11 Oct 2021
There were three pits: Frederick (1815-1914), Victoria and Wellington (1845-1974). Owners were George Elliot, then J Johansson and Sir George Elliot, 1882 John Bowes & Partners, then Johansson, Gordon & Co Ltd, then Leversons Wallsend Collieries Ltd, 1940 Washington Coal Co Ltd and 1947 National Coal Board. O.S. maps show a large settlement, with terraces of houses round two 3-sided squares, Post Office, two chapels, a school (built 1863 for 600 children), miners' hall (substantial brick building built in 1891 at a cost of £1800, including a lecture hall, reading room, billiard room, community room and caretakers house), spoil heaps and mine buildings, all immediately east of Little Usworth, and a wagonway going ENE to join the NER Newcastle, Leamside, Ferryhill Line. There was an explosion on 5 June 1850 which killed 13 miners and another on 2 March 1885 which killed 42. There is a memorial to the victims in Holy Trinity Churchyard in Donwell. In 1890 the engine house was destroyed by fire.Whellan reports that in 1894 the colliery produced 1000 tons a day and employed 750 men and boys. In 1959 the colliery was joined to Follonsby Colliery (HER 6942) by an underground loco road. Maudlin seam abandoned 1954. Brockwell seam abandoned 1914.
Ordnance Survey, 1898
Frederick Shaft, undated. Source: Jimmy Wilson, Facebook
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