Bank Hall Colliery

© Craven & Pendle Geological Society

Reedley Miners circa 1950
(photo courtesy of Towneley Hall)
1 yard approx. 1 metre
3 feet (foot) approx. 1 metre (1 yard)

Abstract: Colliery Guardian: 1892  By 1892 three shafts had been sunk. The depth to the Arley Mine is 230 yards, this the only seam worked at the colliery, its average thickness being four foot of clean coal.

The principal winding engine has two horizontal cylinders 30 inches by 60 inches four Cornish valves to each, plain drum 15 foot diameter for rounded ropes.

Water Lifting: The pumping engine raises water in three bucket lifts from the depth of 240 yards. The buckets are 18 inches in diameter and capable of raising 77 gallons per stroke. It was usually worked 18 hours in 24 at four strokes per minute.

Boilers: Six Lancashire iron boilers, 28 feet by 7 feet supply steam to all the engines on the surface at 60lbs pressure. These are all roofed over and at each boiler, as well as at the engines, there is a number attached to it as a means of reference to any alterations or repair that may have been made to it.

Screens: There are two rotary screen, each ten foot in length and five foot in diameter, inclined in different directions, with a space between them for a tippler, by which the coal is thrown onto a saddle, so as to supply each screen equally. The screen bars are of steel, and the tippler is capable of coping with 1000 tons of coal per day.

System of working: It is that of bored and pillar, followed up .... by stall working. All the main roads are driven to the boundary first, and then the pillars are worked off towards the shaft. The bords or endings are driven four and a half foot wide, with 12 yards of pillars between them, on a level course; these are connected by cross holings driven to the rise, four and a half foot wide, with 12 yards apart. In working off the pillars homewards the stalls are driven from the highest bord 12 yards to the rise, and from 3 to 6 yards wide, varying according to the nature of the roof. As these stalls are worked to the rise other stalls are driven up from the bord below a step behind, and so with the other bords down to the main level. In the Arley seam, there is endless chain haulage, five and a half miles in length. No horses or ponies are employed underground.

Ventilation: This is produced by a furnace placed in the Dandy seam, 40 yards above the Arley mine, and by the heat from one Lancashire boiler 28 x 6 and a half feet placed in the Arley mine to supply steam to the chain engines. Safety lamps are used exclusively for lighting the mine. The lamp guazes are cleaned by machinery, and the lamps are screwed and un-screwed, and the lead rivets extracted by Howat's machine. The quantity of air circulating and passing through the upcast is 80 000 cubic feet per minute.

Coke ovens: There are 70 ovens of the beehive type, 12 feet in diameter, constructed with flues on the top, which convey the waste heat to three tall chimneys. The ovens are charged at the top from conical shaped iron tubs with false bottoms, these being conveyed by an engine and endless rope running along the top, the whole length of the ovens. The coal for the ovens is first crushed by edge rollers in a pan with a perforated steel bottom, through which small the small coal falls to a chamber; from this it is raised by a bucket elevator to a hopper, the capacity of which is 80 tons; and from this it is run into iron tubs as required.

Workshops: The principal establishment is placed here for constructional work required for the whole of the collieries, comprising smithy, furnished with 13 hearths, and a blowing fan, 3 steam hammers, two vertical drills, punching and shearing machines, and plate bending rolls. Chain making shop, with 4 hearths where the whole of the endless chains are manufactured from best Staffordshire iron.  "There are fitting shop, saw mills, waggon shops and canal boat building and wheel wrights shop. The Bank Hall Colliery is connected on the surface with three other collieries by separate endless chains, with Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. There is also connection with the same railway, by a branch line belonging to the firm. The main driving-wheel at the fore end of each endless-chain, is fitted with friction gearing manufactured by Mr. James Whittaker, of Accrington".