The nature park
is on the site of the old Walton Pit (formerly Sharlston West Colliery).
Walton has a long history of coal mining, with documentary evidence of estate and field names dating local mining activities back to the 17th century.
In the late Victorian period, mining works concentrated on a seam found on the Walton Hall Estate (home of the Waterton family). Shortly afterwards, a depression in the coal mining industry meant that the mining company went into liquidation.
In 1890 shafts were sunk for a colliery at Walton, and the mine developed rapidly, benefiting from the good railway and canal networks. Pit dwellings were built for the miners. These were called Ings Cottages or, as they were known locally, Spike Island or simply the Spike.
Formerly known as Sharlston West, the name survived nationalisation in 1947, but it was later changed to Walton Colliery.
Walton pit was a safety lamp mine. By the 1930's there were about 1,200 men working there, but in 1979 it was closed and coal production ceased on 3rd December.
[sources: the Trans Pennine notice board at the Nature Park and Peter Wright's "A History of Walton".]
THE SHARLSTON PITS
New Sharlston Colleries Ltd. operated the following collieries:
The Sharlston Haigh-Moor Pit,
The Sharlston Stanley-Main Pit,
The Sharlston West Pit (later to become Walton Colliery or Pit),
The Haw-Park Pit.
WALTON COLLIERY UNDERGROUND
[click images to enlarge]
Underground at Walton Colliery in the 1970s. Both photographs were taken at the same time in the Low Haigh 1s district.
Its been a long time .... but here's a stab at some of the names.
The first photograph was taken at a cross-gate and those pictured were the development team, developing the road way for new coal faces.
Frank Perry (A) is on the left alongside John? (B). At the front of the picture is the overman, Les Nother (C), and on the right is A.N. Other, i.e. not known (D) . The helmet of a fifth miner is visible between C. and D. If you happen to know the names or have spotted any errors, please let me know, click here.
[Photograph courtesy Frank Perry.]
|The second photograph shows the development team gathered around a Dosco* cutting machine.
Starting from the back left to right.
1. George Higson-Jowitt, the apprentice electrician. 2. Possibly Stan Guest#, the electrician. 3. Bob Greening [previously shown here as "name unknown, part of the team"]. 4. Frank Perry. 5. John Butterfield [previously shown here as "John ?"].
6. Tommy Pine, head of development.
7. John McNicholas (Mac) the electrician.
8. Cocky Crummack (previously shown here as "Charlie Richardson, fondly known at the pit as Charlie Peg, he was an electrician's labourer, and lived at Eastmoor"].
Front left - 9. Norman Bates, the fitter (a local Walton man?). 10. Barry Keane part of the team. There are ten in the picture, but, for now, that's the best we can do for names. If you know the names of any of these ten chaps or have spotted any errors, please let me know, click here.
[Photograph courtesy Frank Perry. Information supplied by Frank Perry, John Brown, Paul McNally and George Jowitt, then 'Higson-Jowitt', and Gary Speight. # Possible name for the electrician supplied by John Dickman, who was himself an electrician at the pit.]
* Dosco manufactures a range of minerals, mining and processing machines.
|Photograph no. 3, supplied by John Dickman (an electrician at the pit), who writes:
"The photo is of six of the electrical staff in the Birkwood 6.600 volt sub station, which was sited
on the loco road between Birkwood and 10 East.
The people in the photo from left to right are Dave Burton, Chris Kellett, [no. 3] Sorry I can't remember this lad's name, Andrew Rigg, myself John Dickman and Charlie Smith.
I would be most greatfull if any one could put a name the 3rd man from the left."
Walton Colliery Time Checks
(Photograph courtesy George Jowitt)
Sharlston West Pit Check
(before it became Walton Colliery)
Just another brick in the wall...
often had their own brick works.
This old brick is from Sharlston Colliery brickworks.
In the early days of the nature park, many of these bricks from the demolished buildings were visible in gullies and ditches around the Walton site.
They were also to be found in Haw Park Wood near the old shaft, and in hedgerows, verges and farmfields, etc., in Walton C.P. and the surrounding area.
Gradually they are disappearing into the soil and undergrowth as the colliery fades from memory with the passing of time.
A coal miner, possibly
late 19th century.
[Photograph was once on display in the New Inn,
but when and where this was taken is not known]
Just a taste .....
These pages do not attempt to provide a comprehensive history of the mine; rather, the intention is to provide a reminder of our local industrial heritage.
Mr. Scargill & NUM at odds.
Arthur Scargill faces £100,000 legal claim from NUM.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)
threatened to sue its former leader
Arthur Scargill for £100,000,
a BBC Inside Out investigation has found.
[BBC News Sheffield and South Yorkshire, 13 January 2014]