Sunday, 8 January 2012
Clipstone colliery in Nottinghamshire is now closed and the buildings are almost completely demolished. However, the head stocks remain and they are the second highest head stocks in the world. When the colliery was working, I did some maintenance on the baths and my memories are of a very clean and efficient operation, with an active community supporting the industry.
When you approach these head stocks along the main road through Clipstone, they look as if they are set on either side of the road and give the impression that you are going to drive between them. The road turns at the last minute and you pass by with the head stocks on your right. When the mine was working , there was a tunnel under the road, allowing the miners to move from the working site to the baths and the canteen without the need to cross the road at the surface.
The colliery was built between 1912 and 1919 by the Bolsover Colliery Company with mining rights leased from the Duke of Portland. By 1953 the colliery was in the hands of the National Coal Board and it was mining the Top Hard seams of coal. The mine finally closed in 2003 and the surface buildings were demolished and the land used mainly for redevelopment. Only the head stocks remain and the local council would like to have them de-listed for demolition. It would be a shame to lose this potent symbol of the mining industry which was the backbone of British Industry and this area for such a long time.