



(click image to open full size image in new window)
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Jim MacPherson

Joined: 02/09/2015

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Blagill Mine Overview (photo)
Posted: 07/07/2018 07:10:08
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Hi,

Poosticker93's photo was from 2016 but the photos my Dad took were during the brief phase of being reopened '93 to'96, I took the date based on the data on the mine entry in AditNow (see below) and 1990's date ties in with the rest of the photos in the batch as some were dated, so I used the 1995 date.

"....Located at Blagill nr Alston. This mine was worked for many years without particular success. By the 1990's it was owned by the Towsbank Coal Co who worked the Little Limestone Seam via a single tracked drift, haulage was by a diesel winder engine on the incline. The mine closed in July 1993 until sold and re-opened by the Blagill Colliery Co in November 1993. By June 1996 the mine was closed and the adit blocked with heavy wooden doors, however stockpiled coal was still being sold off......"

Better information always welcome.

Jim

And a little from DMM.

http://www.dmm.org.uk/colliery/b117.htm


IP: 109.157.234.40 Edited: 07/07/2018 10:48:09 by Jim MacPherson
oldpitman

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Blagill Mine Overview (photo)
Posted: 07/07/2018 18:21:09
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Yes. There may be a crossover of info here. John What's on re opened blagill in the 1980s, John now has Hudgill caravan park,.
All the infrastructure was there well into the 90s but I can't remember it running when I came up to work for Frank Shepherds in 1991, I went round all the pits looking for work and Blagill was not operating, though John was using the site as a coal yard Ashe was still a coal dealer. Some friends of mine from Burnley came up wanting to buy some of the plant to re open Porters Gate, for which they had just gains permission.

Tows bank worked on until de nationalisation in 94 and may have gone a bit longer, I can't remember off hand, it was owned by the Nancarrow's. I don't think they would look at blagillas they had put an awful lot into their own pit, and the mention of an incline matches up with Tows Bank.

I did have a last working plan of Blagill, I took it out of the office after it closed, but I don't know where I have put it.

The photo with the JCB is deffo Blagill but the drift driving,I am almost sure is Able. It looks like John on the Photo but John What's on helped drive that able drift at the top of the quarry, that was in the 70s about the time John Heatherington was killed

I will dig my photos out later.

Blagill did use an old lead mine drift as a fan drift,I think you had a photo on another thread.
They are cracking photos anyway,.

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oldpitman

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Blagill Mine Overview (photo)
Posted: 07/07/2018 18:38:04
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Dug photos out
It is defo Blagill drift under construction, constructed in a similar way to the Ayle drift.
I have a few photos ranging from 91, 93 and 95, if I knew how to upload them
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Jim MacPherson

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Blagill Mine Overview (photo)
Posted: 07/07/2018 18:40:42
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Fine information there oldpitman,

As you are probably only too well aware much of the information about both the mine workings and the people involved from the 1970's onwards is vanishing very fast. If the mine plan appears that would be good to see as would any of the photos you turn up.

As you comment there is a photo annotated as Blagill Coal Mine - Lead Adit with showing some evidence of reworking, so from what you say I can give it a home and a bit of detail , do you recall roughly where the adit was?

Mum and Dad kept their caravan at Hudgill when Willie had the site, is John his son?, somewhere I have a photo of our one year old batting away midges when we stopped there in the early 1980's

Jim
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oldpitman

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Blagill Mine Overview (photo)
Posted: 07/07/2018 18:46:35
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https://youtu.be/deCpY8itxbg

If you follow that link you will find a bid on YouTube I did Aug bank hill 1991, very kindly shared on the net by a third party. Blagill is first pit on. Sorry about quality
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Jim MacPherson

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Blagill Mine Overview (photo)
Posted: 07/07/2018 18:47:19
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oldpitman wrote:

Dug photos out
It is defo Blagill drift under construction, constructed in a similar way to the Ayle drift.
I have a few photos ranging from 91, 93 and 95, if I knew how to upload them


As long as they are jpeg format just go to the specific mine ie Blagill Drift and click on the photo album you want, probably the archive/historic album and upload them, if possible with as much info as you can be bothered to supply.

Jim
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Jim MacPherson

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Blagill Mine Overview (photo)
Posted: 07/07/2018 19:03:09
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oldpitman wrote:

https://youtu.be/deCpY8itxbg

If you follow that link you will find a bid on YouTube I did Aug bank hill 1991, very kindly shared on the net by a third party. Blagill is first pit on. Sorry about quality


Fine bit of footage and the jaunty music on the first bit for Blagill was good, I think I have seen some clips from Tow Bank elsewhere on youtube but not the rest.

I must look again just in case the screening shed in the photo that Harry Parker took at a coal mine is lurking there.

Many thanks.

Jim
IP: 109.157.234.40 Edited: 07/07/2018 19:07:09 by Jim MacPherson
Buckhill

Joined: 08/04/2008

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Blagill Mine Overview (photo)
Posted: 07/07/2018 19:53:43
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Blagill was standing in summer 1990 when I went to Tows Bank. I don't think Nancarrows had any direct involvement at Blagill but in about 1991/2 Anthony (????) and a couple of other lads leased it from Watty and used to draw their powder from our magazine.

Tows Bank closed in May 1993, Blagill was still working, and I believe young Ted tried to work it again a year or so later without much success but by 1997 he was in partnership at Clargill.
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oldpitman

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Blagill Mine Overview (photo)
Posted: 07/07/2018 20:18:18
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That's right. It was Donald and Anthony wood, I forgot about that.
Sure Ted carried in at TB till 94. Remember talking to him about how everybody was going to be insured after de nationalisation....but I could be mistaken

So Ted must have been involved at clargill with bunt and Kathleen ?
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Buckhill

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Blagill Mine Overview (photo)
Posted: 08/07/2018 20:28:55
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Yes, I called in one day on way back NE after someone said Ted was there, just to say hello. Bunt asked if I was interested in a start - at that time I was making a fair bit freelancing on civils so didn't take it up. ( A few years later I called over the road, had a trip u/g with Kevin and afterwards I remember a young lad with a Lancs. accent suggesting I was " a bit elderly" to go back on the pick - do you? Wink) IP: 86.161.12.68
oldpitman

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Blagill Mine Overview (photo)
Posted: 09/07/2018 07:41:50
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Sounds like he gave you some sound adviceBig Grin
Think what you would be like now after those extra years of laying in water breathing all that nasty dust.

The foot and mouth finished Clargill...all the men went working on clean up operations and made a sight more money than they did at the pit

Enjoyed your pics if Main band. I went there for a start as well before I went to Frank's. Met a dept who had been in S Africa.
We may have had this conversation before, but I believe Brad had worked there. He had a go at Grimebridge, was at Dummy's for a while in Burnley
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sumpjumper

Joined: 24/09/2013

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Blagill Mine Overview (photo)
Posted: 09/07/2018 13:20:09
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Had a trip into Towsbank around 1991. There was a winched incline from the road above, down to the portal. The workings weren't very far in as a I recall. The seam was a semi anthracite and very narrow with the men working it with 'windy picks' having to remove limestone so they could get their shoulders into the space to work. The props were only about 18 inches in height !

At the end of our trip they fired a charge and then we retreated out for the fumes to clear for the next day's working.

Presumeably there is still plenty of coal left not far in but it must be uneconomic at the moment.
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John Lawson

Joined: 09/12/2010
Location: Castle Douglas Dumfries & Galloway

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Blagill Mine Overview (photo)
Posted: 09/07/2018 20:04:28
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I remember what the late Ivor Brown told me in the early 1970’s.
He stated that the coal board(N.C.B.) had extensively looked at the Alston area as a potential semi-anthracite prospect.
However, in spite of a lack of production, within the U.K. of this mineral, they thought that the prospects of mining it economically were poor, and they took the view that it was better to leave it to the local, small miners.
At the time I thought that this was a little short sighted, but clearly they were correct.
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Buckhill

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Blagill Mine Overview (photo)
Posted: 09/07/2018 20:56:38
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oldpitman wrote:

Sounds like he gave you some sound adviceBig Grin
Think what you would be like now after those extra years of laying in water breathing all that nasty dust.



Within weeks I was back at the other place breathing silica dust and black powder fumes, but at least we stood up in the water.


Dave B was at Mainband, a good lad - had the place been run properly he wouldn't have been on that autobahn.


Sumpjumper. The Little Limestone coal at Tows Bank was a lot less than 18 inches, so much so we sometimes doubted we were in the right leaf! Take a look at the photos on the mine's page on this site - glove, 'ogger, Lucozade bottle for scale - and this film:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIIyzPe4M8I

About a minute and a half in Tim (who was at the time our drift mouth haulage driver) gives the seam height "drei und dreizig centimetre". That was considered "good" - we abandoned the North district after it got down to 9.5 inches and we were lifting 3 inches of floor just to get in. That's why Tows Bank could never pay, >25% less coal and 10-15% more stone to shift (and tub out due to less stowage space)than the mines up the valley.


John, the NCB could never have worked these mines due to what many term "oncost workers". The small mines culture of one man, usually quite willingly, doing several jobs would have given most of my former NCB colleagues palpitationsShocked
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legendrider

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Joined: 13/07/2014
Location: Darlington

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Blagill Mine Overview (photo)
Posted: 10/07/2018 08:29:22
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Slightly further north, we visited Wrytree/Blenkinsopp colliery around 1993, where the Little Limestone Coal was worked via Castle Drift.

There, the coal was about 5'6" thick with a 2-3" shale parting near the top. The production all went to Eggborough and they just took the lot including shale as it was still on-spec for their feed.

MARK

--

festina lente IP: 82.25.240.225
Buckhill

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Blagill Mine Overview (photo)
Posted: 10/07/2018 16:36:43
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Which brings to mind the problem with this seam - thicker in the Byron/Blenkinsopp area, lessening volatiles to the south. We dreamt of finding a 2 foot (or slightly more) seam of semi-anthracite somewhere under the fells on the west of the Tyne and east of Gairs (where v.m. was mid teens). Blenkinsopp had the opposite problem, the final development drivage reached coal with the same good thickness as before but the volatiles dropped markedly so altering the marketability and leading to the closure. IP: 86.161.12.68
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