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Fame, facts & Your Story. A day in the life (new). CCMHS Publications (new).
A new feature is appearing in these pages "A Day in The Life". This tells the story of what the working day entailed of various occupations at a coal mine. These articles will be written by people who were actually employed in these tasks and written in their own words.
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DIARY DATES 2015 Calendar of Events heading it out click miner
The CCMHS is available to give talks to any school in the area of Cannock Chase who would like to know more on the heritage of coal mining in the Cannock Chase area.
THE FIRST MEMBERS MEETING OF
The next members meeting of the CCMHS will take place on April 15th 2015 it will commence at 3.00pm and will be held at our usual venue the Museum of Cannock Chase, Valley Rd, Hednesford, Staffs, WS12 1TD.
The speaker will be Mr Alan Lloyd and the subject will be “NAIL MAKING IN THE BLACK COUNTRY” this will be an excellent talk which I will find especially interesting.
(My great great grandfather was a nail maker along with his family on Windmill Bank Wombourne, my great grandfather left to come coal mining at Hammerwich).
I hope we can have a really good turnout for this talk bring your partners and friends this includes the general public, all are welcome to our talks as always entrance is free and tea/coffee/squash and biscuits will be available also free of charge.
LATEST SOCIETY PROJECT
At the start of 2010 the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society decided to embark on a project to place signs where possible at the sites of former collieries of the Cannock Chase Coalfield.
Thirty such sites have been identified where it would be appropriate to site the signs. We have now adopted a format for what we now term Information Boards which will paint a picture of the Colliery using text and photographs. The signs are designed in house and manufactured by Visign Ltd Stafford.
The first of these Information Signs has been produced and sited at Brereton & Ravenhill Park outside the Parish Hall this is to commemorate Lea Hall Colliery.
The unveiling of this Information Sign took place on 11th July at 5.00pm and was performed by our Patron Mr Jack Evans OBE.
Mr Evans OBE was the first manager of Lea Hall Colliery and later became Area Director for the NCB’s Western Area and so throughout his long and distinguished career he continued an association with the colliery.
West Cannock No.5 Information Sign:
On the 29th September 2010 at 11.00am the SECOND of the Information Signs of the above project was unveiled at West Cannock No.5 Colliery Rugeley Road, Hednesford now the Chase Enterprise Centre. It was be placed near to the reception centre (old medical room) this was a momentous occasion as it was the first sign to be placed at a closed colliery.
The sign was sponsored by the wife of a deceased West Cannock Deputy and it was her generosity that made it possible and the society is very grateful for her help and also the help of the manager of the Cannock Chase Enterprise Centre Kerry Millward and Staffordshire County Council without who's permission the sign could not have been place at the site. The CCMHS would like to thank everyone who attended.
Eventually the Information Signs will be accompanied by free booklets; these will set out and identify the location of each board, thereby creating a trail for local people and tourists to follow to the many sites that were once occupied by this areas coal mines.
We are actively looking for ways to pay for this vast project , hopefully we will get sponsorship for individual Information Signs from, Companies, Societies, Organisations and public subscriptions.
If you are interested in sponsoring an Information Sign please contact us initially form details at email@example.com
After along delay the society has been given permission to continue placing Information Signs at all our former colliery sites many thanks to our County Council and County Councillors
Click Picture to enlarge
On Saturday 25th May 2013 after the long hard winter of 2012, a proud Ken Edwards finally gets the Brereton
Collieries Information Sign mounted on the old Brereton Collieries pay office in Colliery Road Brereton.
The sign was designed and commissioned by the CCMHS and was sponsored by Ken & Brenda Edwards, in
memory of the men and boys who worked the many Brereton Collieries.
The erection of this sign was made possible by the kind permission of Mrs Purchase, The Bungalow,
House Farm, Colliery
Road, Brereton who owns land and the building .
We now have 12 signs in place around the district although the one commemorating West Cannock No.1 & No.4 collieries has had to be removed due because it was vandalised by the mindless yob who live in the vacinity of Pye Green Valley. A replacement has been printed and donated free of charge by ES Printers of Hednesford. This new sign will be installed again in the near future. Work has now started on the next batch of 10 signs.
A new style sign has been designed and this will replace the one shown above click on pic
AFTER many hours of research my wife and I (Alan & Marg Dean) have managed to uncover quite a little gem of information that may be of interest to anyone visiting this site with a view to tracing their ancestor work history. If your ancestor worked at the William Harrison's Company Ltd Wyrley No.3 coal mine also known as Brownhills No.3, Harrison's or the sinking then this link will take you to a record of employees from 1923 with their ages and jobs unfortunately their abodes are missing Harrison's Employees 1923 many are surface workers.
Also in the records unearthed for 1926 similar information is available and after it has been transcribed it will be also be posted on the site.
PROMOTE YOUR SOCIETY GET A NEW CCMHS CAR (SELF ADHESIVE) WINDSCREEN STICKERS
They cost £2.00 each plus .50p p&p. You can order from firstname.lastname@example.org
Head Line News
Today Saturday 29th July 2006 at exactly 3.00pm a ceremony took place in Hednesford town centre to dedicate a magnificent monument to the miners past & present , living & deceased, of the Cannock Chase Coalfield. The monuments stands outside the town library and consist of a brick plinth on each brick is carved a miners name and colliery, on top of this plinth stands a truly majestic miners safety lamp (lit) possibly the finest memorial to miners in the area. The whole idea was the brain child of Jack Sunley and was made possible by public subscription under the directions of CHAPS (chase arts in public spaces) and who made the whole project happen. There are approximately 1000 names on the plinth and room for many more so if you have missed out on having your ancestor, grandfather, father, brother or uncles (who worked in the Cannock Chase Coalfield) name on one of the bricks do not worry there is a phase 2 planned. To get further information on phase 2 call 01543 467810.
The opening speech was by the Dr Tony Wright Labour MP for Cannock he was followed by Jack Sunley who understandably was rather overcome by emotion, as he saw his long awaited project reach maturity. The dedication was carried out by the Bishop of Wolverhampton The Rt Revd Michael Bourke and the service was lead by the vicar of St Peters Churchill Reverend David Buck. The Chase Orpheus Male Voice Choir gave touching rendition of "Take Me Home" by Edward & Hand and the Rugeley Power Station Band kept the crowds entertain with an excellent concert prior to the event and during the service played the hymns. A group of visitors (Rhondda Heritage) had travelled up from the Rhonda where the lamp was made, they called at the Museum of Cannock Chase for a buffet lunch and a tour of the museum, from here they travelled to the dedication but not before the chairman of the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Societies presented them with a copy of the societies book "The Cannock Chase Coalfield and its coal mines". The town centre was at a stand still with a vast crowd clogging the main street gaining every vantage point they could its been a long time since so many miners gathered in the town and talked of the past.
The waiting The crowd Jack & Tony The dedication
The Lamp lamp & bench lamp & names
SNAIL BEACH FIELD TRIP
The society now has 86 full members this includes 4 junior members remember if you are under 18 and are interested in your mining roots you can join for free
The Book LAUNCH.
The official invitation to the launch ceremony
"The Cannock Chase Coalfield AND ITS COAL MINES".
The Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society successfully launched its book "The Cannock Chase Coalfield AND ITS COAL MINES" at a gathering of invited guests at the Museum of Cannock Chase Hednesford on Friday 9th September 2005. Dr Tony Wright MP for Cannock, was invited to officially launch the book. He said that he had read many books written by historians and that anyone can write a historical book, but only people like the authors, who had worked in the coal mining industry and had the passion that these authors had, could produce a book to this standard. In reply ‘Gaffer’ Jack Evans OBE and past Director of the largest area, geographically, in British Coal commented that he was proud of all the authors who had worked on the book, all of whom had at some stage in their careers worked under his leadership.
The book, sponsored by the Local Heritage Initiative, Countryside Agency and Nationwide Building Society, went on sale on Saturday 10th and Sunday11th September and despite poor weather conditions over 1000 visitors came to the open days at the Museum of Cannock Chase to purchase books and look at the interesting displays.
Many visitors to the re-union were old pals who talked about their past mining experiences and engaged in the banter that gave our coal mines that ‘wonderful’ atmosphere when the odds were against them.
THE LAUNCH ON THE FRIDAY
Mick Drury presents Dr Tony Wright MP Dr Tony Wright MP launches the book
Mr Jack Evans OBE respond to Dr Wright Jack Evans introduces the authors
Saturday & Sunday
sales of pre-ordered book Oh look I got mine then a lull at lunch
Launch day pictures by the CCMHS
HAVE ANOTHER GLASS OF WINE
The authors and their long suffering wives can relax at last
well for a few days then its back to the grindstone to prepare the booklets before the June 30th 2006 deadline we this project comes to an end.
WE WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO THANK EVERYONE WHO VISITED THE RE-UNION & PURCHASED A BOOK OVER THE LAST TWO DAYS AND WISH YOU ALL HAPPY READING.
Finally we thank the Management and Staff of the Museum of Cannock Chase for the wonderful way they have helped and supported us over the last 3 days and throughout this project. we are sure that everyone who attended will support us in these sentiments.
Well done to all involved in this project.
There are still a few Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society Badge left these are available from the membership secretary, the badge is 28mm in diameter and has a broach pin fastener at the rear, it is priced at £4.00 + p&p and is available to anyone. If you would like to purchase a badge you should email email@example.com badges will be on sale at the next quarterly meeting on 20th September. There have only been 100 of these badges stamped and no more are to be made so its first come first served basis.
Remember our membership is not restricted to ex-coal miners but open to anyone who has an interest or would like to learn more about our coal mining heritage, come along to along to our quarterly meeting's you do not have to have a mining background to come and join us.
Membership of the Society is open to all, at this moment in time we are accepting applications for membership for 2011. The cost for full adult membership is £5.00 / annum, junior membership is free on application for persons under 18 years of age.
Membership now stands at 86.
QUARTERLY MEETING OF THE MEMBERSHIP (ARCHIVE LINK)
News: - West Cannock Badge (limited edition) see below (not issued by CCMHS)
The new badge will be offered for sale as of Monday 18th October 2004 it will depict the logo of the "West Cannock Colliery Company Ltd", the company used the logo from 1869 to 1951 when it liquidated. The design is a Blackcock a bird which was prolific on Cannock Chase until its disappearance in 1932. The badge will be produced in best quality brass with a quality hard enamel finish and a broach style fastener it will be 28mm diameter.
It will be a limited edition of 300, this will be split into two colours 150 red and 150 blue each set will be numbered on the reverse from 1 - 150 and no more will be made in this design.
They are priced at £4.00 + £1.00 p&p for the first badge and £4.00 + .50p for each additional badge, they will be sold on a first come first served basis, anyone who is interested in the badge should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
THERE ARE STILL A FEW LEFT IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED _________________________________________
CCMHS gets International links
On the 12th March 2004 the CCMHS had its first overseas contact from the Mediterranean Island of Sardinia. Mr Sandro Arcais from Oristano, a little town in Sardinia who is a teacher of Italian literature and history in a secondary school. Emailed us and asked if we would like a link on his site. Sandro is also the administrator of Minierabondi translated this means Minetramps a group of friends who search the countryside surrounding their village for old mine workings. They are trying to preserve their mining heritage (sound familiar) and open it up to tourism to supplement the lose of the mines. We of course accepted the offer and in return have placed this link to Sandro's site hopefully this new friendship will grow and perhaps other overseas contacts will be made. Please take a look here is the Link: - Minetramps site
Our latest European contact has been from the Ruhr & Saar mining area of Germany, Daniel Schopphoff, who's website is very good www.pro-bergbau.de is asking for email for his electronic petition to save the coal mining areas of the Ruhr and Saar. Our Society has responded positively to this request as we went through the same sad climate in the last century. The website contains many surface and underground picture of German coal mines, with a short history of the mining industry in the area concerned. You can visit the site and send an email of support it all helps, even if you do not send the mail have a look at the site its worth the effort.
Visit to the NATIONAL COAL MINING MUSEUM FOR ENGLAND
The society made its first outing of 2004 to the above venue located at the old Caphouse Colliery in the South Yorkshire coalfield. A superb 49 seat executive coach was supplied by Hill's Coaches Ltd of Wolverhampton. The group was made up of mainly non mining people, a few CCMHS members and 9 children (also travelling with us were 6 boxes of books donated to the museum by Cannock Library and The Museum of Cannock Chase) We left Hednesford bus station at 08.30am and arrived at the museum at 10.30am. Mick Drury led the way to the museum shop so that the visitors could be booked onto one of the 3 underground tours arranged for our group, these tours were to leave the surface at ten minute intervals beginning at 11.40am. With some trepidation our non miners collected their helmets, belts and lamps from the lamp room. This mine is classed as a working mine so it is still covered by the Coal Mines Regulations; people handed over their contraband to the lampman. The guide for each group was a retired miner, who introduced himself and informed everyone of the rules for the visit, he then went on to describe the Colliery which was the oldest surviving pit in England dating from the late 1700s. Then on to the small cage which holds a maximum of 19 men and the 140 meter ride to the pit bottom and the world on the coal miner. The underground has been set out in various stages of advance from Victorian times to the present day, with examples of hand getting, early coal cutters, blasting, and modern longwall equipment. The setting is very good and the guides are excellent with a very broad back ground in mining methods. It took approximately 2 hrs to get back to the surface, hand in the equipment and collect cigarettes matches, watches and cameras, then off to lunch in a very nice restaurant which any miner wished that his pit had been blessed with. The weather by this time had turned quite foul if not atrocious but the intrepid group made their way round the surface exhibitions such as the steam winding house with its steam winder, coal through the ages exhibit and various other exhibitions, especially the pit ponies, one of which had worked down the pit until 1993.
No one used the pit head baths, Wonder Why? So with the weather trying it hardest to blow the headgear down and wash the pit mount away the decision was taken at 3.30pm to return home. We arrived back in Hednesford at 6.00pm. It was agreed by all to have been a most interesting and educational visit, people who had never been underground before were most impressed and awed by the experience and said they would not have missed it for anything, and were asking when the next visit was to Big Pit in Wales (It appears they have been bitten by the mining bug). The Museum is a must for anybody to visit, it is an experience that you do not have every day and it puts the mining of coal into a different prospective when you've be down a mine yourself. The CCMHS congratulate the Mining Museum of England on a superb reconstruction and heritage site and would like to thank them for showing their hospitality on our group visit.
Our visit to the National Coal Mining Museum of Wales at Big Pit the former Kersley Pit (Wales Underground - Big Pit (National Mining Museum of Wales) took place on the 11th September 2004, and was a success although perhaps we could have done with a little more time at the venue as there was a great deal to see on the surface. The underground visit was about 50 minutes in duration and was not as long as the one at Caphouse Colliery which we visited earlier in the year. The pit was on the side of the mountain and started life as a inclined drift mine over 200 years ago as the distance into the mine increased and the distance for the women and boys to drag the coal back out of the mine (up the incline) slowed production it was decided to sink a shaft nearer the coal. It was down this shaft we descended some 300ft to the old pit bottom to start the tour. The guides were excellent and were all ex-colliers, they were pleasant, well informed and had all the time in the world for the children in the party. We were shown such things as the huge haulage motor that draw the tubs up the incline from the coal faces 2.5 miles inside the mountain and the small haulage that then lowered them into the pit bottom. Then to an area were a mock up of stall and pillar work had been created, onto the stables with the individual stalls and the ostlers cabin and rows of hanging horse shoes and harness and traces. Round the corner took us deeper into the mine down an incline that would put us 450 feet below ground then the long walk back to the pit bottom and the surface.
The surface layout was a credit to the museum the Baths had been made into a walk through exhibition with site and sound shows plus static exhibits. Bank of the original lockers and shower bays had been retained and gave an insight into the state of the men when they came out of the pit and is worth a visit if you are that way on. The winding engine house and winding engine although electrically driven was immaculate and looked like a winding house should (spotless). There was a marvellous place called the Galleries (I understand it was the original entrance to "DODD'S SLOPE" probably the best mining sight and sound exhibition I have visited and again worth calling in to see there were examples of shotfiring on a solid rock head, a Dosco roadheader, back ripping and a coalface all with the sights and sounds associated with these operations.
The canteen was second to non (the only criticism would be that there was not enough gravy on the faggots) and had a very varied menu catering for all tastes. All in all we would recommend this museum and the experience it offers to everyone it gives a chance to step back into the past and get an underground experience
Well done to all the staff at the National Coal Mining Museum of Wales and a Big thank you from the CCMHS.
click photos to enlarge
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