Dating from 1890's and operated by the Holly Bank Colliery Co. Ltd.
The Holly Bank Colliery was later connected underground to Hilton Main Colliery, becoming a service shaft and in 1952 a pumping shaft.
RF 2020 Addendum
The Essington Wood Colliery was originally owned by a Samuel Mills who operated Darlaston Green Furnaces and in 1860, also Darlaston Steel Company. In 1877 the Darlaston Coal and Iron company Limited was incorporated and by 1883 owned the original furnaces, Kings Hill Iron Works, Wednesbury, and the Essington Wood Colliery, when the iron and steel interests were sold off in order to concentrate on the colliery.
The Holly Bank Colliery Company Ltd was incorporated in 1891 but soon went into difficulties and was liquidated in 1985 with all assets being transferred to The Holly Bank Trust. By 1902 it was reported as being the biggest coal producer in the area; however geological problems meant that the main reserves were at the bottom of a downthrow. The decision was taken to sink an underground shaft some 327 yards deep to access it. The financial strain of this and other issues saw liquidation with assets again transferred to a new company Holy Bank Coal Company Ltd.
Loss of manpower during the First World War and diminishing reserves lead to Sneyd being closed, however the discovery of new reserves some distance away lead to the sinking of a new surface shaft south of Hilton Park. The new shaft was 630 yards deep, its pit bottom connecting with the Holly Bank workings by a 700 yard inclined roadway rising to the pit bottom at a rate of 1 in 3. The new shaft site to be called Hilton Main and work was completed in 1923.
The cost of this work and the Great Depression of the 1920s unfortunately saw this company going into receivership. Offered as a going concern it included Holly Bank, Hilton Main, and Sneyd including the brickworks at the original Hilton mine, and 240 houses.
The story continues under Hilton Main when a new company was formed, Hilton main and Holly Bank Coal Company Ltd.
A railway had linked the new Hilton Main colliery with the sidings at Holly Bank and also Sneyd , this survived the construction of the M6 in the late 1960s.
Today, the site of Holly bank is mostly under a housing estate with the remainder landscaped fields. However, the railway had a signal box where it crossed Bursnips Road. This was rebuilt in 1962 complete with a turreted window which would have given a view up and down the track as did the original. A stained glass window showing a locomotive and the legend “Holly Bank” is a nice touch at ground floor where it can be seen from the road. It is possible to walk the original track embankment for some distance towards Sneyd. It crosses the M6 by a bridge designed for both pedestrians, as it’s a Right of Way, and for the rail track it probably never carried.