The Colliery Sinking At Cadeby

September 1890

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 19 September 1890

The Colliery Sinking At Cadeby

Progress of a most satisfactory nature is being made by the Denaby Main Colliery Co., in the new colliery sinkings at Cadeby.

The site Is directly opposite the Conisborough Railway Station, on the Cadeby side the River Don, and the whole of the “Rattles,” as the hillside used to be termed, is covered with evidences of Denaby Main enterprise. Extensive sidings, joining the line only a short distance below the Conisborough tunnel, have been made, and this work alone represents on enormous amount of labour; the material” used in building up the huge embankments, so to them on a level with the railway, has been obtained from the two shafts. The line is present the only convenient means of access to the new workings.

A cast-iron bridge, already built, lies in readiness on the river bank to be thrown across the water, and when it put in position will extensively used; but there is apparently hitch somewhere, for the necessary permission to make this much desired communication has not been obtained. The permanent drawing engines, beautiful specimens of their kind have been on the scene for some time, waiting the completion the immense mass concrete, faced with huge blocks of stone, that will, when finished, be one of, not the finest engine-house of its kind the country. Within a very short time the permanent engines will be position. Obstacles of the most stupendous and disheartening character have been met with in the sinking operations proper, but with characteristic energy they have one after another been overcome, under the able direction of Mr. W. H. Chambers, the manager of Denaby Main, and his assistant, Mr. J. Rose.

Already about 80 yards progress has been made, but this depth has not been reached without very severe, though eventually victorious struggles, with that chief element danger in pit sinking—water. It computed that one time less than 300,000 gallons of water per minute were poured out one shaft alone, equalling a weight tons per minute, and this enormous quantity not have been successfully coped with unless machinery the most improved type and appliances of the latest description had been resorted to. It is worthwhile recording that the company, this comparatively short time, have succeeded in penetrating much greater water bearing stratum that that which a neighbouring colliery company some years ago took over six years to subjugate. This result has been brought about by the employment of pumps equal to the task imposed upon them, and the substitution, the outset, for inferior machinery plant than there is no finer extant. The work “tubbing” has been proceeded with as the sinkers have gone lower and lower, and yesterday one of the principal springs that has yet been encountered, and which has caused almost endless trouble, was successfully dealt with, the cast iron “tubbing, with which the whole the shaft will be lined, effectually checking its course and turning its flood elsewhere.

To a depth of 80 yards the shaft now water-tight, and it expected that the worst has been conquered, though the sinkers are at any moment prepared for another inrush. Boring is now being proceeded with, the object being, course, ascertain the exact nature the strata that lie below the present depth. Altogether it expected that 660 yards will have be sunk before coal measures—that is the Barnsley seam – are reached. This will be by far the greatest depth at which coal will be won in the South Yorkshire coalfield, though it only the first step in a direction which must eventually be taken to much greater extent.

The days of the Barnsley seam westward of Conisborough, are numbered, and soon the virgin coalfield which now being tapped at Cadeby will have to be largely resorted to. The increased depth is brought about by a sudden dip between Denaby and Conisborough, which accounts for a difference considerably over 100 yards, but a matter of a hundred yards or so is but small moment these days of engineering triumphs.

Should the sphere of active operations extend much further eastward Doncaster will soon be reached, and then even much greater distance will have to be before coal found. Lately there has been a rumour to the effect that the recent borings at Wheatley, near Doncaster, have produced favourable impression amongst the parties interested, and as an instance of a determination to, if possible, do business, it may be mentioned that borings have been taken to a depth at least 1,000 yards.

There is also a rumour that the Wombwell Main Colliery Company have acquired the rights, but wants verifying.