The Book.

As you are all aware now  the MAIN reason for the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society coming into existence was to write a book. We are very please to be able to report that the progress of this project has passed all expectations we have 12 authors writing on 50 colliery company's and pits. There are also numerous small mines that have been identified but alas there is not much if any information on some of these. The group of writer/researchers have really gone to town and unearthed unbelievable amounts of material that would otherwise have been lost and forgotten. We now have enough material to publish booklets on several individual Collieries and Colliery Company's beside the main book the "The Cannock Chase Coalfield AND ITS COAL MINES".  Work on these booklets has already begun with the first two being available at the end of this year.

If anyone out there has any information on anything concerning the Cannock Chase Coalfield how ever trivial it may seem to them please let us know if we do not use it in the book we can at least record it for posterity.

The project is now complete as far as the writing and editing of the book is concerned. The 1500 books have now been printed and shipped to the Binders and will be completed and ready for the media launch on September 9th 2005

The size of the book will be A4 with split column pages , there will be 350 pages, it will be paperback but with a protective gloss covering (see cover design ). The cost has of the book will be  10.00 this being well below the printing cost of the books.

The official launch date to the MEDIA will be Friday September 9th 2005  at the Museum of Cannock Chase but this will be invitation only.





The CCMHS is pleased to announce the Miners Re-Union Weekend 2005

The CCMHS are pleased to announce that they will be hosting and organising the Miners Re-union weekend to be held on Saturday and Sunday the 10th & 11th of September 2005 between the hours of 11.00am & 4.00pm at the Museum of Cannock Chase (the old Valley Colliery) Valley Rd, Hednesford, Staffordshire. It is envisaged that the whole of the Museum buildings will have displays of various types on both days.

It will also be the platform from which this Society will launch the long awaited book about the Colliery Company's and Colliery's of the Cannock Chase Coalfield, which the members have been researched over the past few years. Copies of the book will be on sale and the various authors will be in attendance to answer questions and talk about their work in the book.

The Museum has its own mining gallery with sight and sound shows, a 1940s house set up, children's  play area and a cafe that serves light refreshments.

Anyone who would like to exhibit at the re-union should contact Mr Mick Drury on or


Bi Annual Miner Re-Union organised by the Cannock & District Miners Welfare Veterans Association (this event has nothing to do with and is not organised by the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society {CCMHS})

The  RE-UNION took place on Saturday &  Sunday the 13th & 14th September 2003. The event was well attended with over 700 visitors calling in at the Museum of Cannock Chase (Valley Training centre). Old friends met again after in some cases a considerable time to talk about this and that and what they would have done if they had been manager when this happened and that happened they drew coal and set timber and pumped the water out. Some new faces were also present and they all commented that they thoroughly enjoyed the displays, photographs and information that was available over the two day event. All old and new thought that the work the CCMHS had undertaken was of the utmost importance to the districts heritage and some even returned on the Sunday to bring photos or information about the areas coalmines.

The Mining Memorabilia Association came along and held there meeting at the Valley  and really enjoyed the occasions as did the Morris Minor Club of Great Briton.

A big thank you must go to the Museum of Cannock Chase for hosting the event and also to everyone who displayed or organised the two day event.


January 2004

Farewell to LES HYDEN last of the six.

It is with great sadness that we report that Mr Les Hyden has passed away.

He was the last surviving member of the 6 man Cannock Chase Mines Rescue Team who recovered the bodies of the final 26 of the 99 submariners and experts that died when HMS THETIS  sank in 1939 whilst on sea trials in Liverpool bay.  It was whilst walking through Chadsmoor on January 3rd 2004 that Les suffered a heart attack and subsequently died at the age of 91.  Mr Hyden was a well loved friend of the CCMHS and will be sadly missed by all who new him and so with Les's passing another small piece of the Cannock Chase Coalfield fades away.

Our condolences go out to the family and relatives of Les.



The AGM of the CCMHS will be held Monday 23rd December 2004 at The Museum of Cannock Chase  (the old Valley Pit), Valley Road, Hednesford. The meeting will commence at 3.00pm(1500hrs) prompt Items to be raised in any other business must be submitted to the Society Chairman or Secretary not less the 10 days prior to the meeting, if they are not submitted they will not be discussed.


GROVE COLLIERY   A field trip  

Well members this organised visit considering it to be local to everyone was very poorly attended, in fact only 6 members bothered to turn up, perhaps the less said the better. Mick Drury informs me that the visit was an excellent one , as well as visiting the tipping facility, access was gained to the winding house courtesy of the gentleman who carries on a business from it and also access to one of the shaft which is used to monitor the water levels with regard to the water table around Cannock Chase which I believe has risen now mining has ceased. That is all I have at the moment but as the report comes to me I will post it here.      


It is with great sadness that the CCMHS have to inform you of the passing of one of our authors. Graham Warburton passed away on Friday 21st January 2005 at 2.00pm in Stafford General Hospital after a short illness.

Graham was a founder member of the CCMHS, and author of the Lea Hall section of the book. He was one of he original seven people who met that Monday evening at the Museum of Cannock Chase and made the book a reality.

On leaving school Graham went to worked in the pits in North Staffs, he worked his way up through the ranks and reached that covert job of shearer driver at the coal face. At the age of 27 he sustained serious injures whilst operating a coal face shearer at Hem Heath Colliery. On his return to work he was appointed Assistant Training Officer at Hem Heath Colliery a new challenge with in the mining industry which Graham readily accepted. So much so that in 1970 he was appointed Colliery Training Officer at Lea Hall Colliery Rugeley, a position he held until its closer in 1990.

Graham was a very popular official at the colliery and participated in most activities.

On the closure of Lea hall colliery Graham took redundancy this gave him the opportunity to pursue other activities from which he gained great pleasure.

He also joined a group of colleagues called the Valley Mining Volunteers who do voluntary work for the Museum of Cannock Chase and he was also an active member in the local community.

But most of all Graham was proud to be a coal miner.

Graham will be sadly missed by the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society.



The Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society are pleased to announce that on Friday 27th October 2006 commencing at 7.00pm, they are promoting and organising an open forum for ex-Lea Hall miners (surface/underground) at Lea Hall Colliery Sports & Social Club, Sandy Lane, Rugeley. If you worked at Lea Hall please come along and renew old friendships and talk about those bygone days with your mates its now 16 years since it closed prematurely. The format for the evening be pints, memories and a question and answer Forum on anything about Lea Hall Colliery. There will be a panel of past masters there to answer those questions. The panel will consist of Mr Jack Evans OBE, Mr Reg Barber, Mr Colin Rigby & Mr Joe Spedding. Why not come along, do not miss this unique opportunity to meet with those mates who you looked out for, whilst they covered your back for so many years and enjoy the evening.

Also available for purchase will be all the issues of the much sought after publications that the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society has produced about the Cannock Chase Coalfield that you worked on.


This exposure for the Society generated a lot of enquiries and sales for the books we have produced, we would all like to thank Dr Carl Chinn for the opportunity he gave us to reach a wider audience, publicise our society and its aims and the encouragement he gives us.




This event was a success for the society in terms of sales and interest from the general public, we would like to thank those that to help man the CCMHS stand, Mr Harry Gibson, Mrs Margaret Dean, Mrs Pamela Poppett, Dennis Jackson, Mick Drury and Mick Lucas. The stand generated a lot of interest for the 6 hours we were there with the usual lull at lunch time. People who had not worked in the mines and people who had asked some very searching questions of the team but as usual we were able to answer the majority of them. Dennis Jackson gave a 20 minute talk in the council chamber which was quite a feat to get 800 years of mining on Cannock Chase condensed into 20 minutes (the talk was not overcrowded then neither were the other talks). Anyway it was another venue under our belt and more expertise gained, all in all a good day out with many interesting stands and people to see and talk to.

    Alan on the stand       Dennis in full flight       Don't ask us were only minding it

CCMHS at the Local History Fair (at The Museum of Cannock Chase) LINK

The event gave more exposure to the society and we did well with book sales, and we gained more experience with our public speaking.


The Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society are pleased to announce that on Friday 27th October 2006 this event took place and was a roaring success with approximately 200 ex-Lea Hall miners attending what in fact turned out to be a re-union rather than a forum. The evening started slowly but as Ken Edwards started his presentation on the rise and fall of Lea Hall colliery more and more people arrived. The panel of past masters who attended were Mr Jack Evans OBE, who rose from the ranks to finally attain the position of Area Director Western Area, Mr Colin Rigby who was the master sinker of Lea Hall colliery, &  Mr Reg Barber a former manager at Lea Hall colliery,  Mr Joe Spedding for reasons better known to himself chose not to attend the evening. The multi media presentation was followed by an informal address by Mr Evans. The whole evening turned into a very pleasant re-union which saw many old friendships re-newed that had been lost in the 14 years since the pit closed and a great deal of beer consumed to wash away the coal dust that was everywhere around the room. The event was such a success, that many who were present have requested that they would like the CCMHS to hold the event annually.

The CCMHS would like to say thank you to all who attended and made the evening a success. Also Lea Hall Club for allowing us the use of their premises.


JOE LANDER 1909 - 2007

It is with great sadness that the CCMHS has to announce the passing of its oldest member Joe Lander who was 98 years of age. Joe of Norton Green Lane, Norton Canes was awarded an honorary membership of the CCMHS in 2006.

Joe passed away on the morning of the 11th May 2007 whilst recovering from a stroke in Walsall Manor Hospital. Joe spent his working life on the Cannock Chase Coalfield and worked on the mechanical engineering staff at Norton Green colliery, Conduit Colliery, Coppice Colliery and finally Littleton Colliery.

Joe was a kind and caring gentleman who will be sadly missed by all who knew him, especially the CCMHS who with his passing have lost a wealth of coalmining and local knowledge.

God bless Joe.


On September 1st & 2nd 2007 OPEN WEEKEND

The weekend was a success but attendances were curtailed by a serious accident that occurred Saturday afternoon on the Rugeley Rd near the entrance to Valley Rd on which the museum is situated. The severity of the accident resulted in the closure of the Rugeley Rd for a considerable time preventing quite a few visitors from attending the exhibition. However attendance over the two days was between 650 and 700 people by people from all walks of life, we met some old friends and made some new ones and that was our aim. We will see you all again in 2009 hopefully at the same venue and with more mining heritage to show you.

We the CCMHS would like to say thank you to all the people who exhibited over the two days and to all those people who attended and also to the Museum of Cannock Chase who hosted the event for us.