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Reload this Page ARCHIVE: Cutacre coal mine opencast visit. Feb 09
Underground Sewers, Culverts, Caves, Mines & Air raid shelters etc.

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ARCHIVE: Cutacre coal mine opencast visit. Feb 09
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Arrow ARCHIVE: Cutacre coal mine opencast visit. Feb 09 - 09-02-2009, 00:21

Initially a look from a distance then Morrisey had a chat with a site workman who let us potter about. Loads of old tunnels and coal pillars in the Rams seam, worked until 1879. Along with burning slag heaps to have a temporary fix of and fossil trees lots to see.
The site engineer came down later and after initially telling us off for our commando raid was very friendly, he also gave us a lift in the landrover out of the site, hinting at further trips. A grand day out was had by all even fettler (new nickname agreed on is now Honey Monster) who nearly dissappeared in a quagmire, rescued by his last remaining hair.

Heres the geological survey of the 1930's showing where the burning slag heap now is and the outcrop of the Rams seam we saw

Tunnel in Rams seam beneath the hanging wall

Tunnel and hanging wall

Bconfined nipped into the tunnel of death beneath the hanging wall, we all gasped and took our photos!

Burning slag heaps cleared the lungs

They make them even bigger than this one

General view west

Looking along the strike of the Rams seam

Looking into an old tunnel in the coal

Old roadway in coal with recesses cut into it bottom right

Pillar of coal with old roads either side

Pumping water out of old tunnels

Last edited by Morrisey; 15-02-2009 at 19:17.
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Default 09-02-2009, 02:12

Brilliant day & big thanks to everyone involved, also good to meet Tarboat for 1st time
The scale of the site is outrageous, if youv'e any interest in mining, a trip to an opencast site is a must,
it gives you an overall view of old & modern mining techniques .
The_fettler nearly had to be pulled out of the gloop by one of the big diggers but I just managed to free him in the nick of time, well done mate you lived to tell the tale.


No really i'm serious HELP!!!!!

Tree trunk fossil

Coal tub found in old workings

Only saw this as we were leaving
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Default 09-02-2009, 08:41

Indeed it was a grand day out with lots of interest to see. Good to meet everyone and put names to faces. A few more shots from the day.

Cutacre tip in background with explorers huddled around taking in the fumes from the burning tip at Wharton Hall Colliery site.

What is Coalboard doing here?

Big machines

Coalboard at the end of a section of tunnel in the Rams seam.

Taken a few days earlier. A last look at the tip before it is dug up
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Default 09-02-2009, 19:39

Here's the colliery, Wharton Hall which once stood at the burning slag heap site photographed probably in the 1860's when laid out

Surface screening sheds in construction at the pit

Burnt shale, at one time crushed for tennis courts, the change in colour to red is due to iron content

Last edited by Coalboard; 09-02-2009 at 19:42.
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Default 09-02-2009, 21:06

Here's a few faces to put to some notorious names you know, photo taken by Bconfined as he was in the tunnel;
At the back is the slight figure of the-fettler, from the left Morrisey, Coalboard with hangover, Tarboat with tea cosy at the back, Boboil at the front minus dog and a mysterious ANother

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Default 22-04-2009, 14:42

Some info about the Little Hulton Slags:

"It was the biggest stuff rook in the world and the tip for colliery waste from several pits belonging to Manchester Collieries Ltd that were situated in Tyldesley, Walkden and Little Hulton, including what was the biggest colliery in the now defunct Lancashire coalfield: Mosely Common."

Some more information, Someones personal account:

"The colliery waste tips of the former UK coalfields were often smouldering: spontaneous combustion of small coal within the tips shale was the cause. The stuffrooks at the back of my grandma's were one of my playgrounds as well. They too were always on fire.

They were constantly sprayed from rusty old pipes with water that was pumped up from the pit that had created these rooks but which had closed in the 1930s. The pit served as a pumping pit for other local collieries that were still functioning when I was a child. The water from the pits was usually a bright orangey-yellow colour caused by the iron pyrites in the bands of ironstone that is often found within Lancashire coal seams. We called such water "okreh water", a Lancashire corruption of "ochre water" no doubt. A good example of "okreh water" can still be seen at Worsley where the Bridgwater Canal water is coloured fby the pit water draining out of the coal workings at Worsley Delph.

The sulphurous smell of the old tips, mentioned above by pOb36, was because most Lancashire coal did in fact have a high sulphur content. Sometimes the fires within the tips had burned so fiercely over the years that only a thin surface crust of shale was left and it happened not infrequently that people - all too sadly often children - fell through this crust to their deaths. That's why watchmen used to chase us off the smouldering rooks of my childhood. However, the coal companies, and later the National Coal Board, made use of this spontaneous combustion because the bright red shale left after the rook had burnt out was sold as an aggregate that was very useful for road building and making tennis courts. The "Old Man of Parr", a bright red shale outcrop of a burnt out rook was the only remnant of the once extensive Ashton's Green Colliery (closed in the early 1930s)in Parr, St. Helens when the Derbyshire Hill council estate was built around it. It has been long since landscaped. Likewise the "Seven Sisters" at Bryn, which I knew as the "Wigan Alps": they were formerly huge mountains of waste from the Garswood Hall Colliery (closed 1953)."


Last edited by sneak; 22-04-2009 at 14:47.
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