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Babbington Colliery, Cinderhill Road

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:Nottingham, Cinderhill
:Babbington Colliery
:Babbington Colliery, Cinderhill Road
:August 1985
:Baker, Reg
:Reg Baker
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This view is taken from the footpath, looking South East, showing headstocks and screens. Babbington Coal Company was floated some time before 1840 when the Top Hard seam was worked from the outcrop and the Deep Soft and Deep Hard seams were worked from shallow shafts called the High Holburn and Turkey Field Pits. These shafts were in the vicinity of the little hamlet of Babbington, from were the company took its name. The successful workings of the above seams led Thomas North, at the age of 31, to sink two seven foot diameter shafts at Cinderhill in 1842. The sinking of Cinderhill Colliery (now called Babbington) took place between 1841 and 1843 by Thomas North. No.s 1 and 2 shafts, to be seen near the main Nuthall to Nottingham Road were 7 ft diameter and erected over them was wooden tandem headgear which was then new to the district. It was the first colliery in the locality to have underground furnace ventilation; iron tubbing lined shafts, wheeled trams and rails instead of wicker baskets, and guide rods for cages in the shafts. With the main winding level established at 218 yards in the Top Hard seam, the furnace ventilation, which continued until the fan instillation of 1899, led to the shafts being known as 'Smokey and windy'. A single steam engine served the shafts via a tandem wooden headframe-each shaft containing a three-deck cage each holding a single 9.5cwt tub. Thomas North also sank pits at Newcastle (Bobbers Mill Nottingham) and Broxtowe, and followed this by building houses for his miners. Few of these houses remain, In 1856 on land given by the Duke of Newcastle, he built Cinderhill Church. North was tolerant of unions and a lodge at Babbington existed from at least 1830. After becoming a leading councillor-he was Lord Mayor of Nottingham in 1844. Tragedy was to befall North. His money ran out, he had to leave Basford Hall and he died in poverty in London at the age of 57 in 1868. North, being short of money, had many disputes with the workmen; nevertheless he was well liked because he provided much needed work. Despite his disputes with the union, he never expressed any opposition to it's existence, unlike other owners in the district. When North died the colliery was taken over by the bank to whom he owed £1/4 million, so there was no money for a memorial in the cemetery on Baily Street, Old Basford. His workmen decided to put this to rights by having a collection and the obelisk which they had erected says 'By his great enterprise he was the means of finding employment for a large number of people who have subscribed to erect this monument to his memory.' In 1930 The Colliery was taken over by B A Collieries Co Ltd. The Colliery took on a new look in 1956, when the Nos.1 and 2 steam winder and headgear were demolished together with the boiler plant and chimney, To be replaced by a 270 hp electric winder with new tandem steel headgear. During 1983, coal preparations ceased at Babbington and coal was taken by road to be washed at Hucknall No 2 Colliery. A year later, in August 1984, a £3.6 million underground link-up was completed for all coal to be wound via Hucknall. Towards the end of1985, the transfer of men to Hucknall Colliery was commenced and from the start of the financial year in April 1986, Babbington finally ceased to have a separate identity. Babbington was often referred to as Cinderhill Colliery and it was wrongly assumed the name came from colliery tips, which burned out to cinders. (Information extracted from the excellent web site of Terry Blythe, and an article by Shane Phillips)