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Simonfield to The Brook
Lecture and Presentation by Roger Wood 2013

- Page 5 -

Mapperley Colliery Company

New Colliery At Mapperley - September 7th 1870
Simon Pit

Some few months ago the Glendon Iron Company leased the minerals under the above estate from William Drury Lowe, Esq., of Locko Park.

Preparatory work had been taken to sink two shafts for the mining of the coal and ironstone.

It was decided to cut the first sod of the sinking on Thursday last, and E. K. Fisher, Esq., Market Harborough, and G. Checkland, Esq., Leicester, sole partners in the Glendon Iron Company, invited a few friends to the proceedings. At two o’ clock Mrs. Checkland cut the first sod and announced the works formally opened. The party then adjourned to a very elegant luncheon, served up in one of the newly erected offices, improvised for the occasion.

We believe they intend sinking two shafts each 13 feet diameter, with two engines equal to one hundred horse-power. It is expected to reach the hard coal about 200yards deep.

 F. C. Gillet, Esq., mining engineer, was the superintendent of the works, and Mr. Mason, late of Stanley Colliery, is the local manager.

It is expected that the shafts would be in full working order within twelve months.

Arrangements had been made to turn  600 to 800 tons a day.

Mr. George Checkland represented the Glendon Iron Company at the works.

We understand this mineral field will turn out between eight and nine millions tons of coal.

 The directors and officials of the Midland Railway actively work to the interests of the company they represent have projected and are immediately about to carry into execution a branch line into the mineral field, thereby securing to their main line another excellent feeder.

We are informed that the Glendon Iron Company propose erecting iron furnaces in connection with these works, for the purpose of manufacturing the material on the spot. (These were never built).

The Derby Mercury on June 14th 1871 reported that the Mapperley New Colliery was progressing satisfactory. Last week the soft coal at at a depth of 120 yards, was reached. This seam is 9ft -  6inches thick.

There is at work a pair of splendid engines which have been erected by Messrs. Jessop and Co. of the London Steam Crane Engine Works of Leicester.

Some 2,400 gallons of water are being drawn out of the shaft per hour.

Operations were commenced in September, and up to the present no accident worthy of note has taken place which is very creditable to the managers.

The line of Railway from Stanton Gate to the works is being rapidly pushed on.

Work involves building a Bridge over Mapperley Lane (near the village). Road re-alignment to the village and the re-aligning of Mapperley Brook providing a new culvert. The line passes over the site of Ancient Mapperley Castle Site.

It is calculated that when the operations are completed. Employment will be given to 600 or 700 workmen.

The official opening was 1872.


Mapperley  Ambulance Colliery Band

Active members of the companies “Past Times Club”  The band performed many concerts. Attended village carnivals and led church and chapel Anniversary parades.

In total 66 men working for the Mapperley colliery lost their lives in the war.

As a tribute a Memorial Hall  was built to honour and remember the men. It was built half way between the companies two collieries. (Simon Pit and Nibby  Pit). Built off Station Road, West Hallam.

When the building was pulled down, the memorial stone naming the men was saved. This was re-erected beside the West Hallam Memorial.


 Mapperley Colliery Memorial Hall And Roll Of Honour

In 1891 the company extended its mining operations to neighbouring Stanley. Resulting in sinking a second shaft on the site beside West Hallam Station in 1895. This Stanley colliery was known as Nibby Pit until it closed in 1959.

From these two collieries 66 men lost their lives in the 1914 - 18 war.

The company decided to provide a Memorial Hall, to be used by residence from the surrounding villages. Tennis courts, a bowling green and the Memorial hall were opened on Station Road, West Hallam in 1920. A “Past Times Club” was created by residence from West Hallam, Mapperley, Stanley Common and Stanley, using these new outdoor facilities. Indoor activities included dominoes, card games, darts and indoor bowls. Tea Dances and other social events took place on a regular basis by various clubs and organizations.

The hall was refurbished and renamed the Silver Jubilee Club in 1977 following the Queens 25th Anniversary celebrations. In the 1980’s the premises became a licensed retail food outlet. Becoming the village “Fish and Chip” shop.

Unfortunately the building and facilities deteriorated during the 1990’s and it was finally demolished in 2005, making way for the housing development, Jubilee Court.

The Roll of Honour was removed by the builder and was only saved by the efforts of a few dedicated villages, and support from the Parish Council. It was erected here and re-dedicated on Sunday 7th October 2007.

The residence at “Bramble Lodge” lay two garlands of poppies on the memorial on each armistice Sunday. The garlands made by themselves in their craft room include 66 poppies, one for each of the fallen.

The Memorial Design

The memorial is constructed of a series of glazed tiles, with a stone frame surround complete with ledge, headed with a triangular top encasing a carved wreath. The design is said to represent the interior of a colliery winding engine house.
The names of the fallen are listed in two columns.


R. Wood 2013


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