This is my graphite pencil drawing of Frickley Colliery, which was located in the village of South Elmsall in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
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When I was born my family and virtually the whole of the village, worked in the coal mine, which consisted of several seams. The village, therefore, was built and organised to service the mine and included sports grounds, swimming pools, working men’s clubs, churches, a hospital., maternity home and a large shopping centre and market. The ‘pit’ also supported football and cricket teams, a dance band and a brass band that was to become nationally known .
Sinking of the first shaft was commenced by the Carlton Main Colliery company limited in 1903 and the Barnsley seam was reached in 1905 at a depth of 606 metres. The shafts are 7m in diameter. The Barnsley seam was worked until 1934 by hand-got tub stalls when mechanical conveying was introduced at the coal face. During the next three years the installation of face conveyors was completed almost throughout the whole mine.
In the 1930s the mine employed 4,000 men but, Despite having plentiful and easily accessible reserves (new head winding gear had been recently installed and a new seam opened in 1992) the pit closed due to politics on 26 November 1993, leaving massive social and economic problems in the local area.