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Walton - Wakefield - West Yorkshire
Squire Charles Waterton the Naturalist
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Walton Colliery, Derek Horton

Walton Colliery

■ Maps & Plans of the colliery area.

Click to enlarge.Women in the Miners' Strike, 1984-5

This two-year project, from 2018-2020, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council,
aims to examine the experiences of women in coalfield communities during the miners' strike of 1984-5. 

To do this, we are collecting a new bank of oral history interviews with women from all around England, Scotland and Wales.

The project is based at UCL and the University of Reading. Our project partner is the National Coal Mining Museum for England.

Click on the picture to read the pamphlet (PDF).

THE WALTON COLLIERY NATURE PARK (WCNP) 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 (formerly the home of the Waterton family). Shortly afterwards, a depression in the coal mining industry meant that the mining company went into liquidation.

Click to enlargeIn 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". Photographer not known.]

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),
The Haw-Park Pit (Walton Colliery, Haw Park).

[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.

Click to enlargeThe 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.]

Click to enlargeThe 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 ?"].
. Tommy Pine, head of development.
. John McNicholas (Mac) the electrician.
. 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.

Click to enlargePhotograph 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 grateful if any one could put a name the 3rd man from the left."
Walton Colliery Time Checks
Walton Colliery Time Checks
(Photograph courtesy George Jowitt)
Click to enlargeWalton Colliery "on the eve of destruction" it was demolished the following morning. On the floor is the date plaque from the Power House; behind you can just see the row of Lancashire boilers waiting to be scrapped. The 1923 plaque wasn't 'posed', it is where the demolition contractor left it, note there's still a rope around it.
(Photograph and information: Nick Lyons)

Click to enlargePower House and Steam Pipes
Walton just before demolition began. The boiler house is off to the left, that' s the power house with the 1923 stone in the gable. The tall vertical pipe is on the (horizontal) steam accumulator that you can just see behind the brick wall. The electricians' workshop is extreme right. There was a wooden cooling tower, which would have been even further to the right, out of shot (in fact demolished by the time this was taken). The low buildings, in the distance, to left of the van are the blacksmiths' and carpenters' workshops.

If you compare this picture with Chris Allen's picture of the Power House on P4, my picture is taken from the left of the chimney and the van is parked behind the low building on the extreme left of shot.
(Photograph and information: Nick Lyons)

Click to enlargeShafts
2 on the left. Shaft 1, on the right, looks towards the 'bank'. I think that it is No.2 bank shown in Chris Allen's picture on page 2, but I can't be sure.
(Photograph and information: Nick Lyons)

Kellingley Colliery Closure.

Kellingley Colliery,

This was the last operational deep mine
in the United Kingdom,
it was closed on Friday 18th December 2015.

■ Read more.
■ Pictures of Kellingley
from the Aire & Calder Navigation.

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.

For more local history and pictures visit

Wakefield Museums
Wakefield Museums, Galleries and Castles

'Twixt Aire and Calder Online Archive

Walton Colliery Nature Park Gallery

Books about Walton, Charles Waterton, Guyana, and more!
See a selection of
books about Walton,
Charles Waterton,
Guyana and more.
• click here •
(Offered for sale by

Friends of
Walton Colliery
Nature Park

on the
the official
Wakefield MDC

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