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  CCMHS Publications    Links    A day in the life.     NATIONAL MINERS MONUMENT PROJECT


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.

Before moving on please take a little time and sign our

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                                                                                                                     DIARY DATES 2023 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.






                                                    LATEST NEWS FROM THE CANNOCK CHASE COALFIELD



It is with great sadness that I have to announce the passing of another of our members, MR GEOFF WATTERSON.

Geoff was 86 years old and one of our longest serving members.

GEOFF passed away suddenly on the Wednesday 15th February 2023 in New Cross Hospital Wolverhampton, after an emergency admittance earlier that morning, he passed away peacefully with his family around him.

Geoff will be sadly missed by those who knew him and worked along side him, he was a mine of information an ex miner who worked at Cannock Chase No.8 Colliery first as a pony driver then as a fitters mate and finally as a mechanic of the mine.

From there he transferred to NCB Area Workshops Chase Terrace where he joined the assembly team building and testing all types of coal cutting machine. He became part of the emergency team who would be callout at any hour day and night to any colliery in the Cannock Chase Division to repair or rectify faults on AB or BJD coal cutting machinery, that the colliery mechanical staff could not rectify.

He later in his career moved on to MTG(Machine, Tool & Gauge) Lichfield who specialized in powered support equipment.

Members will probably remember GEOFF mostly because of the ornate walking sticks he carried all which he carved in his spare time, probably the most memorable one was the one with the miner on the top with a cap lamp that lite up.


GEOFFS funeral will take place at Cannock Crematorium (Heath Hayes) on Wednesday 15th March at 2.30pm with a reception after at the Fiveways Inn all are welcome


                                                    R.I.P GEOFF GOD BLESS AND KEEP YOU SAFE

                                               From all at the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society






Peggy KnightThe National Miners Memorial is now in situe in the National Arboretum at Alrewas. Well done to evryone involved in this project but funds are still needed to enhance the site

Leslie Smith curator of TutburyCastle earlier in 2021 gave an excellent presentation on Queen Elizebeth II which was a most enjoyable evening and       raised considerable fund for the projec..

Lesley Smith has offered to do a second presentation for us, free of charge [she usually charges £450 plus mileage].  About an Special Operations Executive Peggy Knight who operated in France in World War 2.

19th June 1940
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill wrote a memorandum proposing to create an organization "to coordinate all action by way of subversion and sabotage against the enemy overseas.The army of Nazi Germany was in the process of occupying many countries of Europe, including France which would initially be divided into the Occupied Zone and the unoccupied or "Free Zone." (Vichy France)
On the 22 July 1940 The Special Operations Executive was created with Hugh Dalton, the Minister of Economic Warfare, appointed at its head. Dalton said that Churchill told him to "set Europe ablaze."
France in World War II.

The event will be held at St Mary's, as before, on Friday 24th June, it is and open fundraiser for the National Mining Memorial which although is in situe needs more funding to improve the site for visitors i.e making flower beds and installation of benches.

And hopefully you will all be able to come along and join in what will be a fantastic evening with Leslie Smith or aka Peggy Knight.





SUNDAY 8th NOVEMBER 2020                                 



On remembrance Sunday 8th November your chairman placed a wreath on Heath Hayes Memorial Gates on Five Ways Corner Heath Hayes, to commemorate the Coal Miners in WW1 & WW2 who went to fight for their country and our freedom. These men made the supreme sacrifice and never returned home and for that we are eternally grateful. THANK YOU ALL











 CHAPS (Chase Arts for Public Spaces) are behind this project They are an organization in Cannock Staffordshire which seeks to place art work out in the community

                                                                                            monumet alrewas

As part of the fund raising for the National Miners Monument Monument  "CHAPS"  has produced a commemorative badge    these badges are gold in colour and look very smart the picture does not do them justice

  they are priced at £5.00 + £1.00 p&p total cost £6.00.

  The CCMHS has agreed to sell a quantity of these badges on behalf of CHAPS they are available from our headquarters 27 Melbourne Rd, Heath Hayes, Cannock, Staffs, WS12 2SH. enclose a chepue made payable to

 "CCMHS" you can email us




 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 councillors


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 LeaHall   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.


On the 29th September 2010 at 11.00am the SECONDof the Information Signs of the above project was unveiled at West Cannock No.5 Collieryy

 Rugeley Road, Hednesford now the Chase Enterprise Centre. It was be placed near to the reception centre (old medical room) this was a momentous 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.





Alan Dean incorporated the launch of the long awaited book about the West Cannock Colliery Company Limited entitled "The Annals of the West Cannock Colliery Company 1869 - 1957" the  author was present to sign copies of the book.

click on picture


If you require the book posting then the cost will be £10.00 plus  p&p


The third sign in the project was erected at Littleton Green Primary School, Stafford Rd, Huntington, Cannock. Here two identical signs commemorating Littleton Colliery were unveiled on the 4th March 2011 by Mr Martin Hallowell (Director of Farragh Maguire Funeral Directors who sponsored the signs and Mr John Bernard County Councillor who along with Phil Jones County Councillor has arranged for extra funding from the Staffordshire Local Community Fund for the advancement of this project.


Harrisons Employees

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.


Cllr Alan Dean writes

There are now 12 signs in place across the area on has had to be removed on Pye Green Valley due to mindless vandalism a new one has been purchased to replace this a second has also been attacked by mindless people who are unaware of there precious heritage which is treasured by most people on Cannock Chase. One day it will be their turn to undertake the tasks that this community is undertaking to preserve the area's heritage. I sincerely hope they are up to the task




                                                                                                     PROMOTE YOUR SOCIETY GET A NEW CCMHS CAR (SELF ADHESIVE) WINDSCREEN STICKERS

                                                             Car Sticker

They cost £2.00 each plus 50p p&p. You can order from these are still available



This appeal final achieved its aim and a wonderful statue I would say the best I have ever seen has been place on Sankey's Corner, Chase Terrace (or as it is now known Burntwood).The project was the lifetime ambition of a wonderful dedicated man born and bred on Chase Terrace RON BRADBURY who sadly passed away in 2015. He achieved this goal by hard work and public subscription and without the want of recognition for his work god bless Ron. scamp























Head Line News

The project went on to a 4th stage and is now completed

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 wait               vicars




The society now has 70 full members this (membersip is now closed)

The Book LAUNCH.

 "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.


 Mick Drury Tony WrightMick intrduces Dr Tony Wright MP    Dr Tony Wright MP launches the book   Mr Jack Evans OBE respond to Dr Wright     Jack Evans introduces the authors       The authors               

Saturday & Sunday

        I got mine      lull at lunch                                  



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 when this project comes to an end.



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  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.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.



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


There are still some pairs and single badges available as of 05/05/2022


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 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.



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