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Author Topic: Snowdown Colliery  (Read 2703 times)
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John
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« on: September 11, 2011, 13:56:35 PM »

Work commenced at Snowdown in 1908, and coal was first brought to the surface on November 19, 1912. The first shaft sunk hit water at 260 feet and 22 men were drowned. Snowdown was the deepest pit in Kent, reaching a depth of 3,083 feet. The colliery was served by the Faversham to Dover railway, and a halt (Snowdown and Nonington) was provided. In 1945 the workforce was 1,876, with 1,523 being employed sub-surface and 353 above. The colliery closed in 1986 and the shafts were capped in 1988 - a few ruinous buildings remain today.

Shafts sunk:
 No 1. 262 feet (80 m)
 No 2. 3,083 feet (940 m)
 No 3. 2,994 feet (913 m)

These publicity pictures were taken in 1912 when the first coal was brought to the surface..

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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2011, 13:58:32 PM »

Working underground at the face of the Beresford Seam - compare the safety conditions (pit props etc) to a much later example of mining at Snowdown  Shocked

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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2011, 13:59:38 PM »

More old pictures of Snowdown Colliery..

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peterb
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2012, 12:53:18 PM »

Dover Grammar School archives. The Pharos (school magazine) No.124 , Autumn 1957, Vol. XLVI

Formerly owned by Pearson, Dorman Long, Ltd., but now administered by the National Coal Board, Snowdown Colliery is situated about half-way between Dover and Canterbury, and gives employment to just over 2,000 men.

The No. 1 shaft was abandoned when only 300 feet deep because an underground stream was struck during sinking operations, but there are two more shafts. No. 2 is approximately 3,100 feet deep and is 18ft. 2½ in. in diameter. The winding engine at this shaft is of a continental type and is electrically driven by a 2,400 h.p. motor. There are two cages, each of which has three decks, and each deck carries two small wagons. As one cage is raised the other is lowered, and the pulleys on the headgear, which stands 190 feet above ground level, are 23ft. 6in. in diameter. The cage rope running round these pulleys weighs about 20 tons and has a breaking strain of 150 tons. To prevent the cages from colliding there are also 10 guide ropes in the shaft, each of which hangs free but is heavily weighted to prevent swinging. The No. 3 shaft is not quite so deep, although coal is in fact raised from the same depth. The 30-year-old winding engine was installed by the English Electric Company and controls two cages, each of two decks and four wagons.

The surface fan used to ventilate the mine is driven by a 1,400 h.p. electric motor, and is capable of dealing with 500,000 cubic feet of air per minute, at a cost of £39,000 per year, while the pumps which remove water from the workings deal with more than 750,000 gallons every 24 hours.

The target of coal production is set at 10,500 tons per week, but this figure has been consistently beaten for some months past. At the moment coal is being worked in the No. 6 seam at a depth of 3,000 feet. The average thickness of the seam is 4ft., and conditions do not permit of any modern machinery, so at present coal is won by the old pick and shovel method. It is hoped that in the near future new means of roof control will allow the use of power loaders in this, one of the most difficult mines.

When the workman has "won" his coal he has to shovel it on to a conveyor, that is to say an endless moving belt which runs the full length of the working face. The coal is then carried by a system of gathering conveyors to the main trunk conveyor, and then to a central loading point, where it is put into tubs. After the tubs are filled with coal they are hauled to the pit bottom sidings, either by an endless steel rope or by the newly-installed electric battery locomotives, and then wait their turn to to be wound up the shaft.

J. L. TAYLOR (2.B.)
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peterb
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2012, 12:57:09 PM »

Dover Grammar School archives. The Pharos (school magazine) No.102 , July 1946, Vol. XXXVI

Three Thousand Feet Below - I. H. Weeks

On Saturday, June 15th, a School party, consisting of some members of Middle IV and some of Upper I visited Snowdown Colliery, by kind permission of Mr. Johnson. When we arrived by the late train, we went to the manager's office and he gave us a brief outline of what it would be like. A suggestion was made that the first formers should carry a lamp, one between two, because they were two pounds in weight, but this was drowned by cries of disgust from the first formers, so they had their lamps to carry after all. We walked from the manager's office to the lamp cabin and there we received our lamps. We then went to the shaft; we had to go down in two parties and the joke in the cage was, "Hold your stomachs", but we arrived down safely.

Our guide, who was a deputy, went in front of us and we had to walk about one and a half miles to the coal face. When we reached the second junction we had to wait a few minutes for some tubs to come into the main road. After walking and walking we reached the coal face and some of the first formers were quite pleased with themselves because they had blacked their faces and looked like real miners. Our guide showed us how the conveyors worked and told us about the rocks which were above and below us. After coming out of the coal face we lost the majority of the party, so our guide had to send out signals by pulling a wire and making a bell ring and by 'phoning, because in one part of the colliery miners were going to blow down some rock. The six of us had to stop near the coal face until the explosion had taken place. When we restarted our journey the smell of the explosives was not very pleasant and when we reached the place where the explosion had taken place we had to crawl over the rocks.

Having once again arrived at the pit-bottom, I think nearly everybody's legs were aching, because walking down in a mine is not like walking on a road in fresh air. The party again had to split up into two smaller parties to get to the pit head again. A peculiarity was that when we were going down the shaft, after a while it seemed as though we were going back up again and vice-versa when we were coming up.

After handing in our lamps, a rush was made for the baths, and did it seem good to have a shower! After getting on to the station we had to wait till the train came in, late as usual.

I. H. Weeks, Middle IV.

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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2012, 16:26:39 PM »

Dover Grammar School archives. The Pharos (school magazine) No.102 , July 1946, Vol. XXXVI

Three Thousand Feet Below - I. H. Weeks

On Saturday, June 15th, a School party, consisting of some members of Middle IV and some of Upper I visited Snowdown Colliery, by kind permission of Mr. Johnson. When we arrived by the late train, we went to the manager's office and he gave us a brief outline of what it would be like. A suggestion was made that the first formers should carry a lamp, one between two, because they were two pounds in weight, but this was drowned by cries of disgust from the first formers, so they had their lamps to carry after all. We walked from the manager's office to the lamp cabin and there we received our lamps. We then went to the shaft; we had to go down in two parties and the joke in the cage was, "Hold your stomachs", but we arrived down safely.

Our guide, who was a deputy, went in front of us and we had to walk about one and a half miles to the coal face. When we reached the second junction we had to wait a few minutes for some tubs to come into the main road. After walking and walking we reached the coal face and some of the first formers were quite pleased with themselves because they had blacked their faces and looked like real miners. Our guide showed us how the conveyors worked and told us about the rocks which were above and below us. After coming out of the coal face we lost the majority of the party, so our guide had to send out signals by pulling a wire and making a bell ring and by 'phoning, because in one part of the colliery miners were going to blow down some rock. The six of us had to stop near the coal face until the explosion had taken place. When we restarted our journey the smell of the explosives was not very pleasant and when we reached the place where the explosion had taken place we had to crawl over the rocks.


I can think of a few schoolchildren nowadays who would benefit immensely from being lost down a mine!  Grin

cliveh
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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2012, 11:16:05 AM »

Dover Express - Friday 07 March 1941

Funeral of David Henderson. The funeral took place on Tuesday, at Aylesham New Cemetery, of David Clough Thompson Henderson, fourth son Mr. and Mrs. T. Henderson, of 27, Clarendon Rd., Aylesham, who died on Wednesday last week as the result of an accident underground at Snowdown Colliery, at the age of 14 years. Mr. E. G. F. Hutchings officiated at a service at the Baptist Church, and at the graveside. The local Home Guard formed a guard of honour, and the Last Post and Reveille were sounded at the graveside. The mourners present were:— Mr. and Mrs. T. Henderson (father and mother), Messrs. Jack, Robert and Thomas Henderson (brothers), Miss Rene Henderson (sister), Mr. Thompson (grandfather), Mr. and Mrs. Sheevells, Mr. J. Henderson, Mr. and Mrs. Christie, Mr. and Mrs, W. Henderson, Mr. R. Thompson, Mr. D. Thompson (aunts and uncles), Miss M. Gow (aunt), Mr. and Mrs. J. Shiel, Miss Sheevells, Miss J. Christie, Mr. O. Christie (cousins), Mrs. Smith, Mr. Dodd, Miss M. Kendall, Mrs. Lunn, Mrs. Makepeace, and many friends. Floral tributes were sent as follows:—To my darling son, from Mum, Dad, Brothers, Sister and Grandad; Uncle and Aunt J. Henderson and family (Ashington); Aunt and Uncle Sheevells and Dora; Aunt and Uncle Christie and familyt Aunt Peg and Uncle John and family; Aunt and Uncle W. Henderson and family; Ralph, Dave, Lil and family; Comrades the Pit Bottom; Jack, Maud and Baby; To little pal, from Nelson; Sncwdown Branch, Kent Mine Workers Association; Mr. and Mrs. Frost; Mr. and Mrs. Kalt, Lil and Johnny; Mr. and Mrs. Dodd and family; neighbours and friends; Madge; the Boys of the Dart Club, "Greyhound"; Mr. and Mrs. Atkins and family; Mr. and Mrs. Chipper and Sonnie; Mr. and Mrs. Deary, Granny and family; Miss Maxam; Mr. and Mrs. Hall and family; ,School Knitting Class; Mr. and Mrs. Lawther and family; Mrs. Doyle, Ella and Mary; Mrs. Forster and family; the Headmaster, Staff and Scholars of the Aylesham Central School; the Home Guard. The funeral arrangements were by Mr. H. J. Sawyer, of 85, High St., Dover
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« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2014, 12:07:35 PM »

Another view.

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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2017, 14:25:46 PM »

TWO MEN KILLED NEAR DOVER.
Two men named Charles Causer and Edward Thomas Kettle were killed yesterday at Snowdown Colliery, Nonington, near Dover, The explosion was caused by gas accumulating in the firebox of one of the boilers. The shed was wrecked, but no damage was done to the pit, where a number of men were working

Cardiff Times 27/8/1910
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